I have to admit to a huge bias here – but I will say it – Searching old newspapers for articles about my ancestors is without question the most fulfilling research about my family history. Period!
Everyone has different motivations for genealogy research. Some are name collectors, some want to be tied to someone famous; some want to get the exact BMD dates for each person in their tree. These are the popular ones.
But for me, going in-depth on selected ancestors is just the best. Sure, finding a new relation in a census record, or going back another generation is fantastic. I remember when I found a new great-grandmother that I knew nothing about (didn’t even know her name!). That made my day.
Who are these people? How did they live? What did they do? Sure, finding out that a great great Uncle pimped out his stepdaughter was interesting, to say the least. And finding out that another great great uncle was a state senator and San Francisco city supervisor was also satisfying. These are the things that fill out what I call the third dimension of genealogy – Newspapers.
- The first dimension is their name.
- The second dimension is their dates and relationships.
- And the third dimension is their life story.