The Jefferson County historical newspaper collection is available on microfilm in the Genealogy Department at the Northwest Branch in High Ridge. The collection includes local newspapers ranging from 1866 to current issues. The Genealogy Department is in the process of indexing names of local residents; however, it is not an all-inclusive index in that only certain items of genealogical interest are included.
The Jefferson County, Missouri historical newspapers mentioned many activities of the county residents, but it would have been a daunting endeavor to index every name and every activity. For example, birthdays are only mentioned in the index if the person was over the age of 80.
School activities, political activities, and many social events were not indexed. If the time period of an ancestor's residence in Jefferson County is known, it would benefit the researcher to visit the Genealogy Department and browse the newspapers of that time.
Historical Newspapers in our collection
Arnold Imperial Leader 1996-last year DeSoto Jefferson County Republican 1905-1950 DeSoto Press 1981-1993 Fenton & Jefferson County News 1960-1963 Fenton Network News 1992-1995 Hillsboro Record 1978-1985 Jefferson County Democrat 1869-1940 Jefferson County Leader 1866-1868 Jefferson County Leader Festus 1999-last year Jefferson County Record 1911 - 1977 Jefferson County Suburban Journal 2009-2011 Jefferson Watchman 1993-2006 Meramec Journal 1990-2008
Several of these newspapers are not yet indexed.
The Genealogy Department also holds various editions of newspapers not microfilmed. These include: Big River Current The Countian Courier Journal & Weekly News Democrat-Journal Daily Jefferson County Democrat-Rocket Daily News Democrat Jefferson County Daily News Democrat New Democrat Journal Weekly News Democrat
At present, the Jefferson County Leader and the Jefferson County Democrat are fully indexed. These two newspapers cover the years 1866 to 1940.
The Jefferson County Record has been indexed from 1911 through 1918.
Additional dates and newspapers are added regularly, so be sure to check periodically for updates to the index.
Locating the Newspaper index
On the library website, find the GENEALOGY SERVICES link on the left hand side of the page
Click on the link which will open up the index links:
NEWSPAPER SEARCH and NEWSPAPERS BY YEAR
Click either link to open the search engine.
Search Newspaper Index by Surname
You may enter one or more terms to search. The "?" wildcard will match exactly one character. So the search query "M?iller" would match the names Muller and Miller.
*BIRTH--usually only mentions the father's name and sex of the child born. Example: Fuller, John (girl) means a female was born to the John Fuller family.
*MARRIAGE--groom's name is recorded first, then bride's name in Keywords. If attendants, offiant, or others are mentioned, only the surname is recorded.
*DEATH--includes mention of death, obituaries, and memorials. Sometimes memorials will appear on the anniversary of a death, and those are also categorized under DEATH.
*DIVORCE--surname of the party is recorded, followed by the names of both husband and wife. If the woman's maiden name is restored and recorded, it is found in the Keyword section.
*OTHER--this category covers items of genealogical interest including naturalization notices, military service, arrests, tragedies, etc.
*PROBATE, ADOPTION, FAIR-- these categories appear less frequently. In the earliest newspapers, probate notices are included to aid in finding deaths in the county. Later, when deaths were more frequently reported, the probate notices are no longer included. Notices of adoptions appear periodically, and all names mentioned are included. During the 1904 World's Fair, the newspaper sometimes mentioned residents who attended, and those names are noted.
LAST NAME FIRST NAME SUBJECT PAPER DATE PAGE COLUMN PAPER NAME KEYWORDS
*Last Name--the Surname of the main subject. Note--all names are recorded exactly as they are found in the article. This means misspellings and abbreviations are recorded as shown.
*First Name--the first name of the subject is recorded as shown. Infrequently, there may be an additional name included or a notation to clarify the category. For example, Fred (mother) indicates the article is about the mother of Fred. This is done when the mother's name is not mentioned in the article.
*Subject--lists the subject of the article according to the category: birth, death, etc.
*Paper Date--lists the date of the newspaper in which the article is found.
*Page Column--lists the page number (1, 2, 3, etc.) and column (a, b, d, etc) where the article is found. Note- the early newspapers did not have page numbers, so the page is indicated counting from the first page. There are usually 4-8 pages in the early papers. Occasionally, a supplement is included; and those pages are not counted as part of the main newspaper. Instead, they have the word "supplement" included with the date.
The first column of the page is designated as "a"; the second, as "b", etc. Subjects that are mentioned more than once in the same newspaper will have the page number followed by the column letters. Those with more than one mention on the same page and column will have a number in parentheses to notify that there will be another entry in that same column. Example, 3a (2) means there are two articles on page 3 column "a" on the indexed name and subject.
*Paper Name-- indicates the newspaper in which the article may be found.
*Keywords--Other surnames mentioned are recorded in the keyword section. Usually, only the surname is recorded. The exceptions to this include the names of brides, maiden names of women mentioned in a husband's obituary, and other miscellaneous instances when the full name might clarify the entry. If other family members sharing the surname of the subject are mentioned, they are not added to the keywords.
Example: 1c, d means Page 1, columns c and d
Branch staff can perform searches of up to 5 names in any indexed genealogy materials held by the Northwest Branch for a $10 non-refundable fee. This fee, which much be paid at the time of the request, includes the cost of copies and postage. Make check or money order payable to: Jefferson County Library
Submit requests in writing to:
Genealogy Department Jefferson County Library, Northwest Branch 5680 State Rd. PP High Ridge, MO 63049
Please Note- When making a request, please include the name sought, date, subject, newspaper name, and page/column .
The library is unable to do personal research for our patrons. While we are happy to go the extra mile, we must have at least the name of the person sought and the date (within a few weeks of the event) to do look-ups.
Researchers are always welcome to visit the library, use our materials, and make their own copies. Black and white copies are .20 per page, color copies are .50 per page.
For more information, call Chris Merseal or Mindy Hudson at (636) 677-8186
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