15 April 2013

Understanding Terms Found in Historical Newspapers

Death notice of a distant uncle Matt Blom.  A first generation emigrant from Finland


I love newspapers.  Besides reading one every morning with a cup of coffee I am constantly on the lookout to see  if there are digitized newspapers available for communities where I am researching.  If not, I look for books of abstracts and archives where such newspapers are held.

Newspapers of yore did not look like ours today.  White space, what is that?  Headlines? Clear breaks between articles?  Though newspapers have changed in appearance, just like those we read today, they can contain interesting news about those we are researching.

As with any type of record, it is important to understand any “lingo” that might be specific to that source.  Genealogybank published a great blog post written by Mary Harrell-Sesniak, Understanding Terms Found in Historical Newspapers.  She discusses a lot of really neat terms that you might come across with explanations and examples.  I suggest you read this article, whether you have already delved into historic newspaper already or not, since you may find that you hadn’t fully understood that juicy article about Aunt Hilda.


Have you come across other terms in historical newspapers that we should know about?
Do you have a favorite resource for newspaper lingo?


You might want to check out some other Upfront with NGS posts about newspapers include:


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