Happy National Doughnut Day!

My days of eating doughnuts are long gone – but it was 70 years ago that the first Friday in June was designated National Doughnut Day!

Captain Hanson Gregory (1831-) of Camden, Maine gets the credit for inventing the modern doughnut – or at least the hole.
He was a ship’s cook at age 16 in 1847 – when he experimented with ideas to solve the problem of the uncooked centers of doughnuts.

It was verified :) in a Wrigley chewing gum cartoon strip “Fun Facts” illustrated here (see above) from the Dallas Morning News Feb 7, 1971. and it was often repeated in news accounts like this humorous one that appeared in the Kansas City Times Jan 11, 1920.

You can search GenealogyBank for millions of articles from over 3,500 newspapers – find over 1 billion of your ancestors and discover the details of their lives…
…even the old recipes for making doughnuts.

Sign up now and ask your friends to join with us in bringing more records online – It’s only $9.95 – click here.

Anna Barrows, Boston YWCA Lecturer on Cookery, wrote a terrific article giving multiple recipes for doughnuts. I have inserted this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer Feb 18, 1894. Click Here to see a larger version.
Let’s celebrate the day and use the old recipes to prepare some homemade doughnuts.
Click Here to see a larger version.
Happy National Doughnut Day!

GenealogyBank adds even more newspapers


Hot off the press!

I just received word that GenealogyBank began adding an additional 67 historical newspapers today.

(Image from Library of Congress – American Memory Project)

That jumps the total with yesterday’s announcement to 107 titles added this weekend!!

These titles will finish loading later this week.

These additional historical newspapers are from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas and cover the dates 1855 to 1977.

That’s just too many titles for me to list here – but I will put the complete list on GenealogyBank Monday morning. Click here to see the 40 titles I announced yesterday.

It’s a great day for Genealogy ….

…and a great day for GenealogyBank too.
All of GenealogyBank may be searched for free.

In the free search you will see a preview snippet of the article showing the name of your ancestor that you are searching for.

These snippets let you confirm which articles and records GenealogyBank has on your ancestors before you join. Your membership helps us to make even more records available.

Your membership in GenealogyBank entitles you to read the complete text of over 230 million articles and records – search for more than 1 billion of your relatives.

Sign up now and ask your friends to join with us in bringing more records online – It’s only $9.95 – click here.

Jim Thorpe – Born May 28, 1888

We all heard the stories of Jim Thorpe – the world’s greatest athlete – while we were growing up.

The newspapers & movies regularly carried stories about him and he was even featured on a box of Wheaties. (photo – NC Museum of History).

He loved to compete. He enjoyed the battle itself and the drive to win.
Today is his day – he was born on May 28, 1888.

I found a great quote in the Dallas Morning News 1 Jan 1953 – that captured his love of the game. It was given in an interview just two months before he died at age 64.

The newspapers are packed with articles about him. He was a hero to young and old alike. The town of Mauch Chunk, PA even changed its name to Jim Thorpe, PA (see Dallas Morning News 23 July 1954) … and I am still eating Wheaties.

GenealogyBank has more than 230 million records of more than One Billion people – some of them were well known heroes and some were our often less well known ancestors. But their stories are there to be read – recorded in more than 3,400 historical newspapers – from the 1600s to today.

Give it a try right now. What will you find on your family?

It’s Wild Bill Hickok’s Day ….

Wild Bill Hickok – James Butler Hickok – was born on May 27, 1837 in Troy Grove, Illinois.

Famous in movies, films and hundreds of newspaper articles – he is central to the legends of the Old West.

Newspapers serialized his story and pictured him fighting bears, outlaws and Confederate agents. Images by Van Ben.



Newspapers reported the high moments and the low ones – like the time he mistakenly killed a friend – Special Deputy Marshall Mike Williams.
(Aberdeen (SD) American – 10 Jan 1908).


They called him a hero and a coward (Columbus Daily Enquirer – 11 May 1899).


But the real coward was his killer Jack McCall who shot him – in the back – in 1876.

He was shot in the back and killed by Jack McCall in 1876 in Deadwood, SD.

GenealogyBank has over 3,400 newspapers packed with historical articles about the Old West right up to today. Give it a try right now.

More Birth, Marriage & Death Records Go Online


Volunteers working at FamilySearchLabs are digitizing microfilm and original vital records and putting them online. (Photo, courtesy: Newsroom.lds.org)

Today I see that they have added records for:

MICHIGAN
Michigan Birth Records 1867-1902 – Complete – includes digital images of the original documents

Michigan Death Records 1867 to 1897 – Complete – includes digital images of the original documents

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Births 1853-1930 – 36% complete – includes digital images of the original documents
West Virginia Marriages 1853-1970 – 36% complete – includes digital images of the original documents
West Virginia Deaths 1853-1970 – 50% complete – includes digital images of the original documents

GERMANY and MEXICO
In addition to that FamilySearchLabs has put up German & Mexican baptismal & marriage registers for 1700-1900. These two resources are text only and give the citation for the original document but not the digital page images.

This is great news!

FamilySearchLabs is keeping up a brisk pace of uploading genealogical records and images.
GenealogyBank adds 4 million articles and records each month. To see what has been added this month click here.

GenealogyBank now has over 227 million records and documents – that’s over 1 billion names. Give it a try now – search and see what GenealogyBank has on your ancestors.

Birth Announcements – newspapers are packed with them

Newspapers have been announcing births since the 1700s.

It is common to see birth notices in newspapers all across the country, like this one for triplets born to “Mrs. Rust of Wolfeboro, NH” in 1796. It appeared in the Massachusetts Mercury 14 Oct 1796.
You’ll find millions of births recorded in newspapers on GenealogyBank from the colonial period right up to recent times.
Newspapers often had regular columns for all area births. Sometimes these were listed by the name of the hospital. These notices often give the names of the child, parents and even grandparents.

Some are written in a fun, familiar style – as this one from the Dallas Morning News 1 June 1967 – “She’ here…” and went on to give the details of their new daughter.

This 1918 birth notice from the Belleville (IL) Democrat 8 March 1918, gave three generations of genealogical information including the name of the grandmother, the mother’s maiden name and the name of the parents – but not the name of the baby!

Other newspapers simply gave the essential facts of their area births. Like these births from the San Francisco (CA) Daily Evening Bulletin 12 August 1856.

But no matter how much detail the newspaper included, genealogists will find GenealogyBank a practical tool for uncovering the birth notices for their relatives.

Since the name of the child is not always given, search for them by the name of the parents or simply the surname. You may limit your search by date or place to see if the birth of the children you are looking for was published in the newspaper.

For a complete list of the newspaper titles and dates of coverage click here.

Newspapers are a great source for finding the historical records that document our family tree.

Tracking down Family Bibles ….

Family Bibles have been treasured by families for generations, but finding them today can be difficult.

It was common for families to have a family Bible – a large bound book that was prominently displayed in the family parlor – “…a large octavo volume, with a more or less ornate binding, with blank pages inserted on which to record births, marriages and deaths, and sometimes the near-slaying of Isaac, Moses in the bulrushes, the infernal regions and other interesting dramatic and historic incidents narrated in the [Bible]“. (Boston Journal 13 May 1908).
(Image from Antique Holy Bible Item #330235937204 – Ebay.com)
I spotted quite a few newspaper articles that cited the old family Bibles and who their current owners were.

For example – Henry Peters of Trenton, NJ used his family Bible to prove that he was “sixteen years old and two months older than that” so that he could get in to the show at the Trent theater. (Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram. Nov 4, 1909).
An article in the Columbus (GA) Enquirer (2 Sep 1898) tells us that “Mrs. Billard, the daughter of the late Rev. Edward Oldrin, who lives on Bank Street [Stamford, CT]” … and that she got it “by inheritance from her father. … The book is in the original binding and well preserved, the Old Testament part having been printed in 1597 and the New Testament in 1596. The covers are of wood.”

This is an important point. Always check the dates that each of the Testaments was printed. Printers often printed them separately and then joined them together when they published the Bible. This is a way to date a family Bible.

“Inscribed on the yellow fly-leat are the words: Edward Oulldron owns this book and after his death to his son Edward Oulldron, given by his grandfather – 1651.” Elsewhere it states “Edward Oldrin’s [note the change in spelling] book, given by his father on is deathbed in the 1827, July 28, to be kept in the family.”

Mrs. Jennie Fairbanks Milligan of Springfield, Ohio brought the family Bible when she was called to testify in a case trying to break the will of the late Delavan Smith of Lake Forest, IL. (Dallas Morning News. 1 October 1921).

John M. Butler of Ocean Grove, NJ found out by double checking his family Bible that he was 101 and not 100 years old when he went to celebrate his birthday. He said it was a “pretty tough job trying to keep track of so many birthdays.” He said with a smile … “I must have lived two years in Brooklyn [NY, the] one year that I was there. That’s the only way I can account for the discrepancy.” (Evening Times – Pawtucket, RI – 17 jan 1901).

But you won’t find the Belin family Bible. It seems that in November 1908, Joseph Belin of Wilkes-Barre, PA “came home intoxicated and threatened [his mother] and then burned the family Bible.” There were 7 prisoners in court that day for “being drunk”. Six of them were fined $1.00 but Joseph Belin was fined $5.00. (Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times Leader – 18 Nov 1908).

Historical newspapers are packed with family history information. Research more than 3,400 newspapers and document your heritage on GenealogyBank.
Give it a try right now.