Are Those Old Papers 100% Correct?

Reading newspapers to get historical background is an excellent idea. However, it is important to remember that media in the 19th century was subject to the same dilemmas that media sometimes is today. As a result, some newspapers were biased in one way or another or reported things before they had been adequately fact checked.

Also remember that newspapers may have published follow-up articles or corrections days or weeks after an original story saw the printed page. Some newspapers tried to be as independent and unbiased as they could be, but things still could slip in.

If reading for historical background of the area, read more than just one newspaper to get a broader view–and to potentially catch additional ancestral references.