GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

GenealogyBank adds and expands 25 newspapers in 17 states.

AK. Juneau.
Daily Record-Miner
1 issue. 10/8/1903

CO. Colorado Springs
Gazette-Telegraph. 12 issues. 5/24/1903 to 3/11/1920

CT. Middletown
Constitution. 37 issues. 1878-01-01 to 1878-12-03

CT. New London
New London Gazette. 146 issues. 1828-01-07 to 1835-12-30

KY. Louisville
Western Courier*. 148issues 1813-11-16 to 1816-09-26

LA. New Orleans
Times Picayune. 246 issues. 1861-05-15 to 1894-09-04

MD. Baltimore
Baltimore American. 12 issues. 6/27/1905 to 8/12/1911
MD. Baltimore
Federal Republican. 232 issues. 1811-03-19 to 1812-06-18

NC. Henderson
Daily Dispatch. 4/10/2002 to Present

NE. Nebraska City
Daily Nebraska Press. 2 issues. 1875-04-12 to 1875-08-23

NJ. Cranford
Chranford Chronicle. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Somerville

Chronicle. 6/11/2005 to 3/3/2007
NJ. Somerville
Reporter. 6/9/2005 to Present

NJ. Summit
Independent Press. 8/2/2006 to Present
NJ. Trenton
Trenton State Gazette. 303 issues. 1849-01-01 to 1849-12-31

NY. New York
New York Herald. 206 issues. 1874-04-25 to 1883-12-17

OH. Cincinnati
Cincinnati Volksfreund*. 813 issues. 1863-02-18 to 12/28/1904

OH. Cleveland
Plain-Dealer. 307 issues. 1/15/1914 to 9/27/1922

OR. Portland
Oregonian. 1920 issues. 1867-04-22 to 3/10/1907

PA. Philadelphia
Aurora General Advertiser. 12 issues. 1797-03-01 to 1797-10-18

RI. Pawtucket
Pawtucket Times. 1 issue. 3/18/1920

SC. Charleston
City Gazette. 512 issues. 1823-01-01 to 1825-12-31

SD. Pierre
Capital Journal. 12/11/2007 to Present

UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Telegram. 1 issue. 3/28/1919
UT. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Tribune. 1 issue. 1893-03-02

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Jamaican historical documents being rescued

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme reported this week that it has completed its Inventory of Archival Holdings in Jamaica – zeroing in on the records at greatest risk.

The report concentrated on manuscript genealogical resources most at risk, “specifically in the National Library of Jamaica and the Roman Catholic Chancery, as well as in the Elsa Goveia Reading Room at the University of the West Indies at Mona. Also targeted are the Jamaica Archives located in Spanish Town.

The physical condition of documents ranges from very poor to fair, with many documents crumbling and in danger of disappearing. The most urgent attention should be directed at the Chancery, which does not have a preservation department and is not a formal archive. There is concern within the Chancery at the decaying state of the documents and this initiative to digitize documents is welcomed.”

"I sank the Bismarck"

The London Daily Telegraph (9 June 2009) is reporting that it was John Moffat, an RAF pilot, who dropped the torpedo that led to the sinking of the Bismarck on May 28, 1941.

(Click here to read the entire article Dallas Morning News 31 May 1941).

The sinking of the Bismarck is a powerful story. The US was not in the war yet – but the headlines of the war in Europe and Asia had gripped the country for years. Pearl Harbor would not be attacked for another 7 months.

(Dallas Morning News 8 Dec 1961).

Songs were sung about that day.

Whether you are researching your ancestor’s in World War II or the Revolutionary War you will depend on GenealogyBank to get the job done.

Over 3,800 newspapers, all 50 States, 1690-Today
Join with us today!

Thank you to History News Network for alerting me to this story.

GenealogyBank.com adds 14 newspapers from states – Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina

GenealogyBank.com adds 14 newspapers from 5 states – Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina

Daily World, The (Helena, West Helena, AR)
Obituaries: 06/26/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 05/27/2008 – Current

Hope Star (Hope, AR)

Obituaries: 10/20/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 11/18/2008 – Current

Apache Junction-Gold Canyon Independent (Apache Junction, AZ)
Obituaries: 07/01/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 11/13/2007 – Current

East Mesa Independent (Apache Junction, AZ)
Obituaries: 01/01/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 11/13/2007 – Current
Notes: No Data: 5/6/2008-12/30/2008

North Scottsdale Independent (Scottsdale, AZ)
Obituaries: 01/16/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 02/27/2008 – Current

Peoria Independent (Peoria, AZ)
Obituaries: 01/16/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 01/16/2008 – Current

Queen Creek Independent (Queen Creek, AZ)
Obituaries: 08/27/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 01/30/2008 – Current
Notes: No Data: 5/7/2008-12/31/2008

Sun City West Independent (Sun City West, AZ)
Obituaries: 04/29/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 01/02/2008 – Current

Sun City-Youngtown Independent (Sun City-Youngtown, AZ)
Obituaries: 07/16/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 01/02/2008 – Current

Surprise Independent (Surprise, AZ)
Obituaries: 04/16/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 01/02/2008 – Current

Town of Paradise Valley Independent (Paradise Valley, AZ)
Obituaries: 01/16/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 01/28/2009 – Current

La Junta Tribune-Democrat (La Junta, CO)
Obituaries: 04/17/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 03/27/2008 – Current

Washington Times-Herald, The (Washington, IN)
Obituaries: 11/23/2007 – Current
Death Notices: 11/05/2007 – Current

Salisbury Post (Salisbury, Spencer, NC)
Obituaries: 12/01/1998 – Current:
.

Portuguese-American newspaper going online

Diario de Noticias 1919-1973 is going online at University of Massachusetts Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives.

UMASS Dartmouth is putting the backfile of the Portuguese-American newspaper Diario de Noticias 1919-1973 free online.

University officials also announced that they have set September 18 as the official grand opening of the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, which the University is planning to make the most comprehensive and accessible U.S. collection of the information related to the Portuguese-American experience.

The digitization project, completed by the Claire T. Carney Library’s Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives in collaboration with the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, will make the 84,010 pages from 16,641 issues of the Diario de Noticias freely accessible to the world.

Click here to search this newspaper.

“By digitizing these documents, we are now able to share this unique resource with the rest of the world,” UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. “Thanks the financial support of the Azorean government, Luis Pedroso, and Elisia Saab — students, faculty and citizens from the SouthCoast to all corners of the globe, will have a major collection of Portuguese-American history at their fingertips. This is an exciting step in our development as the premier U.S. center of teaching and research related to the Portuguese-American experience which has shaped so much of our local and global history.”

Chancellor MacCormack also announced that the University will officially open the new archives facility with a major celebration on September 18.

Diario de Noticias was the most influential Portuguese-American newspaper of its era and the only Portuguese-American daily newspaper for much of that time. The newspaper was a critical independent voice during the dictatorship of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (1928 to 1968).

The Diario de Noticias, widely known at the time as the “Portuguese Daily News,” began as Alvorada Diária (Daily Awakening) in 1919, when Guilherme Luiz purchased A Alvorada, a weekly Portuguese-language newspaper published in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1919 it became a daily, and in 1927 the name was changed to Diário de Notícias.

João R. Rocha purchased half ownership in 1940, and then bought out the paper, becoming publisher and sole owner in 1943. The paper enjoyed great success and a circulation of up to 10,000 that spanned the entire region, and was also read across the country, where the Portuguese had settled since the nineteenth century, and even in Portugal. It ceased publication when Rocha retired in 1973.

Its local successors are the Portuguese Times and O Jornal. “The Diario de Noticias is an invaluable resource for the study of the Portuguese-American daily experience in the region and beyond,” said Dr. Frank Sousa, director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture.

“In the advertisements and photographs we can glimpse the clothes people wore and the goods they purchased and for how much. There is news from the community not available in other newspapers, with reporting on local clubs, religious organizations, societies, businesses and politics. Weddings, births, and deaths are reported, providing a valuable source for social historians and genealogists.

“The goal of the ongoing digitization project is to provide the most comprehensive single source of Portuguese language newspapers published in the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present. The project is funded by the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Elisia Saab, co-founder of Advanced Polymers, Inc.; and Luis Pedroso, president of Accutronics, Inc.

This newspaper is not on GenealogyBank.com
.

GenealogyBank.com adding more content for 16 states

GenealogyBank.com is adding 8,122 back issues — newspapers from 16 states – filling in gaps; 12 new titles.

This new content will go live on GenealogyBank.com this week.

New titles are indicated by an asterisk *

Berkeley, CA. Grito. 1 Issue. 6/1/1970
Los Angeles, CA. Amigo del Pueblo* 1 Issue. 1861-11-30
Los Angeles, CA. Clamor Publico. 5 Issues. 1856-01-12 to 1857-02-14
Los Angeles, CA. Eco Mejicano* 1 Issue. 1885-10-29
Los Angeles, CA. Heraldo de Mexico. 1 Issue. 11/17/1927
Oakland, CA. Mundo. 99 Issues. 1/7/1971 to 4/2/1975
Sacramento, CA. Post (El Informador)* 2 Issues. 11/4/1967 to 12/2/1967
San Francisco, CA. Hispano America. 7 Issues. 11/22/1919 to 11/27/1920
San Francisco, CA. Nueva Mission* 22 Issues. 11/27/1967 to 10/1/1969
Santa Barbara, CA. Gaceta. 2 Issues. 1879-11-01 to 1881-06-25

Colorado Springs, CO. Gazette-Telegraph. 3 Issues. 11/23/1913 to 6/28/1915

Chicago, IL. Latin Times. 1 Issue. 4/23/1960
Chicago, IL. Vida Latina. 1 Issue. 6/21/1961

New Orleans, LA. Times Picayune. 277 Issues. 1861-12-10 to 1897-02-01
New Orleans, LA. Times Picayune. 364 Issues. 12/20/1902 to 8/20/1920

Boston, MA. Boston Journal. 458 Issues. 1874-01-01 to 1889-12-31
Boston, MA. Liberator. 2 Issues. 1897-03-21 to 1897-04-04

Baltimore, MD. Baltimore American. 4 Issues. 9/9/1905 to 1/7/1912

Portland, ME. Gazette of Maine. 104 Issues. 1825-01-01 to 1826-12-26

Grand Rapids, MI. Grand Rapids Press. 869 Issues. 1893-01-11 to 12/26/1922

Trenton, NJ. Trenton Evening Times. 1,509 Issues. 1883-09-15 to 12/26/1922

Las Cruces, NM. Flor del Valle. 14 Issues. 1894-02-03 to 1894-10-11
Las Cruces, NM. Gaceta Popular. 1 Issue. 12/1/1919
Las Cruces, NM. Tiempo. 81 Issues. 9/20/1902 to 11/13/1909
Las Vegas, NM. Chronicle* 1 Issue. 1886-10-19
Las Vegas, NM. Las Vegas Daily Optic. 1 Issue. 1893-05-04
Las Vegas, NM. Revista Catolica. 3 Issues. 1888-10-14 to 1893-02-26
Maxwell, NM. Maxwell Mail* 53 Issues. 1/7/1915 to 12/30/1915
San Marcial, NM. San Marcial Bee. 1 Issue. 1893-04-29
Santa Fe, NM. New Mexican Mining News* 1 Issue. 1881-12-21
Wagon Mound, NM. Combate. 4 Issues. 10/31/1914 to 11/21/1914

Albany, NY. Albany Evening Journal. 125 Issues. 1854-04-11 to 1874-06-29
New York, NY. Cuba Libre. 3 Issues. 1895-07-27 to 1895-09-12
New York, NY. Estrella de Cuba* 9 Issues. 1870-04-16 to 1870-06-29
New York, NY. Grafico. 1 Issue. 5/21/1917
New York, NY. Hodge’s Banknote Reporter* 65 Issues. 1861-01-01 to 1863-01-15
New York, NY. Iberica. 4 Issues. 1/15/1956 to 12/15/1964
New York, NY. New York Herald. 723 Issues. 1867-05-24 to 1870-12-24
New York. NY. New Yorker Volkszeitung* 2, 561. Issues. 1889-01-06 to 1898-12-31
New York, NY. Nueva Democracia. 3 Issues. 1/1/1922 to 12/25/1933
New York, NY. Papagayo. 1 Issue. 1855-03-16

Cincinnati, OH. Cincinnati Commercial Tribune. 419 Issues. 1879-09-01 to 1887-04-30

Philadelphia. PA. Public Ledger. 270 Issues. 1859-01-01 to 1869-11-26

Brownsville, TX. Cronista del Valle. 1 Issue. 10/28/1926
Brownsville, TX. Heraldo de Brownsville. 2 Issues. 9/29/1937 to 2/25/1940
Corpus Christi, TX. Weekly Labor Herald. 1 Issue. 6/19/1942
El Paso, TX. Clarin del Norte. 3 Issues. 11/17/1906 to 2/9/1907
El Paso, TX. Continental. 2 Issues. 3/4/1960 to 3/5/1960
El Paso, TX. El Paso Daily News* 6 Issues. 2/11/1901 to 7/3/1902
Kingsville, TX. Eco. 1 Issue. 12/1/1934
Laredo, TX. Cronica. 1 Issue. 12/28/1911
San Antonio, TX. Prensa. 2 Issues. 3/19/1932 to 3/21/1932
San Antonio, TX. Prensa. 8 Issues. 8/13/1925 to 8/8/1948
San Antonio, TX. Regidor. 13 Issues. 11/24/1910 to 10/31/1912
San Antonio, TX. Revista Mexicana. 1 Issue. 7/13/1919

Salt Lake City, UT. Salt Lake Telegram. 1 Issue. 2/23/1904

Milwaukee, WI. Milwaukee’r Socialist* 3 Issues. 1876-09-22 to 1877-09-21

Genealogist Obituaries – genealogists in 26 states pass away

Genealogists in 26 States pass away. AL, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MI, MO, NC, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI

Antram, Jeanne. (1930-2009)
Roswell Daily Record (NM) – May 12, 2009

Becker, Julia Drane. (1920-2009)
Tulare Advance-Register (CA) – May 9, 2009

Brown, Dale Sturtz. (1936-2009)
Times Argus (Montpelier-Barre, VT) – May 11, 2009

Carrington, Hiram D., Jr. (1930-2009)
Voices (Woodbury, CT) – May 12, 2009

Cherney, Edna D. (Pieper). (1923-2009)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) – May 12, 2009

Clark, Elaine Hincks. (1936-2009)
Hartford Courant (CT) – May 8, 2009

Crane, Ora Mae. (1923-2009)
Modesto Bee (CA) – May 8, 2009

Dimick, Doris Lee Banks. (1949-2009)
Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT) – May 7, 2009

Culberson, John L. (1927-2009)
Daily Herald (Columbia, TN) – May 7, 2009

Dodson, Burt, Jr. (1931-2009)
Charlotte Observer (NC) – May 10, 2009

Doty-Smith, Frances Earline. (1917-2009)
Evening News and Tribune (Jeffersonville-New Albany, IN) – May 8, 2009

Edwards, Mary Kathryn Smith. (1947-2009)
St. Joseph News-Press (MO) – May 11, 2009

Fielding, Evelyn Juanita Goodchild. (1911-2009)
Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) – May 10, 2009

Fonville, Lorene Davis. (1911-2009)
Montgomery Advertiser (AL) – May 8, 2009

Galusha, Brian W. (1944-2009)
Washington Post (DC) – May 10, 2009

Gowan, Marjorie E. (Horton). (1918-2009)
Taunton Call (MA) – May 12, 2009

Guthrie, Martha Dee Schwartz. (1913-2009)
Dallas Morning News (TX) – May 10, 2009

Hartman, Jean. (1927-2009)
Lansing State Journal (MI) – May 7, 2009

Hickerson, Virginia Barr. (1935-2009)
Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK) – May 8, 2009

Howard, Roberta Caroline. (1920-2009)
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN) – May 9, 2009

Huffman, David Linn. (1939-2009)
Alexandria Daily Town Talk (LA) – May 8, 2009

Jamieson, Margaret Jean. (1924-2009)
Dayton Daily News (OH) – May 14, 2009

Kania, Betty Slicer. (1923-2009)
News Journal (Wilmington, DE) – May 12, 2009

Kaulaity, Charlotte York. (1951-2009)
Lawton Constitution (OK) – May 11, 2009

Landry, William E. (1940-2009)
Morning Call (Allentown, PA) – May 7, 2009

Lane, Margaret Taylor. (1919-2009)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA) – May 12, 2009

Limber, Gertrude. (1919-2009)
Monterey County Herald (CA) – May 10, 2009

Newberry, Emily Jane. (1928-2009)
Times (Shreveport, LA) – May 13, 2009

Newman, William Gold. (1921-2009)
Albuquerque Journal (NM) – May 11, 2009

Osborne, Zetta Frances Wilkinson. (1920-2009)
Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, CO) – May 13, 2009

Peeler, Juanita Worthy. (1931-2009)
Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC) – May 11, 2009

Proudfit, Louis A. (1943-2009)
Augusta Chronicle (GA) – May 8, 2009

Reid, Mildred Chase Lustig. (1924-2009)
Watertown Daily Times (NY) – May 10, 2009

Roberts, Earl. (1910-2009)
Knoxville News Sentinel (TN) – May 9, 2009

Rowley, Virginia Adam. (1928-2009)
Erie Times-News (PA) – May 10, 2009

Shea, Barbara Brown. (1924-2009)
Washington Post (DC) – May 8, 2009

Simonds, Nancy. (1930-2009)
Malden Observer (MA) – May 12, 2009

Taylor, Mildred Nye. (1917-2009)
Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, ID) – May 9, 2009

Thiele, Vicki. (1944-2009)
Waco Tribune-Herald (TX) – May 10, 2009

Tressler, Grace Helmich. (1915-2009)
Yakima Herald-Republic (WA) – May 8, 2009

GenealogyBank adds 9 newspapers from 6 states

GenealogyBank is expanding it’s coverage adding 9 newspapers from 6 states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri and North Carolina

California
Daily Independent (Ridgecrest, CA)
Obituaries: 04/11/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 04/07/2009 – Current

Colorado
Bent County Democrat (Las Animas, CO)
Obituaries: 04/13/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 04/07/2009 – Current

Illinois
Clay County Advocate-Press (Flora, IL)

Obituaries: 04/10/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 03/27/2009 – Current

News Tribune (La Salle, IL)
Obituaries: 12/02/1997 – Current
Death Notices: 09/24/1997 – Current

Massachusetts
Raynham Call
(Raynham, MA)
Obituaries: 07/10/2007 – Current
Death Notices: 04/18/2007 – Current

Missouri
Boonville Daily News (Boonville, MO)

Obituaries: 04/06/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 04/02/2008 – Current

Constitution-Tribune (Chillicothe, MO)
Obituaries: 04/11/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 04/06/2009 – Current

Daily Guide (Waynesville, MO)
Obituaries: 04/11/2009 – Current
Death Notices: 03/25/2009 – Current

North Carolina
Topsail Voice (Hampstead, NC)
Obituaries: 10/29/2008 – Current
Death Notices: 09/10/2008 – Current

Genealogist, Mary Sue Green Smith (1933-2009)

Prominent Nashville, TN genealogist, Mary Sue Green Smith (1933-2009) has passed away.

She was President of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society. She published eight books between 1994 and 2006; mostly reference works to be used in tracing one’s roots in Nashville. She indexed tens of thousands of pre-Civil War civil court records, which added to standard genealogical resources, many families whose names don’t otherwise appear in records.

Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) – April 25, 2009
SMITH, Mary Sue Green Age 76 of Nashville, TN, died Friday, April 24, 2009. She was a genealogist, whose contributions helped African-American families with Nashville roots to trace their families back before the Civil War.


She was preceded in death by her husband, Burrell G. Smith and one of her sons, Robert Shelton Smith, who died in 1972. She is survived by three sons, John Kennedy Smith and wife Barbie of Indianapolis, Stephen Thomas Smith and wife Barbara Ann Mech of Nashville, and Richard Douglas Smith and wife Julie of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Her surviving grandchildren are John R. Smith of Big Bear, CA, Michael B. Smith, midshipman at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, Thomas Shelton Smith and wife, Anne Kindt Smith of Knoxville, Katherine Holly Smith of Nashville, Andrew Kennedy Smith of Nashville, Jennifer Sue Smith of Fairbanks and Robert Elias Smith of Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Her surviving sisters are Dorothy Strange of Loudon, TN, Barbara Butler of Nashville and Pam White of Nashville. Mary Sue Smith was a native of Nashville.

She graduated from David Lipscomb High School and attended David Lipscomb College, where she met Burrell G. Smith, who had served in the Army paratroopers in World War II. They were married in April, 1950. Hers was the first wedding in the newly built Otter Creek Church of Christ, at the corner of Otter Creek Road and Granny White Pike. Her father, the late Sam Kennedy Green, was an elder there.

The couple raised a family in Bellaire, MI. Burrell was an educator and a social worker. Sue served as clerk of the Antrim County Selective Service Board during the Vietnam War. She served on the mental health board of the county. After Burrell’s death, Sue returned to Nashville in 1986.

Sue was a genealogist and had served as President of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society. She published eight books between 1994 and 2006, mostly reference works to be used in tracing one’s roots in Nashville. She indexed tens of thousands of pre-Civil War civil court records, which added to standard genealogical resources, many families whose names don’t otherwise appear in records.

Her work made it possible for many African-American families to trace their parentage back into the years when persons held in slavery were listed, as property, in wills.

Memorial services will be conducted Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 3 p.m., at Woodbine Funeral Home, Hickory Chapel, 5852 Nolensville Road, by Tommy Daniel. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Visitation will be Sunday from 1 – 3 p.m., at WOODBINE FUNERAL HOME, HICKORY CHAPEL Directors, 615-331-1952; Still Family Owned.

Copyright (c) The Tennessean. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.

Obituary Reveals Identity of Homesick Boy from Orphanage – 65 years later

Genealogists want to find and document every member of a family. They don’t want even one child to be forgotten.

Thanks to genealogist Ed Hutchison of Mississippi a 78 year old Syracuse, NY man’s true identity has been uncovered.

Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) – April 5, 2009
Case, Dick. Death Uncovers Hidden Identity
.


We called him Louie.
He told us his name was Louis Ludbeck.
Mostly, his life seemed to be a blank slate.


It wasn’t until he died March 5, that the mystery that was Louie began to unravel.
Louie died in peace at Francis House. He was 78. A stroke took him.

We know now that Louie was born Gene Rollin Poffahl, Jan.17, 1931. He came into a family of farmers in Albany County. Likely he had five siblings.

We know this because the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office came into the picture after Louie died. He went to Francis House, a hospice run by the Franciscan Order of Nuns, with no past: no government health insurance, no Social Security number, no record of medical treatment or military service. Just a limp, old man ready to die.

The nuns gathered Louie into their embrace, just the way Ann O’Connor and Peter King had, more than 30 years ago. He passed restfully, among friends.

Ann and Peter are two of the founders of Unity Kitchen of the Catholic Worker of Syracuse. They run an elegant soup kitchen, offering full-course, fully served meals twice a week, as well as brunch on Sundays after Mass. The kitchen gets by on alms and the good will of a small, devoted troop of volunteers, who support Ann and Peter with donations and the good will of their help, in-person sometimes twice a week.

They live in a house on Palmer Avenue, devoted to the Catholic Worker community. Years ago, Ann and Peter set their lives aside to serve the city’s poor in a very special way. My wife, Sandy, and I have been volunteers at the kitchen several years.

Louie drifted into Unity Kitchen maybe 30 years ago. No one paid attention to the exact date. Some say it was 1978. He was part of a continuous wave of needy folks who washed across the struggling agency every week. Back then, the kitchen was a literal soup kitchen, and a flophouse, holed up in two floors of an old sash factory tucked next to the DL&W railroad tracks about where Adams and South Clinton streets meet.

Louie settled in; he seemed to have found a home among the homeless. He said little, as became his way of life. Ann and Peter accepted his silence, knowing from experience that it’s not a good idea to poke at the psyche of a homeless person. If he wanted to share a story, he would. Louie didn’t. It was as if his life began when he arrived in Syracuse. The only clue he carried was a piece of paper marked Orwell,” where the affiliated Unity Acres shelter is located.

Peter recalls that Louie settled into a helping routine, taking on small jobs that seemed to give meaning to his life. He’d often stand fire watch in the building. When others refused to do anything but soak up the founders’ charity, Louie joined up, fit in.

“He seemed to have found his place,” Peter explains.

When Ann and Peter closed the old kitchen, and moved to new quarters in Syracuse’s only co-op apartment building on West Onondaga Street, Louie went with them. He was invited to join them in their home, moving into an upstairs bedroom in the house that’s not far from Unity Kitchen.

One time, Ann and Peter tried to bring Louie into the social welfare system. He told the social worker a fantastic story about owning a house at Split Rock and a car. No, he’s not eligible for help, they were told. You’ll have to apply to be his guardian.

Leave him alone, let it be, the couple was advised. Louie is Louie. He doesn’t want to reveal himself; maybe he can’t.

Louie kept to his routine at Unity Kitchen. He worked at menial things — taking out the garbage, dusting and mopping the floor, arranging chairs — and joining the other guests for meals. Louie asked for little and earned the love and respect of the community.

Like others of our readers, Ed Hutchison, a former county legislator who now lives in Mississippi, was intrigued by Louie’s obituary, which was published in The Post-Standard and the Albany Times Union. By then, the FBI fingerprint check had given him a new name and birth date. It also revealed he had been in the Army for seven years, discharged in 1957. Ed’s a genealogist and loves a mystery. He ran an Internet search.

The search revealed a number of folks with the last name of Poffahl, which is of German origin, in the Albany area. Ed also found a newspaper story with an Albany dateline from 1944: “A homesick boy, injured in trying to escape from the Humane Society for Children, fought for his life today. Gene Poffahl, 13, suffered critical back and neck injuries last week, when police said, he lost his grip on an improvised rope strung from a third-story window and fell to the porch steps of the shelter ….”

Gene Poffahl seems to be Louie Ludbeck. His age fits the FBI record. The accident also would explain Louie’s twisted body. “He was a pretty strong little guy,” according to Peter King, “but his motor facilities were compromised. He walked as if he was drunk.”

The mystery of Louie’s life continues to be peeled back. Peter’s been contacted by people who live in the Albany area who may be relatives. He’s being told his parents surrendered Louie and his brothers and sisters to an orphan home run by nuns in Troy; they couldn’t afford to raise the children. The Poffahls were vegetable farmers, supposedly.

His funeral service was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Father John Schopfer, shepherd of Syracuse’s needy, presided. He was carried to his grave in St. Mary’s Cemetery by his friends from Unity Kitchen.

Louie obviously was a troubled man, hiding his history or leaving it where it fell. Peter says he sometimes overheard him “arguing with himself” in a loud voice in his room. He didn’t intrude.

I’m not sure we know how hard we should push our inquiry, either.

Dick Case writes Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at dcase@syracuse.com or 470-2254.
Edition: Final

Page: B1
Copyright, 2009, The Herald Company