Indiana Newspaper Archives

Search Indiana Newspapers

1,220 Newspapers Pages


Search Newspapers by City

Searching Indiana Newspaper Archives

Learning about your family history and where you came from can be an exciting project. You can learn so much about your family, your heritage, and yourself by searching for your ancestors and creating a family tree.

Newspapers can be a huge help for this.

You may not have thought about it, but newspaper archives can be an incredible source of information if you know where to look and how to search them. If your family members were in Indiana at any point, then Indiana digital newspaper archives could be a veritable gold mine.

They can help you fill in missing pieces of information, but they can also uncover family stories and a rich history of the people related to you.

No matter how much information you already have, whether it’s a lot or a little, newspapers will often fill in a lot of blanks while bringing you just a little closer to your family history.

What Can You Learn from Indiana Newspaper Archives?

Many people discount the value of newspaper archives in a family history search. They usually don’t recognize all that the good ole newsprint papers have to offer. Before the internet, before telephones, there were newspapers.

Newspapers were how people kept up with what was going on with their neighbors, in their communities, and the world. Even when the telephone was invented, and later the television, the newspaper was still the primary source of information for many people. Because of this, you can learn a great deal. You can find birth dates, dates of death, place of burial, place of birth, and so much more. Newspapers can help you fill in missing information that will help your search in other places like databases and archives. There’s so much you can discover and with so many newspaper archives available online, it’s easier than ever. Read more


Areas to Search in Indiana Newspapers

Just about every section in the newspaper has the potential to give you some kind of information. This is one time that you get to play detective and piece bits of information together. It’s like a puzzle.

Depending on the type of information you are looking for, you will need to look in specific sections. If you aren’t sure or you just want to see what’s there, then go ahead and search the whole thing.

But for the sake of organization, here are some great sections to check out:

  • Academics and School
    1. Attendance Rolls
    2. Class Reunions
    3. Community School Events
    4. Dean’s List
    5. Graduates
    6. Honor Rolls
    7. Teachers
  • Business
    1. Business Announcements
    2. Business Openings
    3. Local Business News
    4. New Businesses
  • Church
    1. Church New Members
    2. Church News
    3. New Church or Church Plants
  • Civil War, Slavery, Servants
    1. Civil War Battles
    2. Unclaimed Letters
  • Deaths
    1. Death Notices
    2. Funerals
    3. Obituaries
  • Marriages, Weddings, and Births
    1. Anniversaries
    2. Birth Announcements
    3. Elopements
    4. Marriage Announcements
    5. Wedding Announcements
  • Meetings
    1. Minutes of Meetings (county, city, etc.)
    2. “Old Settler” meetings
    3. School Board Meetings/Minutes
  • Military
    1. Military Lists
    2. News from Soldiers
    3. Indentured Servants
    4. Slave Runaways
  • Community
    1. Club Announcements
    2. Community Highlights
    3. Letters to the Editor
    4. Organization Events
    5. Political Events
    6. Social Announcements
    7. War Time Volunteers
  • Court and Legal
    1. Arrest Reports
    2. Court Dockets
    3. Court Filings
    4. Jury Lists
    5. Legal Notices
    6. Personal Notices
    7. Police Blotters
    8. Tax Delinquencies
    9. Tax Lists
  • News and Newspapers
    1. Accidents and Car Wrecks
    2. Advertisements
    3. Biographical Sketches
    4. Classified Ads
    5. News Stories
  • Property
    1. Bankruptcies
    2. Estate Settlements
    3. Foreclosures
    4. Probate Notices
    5. Public Auctions
    6. Public Sales
    7. Real Estate Transactions
  • Travel
    1. Hotel Guest Lists
    2. Immigrant Card
    3. Ship Arrivals
    4. Train Schedules

Assemble Your Facts and Enjoy a More Productive Search

Whether you are just starting out or you have been at this for a while, you probably have some information. Maybe you have a few names, some key dates, and some cities where your ancestors lived. That’s great! That’s a really good place to start.

Now you need to organize it so that you can make sense of the information as you search and record new information that you find.

Some people keep ancestor files on their computer while others store their data in notebooks or on index cards. How you record your information is up to you, as long as you keep it organized. This will save you a lot of confusion and headaches later on.

When you sit down to search Indiana newspaper archives, keep your pen handy and jot down anything new that you learn. It is also a good idea to have a “Maybe” section for information that may or may not be relevant to you.


Tips for Searching Indiana Newspapers Online

Now it’s time to dive into a search in an Indiana state newspaper archive. Before you get started though, here are a few last-minute tips that will make the process go a lot smoother.

  • Expand your geographical search. Don’t limit your search solely to the papers in your relative’s hometown or other known locations, spread out! Search towns and settlements in the surrounding areas. Searching the areas that you know is a good start, but it shouldn’t end there. It was not uncommon for news stories to travel, being picked up by various newspapers, especially if the person featured in the story had family in that area or had once lived there.
  • Expand your familial search. It may seem like the best course of action is to focus on your direct ancestors only. And if you prefer that, that’s fine. But searching siblings, in-laws, and extended family can provide you with key information on those direct ancestors. It's worth a shot anyway.
  • Narrow your search. It is not unusual to get a lot of search results on some names, especially if they are common like Smith or Jackson. The problem is, you then have to wade through them all and weed out the ones that are not related to your search. You can avoid some of the data flood by narrowing your search. Include middle names, maiden names, city names, and other specific information. This will give you more relevant results.
  • Broaden your search. If you input your information and aren’t getting the results you had hoped to get – or you get nothing – you may want to broaden your search a little. Instead of including a city, just put the county. Leave off the middle name or maiden name. Relax your search terms a little and you should get more results.
  • Spell creatively. In the early days, information was handwritten. Journalists took handwritten notes, many documents were handwritten, and this leaves a lot of room for errors in spelling. Peters could be recorded as Paters. Smith could be recorded as Smite. It can make your search a little challenging but not if you stay ahead of the game. When you search, use different spellings of the name.
  • Keep the “Mrs. husband’s name” trend in mind. Up until the 1950s and even into the 60s and 70s many married women would take on their husband’s name – literally. Sally Smith Brown married Donovan Brown and she would write her name as Mrs. Donovan Brown.
  • Stories aren’t always published on the day they occurred. Often a story will run days or even weeks after the event happened. This was especially true in the early days and with smaller newspapers. So, when you search, expand your timeline at least a few weeks after the event occurred. Often small newspapers will publish at certain times, meaning that they could appear weeks later.
  • Expand your dates. You may have specific dates but that doesn’t mean that you can do an adequate search with those dates. Sometimes dates got recorded wrong or were incomplete, so give yourself a little cushion and keep the dates flexible.

Searching Canadian newspapers to find long lost family members, find key historical information, or just to get a better understanding of your family history is a very rewarding activity. Just remember to be thorough and think outside of the box because that is how you will get the best results.