... when you're a genealogist! Old newspapers are
treasure troves of clues. The problem is that not many of them are
indexed, at least not for the names of those of our ancestors who weren't
rich & famous!
Why this online
While many old newspapers may be safely preserved in microfilmed
collections, you might have trouble finding any mention of an ancestor unless
you already know of an event that might have been reported, the newspaper in
which the item would have appeared, or when they might
have run an ad for a product or service.
There are many excellent books of newspaper abstracts
available, but they touch only the tip of the iceberg. Many more
millions of pages of old news have been microfilmed (or crumbled into dust and
oblivion), but not indexed.
The Olden Times is my effort to provide a tiny
fraction of this information, always FREE of charge, to genealogists via the
Web. It will include old news articles, birth, death and marriage
announcements, legal notices, and advertising - any of which may just solve someone's
family mystery...maybe yours!
The old advertisements may help pinpoint exactly what kind
of store those great-grandparents had, or what sorts of prices they paid. The news of a fire at an uninsured
warehouse may explain why that particular great-great uncle picked up and moved
to California, when it had seemed (according to the census) that he was quite
prosperous and established where he had lived until his migration.
Last, but hardly least: I come from a "newspaper family." I
grew up in newspapers, and this seemed like the most natural thing in the world
for me to do. In a way, I'm celebrating my personal heritage by building this
My late dad, Gus Allen, spent his professional life
working for many Texas newspapers, and I grew up spending Saturdays at places
like The San Antonio Light or Express-News, the Bryan Eagle,
and the San Angelo Standard-Times. He later purchased some little weekly
newspapers, including the Sonora Devil's River News and the Schleicher
County Leader, among others. In my teens, I did odd jobs at the
Standard-Times and later spent time selling advertising for the
Express-News in San Antonio and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Today,
my youngest sister works for the Express-News.
And on an amusing note, I learned that a long-sought
descendant of my great-grandmother's brother also worked at the San Antonio
Express-News back in the 1930's! That was a huge surprise!
What about the stories on this site that
don't have any names?
There are occasionally other items which, even though they
may not contain any personal names, seem to reflect the times and the attitudes
of a certain place, and I include those for historical context. It's always so
interesting to me to compare what I learned in my history classes with
what was actually reported about an event at the time.
remember...just because it was in print doesn't mean it was correct!
Of course, that goes for anything in today's newspapers, too.
Warning: Old news is not politically correct
by today's standards!
I will not claim to include a comprehensive
collection of articles about any particular issue: I can only include what I can
find in my collection of old newspapers. But my selection of old news articles,
letters to the editors, political and social cartoons, or anything else, is not
meant to reflect my personal opinion or that of anyone else.... at least not
anyone else still living, or anyone I've ever known! So if you don't like
something you read, don't gripe to me!
There is a complete index of
names. I'm usually a little bit behind on the indexing -at any given
time, there may be 6-10 stories online that aren't name-indexed yet. Out of
nearly 6,000 pages now online, I figure that's still pretty good. When I do get
something caught up and indexed, I make sure to note that in the b-weekly (or
bi-monthly, depending on time constraints) newsletter.
Why'd you call it
The Olden Times?
OK, it was late. I hadn't had enough sleep. It's actually a
rather silly play on on one of the world's most well-known newspaper names,
"The Times," and the sort of childhood blanket reference to anything that
occurred before one's birth" The Olden Days."
How can I do this for free?
Most importantly to you, however is this little
You won't ever have to pay a subscription fee to access this
Advertising! Just like in the newspaper you read or
the television you watch, advertising will be helping to foot the
bill. There's no danger of me getting rich, but maybe one of these
days The Olden Times will pay for my ISP!
If you are interested in advertising on this website,
please contact the
FastClick Ad Network
Sponsoring & Affiliated Merchants
The Bookstore, which is now online, is in
affiliation with Amazon.com Alibris, Abebooks and many other familiar online merchants. You'll also see
links throughout the site to specific books or CD's of interest. A small portion of
any purchase made from this website will come back to us to help support The
Olden Times, and I will be very grateful for your much-needed help.