Let's review what has happened in the historic newspaper research world and also what has been added to The Ancestor Hunt to help you:
- The amount of newspapers available online is growing by leaps and bounds. The "pay" sites such as GenealogyBank, Newspaper Archive, and Newspapers.com, continue to add hundreds of thousands of pages for you to search.
- The "Free" online space continues to grow significantly throughout the world. Trove from Australia and Europeana from Europe continue to add millions of pages. These are two large sites but there are smaller sites emerging as well. Elephind, from a company in New Zealand, continues to add pages to their "macro-search" engine so that multiple sites can be searched at one time.
- In the U.S., Chronicling America continues to grow and many smaller sites are being launched. Newer suppliers such as Advantage-Preservation and Small Town Papers are adding new sites for county libraries and local papers respectively. The old standby from New York, Fulton Postcards is now in excess of 28 million pages and is adding newspapers from other states besides New York.
- This site, The Ancestor Hunt, has been tracking links from all over the world. This activity began in January,2014 and now is updating the original articles from the first 4 months of the year. These originally represented about 12,000 links. The update, which began in November, is about 2/3 completed and another 1,500 links have been added.
- The Newspapers! page on this site, was added - to provide a one stop shop for you to find out how to best research old newspapers, and where to find free links to newspaper databases.
- The Genealogy and Newspapers Facebook Group is now in excess of 4,300 members, and the Genealogy and Newspapers community on Google Plus is now in excess of 850 members.
- A Flipboard was added on How to Boost Your Genealogy Research With Newspapers.
...and much, much more!
In my humble opinion - newspaper researching for ancestors has "caught on." Just in the past year or so, newer researchers are discovering the gems that can be found in old newspapers about their ancestors. In terms of finding clues about your ancestor relationships (such as in obituaries), newspapers can be added to the "important to research" list like census records for example. If one is not researching newspapers, important clues are being missed.
And researchers are discovering that newspaper articles about their ancestors provide significant information about their life stories. I have seen the positive momentum just in this past year.
Many are being drawn to microfilm and libraries, where many of the newspapers have not been digitized, but are still there to be searched.
Yes, 2014 was a Banner Year for newspaper research - and it only is going to grow.