Frequently asked questions for genealogists and other researchers
» Where is Sharon, Pa., and what area does The Herald cover?
» What obituaries do you have online?
» How about at least a list of local deaths?
» Is there a local genealogical society?
» Where can I find a certain local news story on your Web site?
» Why do some other newspapers update their sites earlier than yours?
» How can I search your site? / What is NOT posted?
» I sent you a message. Why didn't I get a reply?
» May I e-mail you a press release or photo?
» How can I get a back (print) issue of The Herald?
» May I use The Herald's microfilm and clipping files?
» Gee, I wish I could get a copy of an old page or a photograph to frame
» What government sources might help me in genealogy research?
» What other sources can help my research?
» How can I contact The Herald with other questions?
We receive many e-mail requests for obituary or other news information that we simply don't have or never had. Apparently some page that points to The Herald's Web site implies we are the worldwide repository of all obituaries near and far.
Nope. Sorry. We may have high ambitions, but we're just a modest little daily newspaper in western Pennsylvania. If someone didn't have a connection to our area, it's unlikely we would have published their obituary.
But we do want to help readers and visitors with their research needs in any way we reasonably can. Here is what we are and are not able to do:
Where is Sharon, Pa., and what area does The Herald cover? back to TOP
We are in Mercer County, Pa., on the Ohio border. The county includes the crossroads of Interstates 80 and 79. We are about 75 miles each south of Erie, Pa., north of Pittsburgh, Pa., and southeast of Cleveland, Ohio. We are a day's drive west of Philadelphia and New York City and a long day's drive southeast of Chicago.
Here's a map of where Sharon is and a list of the towns we cover. It's generally Mercer County and 10 or 15 miles beyond its borders.
What obituaries do you have online? back to TOP
We have spotty electronic obit archives no older than 1996, and only a few of those older files are online. Some of these files went to the grave with our ancient computer system. Those that were rescued are in a variety of bizarre computer formats that, well, aren't pretty when it comes to reformating them as html. No ETA on when, if ever, you'll see them online.
Some full obituaries are online from May 2000 through March 2003. Links to what we do have online are on our obituaries page. Recent obituaries are available to subscribers of our print edition and Digital Edition.
A surprising number of researchers have the unrealistic expectation that we should have obituaries and the entire contents of the paper in electronic form, online, and searchable back though the 19th century, when it was produced under gaslight. (Oh, and they want it for free, too.)
How about at least a list of local deaths? back to TOP
No problem. The death record, a front-page list of the latest deaths, has been posted daily along with local news since Aug. 6, 1997. Go to today's or any recent day's page for links to past day's death records
We have complete monthly death records back to October 1995. Most of it is online, linked from our obituaries page.
Is there a local genealogical society? back to TOP
You betcha. The Mercer County Genealogy Society's work includes alphabetized scrapbooks
of obituaries from past decades and comprehensive tombstone listings for Mercer
The genealogy society is by far your best bet if you need a past obituary or any family-heritage research info. Expect to pay a modest fee to cover their trouble.
Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or through through Shenango Valley Community Library, where they meet and house some of their records.
Where can I find a certain local news story on your Web site? back to TOP
We post limited quantities of local news and sports. The full text of local news stories didn't start appearing regularly until around 1999. Occasional major stories or special packages may be online from as early as the site's launch in the spring of 1996.
Generally, we devote our limited resources to posting major stories and packages that are either extremely timely or will have a long shelf life and wide interest (sports scores, playoff stories). Once something is uploaded, it usually will stay accessible on the server roughly indefinitely or until the end of time, whichever comes first.
Most likely, if a particular story is not in an obvious spot on our Web site, it just isn't available, period.
Why do some other newspapers update their sites earlier than yours? back to TOP
The free html site is updated mid-afternoon with that morning's stories. It is offered as is, with content and timing at our discretion.
We do, however, offer guaranteed, timely delivery of our full content to anyone anywhere. This is available through our Digital Edition (online shortly hours before dawn on day of publication); mail subscriptions; and our print edition at newsstands and vending boxes or through convenient delivery to your doorstep. Not only will we deliver it to your door, you'll save about 25 percent off the newsstand price.
To subscribe, contact Circulation at (800) 981-1692 (PA/OH/NY) or (724) 981-6100. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern weekdays.
How can I search your site? / What is NOT posted? back to TOP
The search tool at right (from our friends at FreeFind) is a great way to find content by words within the text. We highly recommend you take a moment to check out the help and advanced search information.
The online staff appreciates readers who value our time and try a search or advanced search first before contacting us.
Misspelling is a common reason searches fail. Our logs show hopeless searches for "planning cimmision", "sharsville", "bank enbesulment" and "obituarys".
If retyping the URL of one of our pages, make sure you don't confuse lowercase "L"s and ones, and letter "o" for zero. Many local stories have "ln" (ell enn) and dates/numbers such as "010214" (zero one zero two one four) in their name.
No matter how hard you search, we do NOT offer these online: births, weddings, anniversaries, engagements, police news, armed forces, dean's lists and on-campus items. Sports coverage that isn't online daily might appear in our weekly chronologies.
All of the above are included in our award-winning print edition (click here for subscription or back-issue info) and in our Digital Edition. The Digital Edition gives subscribers complete pages of the print edition -- with complete stories, photos, ads -- online at the same time the paper version hits the streets. The previous month's issues are online and searchable.
Please do not ask us to e-mail news items to you; we don't have the staff to do custom research.
I sent you a message. Why didn't I get a reply? back to TOP
The online staff prides itself in responding to about 99% of incoming e-mail, usually within a day. (We even acknowledge most wackos as well as irate readers who scream in capital letters.)
Sadly, many detailed responses or answers bounce back because the sender's return address is set wrong or from a closed account. If we can't reach you, we can't help you or explain the cause of your concern. If you don't hear back from us, this may is why.
May I e-mail you a press release or photo? back to TOP
Sorry, no. The address email@example.com, is meant for Website-related matters or general questions. It routes to the webmaster. Sometimes e-mail isn't checked for a day or two, so any urgent communication would lose its timeliness. For network security, we will not accept unsolicited attachments.
We don't have the staff to sort and reroute hundreds of incoming items a day. (We've also found that most unsolicited press releases tend to be for video-store openings in New Jersey or invitations to press conferences in Texas -- all of zero interest to our readers. It's amazing how when the sender has to lick a stamp or dial 10 digits, he suddenly grasps the concept of targeting his message to those who should receive it.)
If you do have something newsworthy that is relevant to our readers or our circulation area, we invite you to send it directly to the newsroom: 52 S. Dock St., Box 51, Sharon, Pa. 16146; fax (724) 981-5116. Entertainment listings for our weekly Diversions column MAY be e-mailed as text to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I get a back (print) issue of The Herald? back to TOP
Our circulation department keeps a small supply of daily papers from the past year and might happen to have a stray copy of an issue a year or so older than that.
May I use The Herald's microfilm and clipping files? back to TOP
Sorry, our news clipping files and microfilm are restricted to staff use only, and we don't have the staff to handle private research requests.
But don't fret. There is a duplicate of our microfilm available to the public at Shenango Valley Community Library, 11 N. Sharpsville Ave., Sharon, Pa. 16146, (724) 981-4360. (We encourage those who find their microfilm valuable to support the library's microfilm acquisition and replacement fund.)
The Herald was founded as a weekly in 1864 (went daily in 1909) and has a pristine record of publishing. But floods and other Acts of God have left some notable gaps in the microfilmed copies. The Herald is missing from 1865-78, and the Telegraph and the News-Telegraph (which merged into us in 1935) have gaps around 1904-09 and 1916-28.
Gee, I wish I could get a copy of an old page or a photograph to frame back to TOP
You can. If the page exists on microfilm and you know the date, The Herald can arrange to sell you a long-lasting, full-size, black-and-white print framed or ready to frame.
For most pages from mid-1998 onward, we can sell you a glossy, full-color reprint of the page, with optional matting and framing. Details about framed reprints are are here
As for photographs, our historical files for virtually non-existant, but we do sell reprints of recently published photographs, generally up to a year after publication. Click here or call (724) 981-6100 or (800) 981-1692, Ext. 242, for details.
All of our content is property of and copyrighted by The Sharon Herald Co. Any reuse, resale, reprinting or distribution other than personal is forbidden without our expressed, prior permission. This includes online content.
What government sources might help me in genealogy research? back to TOP
What other sources can help my research? back to TOP
How can I contact The Herald with other questions? back to TOP
Everything you need to know about reaching us should be on our Herald information page, or you may e-mail us at email@example.com
Back to TOP //
How to reach The Herald // Herald
Obituaries // Herald
Copyright ©1997-2003 The Sharon Herald Co. All rights reserved.
or retransmission in any form is prohibited without our permission.