Genealogical Research on Chronicling America

Newspapers contain a vast wealth of genealogical information. They report about people and local news and show the opinions, issues, and the way of life at a particular time and place.

On Chronicling America, users can search for genealogical information in historical American newspapers published from 1836 to 1922. Users can conduct keyword searches, and search terms can include names of relatives. Users can limit their results by state, date, newspaper, and page number.

Users can search also for the newspapers published in their family members' area when they lived there in the Chronicling America's newspaper directory. It lists U.S. newspapers from 1690 and allows the users to conduct a keyword search, to search by the LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number), and to limit the search results by frequency of publication, language, ethnicity of the press, type of labor, and type of material. Each newspaper record has information about the newspaper (e.g. title, date range, and place of publication) and the libraries and online sources that hold the newspaper.

The following sections are useful for genealogical research:

Death notices often provide a person's date of death, the date of the funeral, the spouse's birth name, the place of burial, and the names of the mourners.

Legal notices can show whether a person went to legal court, has his or her name in a will, or has left assets for heirs after death.

Passenger lists can show where and when a person traveled and with whom.

Obituaries can include biographical information including a biography, the person's birth place, and names of the person's family members. With the names, users can search for their extended family members. Direct ancestors may move out of an area, but their relatives may stay and produce descendents. Older obituaries often showed the person in a positive slant, so readers should look at them with skepticism.

Library Resources for Genealogical Research

Hamilton Library has resources on conducting genealogical research:

The genealogy guide by the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections of Hamilton Library: http://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/content.php?pid=143954&sid=1224807

For books on doing family research, browse the bookshelves at Hamilton Library (or your local public or academic library) between the Library of Congress call numbers CS 1 and CS 47. Here are some relevant books about genealogical research available at Hamilton Library:

Title: Ancestors
Authors: Jim and Terry Willard with Jane Wilson
Library call number: CS16 .W526 1997
Link to the Voyager library catalog record: http://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu:7008/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1877998

Title: The researcher's guide to American genealogy
Author: Val D. Greenwood
Library call number: CS47 .G79 2000
Link to the Voyager library catalog record: http://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu:7008/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=2068734

Links to Blog Entries about Genealogical Research in Hawaii's Newspapers Using Chronicling America

Some people have conducted genealogical research on Chronicling America and created these blog entries in the links below:

"That's Old News: The Portuguese Praised in Hawaii"
http://www.researchjournal.yourislandroutes.com/2011/07/thats-old-news-the-portuguese-praised-in-hawaii/

Heather Rojo used the Chronicling America site to find articles about her distant relatives, the husband and mother-in-law to Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. She chronicled her search in her blog, Nutfield Genealogy: 

Chronicling America and Hawaiian Cousins
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/02/chronicling-america-and-hawaiian.html
More Hawaiian Relatives via the Chronicling America Website
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/02/more-hawaiian-relatives-via-chronicling.html
Chronicling America Website, Part Two
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/02/chronicling-america-website-part-two.html

-Alice Kim
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