Posted in Colorado Digital Newspapers, Newspapers, Utah Digital Newspapers

Genealogy’s Star: Online Digital Newspaper Collections by State — The Lists Introduced

This post is reblogged from Genealogy’s Star blog, by James Tanner.  There are some great links to lists of online newspaper collections and it seemed worthwhile to just reblog the whole post. I will soon reblog his list of online newspapers by state, or you can just go straight to his blog for it.

There are two preliminary parts to this blog post which include an introduction and a review of the applicable copyright law. Here are the links should you care to review the background and issues of this very interesting topic.

Now on to the blog post:

There are quite a few collections of newspapers that cover extensive blocks of time and geography, i.e. they include more than one state’s newspapers. It is important to understand that there is some overlap between these huge online collections, but any thorough genealogical search would necessarily require searching every single collection. Of course, that could become a problem since most of these collections are subscription based and not only does the genealogist have to find all of the collections, they also have to figure out how to access them and possibly pay for the content. I say this so that the potential researcher does not feel comfortable ignoring the subscription based sites and only researching the free online content.

You might also recognize that the effectiveness of the various search engines and the degree to which the optical character recognition programs work affects the ability of a researcher to find specific content using a search. There is really no way that a careful researcher can be assured that there are not important facts about any given ancestor other than to do a page-by-page search, assuming that the online project provides access to multiple pages of the same search. Researchers should also recognize the fact that helpful information may be contained in paid advertising and display advertising in the newspaper digitization project may not have been included, especially if the advertising consisted of images rather than text. But if you come from an old genealogical tradition, you are used to searching microfilm page and page and this is no different.

As it turns out, unlike digital maps websites, there are exhaustive online references to newspaper collections listing each state of the United States in detail. It also turns out that there are a huge number of websites, far more than you could imagine. There are hundreds of websites. Just think what a great opportunity this is. You will never run out of research opportunities.

There are a substantial online lists of available digitized online newspaper collections. See the following websites for lists:

Here is a list of the multi-state online digital newspaper projects that I have found. I do not pretend that this is an exhaustive list, because these collections are sometimes hard to find online and also because new projects pop up frequently. Just because I was unable to find a specific newspaper project for any of the states or territories does not mean that there are no online digitized newspapers from that jurisdiction, any such content may be included in one or more of the large collections.

[NOTE: Here is a list of regional and national lists of online digital newspaper collections Genealogy’s Star included with their state lists:]

 Now on to the state-by-state list. I am listing the states but still have very limited access to the Web here in Alaska and will republish this shortly with the data. Thanks for your patience. [NOTE: the links to Western States have been incorporated into On Granny’s Trail “Western States Links”]

Continue reading “Genealogy’s Star: Online Digital Newspaper Collections by State — The Lists Introduced”

Posted in Biographical, Newspapers

‘House Beside the Road’ Monument to the Past: Joseph B. Tanner family

Today I am posting a newspaper article about my great-grandparents, Joseph Baldwin Tanner and Nora Almeda Foutz, describing the home they built and lived in, in Kirtland, New Mexico.

It appeared in the Farmington Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico) on 14 Oct 1959, p E5. The article includes photos of the family home and a family portrait, along with wonderful biographical information.

Posted in Archives and Libraries, Biographical, Books, Census, Directories, Friday Finds, Google Books, History, Mormon Migration Index, National Register of Historic Places, Newspapers, Photos, Pioneer Overland Travel, Research Center for Utah State History, Research tips, Utah State Historical Society, Websites

Fergus Coalter Music Co.: One source leads to another

I ran across a 1900 U.S. Census record for my husband’s ancestor, Fergus Coalter, living in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah at the time, and several entries caught my eye because I knew they would lead me to other sources. That’s the great thing about a census record – one thing leads to another:

Fergus Coalter household, 1900 U.S. Census, ED 5 Precinct 5 Salt Lake City Ward 1, Salt Lake, Utah, p. 11 (, digital image)

Year of immigration (1874), years in the U.S. (26), citizenship (“Na” or naturalized), occupation (Music Dealer), education (can read, write, and speak English), and home ownership (“O” owns a home, “F” free of mortgage).

These are all things worth following up on, and I accessed a number of sources you may not know exist. Of course the easiest thing to try first is a Google search, and this got me started on the thing I was most curious about initially – no, not the immigration/citizenship columns – but “Music Dealer.” That is something you don’t often see on a census record.

A search for “Fergus Coalter music” led me to the website for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir historical roster. If you access the MTC website, there does not appear to be a link for the roster page, so I would have never found this entry for “Fergus Coulter” without Google:

So Fergus Coulter/Coalter sang Bass with the MTC for 17 years!

Another find through Google was on EBay – a postcard featuring the Fergus Coalter music company (mis-identified as Ogden). Sadly, my bid was rejected, but next time I am in Salt Lake City I intend to go to the Research Center for Utah State History, where they have an excellent collection of photographs from early Salt Lake City streets. A look at their online catalog gave me some promising leads, but they have file cabinets full of photos available for browsing which are organized geographically.

Now that I knew about the Fergus Coalter Music Company, I wanted to check city directories for Salt Lake City, which list addresses for businesses and individuals much like a phone book would in later years, plus sometimes some extra helpful facts. UTGenweb has a list of SLC directories with links to online images and/or Family History Library microfilm call numbers. Additionally, lists directories by year, and some libraries where they can be found.

The 1897 Polk directory showed “Daynes and Coalter” under Fergus Coalter’s name and a residential address of 749 2nd East:

SLC Directory 1897, Polk, p89 online at UTGenweb

State Genweb projects, hosted by Rootsweb, are excellent sources for free online images and databases posted by volunteers.

Other online city directories revealed Fergus Coalter had also been in business as Coalter and Snelgrove, Daynes and Coalter, and Fergus Coalter Music Co. His death record showed him working as a clerk at Beesley Music Co. at age 71. I can do a more thorough search of directories at the Utah Research Center and Family History Library when I am there.

Newspapers can be an excellent source when the subject was a business owner, because of all the ads they placed. Here are a few unusual publications:

Young Womans Journal v 13 p344 on

This is from the Young Woman’s Journal, Feb 1902, v 13, p 344. Here is an excerpt from something titled, “Mormon Magazine Miscellany” with the heading, “The Leading Industries of the West,” p 66, also on Google Books. It is a fascinating peek inside the music store, and we also learn that Fergus’ partner was the Tabernacle organist:

Finally, another unique source is a file from the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination form for the Capitol Hill Historic District of Salt Lake City, submitted by the Utah State Historical Society, has been digitized and is available online. It provides photos and descriptions of buildings in that district, including the Fergus Coalter home at 314 Center St., constructed abt 1880:

What is remarkable about this source is the personal info it provides and additional documentation that leads to additional sources, including plat maps Sanborn insurance maps, directories, newspapers, and biographical sources:

Fergus Coalter house, Utah State Historical Society nomination form for NRHP

There is one last resource I want to mention here, because I know the “immigration” and “citizenship” columns on the census must have made you curious, too. Did you know about the Mormon Migration website at BYU? They are abstracting records for 19th and 20th century LDS immigrants, including first-person accounts of voyages. This is different than the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database which documents pioneer wagon companies. For starters, the Pioneer Overland Travel database ends at 1868—the official end of the “pioneer” era—and only covers the immigrants’ journey after they arrived in the United States. The Mormon Migration site is a ships passenger list database that extends beyond 1868 and documents the journey from an immigrant’s homeland. The first-person accounts can describe the entire journey by ship and wagon.

Here is the entry for Fergus Coulter:

Mormon Migration Index at

A click on his name will bring up a link to first-person accounts by other passengers and also a list of other passengers.

Of course, these records are just the beginning – there are so many more record groups that come to mind: church, vital records, probate, cemetery, county history, naturalization, etc., but hopefully you now know about a few unique records for the Salt Lake City area and can start down your own trail. So Happy Trails!

Posted in Archives and Libraries, County histories, Friday Finds, Maps, Memory Project, Native Americans, Newspapers, Photos, Websites

Friday Finds: Montana Historical Society Research Center

The Montana Historical Society Research Center in Helena, Montana, can be found online at:

They have what is called the Montana Memory Project.  These memory projects are beginning to crop up for other states, too. Just “Google” [state] Memory Project and see what you find for the state where you are researching.

Significant digital collections (Montana Memory Project):

  1. Central Montana Historical Documents
  2. County Histories of Montana
  3. Early Montana Histories
  4. Mapping Montana and the West
  5. Early newspapers
  6. MHS manuscript collections
  7. Photograph archives
  8. Montana State Prison Records 1869-1974
  9. Montana Indian Law
Happy Trails!
Posted in Archives and Libraries, Friday Finds, Newspapers, Research tips, Websites

Friday Finds: United States Online Historical Newspapers

I discovered this simple website that is a good resource for identifying historical newspapers online:  United States Online Historical Newspapers is found at . Its author has a blog you can subscribe to which has news about various newspaper digitization projects.

It is not comprehensive, but used together with other indexes, such as Historical Newspapers Online at , you might find digital newspapers online you did not know existed.

FYI, if you find that one of these indexes identifies a digital newspaper at GenealogyBank, this subscription site is available for free at your nearest LDS Family History Center.

Of course, don’t forget about the Library of Congress newspaper resource “Chronicling America” found at .   You can search their digitized newspapers by clicking on “Search all digitized newspapers 1836-1922” or locate microfilmed newspapers by clicking on “Search U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690 to Present” and then order a film through inter-library loan to your local library.

Happy Trails!