If your ancestor lived in a small town with a newspaper (trust me, 90% of them did at one point or another), that newspaper may have had a "Local" column which will tell you who came to visit, who got a new job, where they went on vacation, etc. Use that information to figure out what your ancestor did for a living, the names of their children, when they moved from one town to another, etc.
Finally, you never know when your ancestor could pop up in some big stories. I have one person whose family I was looking that everyone thought was boring and staid... and within a week I had discovered dozens of newspaper articles about the family - from epic fights to running for mayor.
- Google Newspaper Archives
- Fulton History - Newspaper Archives Promoted as "Old New York State Historical Newspapers", but I frequently find articles regarding both Canada and the US on this valuable site.
- British Columbia
- Nova Scotia
- Welsh Newspapers On-Line free newspaper archives