Newspapers can be a very valuable resource for genealogical information. Obituaries, marriage and engagement stories, birth announcements, probate court legal notices, and news items are just some of the many sources of genealogical information found in newspapers. The information in newspapers may not be trustworthy. Remember that newspapers, especially old ones, may not have had a goal of the objective reporting of facts. Weekly newspapers usually contain more detailed information.


Newspaper Collections
Newspaper Indexes
Wilmington Delaware Newspapers
New Castle Delaware Newspapers
Smyrna Delaware Newspapers
Clayton Delaware Newspapers
Dover Delaware Newspapers
Milford Delaware Newspapers
Lewes Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Collections

The Delaware Historical Society has an excellent pre-1900 Delaware newspaper collection. After 1880, try the microfilm collection at the University of Delaware Morris Library or the Wilmington Institute Free Library. For no charge, Wilmington Institute Free Library will search for an obituary in the few days following the exact death date and send you a copy (you must supply the exact date and include a stamped self-addressed envelope). The Delaware Public Archives has a good collection (mostly on microfilm) of weekly newspapers from the 1850s to 1975; such as the Smyrna Times, Delaware Pilot, Milford Chronicle and Sussex Republican.

All Delaware newspapers at the University of Delaware, Delaware Historical Society and Delaware Public Archives are on microfilm. For a list of newspapers available at the University of Delaware enter the word "Newspapers" in the search text box on their website at the University of Delaware website. Union List of Newspapers in Delaware (1990) can be bought from the University of Delaware. The "Delaware Index" at the Wilmington Institute Free Library is a subject and biographical index from the News-Journal and precursors (1920s-1977) (1989-present). Some prominent Delaware newspapers and where you can find the originals or microfilm are listed in the tables below. Often Philadelphia, Salisbury MD and Cecil County MD newspapers printed stories on Delaware citizens.

Newspaper Indexes

Some of Delaware's many newspapers have been indexed and published. Some of the following books are available from the Delaware Genealogical Society.The publications are  Delaware Genealogical Abstracts from Newspapers V1, V2, and V3-5. You can complete an order form by clicking here.

Newspapers Booklist Books containing newspaper indexes can be found in the Newspapers booklist. The booklist also includes at which repositories the books are available.

Wilmington Delaware Newspapers

The Delaware Gazette is the first Delaware newspaper. The first known issue on microfilm is issue 5 (July 1786) as Delaware Gazette or The Faithful Centinel. #76 issue: 22 Nov 1786; #96: 11 Apr 1787. Microfilms of the Delaware Gazette are available at the Delaware Historical Society. See the table above concerning books that contain indexes to the Delaware Gazette. The Delaware Gazette (and State Journal) for 1786-1810 are available in the American Antiquarian Society at the Delaware Historical Society.

Newspaper Dates Availability
Delaware Gazette 1785-1798 DHS
Delaware Gazette (and State Journal)
[See Note above]
1836-1859 HGL
1814-1857 UoD
1839-1846 WIL
Delaware & Eastern Shore Advertiser 1794-1799 DHS  HGL   HSP
Mirror of the Times 1799-1806 DHS
Delaware Patriot & American Watchman 1809-1828 DHS
Wilmingtonian 1823-1827 DHS
Delaware State Journal 1834-1884 HGL
1827-1884 DHS
1831-1859 UoD
1838-1840 WIL
Delaware Free Press 1830-1832 HGL   DHS   UoD
Delaware Republican 1841-? HGL
1842-1874 HGL
1842-1865 UoD
1858-1865 WIL
Blue Hen's Chicken 1846-1854 DHS
Delaware Weekly Republican 1858-1865 DPA
1858-1867 HGL
1847-1889 DHS
Evening Journal 1859-1925 DPA
1888- HGL
1888-1989 UoD   WIL
Wilmington Daily Commercial 1866-1877 DHS
Every Evening 1871-1932 HGL   DHS   UoD   WIL
Wilmington Morning News 1880- DHS   UoD
Morning News 1881- HGL
1888-1988 UoD   WIL
Wilmington Sunday Star 1885-1954 DHS   UoD
1885 1952


New Castle Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
New Castle Gazette 1835-1837 HGL   UoD
New Castle Argus 1805 DHS


Smyrna Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
Smyrna Times 1835-1837 HGL
1854-1904 DHS
1854-1977 SPL


Clayton Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
Clayton Herald 1867-1901 DHS


Dover Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
Delawarean (Dover) 1859-1925 DPA
1859-1909 DHS
Delaware State News 1944- DPA   UoD


Milford Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
Peninsular News & Advertiser 1873-1899 DHS
Milford Chronicle 1903- DPA
1883-1920 DHS
1945- UoD


Lewes Delaware Newspapers

Newspaper Dates Availability
Delaware Pilot 1891-1904 DPA
1891-1942 HGL
1893-1911 DHS