Genealogy Search Tips

Historical Newspapers and the
Search for J. D. Salinger

After reading about the death of J. D. Salinger we decided to go to NewspaperArchive and see what we could discover about him by reading articles published in some of America's historic newspapers about his first novel, The Catcher in the Rye which was published in 1951. has a large collection of online newspaper archives and all of the historical newspapers are full-page and fully searchable. To search the collection of historic newspapers we entered salinger and catcher in the rye and we further limited the search to articles published between 1951 and 1952.

Here is what we learned from the following newspapers:

Cedar Rapids Gazette

We learned from a review in the Cedar Rapids Gazette that this was Salinger's first novel and that he had started writing when he was about 15 years old.

Hutchison News-Herald

We learned in the Hutchison News-Herald that The Catcher in the Rye was a midsummer selection of the Book of the Month club in 1951. It appeared that J. D. Salinger was born in about 1920.

Bridgeport Telegram

In a July 15, 1951 article in the Bridgeport Telegram we learned that Jerome David Salinger was living in Westport, Connecticut, had graduated from a military school and attended 3 different colleges but received no degree. From 1942 to 1946 he was in the Army where he was a staff sergeant, participating in five campaigns from D-Day to the end of the war.

Finally we went to and searched for both Jerome Salinger and David Salinger born in 1920 + or - 2 years. We found Salinger in a Public Member Tree and in the 1930 Census when he was living in Manhattan, New York. JD Salinger was born in Manhattan, New York on January 1, 1919 and his parents were Solomon and Marie "Mariam" Jillich Salinger.

Genealogy Search Tip

Find Obituary Information

Google's indexed list of books, magazines, almanacs, directories, legal publications and more contain community histories, biographies, obituaries and other information that can be very useful to genealogists.

Go to Google's website and on the left side click Books (you might need to first click "More" to find Books). Then enter your ancestors' name, city, town or county where he or she died. Add or eliminate search terms based on your initial results.

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