When most of us think of genealogy, we think about names and dates. This was my third great-grandfather's name, this is when he was born, and this is when he died. But what we don't consider sometimes is that our ancestors were living, breathing people who traveled to visit their friends, experienced scandal in their communities and, as many genealogists can tell you, had a high likelihood of being thrown from a buggy and killed. Newspapers, especially between 1890 and 1920, recorded these sorts of everyday happenings in the communities within the county, sometimes referred to as "News from Other Towns"
The Library of Congress has digitized hundreds of national newspapers for their website Chronicling America. You can narrow your search by state, date, or you can select certain newspapers you'd like to search. The newspapers are term searchable, so you can type in an ancestor's name or the name of the town in which they lived and see the results. And, there is no charge to use the site. A similar pay website is Newspaper Archive. While the two sites are organized similarly, their collection of newspapers tends to be vastly different. Ancestry.com also has digitized newspapers that are term searchable.
Online newspapers aren't your only option, and there are still hundreds of newspapers only available on microfilm at local libraries. Contact or visit your local Springfield-Greene County Library to find out about our historical newspaper holdings, our William K. Hall collection, or to use our Ancestry.com library edition available for in-library use.
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