Finding Out about My Ancestor Jeremy Hanson Using Newspapers

Using GenealogyBank’s historical newspaper archives for my genealogy research just gets better and better!

Every time I dive back into GenealogyBank’s newspapers I look for articles about my family. With over 1.4 billion records to select from—and more added every day—there are still a lot of family finds yet to be discovered.

Recently I was looking for more information in GenealogyBank about my ancestor Jeremy Hanson from Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

Since he lived in New Hampshire and “Jeremy” is a fairly unique name, I started by searching on just his first and last name—limiting my search to only New Hampshire and Massachusetts newspapers.

Finding My Ancestor’s Farm in the Newspaper

I soon found this real estate ad about a Jeremy Hanson who was selling his farm in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, in 1829.

real estate ad for the farm of Jeremy Hanson, New Hampshire Patriot newspaper advertisement 9 November 1829

New Hampshire Patriot (Concord, New Hampshire), 9 November 1829, page 3

Since many of my ancestor Jeremy Hanson’s children were born in Gilmanton, this old news article is probably about him.

The real estate ad says that his farm was “one mile south of the Academy…on the road that leads to Concord.”

Gilmanton Academy?

I drove past that Academy thousands of times growing up in New Hampshire.

photo of Gilmanton Academy, New Hampshire

Photo: Gilmanton Academy. Credit: Wikipedia.

“One mile south of the Academy…on the road that leads to Concord.” A quick Internet search can find that location.

screenshot of Google Maps showing the area around Concord, New Hampshire

Credit: Google Maps

So—now we know where his farm stood in 1829.

Look at some of the details provided in the old real estate ad:

  • 135 acres of “good land”
  • 80 acres are divided into mowing fields, pasture and tillage land

I recognize that type of division.

Our property when I was growing up was further south of where Jeremy’s farm was located, closer to the intersection of State Routes 107 and 129. We had fields that had been planted and mowed since the days of the Revolutionary War. No doubt the Mudgett family that owned our property in days gone by knew Jeremy Hanson back in the day.

There are more details in the historical ad:

  • “Good orchards that make 15 barrels of cider yearly”—so they must have loved their homemade cider
  • “A well of never failing water”—sounds terrific. It’s good to see the ad copy used by people selling a home in 1829. He didn’t just have a well, he had “A well of never failing water.”
  • A home that was a 30’x40’ one-story house
  • A “well finished barn 22 x 49, sound and good”

We can picture exactly how big these two buildings were.

There were also three more buildings on his property:

  • A “wood and corn house, 24 by 30 two stories”
  • A “shed 30 feet long”
  • And “one more out building 15 by 20”

This is impressive. Since I’ve walked these hills and farms for years, I can picture how Jeremy’s farm must have looked.

Finding My Ancestor’s Occupations in Newspapers

Looking at the other newspaper search result hits, I found this article about Jeremy Hanson, the town clerk in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

notice about Jeremy Hanson, the town clerk in Lincoln, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Patriot newspaper article 21 April 1842

New Hampshire Patriot (Concord, New Hampshire), 21 April 1842, page 3

This fits: my records show that several of Jeremy’s children died in Lincoln, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

In another old newspaper article Jeremy is named as the tax collector.

notice mentioning Jeremy Hanson as a tax collector in New Hampshire, New Hampshire Patriot newspaper article 21 December 1843

New Hampshire Patriot (Concord, New Hampshire), 21 December 1843, page 4

Newspapers tell us our family’s story, giving us the details of our ancestors’ lives.

Wow—it’s a great day for genealogy!

Monthly Update: GenealogyBank Adds 16 Million Records in January!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our online collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available anywhere.

Here are some details about our most recent additions to our website (we actually added new content to thousands of newspaper titles, but the following is a representative sample):
A total of 103 newspaper titles from 26 states plus the District of Columbia

Titles marked with an asterisk * are newspapers new to our archive
We’ve shown the archive date ranges so that you can determine if the new content is relevant to your personal research

If a recent addition to our online archive interests you, simply click on that newspaper’s title: it is an active link leading to that paper’s search form.

There is also an option available on the historical newspapers’ search form that gives you the ability to search only the new newspaper content added in the past month, two months, or three months.

Alabama. Grove Hill. Grove Hill Herald*. 03/06/1850–12/06/1854
Arkansas. Little Rock. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Web Edition Articles*. 03/30/2007–Current
Arkansas. Little Rock. ARPreps*. 05/28/2011–Current
Arkansas. Fayetteville. Whole Hog Sports*. 04/14/2007–Current
Arkansas. Camden. Camden News*. 12/02/2011–Current
Arkansas. Fort Chaffee. Helping Hand *. 05/02/1975–12/19/1975
Arkansas. Bella Vista. Weekly Vista, The*. 11/30/2011–Current
Arkansas. Little Rock. Arkansas State Press. 08/23/1957–08/23/1957
Arkansas. Fayetteville. NW Arkansas Times*. 11/14/2011–Current
Arkansas. Fayetteville. NWAOnline: Web Edition Articles*. 07/28/2009–Current
Arkansas. El Dorado. El Dorado News-Times*. 12/01/2011–Current
Arkansas. Magnolia. Banner-News*. 11/19/2011–Current
Arkansas. Springdale. Springdale Morning News*. 11/18/2011–Current
Arkansas. Rogers. Rogers Morning News*. 11/14/2011–Current
Arkansas. Searcy. Daily Citizen, The*. 08/26/2003–Current
California. San Francisco. Alaska Appeal *. 03/06/1879–04/15/1880
California. Santa Anita. Santa Anita Pacemaker *. 04/24/1942–07/29/1942
California. Tanforan. Tanforan Totalizer *. 05/15/1942–09/12/1942
California. San Diego. Evening Tribune. 7/1/1925–1/25/1935
California. Riverside. Riverside Daily Press. 5/20/1938–10/1/1942
California. San Diego. San Diego Union. 3/1/1908–7/8/1934
Colorado. Denver. Denver Rocky Mountain News. 12/3/1880–1/5/1881
Connecticut. New Haven. Columbian Register. 1/1/1831–5/27/1876
Florida. Tampa. Tampa Tribune. 10/31/1928–9/22/1932
Florida. Jacksonville. Florida Times-Union, The: Web Edition Articles*. 11/28/2011–Current
Georgia. Savannah. Closeup*. 11/11/1999–Current
Georgia. Marietta. Marietta Journal. 7/22/1966–6/30/1989
Illinois. Rockford. Register Star. 8/31/2006–4/20/2007
Louisiana. New Orleans. Times-Picayune. 3/30/1841–2/28/1915
Louisiana. Baton Rouge. Daily State. 1/14/1907–1/1/1910
Louisiana. Baton Rouge. State Times Advocate. 3/24/1911–12/30/1922
Louisiana. Baton Rouge. Daily Advocate. 9/17/1855–1/4/1889
Louisiana. Baton Rouge. Weekly Advocate. 6/28/1855–6/28/1902
Louisiana. Baton Rouge. Advocate. 10/23/1925–5/31/1985
Louisiana. New Orleans. Courrier de la Louisiane. 10/01/1821–10/01/1821
Massachusetts. Boston. Boston Herald. 10/11/1893–8/31/1907
Massachusetts. Springfield. Springfield Daily News. 11/16/1916–11/16/1916
Massachusetts. Springfield. Springfield Union. 09/10/1963–12/26/1986
Michigan. Gaylord. Gaylord Herald Times*. 01/01/2001–Current
Michigan. Jackson. Jackson Citizen Patriot. 06/15/1875–12/07/1921
Missouri. Lake Ozark. Lake Today, The*. 05/06/2009–Current
North Carolina. Charlotte. Carolina Israelite*. 02/01/1944–12/01/1958
North Carolina. Winston-Salem. Winston-Salem Journal. 1/5/1917–7/31/1920
Nebraska. Omaha. Omaha World Herald. 8/1/1945–12/4/1983
New Jersey. New Brunswick. Jewish Journal. 06/14/1963–04/28/1967
New York. Westbury. Westbury Times, The*. 12/04/1997–Current
New York. New York. Irish American Weekly. 02/08/1873–07/04/1914
New York. New York. Truth *. 07/06/1880–01/06/1884
New York. New York. Irish Nation *. 11/26/1881–10/06/1883
New York. New York. Socialist Call. 06/09/1944–08/13/1948
New York. New York. Daily People. Current–Current
New York. New York. Worker. 05/04/1903–02/23/1907
New York. New York. People. 05/03/1891–03/22/1896
Oregon. Portland. Oregonian. 04/08/1917–04/08/1917
Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh. National Labor Tribune. 03/19/1903–07/01/1958
Pennsylvania. Erie. Erie Labor Press *. 06/18/1921–12/31/1921
Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh. Welsh-American *. 01/08/1914–12/15/1918
Pennsylvania. Erie. Truth *. 10/25/1913–06/11/1921
Rhode Island. Providence. Providence Evening Press*. 03/14/1859–12/29/1869
South Carolina. Charleston. Charleston Mercury. 7/2/1860–12/31/1866
South Carolina. Clemson. Tiger, The*. 04/14/2002–Current.
South Carolina. Charleston. Charleston Courier. 7/14/1859–3/19/1866
Texas. Dallas. Dallas Morning News. 4/4/1983–1/29/1984
Utah. Salt Lake City. Intermountain Catholic*. 10/05/2007–Current
Virginia. Richmond. Richmond Times Dispatch. 7/1/1929–3/14/1930
Wisconsin. Fond du Lac. Fond du Lac Trade Extension*. 02/13/1918–02/13/1918
Wisconsin. Gratiot. Gratiot Reporter *. 06/13/1912–10/09/1913
Wisconsin. Grafton. Grafton Enterprise *. 07/27/1927–08/03/1927
Wisconsin. Fox Lake. Fox Lake Representative*. 12/15/1911–12/20/1917

Genealogy Boot Camp: Getting Started

OK Team – it’s time to get down to basics and make sure we haven’t missed clues and information that would help us to accurately document our family tree.

Welcome to Genealogy Boot Camp: Core training

Day 1. Home Sources
OK recruits – you will need the basic equipment.

First – get that old laundry basket and let’s put it to good use.
Put this laundry basket where you will see it every day – but where it will be safe. Perhaps a room you don’t use everyday – like the dining room – that should be a good place – or perhaps on the bed in the spare bedroom.

Now, here is your first assignment:
Begin gathering the family history information that you have in your own home.

“But – I don’t have any information about my family!”

OK recruit: put your laundry basket in a visible, safe place and let’s see what we can find in your house.

Step One: Go from room to room in your home looking for items that have clues about your family. As you see something of value – take it and put it in the laundry basket. You should expect to spend one week on this task – do NOT try to do it all at once.

- Photo albums
- Family mementos
- School yearbooks
- Family Bible
- The envelope with family clippings
- Grammie’s recipe book
- The old wooden spoon
- Dad’s World War I medal
- The box with the old family letters and photos
- Baby books
- Old family cups, plates
- History of Gilmanton, NH – Why do we have that?

“I have an old cedar chest with some old clothes & a comforter made by my great-grandmother – I don’t want to move them.

If some of your family treasures are too large or fragile to move – write down a quick description on a 3×5 card and put that in the laundry basket.

Tips

Why should this take one week?

You’re busy. Don’t burn yourself out. During this week as you go around the house in your normal daily routine – be thinking about clues. What do I have in my home that would tell me more about the family? Pick it up and put it in the laundry basket. By the end of the week you’ll have plenty of clues.

Back in the early 1960s I drove over to White Plains, NY to visit my cousins: Genevieve and Burt Shaw (Genevieve M. (Smith) Shaw 1871-1967) – Burton C. Shaw 1866-).

When I arrived Burt was off getting a haircut – Cousin Gen said that he would be right back. We spoke about the family and got caught up on current events.

But, still – no Burt.

As I asked about the family history – Cousin Gen was so apologetic that she didn’t know more about the family history. But as we waited I asked her about the things in the living room. There were framed pictures and photos on most of the shelves and tables. Who were they? She was a steady stream of detail about the family.

And what about the old piano; the old rocking chair; the painting in the corner. Everything had a story and a family connection.

I had written down pages of notes – all the while she repeated that she could no longer remember the details of the family history.

Cousin Burt never did come home that day – but she was a goldmine of information.

So - Step One – Gather Your Home Sources. Once you have them – in hand start to write down the facts and clues and document your family history.