Using Old Newspapers ad Another Source by Jeannette Holland Austin
Births and deaths are scattered throughout newspapers and you will find them anywhere from the society or local news column, accidents and disasters, obituaries and even the want-ad page. Yes, if you are searching for an ancestor's death, do so for several days after the event and read every page. In most instances, the old newspaper print is horrible, does not photocopy well, and all of this makes for a tedious research job. You can order microfilm of newspapers from most regional libraries. Just ask the librarian for the book listing the newspapers, dates, etc. But you must be prepared to stay awhile. One month could equal one or two reels, and a search is indicated before the event and several weeks afterwards. The reason for this is that some of these articles were syndicated from other newspapers. It is a real job finding a death notice even when you know the exact date of death. But wait! Georgia Researchers....I have already done this for you! Abstracts of obituaries dating from 1740 to ca 1933 is online to members of GeorgiaPioneers.com. This collection includes all of the old surviving Georgia newspapers preserved by the University of Georgia, as well as some loose ones discovered by myself in old court houses. To make it easy, the abstracts are alphabetical and 2000 pages long. Genealogists search old newspapers to fill in the gap for non-existent or missing records. There are no Georgia census records for the years 1790, 1800, 1810 or 1890. Deaths did not start getting recorded until 1919. This is how old newspapers are a vital resource. Good luck!
Jeannette Holland Austin
, Georgia Author of Genealogy Books
Georgia County Records (digital images) wills, estates, marriages
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