Use Keywords in Newspaper Research to Find Genealogy Gold

Screenshot of historic newspaper with the phrase Use Keywords in Newspapers to Find Genealogy Gold

Are you struggling to find genealogy gold in newspapers? Try using keywords in your newspaper research. By searching for places, names, and topics, rather than a specific person, you can find some amazing details to enhance your family history.

Where to add keywords in newspaper research

When using Newspapers.com, you simply add your keywords, rather than a name to the search box as shown below.

Snapshot of Newspapers.com and adding keywords to search box.
Enter your keywords in the search box.

For other platforms, look for a keyword field or ‘search for these words’.

Press search and explore the results you receive.

Types of keywords to use in newspaper research

Besides searching for a specific person, keywords can help you learn more details about their world. Search for specific facts about the individual you are researching occupations, addresses, and associations.

Video on How to Use Keywords in Newspaper Research

In this video, I show you step by step how I discovered stories about my family and client projects.

Keywords About Associations

Consider using specific names of churches and clubs and organizations your ancestors belonged to. Try the following

  • “Holy Cross” for a Catholic Church
  • “Swan Club” for a male association
  • “Eastern Star” for a female association

Keywords About Occupations and Businesses

When you know the occupation or business name of an ancestor, try a search like one of these:

  • “Townley Police” to find articles about a relative who worked as a police officer.
  • “Long Pharmacy” for information about a family-owned pharmacy

Keywords About Life Events

Events happened in our ancestor’s life. The Ancestor Hunt has some great tips for finding obituaries and birth announcements using phrases like “born to” or “beloved.” Read his post here.

There are other keywords for events in your ancestor’s life that you can employ:

  • “Frohnauer divorce” found a divorce court filing for a Frohnauer male.
  • “Anne Lange” “Anne Lange ship” picked up the ship that transported passengers from German and England to the United States of America.
  • “Birth Kentucky” – picked up an article about birth statistics in a local
  • “Birth girl” – picked up stories about births in a location

Start Researching Newspapers with Keywords

Start researching searchable newspapers using keywords. If you find another keyword that others should use, share that in the comments section so we can add to our list.

If you find a cool story on Newspapers.com, be sure to transfer that clipping to Ancestry.com. This post shows you how.

Happy Hunting!

screen capture of newspaper search engine with the words Keyword in the search box
Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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