How to Search Newspaper Archives on

Learn how to use newspaper archives for family history and get the most out of your search on Findmypast.

Search newspaper archives for your family tree

  • Looking for a specific individual?
  • Use "Who" to enter a first and last name.
  • Looking for a specific topic or place?
  • Use "What else?" to enter a location, keyword, occupation, or phrase.

For example: If want to search for my grandmother Elsie Lucas (maiden name) from Missouri, start with-

Who: Elsie Lucas
What else: Missouri

Start broad, and then filter:

Begin by searching for a name or keyword, and gradually include additional information (such as a location) to narrow your results.

The filters on the left of the screen [see image below] will further refine and narrow your results by newspaper title, publication date, or region.

Narrow your search results- Elsie Lucas from Missouri only resulted in 50 articles, but I save time by filtering my search by date range of 1930 +/- 2 years.

I then have a much better chance of finding the correct article about my grandma as a young woman during the dustbowl with only have 3 results to explore for those parameters. 

What newspaper collections are on

Newspaper archives on findmypast reach back three decades, and cover 12 countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Scotland and The Caribbean. More than 120 million newspaper pages are searchable with our U.S. and World newspapers

Findmypast’s exclusive collection of British newspapers with The British Library in Colindale contains 65 million pages and counting available online through a ten year project. These newspapers span 300 years and are not available through any other family history website. 

British newspapers provide a window into the past – people will be able to find their ancestors and discover what life was like on their street, their town and their time period from the 1700s up to today. Try searching our selection of newspaper publications on findmypast

What can newspapers tell me about my ancestors?

Newspapers are available to search by name, keywords and date through innovative, so the technique to narrow search fields is different than the regular search on findmypast. 

Newspaper archives offer a wealth of depth and color to your family tree. Learn about your ancestor’s hobbies, work accomplishments, community involvement, bizarre community tales and how major historical events affected local communities.

Our newspaper archives are hand selected to be local and regional publications revealing the meat of family history. Titles include a variety of local papers, as well as national publications, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.