Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Friday, July 18, 2014

Searching for obituaries outside of Allegheny County

Searching for obituaries outside of Allegheny County

I have been reading quite a bit about people asking about various online newspaper services. Well, I thought I would delve into this subject.

These are the Pennsylvania cities covered by newspaperarchives.com

To explore the offerings of http://genealogybank.com
go to:

First, I would like to say if you are doing your family tree, and researching every possible source. Look towards your own family members as possible sources. Not in means of finances, but seek out what online databases may be available in the city or county of where they live. Even check with the members who may be in any college or university to see what online research databases may be available to the students. Databases to look for are the institutional versions of newspaperarchives.com and proquest obituaries.
With that said, have that family member do the lookups if they can or are interested in helping you out. It may save you a few dollars.
Check with your own library system. Most libraries have reciprocal agreements with neighboring libraries in adjacent cities or counties.
So check those resources as well.
For more information check out what resources are available through your state library system.
The POWER Library is a service for the residents of Pennsylvania.

Local Newspapers (15 collections)
  • Conshohocken Recorder Collection

    The Conshohocken Recorder, April 1, 1882 - September 9, 1954.
  • Huntingdon County Historical Newspaper Collection

    This digital collection contains the archive of the Huntingdon Gazette and the Huntingdon Journal. The Huntingdon Gazette is the first successful newspaper on the town of more
  • Lancaster County – Lancaster Examiner and Herald 1834-1854 Collection

    Lancaster's Examiner and Herald was published weekly in Lancaster, Pa., during the middle years of the nineteenth century. By digitizing the years 1834 - 1872, patrons more
  • Lancaster County – Lancaster Examiner and Herald 1855-1872 Collection

    Lancaster's Examiner and Herald was published weekly in Lancaster, Pa., during the middle years of the nineteenth century. By digitizing the years 1834 - 1872, patrons more
  • Lancaster County – Lititz Newspaper Collection

    Welcome to the Lancasterhistory.org's Lancaster County - Lititz Newspaper Collection, a part of the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository.
  • Lancaster County – The New Holland Clarion 1873-1890 Collection

    The New Holland Clarion was published weekly in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from 1873-1984. The newspaper provided the local news, world and regional news, information more
  • Lancaster County – The New Holland Clarion 1891-1910 Collection

    The New Holland Clarion was published weekly in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from 1873-1984. The newspaper provided the local news, world and regional news, information more
  • Lancaster County – The New Holland Clarion 1911-1950 Collection

    The New Holland Clarion was published weekly in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from 1873-1984. The newspaper provided the local news, world and regional news, information more
  • Mengle Memorial Library Jefferson County Punxsutawney Spirit Collection

    Welcome to the Mengle Memorial Library's Punxsutawney Spirit Collection, a part of the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository. The Punxsutawney Spirit represents a significant regional newspaper in central more
  • Milton Hershey School Hershey News Collection

    Hershey News, published from 1953 until 1964, reported news and events throughout the Township of Derry, Pennsylvania (informally known as Hershey). A small town newspaper, there more
  • Milton Hershey School Hershey Press Collection

    "The Hershey Press (alternatively published as ”Hershey’s Weekly” or “Hershey’s The Progressive Weekly”) was the first local newspaper, published from 1909 until 1926, covering news and more
  • Nazareth Item Collection

    An independent family newspaper devoted to literature, local and general intelligence. Published 1891-1975.
  • Pittston Gazette Collection

    Welcome to the West Pittston Library's Pittston Gazette Collection, a part of the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository The Pittston Gazette Collection includes the first 58 years more
  • Wilkes-Barre Sunday Independent

    This collection contains the archive of the "Wilkes-Barre Sunday Independent" newspaper from 1913 through 1958. This newspaper is historically significant to the region, state and nation more
  • Wissahickon Valley Public Library Ambler Gazette Collection

    The Wissahickon Valley Public Library: Ambler Gazette Collection is a joint effort with the Fort Washington Historical Society to preserve the society's collection of the Ambler more

Ohio has the Ohio Web Library.
Now there are a few paid online newspaper websites.
Of those there are newspaperarchives.com, Genealogy.bank.com
Proquest obituaries, Newspapers.com. Ancestry.com has newspapers as well, but not nearly the depth of other sites.

Going into more detail. I personally use newspaperarchives through access with my local library card. But before you subscribe to this service, you should read the following articles about newpaperarchives.com about their service and subscriptions practices. I would highly suggest you visit their facebook page at:


Cedar Rapids company under state review after complaints - See more at:

Heritage Microfilm and NewspaperArchive.com Under State Review After Complaints - Dick Eastman

Read the complaints that will not be posted on their facebook page:


My success rate for newspaperarchives.com has been outstanding.
But if I had to pay for it, I would still consider using this site only because the holdings for one city in particular. It has been a real time saver and would be well worth the cost.

Genealogybank.com, I have not personally used this service. Several of my friends have. They have done several searches for me outside of Allegheny County. They searched obituaries for the California, and the Los Angeles areas. They tell me they love the service.

Best advice I can give you on this is to search the holdings to see what genealogybank.com has to offer to you in regards to the areas that you need to research.

It you sign up for their newsletter, they will constantly send you emails for subscription offers for as little as $5.00 a month.

A thirty day trial is $9.95.


You would have to try it, and judge for yourself.

Now, I will tell you I had some ancestors in the Boston area. I wanted to be able to search the Boston Globe archives. So I signed up for Boston.com.

Boston.com - Official Site


Once I signed up for Boston.com, I also signed up for the Boston Globe FREE.
The Boston Globe - Official Site

Boston Globe facebook page

Boston Globe Advanced Search - non subscribers:

Boston Globe Digital Only $.99 for 4 Weeks


With the Boston Globe Digital you get a
century's worth of archives: Access to digital content dating as far back as the 1800s.  Yes, I personally have done this, it was a success! It was well worth my time and efforts. I ended up being given a FREE 4 week trial, and I used it to my best advantage, and found all the death notices and obituaries for one two of my ancestors and their families who lived in the Boston area. I rate it 5 stars for the service.

Boston Globe subscribers:

Current Boston obituaries:

Now it is actually cheaper to subscribe to the Digital Only version of the Boston Globe versus buying passes from Proquest. A one month month pass is $9.95. You do the math. Which was cheaper?


Proquest obituaries. They have coverage for a great number of larger cities, all across the country.
Notes: Searchable full-text and page images from the Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945), the Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Boston Globe (1872-1981), Chicago Defender (1905-1975), Chicago Tribune (1849-1989), the Guardian & Observer (1791-2003), Hartford Courant (1764-1987), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Los Angeles Times (1881-1989), Newsday (1940-1984), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), New York Times (1851-2009), New York Tribune (1841-1922), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002), the San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Wall Street Journal (1889-1995), Washington Post (1877-1996), ProQuest Civil War Era database including New York Herald (1840-1865).

The above is a partial selection.

Proquest obituaries - Complete title holdings:

Some newspapers have an archive, which is supported by Proquest.
It then becomes a pay as you go. Or you buy credits or passes for searches.

Los Angeles Times - Official Site

Proquest LA Times search

I have also used the Proquest LA Times search. I found what I was looking for, then I posted a message on the message boards for the lookup. Very good success rate.

Proquest LA Times Offers

Chicago Tribune:


Proquest Chicago Tribune obituaries

Now, I was given a FREE Trial of the Chicago Tribune Digital Lite.  That in itself was an utter failure. You have to be a paying customer the Chicago Tribune to access the archives via Proquest.

Thank you for contacting The Chicago Tribune.

We appreciate you writing us about your concern. We regret to inform you that access to the archives section is exclusively for paying digital plus subscribers only. Unfortunately, this is not including under the free trial program.

For additional information or assistance, you can reach us at 1-800-874-2863 or simply reply to this email.


Lilian Fowaya
Chicago Tribune Customer Service Advocate


Newspapers on Fold3
Atlanta ConstitutionMore Info

Newspapers.com - Historical Newspapers from 1700s-2000s  (subsidiary of ancestry.com)

Newspapers.com only offers a 7 day trial, they have never offered any FREE access of any kind, unlike the FREE record collection searches or the FREE Fold3 record collection searches offered by ancestry.com (mostly during holidays).

Newspapers.com facebook page

Create a Free Account with Newspapers.com

Once you  create a FREE account, they will send email offers for Newspaper.com for $59.95. If you are a current subscriber to ancestry.com for the US version, then it can be as low as $49.95.
But it is included if you are a World ancestry.com user.


You can do searches, you see a small snippet of the article.

I have done only a limited number of searches doing this, then posted a message for the lookup for the article using the partial information, and the name and date of the newspaper. Success rate has been 50/50 doing this.

Some other Pennsylvania resources are:

Sign up for FREE account:

If you notice, this is part of the newspaperarchives.com collection.

Titles include:

For Pennsylvania there are several other resources which include using a search engine called Elephind.


Elephind is a search engine which searches the holdings of other websites which are FREE. These are not holdings that are owned by Elephind. I used this. It was fair compared to other sites I use.
It is very limited. What I found there, I had also found elsewhere.

Also available from Penn State:
Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspaper Collection contain all the words, photographs, and advertisements from selected newspapers published during the pivotal years before, during, and after the U.S. Civil War.  Newspapers played a prominent role in the conflict.  They helped mobilize public opinion for, or against, the war, relayed battlefield developments to their readers, and documented political life on the homefront.  Beyond military or political concerns there is much on cultural topics including travel, arts and leisure, sports and contests, and local social events.


Again, I used this. It tends to be slow. It can be rewarding if it helps you find one article. I did this for one ancestor,. The article was from the Pittsburgh Gazette; so with the name and date, I was able to get a better copy of what I was looking for from the google news archives.

Lancaster Examiner and Herald 1855-1872 Collection


For New York, try Old Fulton Postcards
It is a collection of old newspapers published in New York State, between 1795 and 2007. Includes Old Fulton NY Postcards, a collection of digitized images recording the history of Fulton, NY.
*Adobe Flash Player is required to view this.

For a list of New York Online Historical Newspapers:


Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online, 1841-1955

And the best site for newspapers in the UK and Ireland is of course, The British Newspaper archive.

Please see on our facebook page:

"I am only sharing this. I use this, and have been very successful in finding obituaries and death notices for my ancestors.

You can sign up at http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

You are able to sign up, and are given 15 FREE credits which enable to search and find one article.

If is well worth the effort. That's is how I found the first story of my 2nd grandfather who died in Wales, but the story was in a Scottish newspaper.

Then I was fortunate enough to win a 12 month unlimited subscription which I still search for articles. I have been more than very successful. This is one newspaper site if you have ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, or Ireland, I highly recommend.

The British Newspaper Archive
Please like their page!


One great source is using the rootsweb or ancestry.com message boards by posting a message for an obituary lookup in the appropriate State, County message board. The only drawback is the unwarranted replies from someone who automatically gives you information you already have, or states; that are not related but gives you some speel that had nothing to do with your original request. Then you may have someone posting a reply to promote another website or service. Again which has nothing to do with your original request. The success rate has been fairly positive versus the minor drawbacks as mentioned.

Google newspaper archives:

Chronicling America's Newspapers - Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922

Now, for a final thought. If you can't find it online. Send an email or letter to the library where a death occurred. Some libraries charge only a minimal fee whereas some of the larger libraries charge between $5 to $15 for an obituary search.

Some smaller towns may even email you the obituary for the cost of the copy and the price of a stamp. Yes, I have done this more than a few times. My success rate for this has been admirable.

When I cannot find it online, I opt for a doing a personal request via mail for an obituary. It works best. A couple pieces of paper, and a stamp, doing genealogy the "old fashioned" way.

As always,
Keep searching away.

Allegheny Ancestry and Genealogy Trails.

No comments: