Usually, I bypass free weekends. I just feel like it’s a trick or something. Like I’m going to have to give them my credit card number just to try it for free.
The Find My Past free weekend wasn’t like that, but I didn’t try it until about a half an hour ago. I did a search for the surname COON in newspapers in New Castle, Indiana.
I got hits. Hits that look related to the COON land research I am doing. I squealed internally, then clicked, and then sighed internally because the images wouldn’t load. So I decided to pay $9.95 for a month’s subscription. Apparently, that wasn’t the problem because the images still won’t load. I think their site is overloaded, so I’ll just wait.
I don’t regret paying the $9.95, though. Whenever those images load, I may have hit a jackpot.
I shared early last year that I am skeptical about all of these pay-for-stuff genealogy sites, yet when I found so much on Charles Troutman, my father’s grandfather, on Genealogy Bank last year, I kinda freaked (in a good way).
Within the past few weeks, my Newspapers.com subscription had expired, so I renewed it and was extremely pleasantly surprised to see that they now have The Hancock Democrat from Greenfield, Indiana.
I live only about 40 minutes from New Castle and an hour from Greenfield, so I could technically go to the libraries and view the newspapers on microfilm, which I have done before. But the magic of scanned images and OCR readers and indices are the indices! They aren’t perfect (e.g., “coon” looks like “Conn.” and “spoon”), but hours and hours of straining my neck to look at microfilm (ah, the good old days), looking column by column, line by line to where I ended up needing glasses years ago, is a lot different than what I can do having these newspapers on-line.
You know what’s really cool? Issues that are missing at the Greenfield Public Library because of a missing microfilm roll are on the website, including the one containing the obituary of my ancestor George TAGUE.
There is such a wealth of information in old newspapers, and it’s not always accurate, but it often gives details that nothing else does.
There was also the information I found on-line from newspapers about my ancestor John Marion RENFRO, the polygamist and Civil War veteran. There are facts I would not have found any other way… probably.
So here are newspaper sources, free and by subscription, that I have used:
- Newspapers.com – 7 day free trial then subscription
- GenealogyBank.com – subscription
- FindMyPast.com – subscription (has more than newspapers) – once it pulls up the images
- The Wyoming Newspaper Project (http://www.wyonewspapers.org/)
- Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov)
I hope you will share some that you have found on-line!