I have spread the word about checking with the information in old newspapers to find the missing tales of your family. Checking periodically to see what new stuff has been digitized, I am never disappointed with my findings. Of course, I don't believe everything that I read, but it sure does give me more data to prove or disprove within my family history research.
I have been very jealous of my husband's family. They have been in the USA since....well, before it became the USA! Consequently, there is always someplace that I have to scour for new, potential, data for his family tree. He doesn't really care, unless I come up with a tidbit that may mean he may come into some money (which doesn't happen, but he can always wish) with his relationships to early citizens of this nation. These people in his ancestry seemed to get involved with some things that deemed important enough to write about, and it ended up in the newspapers.
For instance: I had heard that his great grandfather was a baker. OK, well I knew that he was born in northern Illinois, and found him in the usual census data. But, recently, I was informed of a website that lists libraries that have old newspapers, and some have been digitized and available online...FREE. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11twsadf5ymMfF22gMH8n-NCskIg&ll=39.44459296471636%2C-111.79838228923336&z=3
Here's what I found in an old 1885 edition of the Sterling Standard.
Seems that Henry Reif, my husband's great grandfather used to live in Sterling, but was operating a bakery and confectionery shop in Lena, Illinois. What makes this even neater.....there is no 1890 census to refer to (it burned, you know), so now I know where he was after his previous location in Sterling in 1880. The next step would be to look for advertisements and city directories for Lena, Illinois for that time period. Hopefully, I will have luck with that.
Of course, not everything is online. That is when you start to make contact with local libraries and organizations (historical and genealogical). They may have records and indexes that are only available at their locations.
I will tell you more about what I find in newspapers regarding land records and ownership later. Such cool stuff.