IMPORTANCE OF NEWSPAPERS
Why are newspapers important to the historian, genealogist and academic?
- They contain millions of names, and refer to every subject from politics to current events to gossip.
- Newspapers are contemporary accounts. History is recorded as it occurred, although often not accurately or without bias.
- All categories of people are included - women, children, the poor, Afro-Americans, the criminal and the town drunk. Newspapers are not turn of the century mug books that include biographies of prominent WASP families only. Everyone had an opportunity to get their name in the paper, regardless of their status in the community.
- Newspapers expand over a large time line in the United States. The first title dates from 1690. In Ohio, they date from 1793.
- There are over 300,000 titles of newspapers in this country, in every community - some having two or three competing firms. The Ohio Historical Society microfilm collection includes 2704 Ohio newspaper titles representing 489 cities and villages.
There is no question that newspapers are of vital importance in every educational field dealing with people -- history, politics, economics, statistics, social studies, among others. Your library should do its part in providing an index to your local newspaper.
Anyone can pick out names - right? There are several items that genealogists look for in indexing a name:
- Vital statistics - is this a birth announcement, marriage or anniversary, or a death notice or obituary?
- Document relationships - does the item state that one individual was a son or daughter of another. For example, "John Smith was in town meeting old acquaintances last week. Mr. Smith has resided in Denver, Colorado for over twenty years and is a sister of Mrs. Bertram Jones of this city."
- Legal notices - legal notices are important to index. In areas where the local courthouses records have been destroyed, especially in the South, these notices are doubly important.
- Location identifiers - The previous example I gave puts a former resident of the community in Denver, Colorado. This may be the only way to trace migration in a family history. The post office, unfortunately, has not saved change of address cards when someone moves.
- Local news - any local event is important to identify in the index. Don't skip over long lists - letters left at the post office, delinquent taxes, election results, school graduates.
- Other items that may be overlooked:
a. advertising - note the first time it appears
b. poetry/letters - often submitted by initial - you may eventually figure out the name of the correspondent
c. gossip columns - if the story is good!
A cow, at Mr. Knowlton's, died last week.
Last Friday, Evington Eckelberry was brought before Esq. Laning on the charge of stealing a dollar from his mother. He was found guilty and sentenced to thirty days in jail, to pay a fine of $25 and be imprisoned till paid.
Mr. C.K. Smith's handsome bull dog took a front seat in the Baptist Church Sunday evening, but a vigorous remark by the pastor that he did not preach to dogs, caused the said handsome bull dog to retire unceremoniously, much to the merriment of the congregation.
The little son of B.H. Fowler, who was so severely whipped by a school teacher named Miss Gibson, near Greenwich, some weeks since, has died and was buried on Tuesday. An abcess formed in the vicinity of his broken ribs, and we are told his sufferings were terrible up to the time of his death.
Mr. Editor: -- A lady wants to say a few words to the grocery merchants, and really it is a delicate subject to handle. You know it is now time when our grocery men set their vegetables and fruits outside on the pavement, and you know there are many tall dogs in town. Now, Mr. Editor, you must know what I want to say -- what we want is the vegetables and fruit on boxes, or in other words, "above the high water mark."
Selected Ohio Newspaper Indexes and Abstracts
- ASHLAND - Ungerer, Mrs. Robert N. Genealogical Abstracts from Loudonville, Ashland County, Ohio Newspapers, March 20, 1873 -Sept. 1, 1892.
- ASHLAND - Kopp, Rita. Ashland County, Ohio Newspaper Abstracts 1879-1882.
- ASHLAND - Budd, Anne Dallas. Newspaper Abstracts of Ashland County, Ohio.
- ASHLAND - Kopp, Rita Bone. 1908-1911 Obituary Abstracts from the Ashland Times and Gazette Newspaper, Ashland, Ashland County, Ohio.
- ATHENS - Bleigh, Mildred A. and Mary A. Davis. Athens County Obituaries, January 1, 1980 thru December 31, 1985.
- ATHENS - Howard, Scotty L. and Loraine Davis Howard. Obituaries of Athens Countians and Their Families. 5 vols.
- ATHENS - Bowman, Mary. Abstracts and Extracts of Athens Co. Ohio Newspapers, 1890: The Herald and The Journal.
- BUTLER - Southwest Butler Co. Genealogical Soc. Actual Obituaries as Appeared in the Journal News, Hamilton, Ohio, January-December 1989; 1990; 1991.
- CHAMPAIGN - Everhart, Warren G. Clippings from the Urbana Ohio Newspaper, Champaign Co., Ohio.
- CLARK - Clark Co. Genealogical Soc. Clark County, Ohio Newspaper Abstracts 1829-1832, Obituaries, Marriages and Selected Genealogical Notes. Vol. 5 through 1838.
- CLERMONT - McCarthy, Barbara J. Index to Newspapers Published in Clermont County, Ohio.
- CLINTON - Mart, Larry D. Clinton County, Ohio Newspaper Death and Obituary Abstracts, 1838-1867.
- CLINTON - Mart, Larry D. Clinton County Obituaries 1867-1875 and Selected Genealogical Notes.
- COLUMBIANA - Bell, Carol Willsey. Columbiana County, Ohio Newspaper Abstracts. 2 vols.
- COSHOCTON - Coshocton Public Library. Index to Newspaper Obituaries, Coshocton County, Ohio, 1826-1908.
- CRAWFORD - Crawford Co. Chapter OGS. Crawford Co. Obituaries. Card file on film.
- CUYAHOGA - Index to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1931, 1933-1938.
- CUYAHOGA - Annals of Cleveland, 1818-1876. A Digest and Index of the Newspaper Record of Events and Opinions Abstracted Principally from the Cleveland Register, Cleveland Herald, Cleveland Daily True Democrat and Cleveland Leader.
- CUYAHOGA - Annals of Cleveland, Cleveland Foreign Language Newspaper Digest: 1891-1892, 1937-1938.
- CUYAHOGA - Western Reserve Hist. Soc. Cleveland Necrology File.
- DARKE - Newspaper Death Records, Darke County, Ohio, 1850-1898.
- DEFIANCE - Clegg, Michael. Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Williams & Wood Counties, Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts, 1838-1870.
- DELAWARE - Reed, Mary. Abstracts from Miscellaneous Delaware County Newspapers 1821- 1857.
- DELAWARE - Cryder, Marilyn. Abstracts of Obituaries, Death Notices and Funeral Notices from the Delaware Gazette, January 1858 through December 1899. 4 vols.
- ERIE - Milan Public Library. Index to Milan Ledger.
- FAIRFIELD - Collier, Jean. Lancaster Gazette Genealogical Abstracts, 1826-1881. 6 vols.
- FAIRFIELD - Mercy, Dorothy Hallarn. Ohio Eagle, Lancaster, Ohio, 1814-1840 Genealogical Abstracts.
- FAYETTE - Beam, Virginia H. Obituary Clippings from the Scrapbook of Etta and Emma Wain, Fayette Co., 1888-1949.
- FRANKLIN - Maxwell Publications. Franklin County, Ohio Death Records 1811-1832 from Area Newspapers.
- FRANKLIN - Index to the Columbus, Ohio State Journal, 1913-1926, 1927-1939.
- FRANKLIN - Columbus, Ohio Regional News Index, 1980 to date.
- FRANKLIN - Turpin, Joan. Turpin Index: A List of Marriage Licenses Issued by the Franklin County Probate Court as Published in the Daily Dispatch 1871-1875.
- FULTON - Collier, Jean S. Fulton County Tribune Genealogical Abstracts 1883-1887, 1893- 1900, 1910-1915. 13 vols.
- FULTON - Broglin, Jana Sloan. Obituaries Appearing in the Swanton Enterprise, Swanton, Ohio, 1922 thru 1978.
- GALLIA - Evans, Henrietta C. and Mary P. Wood. Death Notices, Obituaries and Marriage Notices Taken from the Gallia County, Ohio Newspapers 1825-1875.
- GREENE - Marriage and Death Notices from the Xenia Ohio Torch-Light, 1844-1870.
- HAMILTON - Index to the Cincinnati Enquirer, 1934-1938.
- HAMILTON - Selective Index to the Centinel of the North-Western Territory.
- HAMILTON - Herbert, Jeffrey G. Index of Death Notices and Marriage Notices Appearing in Cincinnati Volksfreund 1850-1908.
- HAMILTON - Herbert, Jeffrey G. Index of Death Notices and Marriage Notices Appearing in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette 1827-1881. 2 vols.
- HAMILTON - Herbert, Jeffrey G. Index of Death and Other Notices Appearing in the Cincinnati Freie Presse 1874- 1920. 2 vols.
- HARRISON - Gram, Ruth Barger. Harrison County Ohio Obituaries: Clippings from the Cadiz Republican and the Freeport Press. 7 vols.
- HENRY - Henry Co. Chapter OGS. Obituaries Taken from the Deshler Flag, Deshler, Ohio, 1897-1924, 1976-1985. 5 vols.
- HIGHLAND - The Southern Ohio Genealogical Soc. Hillsborough Gazette, Highland County, Ohio, June 23, 1832 - Dec. 27, 1833.
- HIGHLAND - State Library of Ohio. Marple Collection Obituary Notes, Leesburg, Ohio - Highland County.
- HIGHLAND - Southern Ohio Genealogical Soc. Index to Hillsboro News-Herald 1904.
- HOLMES - Dickinson, Marguerite S. Obituaries Holmes County Ohio to 1895.
- HURON - Timman, Henry R. Newspaper Abstracts Huron County, Ohio 1832-1835.
- HURON - New London Public Library. Index to New London Record 1871-1980.
- HURON - Vogt, Bob and Ruth Vogt. Index to Monroeville Spectator.
- HURON - McClave, Bessie. Scrapbook of Clarksfield Township, Huron County, Ohio, Collected by C.R. Green from the Clarksfield Bee.
- JEFFERSON - Francy, Leila S. Genealogical Selections from The Steubenville Weekly Gazette 1888.
- LAKE - Stebbins, Judy J. Guide to the Painesville Ohio Telegraph 1822-1829.
- LAWRENCE - Murdock, Donna L. 1800 Marriages, Ironton Register Newspaper, Lawrence Co., Ironton, Ohio, 1817-1862.
- LICKING - Amner, Mary Case. Death Notices in the Granville Times, 1880-1941.
- LICKING - Obituary Records from Licking County, Ohio Newspapers, 1934-1948.
- LOGAN - Lambert, Marguerite. Death Notices from Ohio Newspapers 1830-1872.
- LORAIN - Carruthers, Glenn A. Non-Military Death Notices from the Lorain County News, 1860-1867.
- LORAIN - Lorain Public Library. Marriage Application Index to Elyria, Ohio Newspapers 1830-1874.
- LORAIN - Lorain Public Library. Obituary Index to Elyria, Ohio Newspapers 1830-1874, 1875-1883.
- LORAIN - Lorain Public Library. Lorain Journal Subject Index 1970, 1974-date. Cards.
- LORAIN - Lorain Public Library. Lorain Journal Obituary Index, 1968-date. Cards.
- LUCAS - Index to the Toledo Blade, 1936-1938.
- LUCAS - Toledo Public Library. Index to Toledo Newspapers.
- MAHONING - Index to the Youngstown Vindicator, 1933-1938.
- MAHONING - Simon, Margaret. Mahoning County, Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts, 1843- 1870.
- MAHONING - Records of Administrators, Deaths, Marriages, etc., Collected from Mahoning Valley Newspapers, 1839- 1863.
- MARION - Marshall, Maxine. Early Newspapers, Marion Co., Ohio, 1828-1842.
- MEDINA - Medina Public Library. Obituary Index to Medina Newspapers. Cards.
- MONROE - Kopp, Rita Bone. Abstracts of Deaths from The Spirit of Democracy, a Monroe County, Ohio Newspaper, 1892-1895, 1909-1912, 1914-1917. 5 vols.
- MONROE - Kopp, Rita Bone. Monroe County Ohio Republican Newspaper Abstracts 1918-1920. 2 vols.
- MONROE - Romick, Kathy Schafer. Obituaries of Monroe County, Ohio.
- MONTGOMERY - Index to the Dayton Journal, 1934-1938.
- OTTAWA - Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Counties, Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts 1836- 1870.
- PORTAGE - Portage County, Ohio Death Records Taken from Newspapers and not Listed in the Cemetery Records of Portage County, 1825-1860.
- PORTAGE - Clegg, Michael Barren. Portage County, Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts, 1825-1870.
- PREBLE - Brubaker, Joan Bake. Abstracts from the Eaton Democrat, Preble County, Ohio 1872-1891. 4 vols.
- PREBLE - Gilbert, Audrey. Obituary Abstracts, 1850-1905 from Eaton Register and Eaton Democrat Newspapers in Eaton, Preble County, Ohio. 4 vols.
- PREBLE - Preble Co. Historical Soc. Abstracts from Early Eaton, Ohio Newspapers 1825- 1850.
- PUTNAM - Calvin, Marguerite Crist. Newspaper Notices from Kalida Sentinel, Putnam County, 1855-1866. 3 vols.
- PUTNAM - Calvin, Marguerite Crist. Newspaper Notices from Kalida Venture, Putnam Co., Ohio 1845-1852.
- RICHLAND - Kinton, Maxine. Richland County, Ohio Newspaper Clippings, 1904-1905.
- RICHLAND - Henney, Mary Jane. Abstracts from Mansfield Gazette, 1823-1825.
- RICHLAND - Henney, Mary Jane. Deaths from the Bellville Star.
- RICHLAND - Henney, Mary Jane. Richland Co. Ohio Obituaries.
- RICHLAND - Mansfield-Richland Public Library. News Journal Obituary Index. Card file.
- SANDUSKY/SENECA - see OTTAWA
- SANDUSKY - Hayes Presidential Library. Sandusky Co. Area Obituary File. Cards.
- SHELBY - Shelby Co. Genealogical Soc. Shelby County, Ohio Early Newspaper Items.
- STARK - Harsh, Landis and Strong. Index to Death and Marriage Notices in the Ohio Repository of Stark County, 1815-1834.
- SUMMIT - Index to the Akron Beacon Journal, 1841-1939, 1929-1938.
- SUMMIT - Index to the Akron Beacon Journal Obituaries, 1980-1982.
- TRUMBULL - Clegg, Michael Barren. Trumbull County, Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts, 1812-1870.
- UNION - Bouic, Margaret Main. Notes on Marysville Tribune, 1850-1860, 1868-1870, 1874- 1876.
- UNION - Ancestrails of Northern Union Co. Gleanings from the Richwood Gazette 1872-1876.
- WARREN - DAR. Marriages of Warren County, Ohio 1803-1814 as Published by the Western Star.
- WASHINGTON - DAR. Washington County Death Records 1811-1865 Taken from Newspapers Published in Marietta, Ohio.
- WAYNE - Knox, Larry. Marriages from the Wooster Republican Advocate Newspapers 1837- 1838.
- Green, Karen Mauer. Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, 1793-1818. 2 vols.
- Gutgeshell, Stephen. Guide to Ohio Newspapers, 1793-1973.
- Levinson, Marilyn. Guide to Newspaper Holdings at the Center for Archival Collections.
- Seder, A.R., Mrs. Index to the Subjects of Obituaries Abstracted from Der Christliche Botschafter of the Evangelical Church 1836-1866.
- Waters, Margaret R., etal. Abstracts of Obituaries in the Western Christian Advocate 1834-1850.
Note: This bibliography is getting to be about ten years old. Newer titles are missing and I will add these in eventually.
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