Genealogist's Newspaper Search - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Genealogist's Newspaper Search?

The Genealogist's Newspaper Search is a service which provides access to vital records information in newspapers. Researchers can search our unique databases online for vital records (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) and/or order printed research reports on a surname basis.

What newspapers have been indexed?

A wide selection of Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia newspapers have been indexed. This includes daily newspapers from large cities as well as weekly newspapers from smaller towns. Also, many defunct newspapers have been indexed.

Click the List of Newspapers Indexed link to view the complete list of newspapers indexed.

What years have been indexed for each newspaper?

The dates vary from as early as the 1700s in Virginia and 1840s in Indiana to as current as today.

The date range indexed for each newspaper title varies and changes daily. The last twenty years are complete (all vitals on all pages) for several papers including The Indianapolis Star, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, and South Bend Tribune.

Earlier issues have also been indexed but they are not complete. Some titles have just a few months or years indexed. Most entries are from the last 50 years, but there are some pre-1900 entries too. Both current and back issues are being added to the index daily.

What types of articles are included in the search?

The articles that are associated with the milestones in life are included. This includes:

- Adoption
- Anniversary
- Annulment Asked
- Annulment Granted
- Area Death
- Area Funeral
- Biography
- Birth
- Birthday
- Bridal Shower
- Burial Listings
- Burial Permit
- City Death
- City Funeral
- Coroner Ruling
- Death Certificate
- Death Notice

- Divorce
- Divorce Asked
- Divorce Dismissed
- Divorce Filed
- Divorce Granted
- Engagement
- Estate
- Estate Opened
- Five Generations
- Four Generations
- Funeral Notice
- Funeral Service
- Guardianship
- Indiana Death
- In Memoriam
- Legal Separation
- Marriage Annulment
- Marriage Bans
- Marriage Dissolution
- Marriage License
- Marriage Notice
- Moving Permit
- Name Change
- Naturalization
- Obituary
- Ohio Death
- Other Death
- Probate
- Resolution of Respect
- Six Generations
- Trust
- Wedding
- Will

Please note that not all newspapers print all of these types of records and their coverage of these events has changed over the years.

Exactly what is included in the Genealogist's Newspaper Search reports?
  • Title page
  • Explanation pages
  • Index listing

The Title Page indicates the surname reported, date the report was run, and the name and address of the researcher ordering the report.

The Explanation Pages explain the format and codes used in the report. This includes the codes for the vital record type (BI for birth, etc.) and the codes used for the newspaper titles (DCDD for Decatur Daily Democrat, etc.)

The Index Listing may be just part of a page or several pages. Each line of the report corresponds to a single notice in a newspaper.

Sample Excerpt from the Indiana search report for the surname Blackwell.

(The actual Blackwell report lists over 1100 entries.)

Blackwell, Margaret S. Griffin   ML INST 09/05/1908 10 Marion County
Blackwell, Mark   27 DN NCA 05/14/1987 01 Ligonier
Swigart, d/o Richard & Judy Blackwell     BI KTRB 03/19/1991 10 Noblesville
Swigart, s/o Richard & Judy Blackwell     BI KTRB 06/07/1989 06 Kokomo
  • The first line indicates that there is a marriage license (ML) in The Indianapolis Star (INST) of September 5, 1908 on page 10 for Margaret S. Griffin marrying a Blackwell. The marriage license was issued in Marion County.
  • The second line indicates a death notice (DN) for Mark Blackwell (age 27 of Ligonier) can be found on page one of the Noble County American (NCA) of May 14, 1987.
  • The last two lines are for births (BI) for children of Richard & Judy (Blackwell) Swigart.
  • The third line indicates they had a daughter reported on page 10 of the March 19, 1991 issue of the Kokomo Tribune (KTRB).
  • The fourth line indicates a son for the same couple on page 6 of the June 7, 1989 issue of the Kokomo Tribune.
  • They were listed as living in Noblesville in the first entry and living in Kokomo in the second one.

Note that entries are included which have the requested surname as a maiden name or name from another marriage if this is given in the article.

The online search presents the same information, but allows more specific searching.

How can I get copies of the actual articles?

The index gives the newspaper title, date and page of the article so copies may be made easily if you have access to the actual newspapers. You may wish to write, visit a library, or hire a researcher to make photocopies or transcribe the articles.

CompuGen Systems will provide photocopies or transcripts of the actual notices upon request for most entries listed on the search. For obituaries, weddings, etc. this may be an entire article while for births, death certificates, etc. it may be a single line. The fee is $3.95 per entry.

The online search allows you to order copies of the articles online. Click on "ORDER IMAGE" or "ORDER TEXT" to order copies online. When ordered online, the notices are e-mailed.

How much do the search reports and online search memberships cost?

The search reports are $20 for a standard surname for one state. More common surnames and multiple state search reports are more.

There are three levels of online search memberships available as follows:

  • Level 1: Family Researcher ($39.95) up to 1000 searches per year
  • Level 2: Professional Researchers ($79.95) up to 5000 searches per year
  • Level 3: Libraries & Institutions ($299.95) up to 20000 searches per year
Each time you display a screen of information from the database it is considered a "search". You can purchase another membership if the specified number of searches is exhausted before one year. You can order search reports and purchase search memberships online.
Can't we get all this from the Internet?

Many newspapers have sites on the Internet and some even include vital records, but these are typically for the current days only. Some have a few years worth of back issues available to search for a fee. Nowhere on the Internet can you get an index to vital records like the Genealogist's Newspaper Search.

I ordered a surname search several years ago. Can I get a listing of what has been added for this surname since then?

You may reorder a surname search report at any time. You will receive a full report which lists what was found at the earlier date and what has been added since. If you received one more than a year or two ago, there will probably be quite a few more entries listed. The database has approximately doubled in size since 1995. The fee to reorder a listing for a surname you have already ordered is one-half the current search price ($10 for most surnames, $15 and $25 for more common names). Please contact us for reorders.

You can also subscribe to the Genealogist's Newspaper Search and search online for additions as often as you'd like.

Is this index available at libraries?

A special multi-user subscription plan is available for libraries and institutions. Check with your library to see if they subscribe to the Genealogist's Newspaper Search.

Do you really index the "fine print" lists of birth, divorces, etc. from the big papers like THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR and SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE?

Yes, the complete daily statistics such as the births, marriage licenses, death certificates from all papers, even the large ones are included in the database.

Where do you get all the newspapers you index?

We have subscriptions to several of the current papers and have some helpers saving and/or indexing other current papers. We use microfilm to index the back issues and in some cases we buy or get access to collections (large and small) of original papers. The subscriptions and microfilm are expensive and the money received from searches is used to buy more papers and microfilm to expand the project.

Is this type of service available for any other states?

This service is very unique and currently available for Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia newspapers. We hope to expand the database to include newspapers in other states. Let us know what you'd like to see included.

If you do not find the answer to your question listed within our FAQ's, you can always contact us directly.