Baker’s Dozen of Resources for Finding Historic European Newspapers Online

Newspapers are becoming an ever more important tool in the family historian’s toolbox. There are numerous websites, both by subscription and free, that offer literally hundreds of U.S. historical newspapers in digital format online.

What about access to historic European newspapers? Given the millions of descendants of fairly recent immigrants – and by recent, I’m talking about the 1800s and later – finding links to European newspapers should be on the research list of many people.

So, where can these newspapers be found? Before I list even a single website, remember that if the newspaper is printed in a (to you) foreign language, you’ll need some help reading the news. 🙂

Here are a baker’s dozen of resources for locating historic newspapers online – some lead to pay links, but many are free.

  1. Europeana Newspapers – This website has links to about 25 participating libraries. NOTE: Use the box at the top right to EXPLORE the newspapers. The prototype browser offered in the box allows search terms to be entered.
  2. BGSU University Libraries – This library has links to worldwide newspaper collections. The European tab lists the newspapers by name under countries and also includes the time period of publication.
  3. The Ancestor Hunt by Kenneth R. Marks has a 2016 post about European newspaper links, some free and some by subscription.
  4. Wikipedia: List of Online Newspapers
  5. Xooxle Answers: European Newspaper Archives – Some of these newspapers go back to the 1600s.
  6. University of Illinois – Find Newspapers – Scroll down past the mainly U.S. links to Europe.
  7. Elephind – Another site that includes historical newspapers worldwide, not just European
  8. Google News Archive – more links to worldwide newspapers, but they are in ABC order by title, not grouped by country
  9. Compact Memory – A collection of Jewish newspapers published in German speaking countries
  10. Duke University Libraries: Russian and East European Historical Newspapers
  11. The University of Western Australia – The library has links to worldwide historical newspapers.
  12. University of Toronto Libraries – You’ll find links to modern newspapers, but scroll down to find the list of historical newspaper links
  13. The European Library – Links to both current and historical newspapers

Access & Preservation Track: New Event Announced at RootsTech 2018!

RootsTech 2018 keeps getting better and better and it isn’t even here yet!

RootsTech 2018 has a brand new event in the Access and Preservation Track! ProQuest and FamilySearch have partnered to sponsor Access and Preservation Day happening on Wednesday, 28 February from 9:30 until noon.

If you are already registered for RootsTech, you will be able to attend the event using your registration pass.

If you are local, but haven’t registered for RootsTech 2018, this event is FREE, but you must pre-register in order to attend.

David Rencher, CGO of FamilySearch International will give the welcome, followed by keynote speaker Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive.

Come learn more about Digital Preservation and Digital Access from the experts!

Laura Stone from the Arizona State Library, Ken Williams from the Utah State Archives and Wendy Hanamura will present on Digital Preservation.

Those speaking on Digital Access include Hollis Gentry, from the Smithsonian Institute, Curt Witcher from the  Allen County Public Library and Stephen Valentine from FamilySearch.

Top-notch speakers offering a free event. What more could a genealogist ask for?

Abraham Browne of Watertown, MA (1588-before December 1648)

Abraham Browne is one of my earliest ancestors who settled in New England, as he lived in Watertown, Massachusetts by 1631. He is also one of the earliest ancestors who appeared during my steps steps in genealogical research, as he appears in the holdings of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. However, he is also an ancestor with whom I’ve done almost no further research, for two reasons.

First, Henry Bond, author of Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, published in 1860, stated that Abraham Browne appeared to be from Hawkedon, Suffolk, England, based on a will which named an Abraham Browne in the correct time frame.

Back in 1980, when I started family history research, accessing English records wasn’t all that easy. Since Bond, an authoritative source, assigned him to Suffolk County, England, I just entered that in my notes.

Second, I lose the Browne surname after just one generation, as Abraham’s daughter, Lydia, my ancestress, married William Lakin.

Likely in the back of my mind was that, having so much early New England ancestry, it was extremely likely that someone would jump in and tackle the “hard stuff.”

Here we are, 38 years later, and a recent article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, aka The Register, published in the spring and summer issues of 2017 contains an article that piqued my interest: “The Wylley and Cramphorne Families of Hertfordshire and Their Contribution to the Great Migration” by William Wyman Fiske. As I read the article, I honed in the opening sentence of Part 2: The importance of the Cramphornes to the ancestry of early Massachusetts immigrants Edmund, John, and Abraham Browne!

Wait a minute! Was this my Abraham Browne or another man of the same name? I even checked a map and it wasn’t likely that if my Abraham was from Hawkedon that he was the same man in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, as the two villages are about 50 miles apart. Not impossible, but not likely in the 1500s.

After reading the article, I was able to ascertain that it WAS my Abraham Browne, his Suffolk origins had been discredited, and new information had been published back as early as 1988 in NEHGS’s The Great Migration Study Project, led by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, and, in 1996, when Dean Crawford Smith and editor Melinda Lutz Sanborn published The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton (1878-1908).

I had some digging to do! As I am a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, I was able to read the entry for Abraham Browne in The Great Migration series online. Locating the Eva Belle Kempton book was as simple as visiting my local Family History Center here in Tucson, as it has been digitized, but only readable in the Family History Library itself or in a Family History Center.

Abraham Browne is quite a bit older than originally thought – baptized in 1588 and not born c1600, as I had first recorded. He also had two wives, not one – Joan Shelton and Lydia, who is my ancestress. Unfortunately, Lydia’s maiden name is still lost to history.

As The Register research was just published a few months ago, full details about the lineage are being omitted here. My focus is my line from Abraham.

William Fiske’s research has identified Abraham’s parents and grandparents. Here is my updated entry about Abraham Browne. The English baptisms and burials are all in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England unless stated otherwise.

First: William Browne, born c1505; buried 25 January 1565/66. He married Joan, born c1510 and buried on 7 April 1573. It isn’t known whether Joan was William’s first and only wife.

William had nine children, born c1531 to c1547. They included William, Annis, Thomas, John, Laurence, Alice, Nicholas, Margaret and Edmund (my line).

Second: William Cramphorne, born c1530, married Joan Plowright on 21 July 1560. They had three children – Thomas, Mary (who married Edmund Browne, my line) and William.

Next: Edmund Browne, born c1547; buried 21 January 1638/39. He married Mary Cramphorne and had twelve children, born 1584/85 -1606/07. They included Elizabeth, Richard and George (who appear to be twins), Abraham (my line), John, Sarah, John again, John a third time, Edmund, Mary, Hannah and Daniel.

Then: Abraham Browne, baptized 22 October 1588; died between 26 March 1645 and December 1648, probably in Watertown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He married not once, but twice: (1) Joan Shelton, on 21 September 1619 in South Weald, Essex, England and (2) Lydia (MNU and, of course, my line!), c1629, likely also in England.

Abraham was an active surveyor in Massachusetts and he regularly bought up land as it became available. His estate wasn’t settled until 22 January 1693/94, almost a half century after he died, because his heirs didn’t know the exact boundaries of all the properties he owned and court papers flowed for years.

Abraham had seven known children. Sarah, Hannah and Mary were born to his first wife, Joan Shelton. Lydia was the mother of Lydia (my line), Jonathan, Hannah and Abraham.

It isn’t often that I am able to add new generations to my pedigree chart and, with all the familial details published in The Register and the Kempton book, I have lots to enter into my software.

Here is my newly expanded descent from William Browne of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England:

  1. William Browne = Joan, if she was the mother of all his children
    2. Edmund Browne = Mary Cramphorne
    3. Abraham Browne = Lydia (Watertown, MA)
    4. Lydia Browne = William Lakin (Groton, MA)
    5. William Lakin = Elizabeth Robertson (Groton, MA)
    6. Lydia Lakin = Jonathan Shepley (Groton, MA)
    7. Oliver Shepley = Mary Lakin (Groton, MA) (Mary is a double Lakin descent for me as she was the daughter of James Lakin and Elizabeth Williams. Oliver and Mary were first cousins.)
    8. Sibbel Shepley = James Scripture (Mason, NH)
    9. Oliver Scripture = Mary Goddard Bucknam (Glenburn, ME)
    10. Mary Elizabeth Scripture = George Rogers Tarbox (Calais, ME)
    11. Nellie F. Tarbox = Calvin Segee Adams (Calais, ME)
    12. Charles Edwin Adams = Annie Maude Stewart (Calais, ME)
    13. Vernon Tarbox Adams = Hazel Ethel Coleman
    14. Doris Priscilla Adams = George Michael Sabo
    15. Linda Sabo Stufflebean