Monday, September 3, 2012

Western New York old newspapers

You may have seen the information about the Fulton NY web site that has old newspapers.  There are over 19,648,000 pages in their collection.   Both Esther Gould and Pete Harrington have mentioned it and I put it in the news letter a while back.  I myself didn't pay much attention until last night.

I'm researching Dr. Roger B. Tolles, trying to find who his father was so I can link him to all of the Tolles mentioned in Donald Lines Jacobus' "Families of Ancient New Haven".  It as been an impossible task so far. Many people have entered information on the www that is undocumented and much of it demonstrably false.

To facilitate my search I drew up a time line then went to Google Maps and cut and pasted until I had a map that showed all of the places I knew Roger and his family had been.   Those places included the Western NY counties of Genessee, Ontario, Yates and Steuben.

Nearby Oswego county caught my eye as one of my own lines lived there before they migrated west.  My eye wandered over the map of Oswego and there was Fulton!  Hmmmm, not far from the area I am searching, I remembered the Fulton site that Esther talked about.

How fortunate that I remembered that site.  It is a wonderful resource.  I found small mentions of my Dr. Roger B. Tolles in Geneva NY Gazette 1818-1823 and Geneva NY Gazette Advertiser 1829-1832. Nothing that broke down the wall but additional clues to establish that this man actually lived and worked in the area.  I was afraid, until now, that he was a ghost.  I would have loved to have found an obituary but haven't given up hope.

I was impressed enough with the site that I made a small donation via Pay Pal and have left a note for my daughter to donate some of my many external hard drives for their use "when I don't need them any more" (as my Grandmother used to say.)

Newspapers are becoming more and more available.  Most are on subscriptions sites but every now and then one encounters an obscure site like this that provides the service FREE.

Hopefully, as time goes on, the subscription sites will "merge" until we have just one or two sites and only one subscription fee with access to all digital newspapers.  It is beginning with Ancestry's purchase of  Some see this as ominous, I think it is inevitable and will benefit researchers.

So don't overlook old newspapers, Google has many, Chronicling America (Library of Congress) has many, including many of the DeLand papers.  

Florida Online Historical Newspapers lists all FL papers available from various  sources.

And, if you have family in Western New York go to Old Fulton NY Post Cards  and search their collection.


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