Online Family History

Searchable Newspapers at the Library of Congress

I’m currently taking a free genealogy class through The University of Strathclyde.  It is offered through FutureLearn.  And it amazing!

One of the great features of the course is that learners are encouraged to teach each other through message boards.  I’ve been doing Family History for almost 30 years, and I’m blown away by how much I have learned over the past 2 weeks.

One of my fellow students, a retired lady from DC who worked in the Archives, shared a link to the Library of Congress’ Newspaper Archives.

I have a subscription to a pay site.  I’m very frugal, but my husband suggested I do it in search of information about my father.  The pay site is a little sneaky with the cost, which I do not appreciate…at all!  So when I heard about the Chronicling America through the LoC, I was excited to try it.  10 minutes later, I’ve learned a lot about my Great Uncle, Theodore Ringler.

RinglerTheodoreNews

Theodore and his brother (my Great Grandfather), Sylvester, ended up in an Civil War Orphan’s home.  I’ve had a terrible time finding out anything about Theodore.  I have his birthdate from the Civil War Pension file…and I’ve found him on 1 Census record.  That’s it.  From Chronicling America, I now have hints that he served during the Spanish-American War.  I also found this German language newspaper article about him!

The article answer a 20 year search to confirm or eliminate the family lore that Theodore drowned in a canal.  Ends up, he did die by drowning.  And thanks to this news article, I now know the location and date of death.

Not bad for 10 minutes trying a new resource.

I am excited to explore Chronicling America further as I go searching4ancestors!

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