When gleaning information from newspapers on microfilm, remember occasionally they were filmed out of order; therefore:

  • First - Scan the film for a few months in each direction is advisable.
  • Second - In newspapers of early years search for the "gossip" portion of the paper. There were very few obituaries and death notices. Remember to check the issues several weeks preceding and following the date. Check earlier issues for illness and accidents, and later issues that may not have reached the paper in a timely fashion.
  • Third - Check ten, twenty, twenty-five, forty, and fifty years after a big event. Many newspapers ran columns that reprinted items from earlier years.
  • Fourth - Try to learn which township, suburb, or section of the community where your ancestor lived. Often the columns devoted to those areas reported various events.
  • Fifth - Look at late May/June issues of newspaper for a listing of the graduation classes, which often included photos. Scan newspaper right before or after the holiday seasons. Often, locals reported relatives coming to visit and when they left.
  • Sixth - Deaths of past residents or current residents living elsewhere were often reported. So, if your ancestor moved, check the newspapers from his previous location.
  • And last - Don’t be concerned how names were spelled (or rather, misspelled) in newspapers. In a single article you can find a surname spelled three different ways. Articles were often handwritten by correspondents, thus were subject to the interpretation of the typesetter. How many correspondents actually knew how to spell their neighbor’s name correctly and how many had legible handwriting? {Written by Flora L. VerStraten}

HOW TO FIND AND USE NEWSPAPERS FOR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH
Since newspapers served as daily {or weekly} journals of local communities and their citizens, newspapers are excellent sources of family history. They provide a wonderful, often untapped, resource for genealogists, providing accounts of events not recorded, many times, anywhere else. The determined researcher will use newspapers to not only find the expected birth announcements and obits, but also legal notices, letters to the editor, lost and found, and social columns which were filled with local news of a more personal nature. Newspapers can open a new window into the lives of your ancestors. If you have never used this source in your research, consider doing so now! {A few examples!}

WHAT YOU CAN FIND IN OLD NEWSPAPERS
Obituaries and death listing – Though inconsistently found in old newspapers, sometimes obits included place and date of birth, names of siblings, parents, military information, occupation, and even church and burial information. Keep in mind that the obit can appear weeks after the actual date of death.

BIRTHS
Not common to the nineteenth-century newspapers, birth announcements placed in local newspapers gradually became popular in the early 1900’s.

WEDDING & ANNIVERSARY
News of nuptial agreements usually apeared in columns of local news. Major wedding and anniversaries appeared often.

SOCIETY NEWS AND GOSSIP
Most newspapers had a column for residents to submit local news that might be of interest to others. Tidbits of illnesses, birthdays, job promotions, vistiors to the community were reported.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS AND ADS
Livestock, farm equipment, and personal property were often sold at public auctions. Advertisements concerning debtors, forced land sales, runaway slaves, and missing relatives are relevant to researchers.

LEGAL NOTICES
Proving of wills, land sales for payment of taxes, divorce, proving of heirs, settlement of estates: all had to give public notice.

UNCLAIMED MAIL
Periodically, a list of letters appeared in the small local newspapers.

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS
Many churches submitted lists of new members, baptisms, confirmations, and other church news.

MILITARY NEWS
Items about hometown boys heading off to war, injuries and regiment information were often in the newspaper.

LINKS TO ALL NEWSPAPER ARTICLES from Washington Co., PA_"Little Washington"
Link Page to ALL newspaper articles on this website. Research in Little Washington, Washington County, PA, Washpa - Over 150 years of various newspaper articles, births, obituaries, deaths, marriages, reunion, research in Washington, Washington County, Pennsylvania, genealogy, genealogy, family history, documents, birth, death, marriage notices, obituaries, missing persons, adoption and guardianship, probate and deed notices, and surname only items.
... , birth, death, marriage, notices, obituaries (often with ...
... -1 SCOTT-MILLER Marriage OBITUARIES 1800-50 1851-79 1880-90 ...
... -1] BIRTHS MARRIAGES -1 MARRIAGES -2 REUNIONS ANNIVERSARIES -1 ...
... 1880s 1890s [2.] Marriages: (see Anniversaries) [Image: Afternoon ...
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~florian/o_f1/o_f_nplinks.htm