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   Old news is good news...  genealogy

... 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 newspaper?

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 website.

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.  

But 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 fact: 

You won't ever have to pay a subscription fee to access this material!

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 or email me.

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.

Thanks, ya'll!


 

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