Ads & Classifieds Search Tips

Use this search to find advertisements for missing persons and items, runaway slaves and indentured servants, real estate and property, and more in the historical newspaper archives. This online collection contains ads and classifieds as published in U.S. newspapers from 1704–2010.

Runaway Slave Ads

Search for runaway slaves by name. Often this was only a first name so be flexible in your searches. Try searching for the slave owner’s surname and the location of the local slave market or owner’s residence if known.

Runaway Indentured Servant Ads

Try searching for runaway indentured servants by using the person’s name and/or the employer’s name.

Real Estate & Property Ads

Try searching for your ancestor’s home or property ad by using the address in the Include Keywords field.

Missing Relatives and Friends

If you are searching for old advertisements run by people who were searching for missing family members or friends, try including the keywords "information wanted," "lost" or "missing" in the Include Keywords field along with the surname of the target person.

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.