NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE

This my my review of this product or tool often touted as a great tool for genealogy.  I had very high hopes for this site, since i not only do a lot of family genealogy but I also do a lot of research on Acadia National Park and its past history.  As it turned out this was one of the worst genealogy tools I have ever used which is riddled with problems from the get go.
The main problem, and there are several, is that now matter how well you craft your searches, such as Acadia National Park, Precipice Trail,  your search results will be all over the pace, with Acadia coming up every time it was ever used in the paper your researching, as well as National, or park, as does the word precipice and the word trail, every time any of those words were ever used will come up, but rarely are they related to one another.  National could be a word in a story on Acadia National Park, but it could as easily be a word in a story on a national bank, or a national tragidy.  And while the precipice trail is a very popular hiking trail in Acadia national park, the search results don't bear that out, what I ended up with instead was a ton on search results on precipice, that was in no way related to the precipice trail, or worse, a ton of finds on the word trail, with very little of it having to do with a trail in Acadia national Park, and no matter how many different ways I tried to redo my searches, I ended up with the same horrible mess.
It is not that I did not get any positive results, because I did get a few.  I was able to discover about half a dozen drownings I had not been aware of in the park, but those finds did not come easy.  I had to slowly go through hundreds of pages in order to get that small bit of information, which left me with a lot of eye strain.  All the other pages had one of my key words, but had absolutely nothing to do with what I was searching for, and very little to do with the park.
I also was a bit puzzled at how their search engine, every now and than would take a key word like trail, and conduct searches for both trail and rail, when rail was not one of my key words, it simply homed in on the word rail in the word trail.  
And thses problems were not related to any one newspaper, it was the same regardless of what newspaper I searched.
So how did the service fair when it came to genealogy?  Even worse, even when I homed in on the exact stare, country and town and the full name of the relative I was searching, once again my searches were broken up into single words with hits all over the state as well as out of state.  I tried a couple of nights, working at least three hours each night and never did find a single relative I was searching for.
Thankfully the program did come with a newspaper obituary search tool, so at least I would get back the $7 trail membership I spent, right?  Wrong, even though I will tell you my best results did come from the newspaper obituary section of the service.  Here is my problem with their newspaper obituaries search tool, what you get is hit or miss.  For instance, Virgil W. rice, I can do a search on him on almost any online site and find information on him, but not on the Newspaper Archive site, I could only find him doing a search for Virgil rice, even though he rarely spelled his name that way.  And strangely this was the case for many of the names I found on the site, the key was to leave out middle names, very odd.
But even worse than this was the fact that you never, never get a copy of an actual newspaper obituary, you just don't.  What you get is a standard form someone at Newspaper Archive filled out with some key information but with a ton of information left out that an actual newspaper obituary would of included.  And every so called newspaper obituary I found said the same thing, "This information was gathered when the person applied for social security."  How odd since the site lists these as obituary's.
And at the bottom of each was a section marked, "Other names that appeared in this obituary," and in every single case there was only one name, the name of the person I did a search for.  
So once again let me be perfectly clear on this, these are not newspaper obituaries, and other than a few pieces of information, the results you get are very disappointing.  
After reading this, if you still are determined to subscribe to this service, keep in mind that there is $49 subscription fee for six months of service.  I strongly suggest you take advantage of the trail subscription, where for just under $7 you get to test drive the site for 7 days.  At the end of 7 days you will have a pretty good feel for the site and if forking over $49 for 6 months service is worth it.

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