My friends from OCGS were excited about Google News and learning that a Camden newspaper was online. It got me thinking about how I search and how I use this database with great results. Monday night I was scrolling through the newspapers list (http://news.google.com/newspapers) and saw a Philadelphia newspaper that I hadn't heard about before. Playing around with different search words, I was surprised to find an article about my husband's gr-grandmother from 1908.
The list of newspapers is overwhelming. I've found newspapers from the area where my Fr-Canadian ancestors lived. I've also found a list of Irish newspapers published here in North Amercia that carried articles on Irish folk from all over the world. Best of all having the hometown newspaper at my fingertips has led to more stories about the family.
So how do I find these great articles?
First I use the archives advance search feature. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is archaic to find!) The best way to get to this search feature is to go to http://news.google.com/archivesearch It differs from the standard search feature in that you can put in the name of the newspaper and search for names within that newspaper's editions. It doesn't find all the names I'm searching for but it is a great beginning.
Once I have exhausted the possibilities, I next try adding names in the other boxes. These would be names that family was associated with or married into. Trading these names in the main search box leds to different results!
Another great feature that Google news has is browsing by date. If my grandmother's obituary isn't appearing where it should I check to see if that issue of the newspaper was scanned and posted. I found my gr-gr-grandparent's divorce record this way. It hadn't showed up in the searches I tried but was sitting on the front page on the date that the event occured.
And when in doubt, try searching by just the first name or just the last name. My gr-grandfather didn't appear in the searches under "Frank" but "Prank." It seems that there was a typo in the newspaper and his name did come up once I changed the "F" to a "P."
Have fun searching!