Library of Congress: Digital Newspapers as resources

The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website has amazing resources available to you for free from the comfort of your home. Several posts will be dedicated to the resources available there, but we’ll start with the digital newspaper collection. About 4 million images of newspapers from around the country from 1836 to 1922 are available on this website free of charge. The search function is fairly easy to use and you can do a basic search or a more advanced search. You can search by name, location or other keywords.

I searched for Levi Savage and the search results looked like this. There are 203 results, with 20 on each page. The digitized page for each result is shown, with Levi’s name highlighted in pink. You can zoom and save as a pdf file to your computer. Many of the newspaper articles dealt with his service in the Mormon Battalion, his son Levi Mathers Savage, and occasionally his father.

Example of search at LOC

Here are a few of the interesting things that I found:

This is when Levi’s trial for cohabitation began.
The Salt Lake Herald, Sept 10, 1887, page 8

The Salt Lake herald September 10 1887 Page 8

In other records I have found the information needed to track down Levi’s court records. However, they have been lost and are not available. Therefore, this newspaper account of his words at the end of his trial are important to understanding him and the role polygamy played in his life. The Salt Lake Herald September 30 1887 Page 8

The Salt Lake herald September 30 1887 Page 8

This tells me where he was taken so that I can further progress in my research.
Salt Lake Herald Oct 1 1887 page 8

salt lake herald oct 1 1887 page 8

This is a lot of money back then. Definitely something to look further into and figure out what was going on. Based on entries in his son’s journal, I suspect this is for damages sustained in Millard County in the late 1850s or early 1860s. This is where they lived before moving to Toquerville.
The Salt Lake Herald Feb 14 1899 page 6

the salt lake herald feb 14 1899 page 6

Don’t look just for your ancestor’s name. A big part of social history is learning about the bigger world in which your ancestor lived and gaining various perspectives on events in your ancestor’s life. This article is a great example of how to do this. I don’t know that Levi felt this way, but I know that somebody that lived in the same area thought Toquerville was a great place to live.
The Union Sept 18 1897

The Union Sept 18 1897

I used the SnagIt program to pull out just the portion of the page that I wanted. But, in doing your own research, don’t forget to look at some of the articles that are around the article of interest to get a sense of what else was going on. Looking at advertisements can be especially interesting and enlightening.

If interested, here are a few links about Chronicling America
http://edsitement.neh.gov/what-chronicling-america
http://www.neh.gov/divisions/preservation/featured-project/new-release-chronicling-america
http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2013/04/national-digital-newspaper-program.html

What are some of the treasures you have found on the Chronicling America website? I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

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About bridgingthepast

Welcome to Bridging the Past. We help genealogists connect to their colonial New England ancestors by sharing with them information about the lives of their ancestors. What did they eat? What did they wear? What was a typical day like? Did my ancestor fight in a war? What was life like for that ancestor, and for the loved ones he left at home? Why did they move? Was it part of a larger movement? By answering these questions, and many more, you can bring your ancestors to life and feel closer to them. We design lectures to answer these questions and give genealogists the tools and resources to personally connect with their ancestors by fleshing out the lives of their ancestors so they are more than names, dates and places on a piece of paper.
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