Was Your Ancestor’s Marriage Certificate Filed Late?

Everyone is familiar with the regulations that couples wanting to be married need to register and obtain a marriage certificate. This document permits them to be wed by a justice of the peace, minister or other authorized official.

Pastors Liable to Heavy Fines, Oregonian newspaper article 2 September 1906

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 2 September 1906, page 36

Perhaps less well known is the question: Who returns the signed and completed marriage certificate to the town hall or county registrar?

That was the responsibility of the minister or person performing the wedding.
But – sometimes they never filed the paperwork with the government, or filed it very late.

Enter Last Name

The Oregonian reported on this problem in 1906, reporting that: “In years gone by…many marriage certificates were never returned at all.”

The old news article went on to cite multiple examples of late filing of the documents.

article about Rev. Ghormley being fined for filing marriage certificates late, Oregonian newspaper article 2 September 1906

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 2 September 1906, page 36

For example, the Greenwood-Mitchell marriage certificate wasn’t filed until six years after their marriage. Cases like this can make it difficult for genealogists to locate their ancestors’ marriage certificate.

Genealogy Tip:

When you are searching for a birth, marriage or death certificate, remember: they are often filed in chronological order by the date that they are received in the clerk’s office, not necessarily the date of the event. Be sure to search for several years after you believe the event occurred to make sure you find the certificate. Registrars often received “Delayed Registrations” years after the event occurred.

Related Articles:

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Alaska Archives: 29 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Although Alaska is the largest of the United States, it is the nation’s 4th least populous state. The territory was purchased from Russia on 30 March 1867 for the incredibly low price of only two cents per acre. Alaska became the 49th state when it was admitted into the Union on 3 January 1959.

photo of Denali - Mt. McKinley, Alaska, the highest point in North America

Photo: Denali – Mt. McKinley, Alaska, the highest point in North America. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Alaska, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online AK newspaper archives: 29 titles to help you search your family history in “The Last Frontier,” providing coverage from 1869 to Today. There are more than 1 million articles and records in our online Alaska newspaper archives!

Dig deep into our online archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Alaska ancestors in these AK newspapers. Our Alaska newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Alaska Newspaper Archives (1869 – 1993)

Search Alaska Recent Obituaries (1985 – Current)

illustration: state flag of Alaska

Illustration: state flag of Alaska. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Alaska newspapers in the historical archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The AK newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Anchorage Alaska Dispatch 10/15/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Alaska Spotlight 07/28/1956 – 11/30/1968 Newspaper Archives
Anchorage Arctic Sounder 06/28/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Arctic Warrior, The: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson 06/03/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Bristol Bay Times & Dutch Harbor Fisherman 06/07/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Anchorage Daily News: Web Edition Articles 12/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Anchorage Daily News 10/03/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Anchorage Anchorage Gazette 12/01/1992 – 01/01/1993 Newspaper Archives
Anchorage Anchorage Daily News 12/01/1970 – 12/30/1972 Newspaper Archives
Anchorage Alaska Dispatch News 07/08/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bethel Tundra Drums 11/28/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bethel Delta Discovery 07/15/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cordova Cordova Times 04/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairbanks Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 09/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairbanks Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 11/29/1917 – 03/16/1928 Newspaper Archives
Fort Adams Yukon Press 05/01/1894 – 05/01/1894 Newspaper Archives
Healy Aurora Borealis 12/31/1898 – 03/01/1899 Newspaper Archives
Juneau Daily Record-Miner 02/23/1903 – 05/08/1911 Newspaper Archives
Juneau Juneau Empire 01/02/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Juneau Alaska Mining Record 03/26/1891 – 12/27/1899 Newspaper Archives
Juneau Daily Alaska Dispatch 01/20/1900 – 09/28/1919 Newspaper Archives
Kenai Peninsula Clarion 08/18/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Kodiak Kodiak Daily Mirror 01/10/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Nome Nome Nugget 01/06/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Seward Seward Phoenix LOG 08/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sitka Alaska Times 11/06/1869 – 12/25/1869 Newspaper Archives
Sitka Daily Sitka Sentinel 01/09/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sitka Alaskan 11/07/1885 – 08/02/1893 Newspaper Archives
Wasilla Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman 09/13/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference – all the Alaska newspaper links will be live.

Related Resource:

Ancestor Weddings: Genealogy Tips for Finding the Dress

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary searches old newspapers to find a variety of pictures and articles about our ancestors’ wedding dresses.

Historical newspapers not only give you the names and dates you need to fill in your family tree – they provide your ancestors’ stories, to help you better understand the lives they led and the times they lived in. You can use old newspapers to explore many aspects of your ancestors’ lives. For example, your ancestors’ wedding dresses and other wedding attire are great fun to research in historical newspapers.

GenealogyBank has an entire search category devoted to Marriage Records & Engagement Announcements in Newspapers, many of which describe your ancestors’ wedding garments – but don’t stop there. Look in other parts of the historical newspapers, such as advertisements, fashion pages, photos, illustrations, and the occasional obituary.

wedding announcement for Mae Robinson and Gordon Jackson, Broad Ax newspaper article 8 March 1924

Broad Ax (Chicago, Illinois), 8 March 1924, page 1

Many old newspaper articles and advertisements feature what were then the latest popular wedding fashion styles, such as this 1936 ad, which notes:

Perhaps the most unusual wedding dress we’ve seen this season, is the rich ribbed ottoman dress with a new wide puffed shoulder, at $89.50. For it, we’ve designed the veil garlanded with silver leaves – and silver with white is a new and quite unusual fashion. $30.

ad for wedding gowns, Boston Herald newspaper article 11 March 1936

Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), 11 March 1936, page 3

Dame Fashion

A somewhat forgotten term to use in your newspaper search is the keyword “dame fashion.”

As noted in this fashion column of 1883, bride and bridesmaid dresses were discussed “ad libitum” back then, along with the latest trends and embellishments. For example, this author wrote:

Iridescent beads are used a little in white dresses, but not much, although they are still seen on colored costumes. Amber beads in brown and old gold combinations are much used, but hardly ever on other colors. Where silver brocade is used for wedding dresses, occasionally silver fringe, hardly as heavy as bullion, but partaking of its brilliance, is employed.

article about wedding fashions, Truth newspaper article 11 November 1883

Truth (New York, New York), 11 November 1883, page 2

Missing Wedding Dress Heirlooms

For many brides, tradition dictates wearing a family gown – but if you’re wondering why Great Grandma’s wedding dress didn’t pass through the family, perhaps she was buried in it!

Such was the case with Mrs. Mary Brown of Danville, Kentucky, who passed away in 1907 at the age of 90. For the burial, she was dressed in her wedding dress of 70 years earlier. This was most likely a loving tribute – but from a practical standpoint, one has to wonder if the younger women of the family were relieved they were now able to choose a more modern bridal gown style.

obituary for Mary Brown, Lexington Herald newspaper article 19 August 1907

Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), 19 August 1907, page 2

Wedding Dress Rentals

Another reason why heirloom wedding dresses sometimes don’t exist is that they were often rented.

Notice in 1901 that this Philadelphia merchant ran a prosperous business hiring out wedding dresses to those with limited finances. All sizes and shapes of bridal gowns were available. Three or four brides a day paid fees from $3 to $10 for gowns, or up to $25 for a more elegant “queenly” option, reminiscent of a Parisian design.

Due to the cost, this particular selection went out very little, except to be shown to prospective customers.

article about wedding gown rentals, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 28 July 1901

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 28 July 1901, page 5

Did Grandma Wear White?

An astonishing fact about our ancestors is that not every bride wore white. The same newspaper article reported a virtual rainbow of colors:

The prevailing color of the garments is of course white, but in the world of those who hire wedding dresses, blue and pink weddings are not infrequent, and even yellow and green have been known… He had even a red wedding gown, a bright, startling affair of some kind of soft, fluffy material. Beside the red was a gown of black and white, a very pleasing white silk, and over this a silk mousseline, over which in turn were many yards of black velvet ribbon, with narrow threads of black lace running up and down…

Multiple Wedding Dresses

It’s normal to think that our female ancestors only had one wedding dress – but if one could afford it, attire was commonly procured for each wedding event: from the bridal showers to the ceremony to the honeymoon.

Mme. Nilsson’s engagement to Count de Casa Miranda illustrates the point. At the Registrar’s office this wedding diva planned to wear a pale blue surah dress, embroidered with point d’Angelterre and a bonnet to match:

The wedding dress at the religious ceremony will be a very pale heliotrope peluche, with gauze in front, trimmed with a delicate lilac claire de lune, jet collar, high, trimmed with pearls; tulle bonnet to match, trimmed with pearls and a bunch of tea roses.

wedding announcement for Mme. Nilsson and Count de Casa Miranda, New York Herald newspaper article 9 July 1885

New York Herald (New York, New York), 9 July 1885, page 5

Dating Photographs and Heirlooms

Don’t underestimate the value of a newspaper in dating family treasures.

From early time periods, milliners, merchants, dress makers and tailors advertised goods and services in the papers. For instance, in 1834, splendid white crape robes and lace veils were advertised by this New York merchant.

clothing ad, Evening Post newspaper advertisement 13 October 1834

Evening Post (New York, New York), 13 October 1834, page 2

Bridal dresses from other cultures fascinated our ancestors as they do us today, so even if you can’t find an ancestral photo, look for examples among photos and illustrations.

photo of a Korean bride, Baltimore American newspaper article 20 August 1905

Baltimore American (Baltimore, Maryland), 20 August 1905, page 6

Share Your Family Wedding Photos

Lastly, don’t forget to share your family wedding photos on social media and popular genealogy sites. Include pictures of your ancestors that you find in newspapers, such as Belle Wyatt Willard Roosevelt (1892-1968), the daughter-in-law of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was fortunate to be featured in a historical newspaper article in 1914.

wedding photo of Belle Wyatt Willard Roosevelt, Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper article 26 June 1914

Jackson Citizen Patriot (Jackson, Michigan), 26 June 1914, page 9

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Did Your Ancestor Fight at the Battle of Monmouth?

Did your ancestor fight at the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War?

Painting: “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” by Emanuel Leutze

Painting: “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” by Emanuel Leutze, before 1854. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

My cousin Joel Pratt (1752-1844) did and his obituary records some of his personal recollections of that battle.

obituary for Joel Pratt, Times newspaper article 30 November 1844

Times (Hartford, Connecticut), 30 November 1844, page 1

We learn that in the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Monmouth, “…he carried the colors of his regiment.”

At the battle of Monmouth…he saw Gen. Lafayette …say, with his foreign accent, “Hold up your heads, my lads, we’ll pick at the fine clothes by and by.”

That must have been really cool.
Calling the Brits the “fine clothes” – the men would have loved that; a touch of Mel Gibson or John Wayne. A great line – glad I found it recorded in his obituary.

I wonder who else fought with him at the Battle of Monmouth? Are there more memories of the battle recorded in their obituaries?

Did these soldiers’ letters or diaries from that battle survive? Are these personal writings available and online today? Perhaps some of these old documents even mention my cousin, Joel Pratt.

One way you can find the answers to those questions is by searching the old newspapers by keyword for mention of the Battle of Monmouth.

screenshot of the GenealogyBank search box showing a search for the "Battle of Monmouth"

For example, a quick keyword search in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives for “Battle of Monmouth” generated over 3,300 search results.

screenshot of the search results in GenealogyBank for the search "Battle of Monmouth"

Great – that gives me a lot of relevant historical newspaper articles to go through.

I can sort this list of old newspaper articles chronologically and read about the battle as it happened – or I can read through them by topic. For example, I can look at the 70 obituaries that are cited to see what information is given in each one.

screenshot of GenealogyBank's search results for a search for the "Battle of Monmouth" showing how many obituaries there are

This obituary of Adam Hoffains (1756-1827) was published in the Boston Recorder (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 August 1837, page 135.

His obituary tells us that:

He was in the battle of Monmouth and was one of twelve who survived the battle, of a whole company. He was also at the battle of Bunker Hill.

In Captain Ephraim Whitaker’s (1755-1846) obituary published in the North American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 16 July 1846, page 1, we learn that he was also in the Battle of Monmouth.

The battle of Monmouth was fought on one of the hottest and most sultry days in June (28th). Captain W. bore his full share in the heat, burden and danger of the day; he received a shot through his cap and another through his canteen, spilling the liquor with which it had been supplied in the morning.

Solomon Parsons (1757-1831) was also in the Battle of Monmouth. His obituary published in the Boston Traveler (Boston, Massachusetts), 24 May 1831, page 3, records:

He enlisted at the age of 20, and was at the battle of Saratoga and taking of Burgoyne. He continued in the army till the battle of Monmouth, in June, 1778, when he was discharged on account of the wounds he received on that occasion.

Going through each obituary, you learn about the lives of real men, the real stories of those that fought in the battle with Joel Pratt.

Newspapers are published every day, 365 days a year.
Look and find your ancestors’ stories and the experiences of those who fought with them.

Related Revolutionary War Articles:

How to Research Legal Notices in Newspapers for Genealogy

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena shows how legal notices published in old newspapers are a great genealogy resource, providing a wealth of family history information.

When doing your family history research, have you ever given much thought to those legal notices found at the back of the newspaper? Legal notices in newspapers have an important purpose: they notify the public about government and individual actions so that readers may take action if necessary. The publishing of these public notices dates back to 1789, when Congress “required all bills, orders, resolutions and congressional votes to be published in at least three publicly available newspapers.”*

According to the genealogical text, The Source, legal notices may include: “land sales for payment of taxes, administration in probate, proving of wills, heirship determination and the settlement of estates, pending divorce proceedings, sales of properties of insolvent estates, and more.”**

Have you looked for your ancestor in these public notices published in newspapers? These legal articles can lead you to additional sources stored in courthouse archives, county government offices, and beyond. Let’s look at a few examples.

Probate & Estate Notices to Creditors

One genealogically rich source of information is the Notice to Creditors for estates being probated.

At the very least these probate notices provide the deceased’s name, such as this example found in an Arizona newspaper following the death of Mary J. Griffin.

This legal notice is a good reminder to not make assumptions about female ancestors. We often assume women in earlier times didn’t leave behind wills, but they may have – and if so, legal notice of that will or testament might have been published in the local newspaper. Legal notices are a wonderful source for researching female ancestors.

a legal notice for Mary Griffin, Tucson Citizen newspaper article 26 July 1915


Tucson Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), 26 July 1915, page 5

Legal notices will often include a family member’s name who was administering the estate. This notice to creditors article example from an Idaho newspaper includes the name of the deceased, S. F. Beery, and the name of the executor who was most likely a relative, David Beery.

legal notice for S. F. Beery, Idaho Statesman newspaper article 26 June 1905

Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), 26 June 1905, page 5

Court Actions & Case Files

Notices of court actions in the newspaper include everything from divorces to individual lawsuits, delinquent tax issues, and foreclosures on property. Consider this example from a Minnesota newspaper that not only notifies the defendants about the court action, it mentions the land that is at the heart of the case.

legal notice for Elizabeth Field, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 11 January 1910

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 11 January 1910, page 11

Let’s face it, even our ancestors had money troubles – and that’s nowhere more obvious than in the Notice of Summons for delinquent taxes. This example from a North Carolina newspaper published during the Great Depression is an entire page of delinquent tax notices, and includes the names of married couples as well as individuals.

legal notices, Greensboro Record newspaper article 22 August 1932

Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 22 August 1932, page 12

Divorces can be found in various parts of the newspaper (see Divorce Records in Newspapers: Genealogy Research Tips) including the legal notices section. In this example from an Oregon newspaper, Loretta Gates believed her husband John W. Gates to be dead, so a notice was published in the newspaper giving him the opportunity, if alive, to respond to her divorce petition. It states:

SIR: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a petition has been presented to this court by Loretta Gates for dissolution of your marriage on the ground that you absented yourself for five successive years, last past, without being known to her to be living, and she believes you to be dead, and that pursuant to an order of said court, entered the 22d day of December 1949, a hearing will be had upon said petition at Supreme Court…

legal notice for Loretta Gates, Oregonian newspaper article 12 February 1950

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 12 February 1950, page 39

This notice ran in the newspaper for at least three consecutive Sundays, providing ample time for a living Mr. Gates to read it.

Enter Last Name
Enter Last Name

Bids

Government notices in the newspaper may provide you a better understanding of an event, or even an occupation, that affected your ancestor. In this legal notice from a Mississippi newspaper, the city of Gulfport in 1936 was taking bids from those who wanted to feed prisoners.

legal notice, Daily Herald newspaper article 31 December 1936

Daily Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi), 31 December 1936, page 3

It’s important to remember that newspaper articles may report on activities that impacted your ancestor’s life, but they won’t be specifically named. Search the census and city directories for your ancestor’s job and then turn to the newspaper to learn more about how they may have acquired that job.

And Then This…

I have to admit that when I think of legal notices, I think of a certain type of notice such as those I’ve highlighted above . But you never know what you might find, including this one from a San Quentin prisoner published in a California newspaper.

legal notice for Charles Cupp, San Francisco Chronicle newspaper article 9 January 1927

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California), 9 January 1927, page 73

This pardon notice for Charles S. Cupp surprised me – though I guess it shouldn’t have. His seeking a pardon would have been of interest to the community, and its publishing provided the community – and the victim of his crime – with notification so that they could then respond. Cupp had been convicted of shooting at a police officer.

Did You Know?

GenealogyBank has a special category for legal records, probate records and court case files. Explore legal records now >>

Genealogy Tip: Don’t limit your newspaper search to just one type of article. Make sure to examine all kinds of newspaper articles, including legal notices that mention your ancestor by name or involved activities that impacted their lives.

————————

* “Public notice and the role Oregon newspapers play.” Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Accessed 3 May 2015. http://www.gallatinpublicaffairs.com/services/media/pdf/Public_Notice_Whitepaper.pdf.
** “Newspapers” by Loretto Dennis Szucs, FUGA, and James L. Hansen, FASG in Szucs, Loretto D, and Sandra H. Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.

Related Legal Notices Articles:

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Vermont Archives: 88 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Many Americans may not know this, but Vermont was actually an independent country before becoming part of the United States. Originally territory disputed between New Hampshire and New York, Vermont was not one of the 13 colonies that formed the United States. Instead, the Vermont Republic was founded in 1777 and retained its independence for 14 years. Finally, in 1791, Vermont became the first addition to the young country when it was admitted into the Union as the 14th state. Today Vermont is the 6th smallest state in the nation and the 2nd least populous.

photo of the Vermont State Capitol building in Montpelier

Photo: Vermont State Capitol building in Montpelier. Credit: Jared C. Benedict; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Vermont, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online VT newspaper archives: 88 titles to help you search your family history in “The Green Mountain State,” providing coverage from the 1700s to Today. There are more than 12.5 million articles and records in our online Vermont newspaper archives!

Dig deep into our online archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Vermont ancestors in these VT newspapers. Our Vermont newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Vermont Newspaper Archives (1781 – 2006)

Search Vermont Recent Obituaries (1999 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Vermont

Illustration: state flag of Vermont. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Vermont newspapers in the historical archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The VT newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

Did You Know?

The Rutland Herald is the oldest family-owned newspaper in ongoing operation in the U.S., as well as the second largest in circulation in Vermont. You can explore Rutland Herald news articles and obits from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s through to today in the VT archives.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Barre Times Argus 03/07/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellows Falls Vermont Intelligencer 01/01/1817 – 12/30/1822 Newspaper Archives
Bellows Falls Bellows Falls Gazette 12/01/1838 – 05/30/1851 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Bennington Banner 11/18/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bennington World 10/19/1807 – 03/27/1809 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Vermont Gazette 05/04/1847 – 10/10/1850 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Vermont Gazette 03/17/1847 – 12/27/1848 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Ploughman; or, Republican Federalist 07/27/1801 – 02/01/1802 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Vermont Gazette 12/14/1872 – 12/22/1876 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Tablet of the Times 01/05/1797 – 08/31/1797 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Bennington News-Letter 03/25/1811 – 08/14/1815 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Green-Mountain Farmer 04/17/1809 – 06/10/1816 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Vermont Gazette 06/05/1783 – 02/16/1847 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Epitome of the World 02/10/1807 – 10/12/1807 Newspaper Archives
Bennington Bennington Banner 02/27/1841 – 12/31/1885 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Semi-weekly Eagle 08/10/1847 – 12/09/1852 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Brattleboro Reformer 06/07/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brattleboro Brattleboro Messenger 12/24/1821 – 08/29/1834 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Federal Galaxy 01/06/1797 – 01/17/1803 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Vermont Phoenix 10/24/1834 – 12/29/1882 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Independent Inquirer 09/14/1833 – 09/06/1834 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro American Yeoman 02/04/1817 – 01/27/1818 Newspaper Archives
Brattleboro Reporter 02/21/1803 – 12/05/1820 Newspaper Archives
Burlington Burlington Gazette 09/09/1814 – 01/28/1819 Newspaper Archives
Burlington Burlington Mercury 06/03/1796 – 03/24/1797 Newspaper Archives
Burlington American Repertory 09/28/1821 – 03/25/1823 Newspaper Archives
Burlington Vermont Centinel 03/19/1801 – 07/12/1850 Newspaper Archives
Chelsea Vermont Advocate 01/12/1830 – 07/30/1834 Newspaper Archives
Chester Chester Telegraph 03/29/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chester Green Mountain Palladium 06/22/1807 – 04/12/1808 Newspaper Archives
Colchester Colchester Sun 01/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Danville North Star 01/08/1807 – 01/26/1889 Newspaper Archives
Essex Junction Essex Reporter 12/30/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Manchester Manchester Journal 04/06/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Columbian Patriot 09/01/1813 – 08/23/1815 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury Addison Eagle 08/03/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Christian Messenger 11/06/1816 – 11/23/1819 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury Middlebury Mercury 12/16/1801 – 07/04/1810 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury Middlebury Campus, The: Middlebury College 01/16/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury New Market Press 08/03/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Addison County Independent 12/27/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Christian Herald 09/25/1816 – 10/30/1816 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury Green Mountain Outlook 08/05/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Vermont Mirror 09/30/1812 – 09/18/1816 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury Valley Voice 02/28/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middlebury Religious Reporter 04/08/1820 – 09/30/1820 Newspaper Archives
Middlebury National Standard 08/30/1815 – 12/26/1820 Newspaper Archives
Milton Milton Independent 10/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Montpelier Argus and Patriot 07/09/1863 – 12/30/1908 Newspaper Archives
Montpelier State Journal 10/25/1832 – 10/25/1832 Newspaper Archives
Montpelier Vermont Precursor 11/22/1806 – 11/13/1807 Newspaper Archives
Montpelier Freemen’s Press 08/25/1809 – 08/27/1812 Newspaper Archives
Montpelier Watchman 11/20/1807 – 12/31/1873 Newspaper Archives
Newport Newport Daily Express 07/24/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Northfield Northfield News 09/25/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Peacham Green Mountain Patriot 02/23/1798 – 01/27/1810 Newspaper Archives
Putney Argus 03/16/1797 – 02/26/1799 Newspaper Archives
Randolph Weekly Wanderer 01/24/1801 – 04/06/1810 Newspaper Archives
Royalton Vermont Advocate and White River Advertiser 11/21/1827 – 03/11/1829 Newspaper Archives
Rutland Rutland Herald 12/08/1794 – 12/29/1818 Newspaper Archives
Rutland Herald of Vermont 06/25/1792 – 09/10/1792 Newspaper Archives
Rutland Rutland Herald 10/01/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Rutland Farmers’ Library 04/01/1793 – 11/29/1794 Newspaper Archives
Rutland Vermont Mercury 03/29/1802 – 03/12/1804 Newspaper Archives
Rutland Vermont Courier 07/25/1808 – 05/30/1810 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans Vermont State Paper 06/23/1835 – 04/26/1836 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans St. Albans Messenger 12/04/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Albans St. Albans Messenger 01/25/1838 – 10/12/1933 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans St. Albans Daily Messenger 04/24/1861 – 04/29/2006 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans Franklin County Advertiser 07/26/1810 – 10/29/1810 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans St. Albans Adviser 03/10/1808 – 01/28/1809 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans St. Albans Advertiser 12/19/1873 – 07/05/1878 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans Champlain Reporter 05/11/1809 – 06/28/1810 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans American Repertory 05/15/1823 – 12/26/1833 Newspaper Archives
St. Albans St. Albans Transcript 03/22/1873 – 07/30/1874 Newspaper Archives
St. Johnsbury Caledonian-Record 01/05/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Johnsbury St. Johnsbury Republican 08/07/1907 – 08/07/1907 Newspaper Archives
St. Johnsbury Caledonian-Record 09/03/1918 – 12/31/1926 Newspaper Archives
St. Johnsbury Caledonian 08/08/1837 – 03/13/1918 Newspaper Archives
Vergennes Vergennes Gazette and Vermont and New-York Advertiser 08/30/1798 – 10/08/1801 Newspaper Archives
Westminster Vermont Gazette or Green-Mountain Post-Boy 04/02/1781 – 09/27/1781 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Morning Ray, or, Impartial Oracle 11/15/1791 – 09/25/1792 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Vermont Republican 01/02/1809 – 10/09/1834 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Spooner’s Vermont Journal 08/07/1783 – 11/04/1826 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Washingtonian 07/23/1810 – 01/22/1816 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Post-Boy 01/01/1805 – 03/31/1807 Newspaper Archives
Windsor Vermont Journal 06/20/1844 – 10/20/1877 Newspaper Archives
Woodstock Woodstock Observer 01/11/1820 – 06/05/1832 Newspaper Archives

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference—all the Vermont newspaper links will be live.

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The Evertons’ Genealogy Workshop 50 Years Ago Hooked Me

It was 50 years ago this week – 25 July 1965 to be specific – that George and Ellen (Nielsen) Everton conducted their genealogy workshop in the lower-level auditorium of the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut.

photo of George and Ellen (Nielsen) Everton

Photo: George and Ellen (Nielsen) Everton. Credit: FamilySearch.org – KWZM-YNM George Baugh Everton, Sr. Memories Page

They were road warriors who routinely conducted classes and day-long genealogical workshops, teaching the basics of genealogy across the country. Their firm – Everton Publishers was founded in 1947 –was active in publishing the long-running Genealogical Helper magazine, how-to books, charts, forms and other support materials for family historians.

The Evertons were terrific – funny, upbeat and personable – as they taught the basics of genealogy research. I had been working on my family history for several years, and this genealogy workshop was a game-changer for me.

I was working at the Ferguson Library then, where I was “apprenticed” to Grace Hope Walmsley (1885-1971), the long-serving genealogy reference librarian there.

article about librarian Grace Hope Walmsley retiring, Stamford Advocate newspaper article 28 February 1968

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, Connecticut), 28 February 1968, page 14

Up to that point I had kept my family tree and genealogy notes on the familiar yellow pads of paper, which I kept in a folder in my desk.

Miss Walmsley was a skilled genealogist and teacher. Working with her got me started in genealogy. The Ferguson Library’s Genealogy & Local History Room was always busy – and I learned from her about the books, documents and resources that were needed to document a family history.

Enter Last Name

During a break in the Everton’s genealogy workshop in 1965, they announced that they were giving away door prizes to the youngest and the oldest person attending the seminar.

As one of the hosts of the family history event, I was standing along the side of the auditorium. George Everton said: “The winner of the door prize for the youngest person in the room is easy – it’s him” – pointing in my direction.

I turned around to see whom he was pointing at – and realized he meant me! Ha.

I went up to the front and he gave me a 12-generation family tree chart – which I started filling out and have never looked back.
I was hooked.

I had been getting my genealogy skills from on-the-job training – but now the Evertons opened up more techniques, tools and a sense of what was possible. Their wonderful genealogy workshop was invaluable to me.

Take the time to be trained in genealogy.
There are online classes and webinars available 24/7 on the Internet.

Watch and learn at sites like:

Both of these sites have hundreds of live and taped classes on a wide range of topics – from Hungarian research to the core basics in Genealogy Boot Camp. Also, watch GenealogyBank’s genealogy tutorial webinars on Youtube and the Learning Center.

Check with your local genealogical society and see when their next meeting or event will be. Getting together with other genealogists is an easy way to learn new approaches and improve your research skills.

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Hit a Brick Wall? 4 Genealogy Tips to Break Through

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena provides four tips to help solve a problem every genealogist runs into: the dreaded “brick wall,” when you don’t know where to turn or what to do to find information on an elusive ancestor.

Do you ever find yourself frustrated by your genealogy research? Maybe you feel like you’ve looked everywhere and will never find that missing ancestor. Family history research is a careful process and it takes a lot longer than we would often like. Genealogical records are incomplete, transcriptions have errors, not everything is found online, and your ancestor had no control over how others spelled or misspelled their name.

photo of a brick wall in English cross bon pattern

Photo: brick wall in English cross bon pattern. Credit: Oula Lehtinen; Wikimedia Commons.

So yes, you will hit that genealogy brick wall, multiple times. How can you get over that persistent obstacle?

1) Take a Genealogy Research Break

You may be scratching your head and wondering why I’m suggesting that you take a break from your family history research before trying to break through your brick wall. It’s really very simple. We all benefit from stepping away from a problem for a time, whether momentarily or for a longer stretch. Putting your genealogy research away allows you time to ponder, as well as learn about new resources and methodologies.

How do you make the most out of your research break? Take some time to enhance your genealogy research skills by reading books that teach methodology or expose you to record sets you’ve never used. Some of my favorite genealogy books are The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe, The Genealogists’ Google Toolbox and The Family Tree Problem Solver.

Also during your research break, take advantage of webinars and other genealogy learning opportunities. Explore your local library or a nearby archival collection. By exploring different library and archival catalogs you can learn more about what family history resources exist for the place and time period you are researching.

To get started, conduct some searches on the FamilySearch catalog. Search on the name of the place you are researching, and continue your hunt by conducting a keyword search – for example, utilizing words that describe an ancestor’s religion or occupation.

2) Strategize Your Next Research Step

Where do you look for ancestral records now? What do you do if you can’t find an ancestor in records where you think they should be, like a census record? What do you do then?

Take some time to plan out your next genealogy research steps. One way to do this is to put together a Research Plan. A Genealogy Research Plan allows you to clarify what you are looking for, what you currently know, and where you go from there. To learn more about creating a research plan, see the article Think Like a Detective – Developing a Genealogy Research Plan by Association of Professional Genealogists president Kimberly Powell.

One question I get asked in regards to my genealogy research is: “How did you find that?” There’s no magical answer except that I use some basic tried and true research techniques, such as searching on different variations of an ancestor’s name (see Name Research Tip: Search Variations of Family First & Last Names). In addition to standard genealogy record sets, I also use resources like digitized books (see Top Genealogy Websites, Pt. 2: Google Books & Internet Archive).

One of my favorite genealogy tools is to create a timeline for the ancestor’s life I’m researching, and then populate that timeline with dates, events, comments and sources. By creating that timeline, I can keep track of my research and see what gaps need to be filled. It also helps me to focus on what family history resources I may be missing (see Genealogy Timelines: Helpful Research Tools).

Search 1:

Enter Last Name

Search 2:

3) Try Something New

What resources do you use for your research? Instead of doing the same old thing, try using your favorite websites in a different way. For example, GenealogyBank is a great resource for newspapers – but did you know the site offers historical books and documents as well?

Now’s the time to go beyond just searching the same old way and instead try searching differently or utilizing a new collection. You can get some new ideas by checking out the GenealogyBank Learning Center.

Once you’ve explored a new way to use your favorite websites, start searching for genealogy websites you’ve never used before. Need some ideas? You can find website links specific to a topic or a place by checking out Cyndi’s List or Linkpendium. Explore online catalogs by searching on WorldCat or ArchiveGrid, or the catalog for the state archive or library you are researching.

4) Get Help from Professionals, Family & More

Ask a research professional (professional genealogist, reference librarian or archivist) for some assistance searching an online catalog or looking for new resources. There are so many opportunities to ask questions and get assistance with your genealogy searches; one of my favorite ways is to use the “Ask a Librarian” feature found on many library websites. This allows me to email or use a chat room to ask a question about a resource or collection.

In addition, GenealogyBank offers a toll-free phone number for free help from a Family History Consultant. Call 1-866-641-3297 (Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET) for help. Also, try looking for more strategies to break through genealogy brick walls in GenealogyBank’s Genealogist Q&A and brick wall blog articles.

Even problem-solving with a non-genealogist friend or relative can be useful. The non-genealogists around us will approach the problem from a different angle since they do not have preconceived notions of where to find information. Talk about your family history research problem with the non-genealogists around you and you may get a few new ideas.

How are you going to get over your genealogy brick wall? We all come to a point where we feel “stuck.” The key is to take a break, regroup, and plan out your future genealogy research. Genealogy is a pursuit that involves continuing education, so take some time to learn something new every day – it will benefit your research and perhaps even your stress level!

How have you overcome your genealogy brick walls? Share your brick wall experiences with us in the comments section.

Related “Brick Wall” Articles:

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Our Ancestors’ Age-Old Sayings from 100 Years Ago, Part II

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary presents some of the enlightening and entertaining sayings she found from 100 years ago while browsing through newspapers from the year 1915.

The allure of genealogy makes genealogists curious – or perhaps it is the desire to return to simpler days that keeps us avidly researching our family trees!

Whatever the reason, family historians love to read historical news accounts of the past – and one of the most enjoyable discoveries is reading the old sayings and quotes of our ancestors.

ancestor's saying: "The sweet music that children make in a home has nothing to do with piano lessons."

What were our ancestors reading about and saying 100 years ago? To find out, I explored the year 1915 in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. What I found were hundreds of wonderful old sayings and good time-tested advice in the newspapers read by our ancestors.

Some of these old sayings were offered in jest. Some are inappropriate by today’s standards, but others we truly should revive. The following are all from 1915, a mere 100 years ago! (Earlier this month we posted Part I of this series: see Our Ancestors’ Age-Old Sayings from 100 Years Ago, Part I.)

Enter Last Name

Good Advice

  • It’s so much easier to pay compliments than bills. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • Let’s not attempt to light our paths through life by burning the candle at both ends. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 14 October 1915, page 23
  • Once a coward, always a liar. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • One way to sidetrack bad luck is to be prepared for it. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 2 January 1915, page 6
  • Opinions and visits should not be forced upon people. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6
  • Politeness is one luxury that all may indulge in. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 13 March 1915, page 8
  • Worry is a bad bedfellow. Kick it out. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 28 March 1915, page 27

Keen Observations

  • Poetry is the pastry of literature; prose the corn bread and bacon. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4
  • Procrastination is the thief of a good time. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4
  • Revenge is a boomerang that often returns to the borrower and puts him in the hospital. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 9
  • Silence may be golden or it may be an admission of guilt. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 19 February 1915, page 6
  • The chronic kicker is always looking for something to boot. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4
  • The world cannot come to an end because it is round. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 20 March 1915, page 6
  • There are times when even the parson imagines there is no earthly hope for the choir. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 13 May 1915, page 6
  • Trying to dodge work tires more men than hard labor. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 23 March 1915, page 11

ancestor's saying: "Trying to dodge work tires more men than hard labor."

  • There comes a time in the life of every man when he feels justified in kicking himself. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 28 January 1915, page 6
  • Weak solutions may be all right in chemistry, but they don’t go in politics. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • When men grow suddenly good it’s dollars to doughnuts they are thinking of running for office. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 March 1915, page 14
  • Words of wisdom are few, but there are many echoes. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • You have a right to express your opinion of the weather, but what’s the use? –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 6 March 1915, page 10
  • You may lead the landlord to your house, but you can’t always make him repair it. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 March 1915, page 14
  • Your neighbors have a lot of nerve to imagine that they are as good as you are. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12

Genealogical Musings

  • People boast of their ancestors only after the world has forgotten their records. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 19 February 1915, page 6
  • Usually when people say nice things about a man he is too dead to appreciate them. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 11 August 1915, page 5

Gossiping Hurts

  • Gossips believe all they hear, and what they merely think they often take for granted. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 14 October 1915, page 23
  • If a woman chases her children out of the room when another woman calls, there is gossip in the air. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 27 February 1915, page 8
  • A good deal of conversation should be canned and the can thrown away. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67

Hankering for Happiness

  • Our idea of an unhappy man is a proud person with last year’s automobile. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 22 April 1915, page 6
  • Self-made men don’t always make themselves agreeable. –Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 6 August 1915, page 4
  • Were it not for clouds, people would be unable to appreciate sunshine. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4

ancestor's saying: "Were it not for clouds, people would be unable to appreciate sunshine."

  • Self-pity is what many people relish most. They delight to revel in imaginary grievances and to roll their wounded sensibilities about in a large ball. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 20 March 1915, page 6
  • Some people are never happy unless they are in a position to make others miserable. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • Somehow intellect doesn’t seem to have much to do with happiness. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4

On Love, Courtship & Marriage

  • After a young man has called on a girl at least three nights in one week she imagines there is an odor of orange blossoms in the air. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 18 March 1915, page 10
  • Almost any young man will do anything a pretty sister asks – that is, if she happens to be some other fellow’s sister. –Rockford Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 11 February 1915, page 2
  • Every woman is a conundrum that keeps some men guessing. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • Fewer marriages would be failures if love were blind only in one eye. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 March 1915, page 14
  • If love were contagious girls would work overtime trying to catch it. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 18 March 1915, page 10
  • It’s up to the lovesick youth to take his from a spoon. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • Look not for peace in family jars. –Rockford Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 11 February 1915, page 2
  • The early maid catches the bridal train. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 2 January 1915, page 6
  • Women are so tender-hearted they will not even deliberately step on a mouse. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 31 January 1915, page 2

Money Matters

  • It’s a wise man to pick a fool whose money he can spend. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 13 December 1915, page 1
  • Poverty has its good points. A poor man never has the gout. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 19 February 1915, page 6
  • Poverty may pinch an honest man, but it never lands him in jail. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 7 January 1915, page 16
  • When a man offers you something for nothing, you will save money by going out of your way to avoid accepting it. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12

ancestor's saying: "When a man offers you something for nothing, you will save money by going out of your way to avoid accepting it."

  • The man who tells others how to make a fortune in a short time is seldom able to show a bank balance of more than three figures. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 3 March 1915, page 10
  • Those who offer bargains get rich quicker than those who seek them. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • What the average woman thinks she would do if she had plenty of money is nothing in comparison to what she does do because she hasn’t got it. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 2 January 1915, page 6

Parental Insight

  • Of course it is all right to establish nurseries in the movie theaters. It is hard on a baby to stay at home by itself. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 22 April 1915, page 6
  • The sweet music that children make in a home has nothing to do with piano lessons. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 21 September 1915, page 4
  • The trouble with too many children is that the education of their parents has been neglected. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 13 December 1915, page 1

If you want to search for more ancestor sayings in old newspapers, try some of these keywords – and don’t forget to tell us in the comments section about some of the gems you find.

  • Gathered Jests
  • Good Advice
  • Pellets of Thoughts
  • Pointed Paragraphs
  • Tips from Texas
  • Waifs of Wisdom
  • Week’s Wit

Related Sayings Articles:

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Will You Mention Your Ancestors in Your Obituary?

Have you noticed how many obituaries include details about the ancestors of the deceased?

George Green’s obituary summarizes his life, compactly detailing his accomplished life in a paragraph or two – and prominently, we learn that he “had deep roots in Michigan.”

According to his obituary:

He was officially recognized as a direct descendant of a Michigan Sesquicentennial Pioneer, William Weaver, who came by ox car in 1835 from Hartland, Niagara County in upstate New York with wife, Mary Earl Willets and settled in what became Somerset two years prior to official statehood.

These are terrific genealogical details.

George Green’s obituary is a good example of a well written, informative genealogical biographical sketch.

obituary for George Green, Detroit News newspaper article 19 July 2015

Detroit News (Detroit, Michigan), 19 July 2015

Esther Mary (Blair) Crane’s obituary tells us in the opening sentences that she was a descendant of John Alden of Mayflower fame.

obituary for Esther Crane, Commercial Appeal newspaper article 18 July 2015

Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), 18 July 2015

Esther Crane – I didn’t know her, but right away I know that she was my cousin because of her link to John Alden – and I want to know more about my newly discovered deceased relative. I want to make sure that she is included in our family tree and that her story is remembered and told.

Enter Last Name

I truly appreciate it when these genealogical details are included in an obituary, making it easier for me to trace the members in our family tree.

I can quickly see that Detroit native George Green had roots in Niagara County, New York, and that Esther was my cousin.

Don’t you wish that every one of your relatives’ obituaries gave this many genealogical details?

What does this say about your obituary?
What are your plans?
Do you want to have the details of your heritage included in your obituary?

Tell us what you’re thinking of including in your obituary.

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