Letters in newspapers can reveal our ancestors' characters, opinions, feelings, personal relationships and give us a glimpse into their day-to-day lives. Search thousands of letters your ancestors wrote dating back to the 1700's online.
Letters Search Tips
Use this search to find letters to the editor, letters to and from royalty, letters written by famous people and more in the historical newspaper archives. This online collection contains public letters as published in U.S. newspapers from 1704–1999.
Broad Newspaper Letter Search
Sometimes family letters were posted to the newspaper because they contained information that was of interest to many people in the community. These family letters can be found by searching for the individual’s first and last name or by location.
You can also search for letters and speeches written to and by famous people and royalty by entering the individual’s name in the First Name and Last Name fields.
Search for Letters to the Editor
To search for letters to the editor in newspapers, search by typing the keyword "editor" in the Include Keywords field. You can narrow the search results by including the name of a newspaper in quotation marks in the Include Keywords field.
"New York Tribune"
Note: if you are looking for lists of unclaimed letters held at the post office see the Tables & Charts section.
Visit the Blog
Need additional help tracing your family tree? Visit our genealogy blog for more search tips that will help you do better family history research with GenealogyBank.