Stories outside of this range may occasionally be added; the majority of
these are contributed by generous readers.
I don't have anything more
This website is a lot like a printed newspaper: you'll see sections for News,
Legal Notices, vital statistics like birth, death and marriage information,
and so on. However, unlike a printed newspaper, The Olden Times
includes an index of names! To find a specific name, it's always good
to check the Index of
Alas, except for a few states (see the Site
Map), I do not have a specific
index of locations....yet. However, if you subscribe
to my newsletter, you'll get an index of all the locations and place names mentioned
in the stories added during the prior two weeks, as well as a complete list of
every name added in the same period... and more!
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should I start?
In a hurry? Go straight to the Index
of Names. Otherwise, browse through the various Sections.
Don't forget to stop by The
Archives, where you'll find the older stories.
April 16...I've added a Site
Map. It's a work in progress, but I think
it might be helpful.
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are the Sections about?
In the left-hand column on the Front
Page, you'll see a listing of the Main Sections: Old News, Deaths, Legal
Notices, Births, Marriages, etc. Don't pass up the Ads and old
Classified ads! They are also quite old, and most contain personal names.
The benefits of the Births, Deaths and Marriages are obvious, though other types of postings may not be as clear. That's where you can get a lot of information from other online resources, such as those at Ancestry.com. For example, you'll find insight into using court records (the Old Legal Notices listings can help lead you to those by giving you dates about which to inquire with records agencies), by reading Case Study: Killing the Hogs and Threatening the Neighbors - Court Records Solve a Kentucky Problem. While the newspaper legal notices aren't the court records themselves, they'll give you important dates and locations with which to begin your records search.
Research Cornerstones: 10 Ways to Improve Your Courthouse Research
is another helpful article.
Just for fun, I've included a section of Old Recipes I've found and a
section of Cartoons and Humor...all scanned from the same old newspapers
as the genealogical information. Some of the cartoons are
"funnies," and others are editorial cartoons of the day.
There are also Special Sections such as The
Family Album, which includes contributions of old newspaper clippings and
old family photos from our wonderful readers, as well as old photographs that
I've collected from flea markets and antiques shops. Most of the pictures are
identified, and all of those names are in the Index of Names.
You will see that there are separate news sections for VA, TN and TX,
and this is because I originally had separate sites for these states. I hope
to eventually add a complete index of locations, but for now I don't have one.
These separate sections do contain birth, marriage and death information that
is not included in the main birth, death and marriage pages; however, you'll
still find them all in the Index of Names.
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How do I
To search for a name, see the Index of Names. There
is a link to this at the top of every section's main page. I try to keep
this updated at all times, but on occasion I don't have time to index the
names for a new page. If the names on a page haven't yet been indexed, I'll
always add a note to let you know.
In the names index, Be sure you browse
through the various possible spellings - and even the most common typo's - for
a given name. I've got names listed in the index that I believe to have been
misprinted in the original newspaper, but I feel that I must include them
exactly as they were published.
To search for anything else, see our Search
If you're interested in an index of locations, I don't have one of those
on the website at this time. Alas, I don't expect to have enough free time to
go back and add one, either. However, I am including one with
each newsletter (every two weeks), so subscribe to the newsletter! It's free!
How do you
choose the stories that get put into The Olden Times?
my husband says, completely arbitrarily!
Seriously, though, I go through the old papers in my collection and add
old stories that mention personal names. That's the main criterion.
I'd like to get every page of every paper scanned - someday - but for
now I have been skipping through different papers from different states and
time periods, to give the broadest possible variety of history through which
you can search for your family's names. I have literally hundreds of pounds of
19th and 18th century U. S. newspapers to get through, so this project will be
ongoing for a long, long time!
I have no particular agenda for choosing any stories: I just scan them
and post them. If I'm tired I tend to choose stories that won't have dozens of
names for me to index. I also try to skip around a bit between regions, but
not in any particular order. It has a lot to do with which newspapers are
easier to get to from my desk, how much energy I happen to have, how much time
I have to chase down that single obscure issue, etc. If you wonder why I'm
adding only stories from Massachusetts for nearly a month, and you want
me to add more stories from New Mexico, don't despair: soon I'll switch and my
Massachusetts folks will be wondering where all the new stories are!
Here's my PC disclaimer: Many of these old newspapers are not politically correct by today's
standards, but you should not assume that any of them - politically
correct or not - reflect my own personal opinions. This is simply a reflection
of the times in which our ancestors lived, in the words of their
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Our ancestors got
around! Don't limit yourself to looking through only the news stories that
were originally published near your ancestors' hometowns.
Time after time, I see in "society news" little tidbits like
"Mr. and Mrs. X entertained their cousins from thus-n-such state this
month." You might not even have know that there were cousins there!
Also, it was common for newspapers to publish lists of hotel guests.
Yes, if you checked into a hotel, your name made the paper. Obviously, guests
in a hotel aren't (usually) going to be from the same town in which that
newspaper was published. Hotels in Memphis, Tennessee had guests from as far
away as Massachusetts!
So don't limit yourself geographically!
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you have more questions?
me! I'd like to compose an FAQ page (Frequently Asked Questions), so feel free
to ask questions! This will help me improve The Olden Times.
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