JOPLIN, Mo. —
This week I checked newspapers that have been digitized by the State Historical Society of Missouri.
Most of the newspapers are ones that were first published during the Civil War era (1854-1876). They are online free of charge and are keyword searchable. The site is found at shs.umsystem.edu/newspaper/mdnp/mdnptable.shtml.
When the site opens, check the list of counties to see which newspapers have been digitized in the areas you are researching.
Because the digitization program is such a new one, only a few newspapers have been completed. Some counties don’t have any. Don’t be disappointed -- additional issues are continually being digitized, so this site will be a great one to regularly check.
Two early newspapers that have been digitized from Jasper County are The Carthage Banner (1866-1879) and The Jasper News (1901-1922). A Newton County newspaper is The Neosho Times (1870-1876). There are no newspapers from Barry or McDonald counties.
A newspaper from Lawrence County is The Mount Vernon Fountain and Journal (1874-1880). A Barton County newspaper is The Lamar South-West Missourian (1870-1874). Greene County newspapers are The Springfield Mirror (1856-1859), The Springfield Missouri Weekly Patriot (1865-1876) and The Springfield Leader (1867-1878).
Click on a newspaper published in an area you are researching. When the next screen opens, enter a keyword you want to search.
Two of the most useful terms to enter are a surname or the name of the community where an ancestor lived. Although the site also has a blank to enter a date, you may decide not to enter that information.
The next screen provides thumbnail images of the newspaper pages that contain the keyword you are researching. Click on the “Title” of the newspaper issue that you want to check first.
The next screen has a large image of the page you selected. To the left is a thumbnail image that highlights the locations of your keyword in red. The keyword can then be found on the larger image by scrolling down the page or placing the pointer on the page and moving the page around.
Some of the types of information I found were wedding announcements, estate announcements, the names of students who attended rural schools, the names of people who had moved but had old letters waiting for them at the post office, those who owed back taxes, the locations where settlers lived, injuries, illnesses and deaths.
Suggestions or queries? Send them to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.