Revolutionary War Soldier Andrew Wallace – Dead at 105

In 1772 at the age of 42, Andrew Wallace shipped off for North America from Scotland – and just a few years later he was fighting in the American Revolutionary War for his new country.

obituary for Andrew Wallace, Elyria Republican newspaper article 19 February 1835

Elyria Republican (Elyria, Ohio), 19 February 1835, page 1

According to this old soldier’s obituary, Andrew “was engaged in some of the most memorable battles of the Revolutionary War,” and fought honorably. To the end of his life, he was honored by all for his military service. His most heroic moment on the battlefield came when General Marquis de Lafayette “was wounded at the battle of Brandywine [and] Wallace assisted in rescuing him from his perilous situation, and carried him off the field of battle to a friend’s house nearly two miles distant.” By the war’s close, Wallace was a decorated and honored sergeant.

Painting: “Nation Makers” by Howard Pyle, depicting a scene from the Battle of Brandywine

Painting: “Nation Makers” by Howard Pyle, depicting a scene from the Battle of Brandywine. Source: Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; Wikimedia.

Wallace lived to be 105. A few weeks before his death, the Peale Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, hosted Andrew as a living exhibit meant to be the “connecting link between the olden and modern age.”

Andrew Wallace, at Peale's Museum, Richmond Whig newspaper article 2 December 1834

Richmond Whig (Richmond, Virginia), 2 December 1834, page 1

Wait – this is interesting.
The article states that Andrew “fought at the battle of Culloden…”
Battle of Culloden? That was in Scotland in 1746 when the British were putting down Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.

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Thousands attended Wallace’s funeral at the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, where he was buried. The Evening Post reported that even though he “lived and died in the Catholic faith…on his death-bed he asked to be buried with the honors of a mason and a soldier.” His request was honored and although “the weather was wet and stormy…there was an exceedingly brilliant display of military, the masonic fraternity, citizens and others.” The Church extended the extraordinary honor of having him buried in the same tomb as the revered Bishop John Connolly (1750-1825), the Second Bishop of New York. Andrew Wallace was beloved by many and had a great love for the country that took him in so many years prior.

Funeral of Andrew Wallace, Evening Post newspaper article 26 January 1835

Evening Post (New York, New York), 26 January 1835, page 2

Our veterans, old and new, have rendered us such great service and should be remembered every day. GenealogyBanks’ archive of over 1.7 billion historical documents holds the untold stories of your veteran ancestors; sign up today and discover them.

Genealogy Tip: Quite often, a person’s death is reported by many different newspapers in multiple states. Be sure to make a wide search for the obituaries of your ancestors. Do not limit your search to just the newspapers published in their home town.

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Revolutionary Patriot George Shell Fought Two Wars Simultaneously

When Revolutionary War patriot George Shell died in 1818, newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York carried the news – but they each gave him a single-line obituary.

obituary for George Shell, Weekly Eastern Argus newspaper article 25 August 1818

Weekly Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine), 25 August 1818, page 3

obituary for George Shell, Salem Gazette newspaper article 18 August 1818

Salem Gazette (Salem, Massachusetts), 18 August 1818, page 3

obituary for George Shell, Columbian newspaper article 15 August 1818

Columbian (New York, New York), 15 August 1818, page 3

However, Revolutionary War veteran George Shell deserved much more; the man fought two wars simultaneously, as detailed in this longer obituary found in another old newspaper.

obituary for George Shell, Albany Gazette newspaper article 15 August 1818

Albany Gazette (Albany, New York), 15 August 1818, page 2

Shell faithfully served in his local Albany, New York, regiment – against the wishes of his father, “who was attached to the royal cause.” So Shell had to fight two wars simultaneously, against the British and his own family. Upon his return to Albany, Shell found himself abandoned and rejected by the family patriarch; George’s father would never forgive him.

However, Shell created a new family for himself in the capital city. He ran a local barber shop and kept the men of Albany looking clean, sharp, and dapper. His funeral drew a significant crowd upon his death, reflecting his service to the town and the esteem his fellow citizens had for him.

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Thanks to GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, we learn that no one’s life story is truly one line. George Shell was a respected barber who stood up for his beliefs and fought for his country during its war for independence. While many simply fought the British army, George also bore the cross of a family who abandoned him because they supported the crown. Thanks to the preserved records of the Albany Gazette, we know the depth of this veteran’s sacrifice. We feel enriched and motivated to sacrifice for what we know is right.

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Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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Genealogy Case Study: Researching Isaac Fernald

I recently was researching a man from Oregon named Isaac Fernald (1814-1871), and found information related to him in a variety of places online.

Isaac’s Death Reported in the News

I began my search with GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, and I found Fernald’s obituary in his home town newspaper: the Portland Daily Press.

obituary for Isaac Fernald, Portland Daily Press newspaper article 1 April 1871

Portland Daily Press (Portland, Maine), 1 April 1871, page 3

I noticed this interesting phrase – “as has been before stated” – in his obituary, which is a good clue to look for earlier newspaper references to his death that were likely printed between the date of death (25 February 1871) and the date of the obituary (1 April 1871).

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Digging deeper in GenealogyBank, I quickly found this reference to his accidental death in Cardenas, Cuba.

obituary for Isaac Fernald, Boston Journal newspaper article 28 February 1871

Boston Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 28 February 1871, page 2

I also found this report, which adds the detail that Fernald’s fatal accident happened on a “side track of the railroad at Cardenas.”

obituary for Isaac Fernald, Boston Daily Advertiser newspaper article 1 March 1871

Boston Daily Advertiser (Boston, Massachusetts), 1 March 1871, page 2

In addition, I found this report of his funeral services.

article about the funeral services for Isaac Fernald, Portland Daily Press newspaper article 3 April 1871

Portland Daily Press (Portland, Maine), 3 April 1871, page 3

Each newspaper article reports more of the details.

Why was he in Cuba?
It turns out that he had traveled there on business before.

Ship Passenger Lists

I know that FamilySearch has put the passenger lists for U.S. ports online, so I looked there for reference to Fernald’s travels to Cuba. I found him listed several times. For example, here he is reported returning to the U.S. onboard the steamship Cahawba, returning on 1 April 1860. His occupation is listed as “merchant.”

New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891, showing entry for Isaac Fernald

Source: FamilySearch, New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891

I also know that the Prints & Graphics Division of the Library of Congress has put their massive collection of ship photographs and images online. Checking there, I was able to find this sketch of the Cahawba that was drawn at about the same time that Isaac Fernald had traveled to Cuba.

drawing of the  U.S. steamship "Cahawba"

Illustration: U.S. transport Cahawba. Source: Library of Congress.

Genealogy Tip: After you find your ancestor’s obituary, be sure to keep on digging. There are several types of historical records easily accessible online that contain relevant information about our ancestors. By making the extra research effort you will find additional details of the story of your ancestor’s life.

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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John M’Donogh – Loyal American Patriot ’till Death

Deemed an upstanding citizen by the Salem Gazette, two-time American war veteran John M’Donogh passed away, losing a long fight with disease on 19 March 1809.

M’Donogh is noted for serving directly under a young General George Washington during the French & Indian War. M’Donogh fought during British General Braddock’s failed expedition in 1755 against the French, in which a 23-year-old Washington led troops, including M’Donogh, into battle on the Monongahela River.

obituary for John McDonogh, American and Commercial Daily Advertiser newspaper article 22 March 1809

American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore, Maryland), 22 March 1809, page 2

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M’Donogh also served for the Maryland 3rd Regiment during the Revolutionary War, under Captain Cox. “One of the patriotic band of Baltimore,” Captain Cox led M’Donogh and other troops into battle at Germantown and Brandywine. M’Donogh survived, and went on to lead an exceptional life in Baltimore.

obituary for John McDonogh, Providence Gazette newspaper article 8 April 1809

Providence Gazette (Providence, Rhode Island), 8 April 1809, page 3

GenealogyBank makes it easy for me to learn about John M’Donogh and other Revolutionary War heroes; see what’s inside the archives on your ancestor’s story. Start your 30-day trial now!

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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Gershom Beach Dead at 77 – the Forgotten Paul Revere

Gershom Beach, a blacksmith in Rutland, Vermont, was 77 when he passed away on 2 September 1805, according to his obituary.

obituary for Gershom Beach, Middlebury Mercury newspaper article 5 February 1806

Middlebury Mercury (Middlebury, Vermont), 5 February 1806, page 3

Born 24 September 1728 in Cheshire, Connecticut, Gershom Beach was credited as being one of the original settlers of Rutland, Vermont.

Beach is most noted for his Paul Revere-style message delivery for Colonel Ethan Allen at the battle for Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary War, described in an article published by the Rockford Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 14 March 1930, page 6.

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Beach rallied the famous Green Mountain Boys by covering 60 miles of country in one day, carrying Colonel Ethan Allen’s message. According to the article: “He walked and ran 60 miles in 24 hours.” He went from town to town calling on the men in each town to join Col. Allen to take Fort Ticonderoga: “Even when he reached Hands Point, the rendezvous, ahead of the men he had summoned, he slept only a few hours.”

His life proved one man can make a difference. Beach’s heroic ride was detailed in a 1939 poem “Vermont’s Paul Revere” that describes this major turning point in the Revolutionary War.

The poem begins this way:

poem about Gershom Beach, Boston Herald newspaper article 29 June 1939

Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 June 1939, page 14

And ends like this:

poem for Gershom Beach, Boston Herald newspaper article 29 June 1939

Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), 29 June 1939, page 14

Genealogy Tip: Gershom Beach’s brief obituary is just a few lines long, but with a small amount of digging in GenealogyBank you can find the rest of Beach’s interesting life story.

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New Mexico Archives: 161 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

New Mexico, which became American territory in 1848 at the close of the Mexican-American War, waited 64 years before finally being admitted as the 47th state of the Union on 6 January 1912. One of the western Mountain States in the U.S., New Mexico is the 5th largest state in the country—yet only the 36th most populous.

photo of the Wheeler Peak mountain group, New Mexico

Photo: Wheeler Peak mountain group, New Mexico. Credit: David Herrera; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your family roots in New Mexico, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online New Mexico newspaper archives: 161 titles to help you search your family history in the “Land of Enchantment,” providing coverage from 1844 to Today. There are currently more than two million newspaper articles and records in our online NM archives!

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

Search New Mexico Newspaper Archives (1844 – 1973)

Search New Mexico Recent Obituaries (1994 – Current)

Here is our complete list of online New Mexico newspapers in the 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 NM newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Alamogordo Alamogordo Daily News 9/10/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Albuquerque Albuquerque Journal 1/2/1906 – 12/31/1922 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Albuquerque Morning Democrat 1/1/1886 – 12/31/1898 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Albuquerque Citizen 2/10/1887 – 12/31/1900 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Bandera Americana 8/10/1901 – 5/13/1909 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Albuquerque Weekly Press 1/20/1863 – 7/12/1864 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Nuevo Mundo 5/1/1897 – 9/20/1900 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Opinion Publica 7/2/1892 – 3/2/1907 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Defensor del Pueblo 6/27/1891 – 5/28/1892 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Indito 11/24/1900 – 4/4/1901 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque News 1/23/1886 – 12/6/1886 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Morning Journal 11/9/1884 – 12/3/1886 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Daily Times 6/14/1893 – 6/14/1893 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Industrial Advertiser 12/23/1899 – 12/23/1899 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Hormiga de Oro 11/7/1903 – 11/7/1903 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Revista 12/5/1881 – 12/5/1881 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Union de Albuquerque 1/20/1893 – 1/20/1893 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Combate 7/7/1892 – 7/7/1892 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Voz de Nuevo Mexico 9/1/1894 – 9/1/1894 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Estrella Mejicana 10/11/1890 – 10/11/1890 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Estrella Mexicana 10/4/1890 – 10/4/1890 Newspaper Archives
Albuquerque Albuquerque Journal 1/6/1995 – Current Recent Obituaries
Albuquerque Albuquerque Tribune 1/1/1997 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bernalillo Agricultor Moderno 3/23/1916 – 3/23/1916 Newspaper Archives
Bernalillo Espejo 3/8/1879 – 3/8/1879 Newspaper Archives
Bland Bland Herald 12/30/1898 – 6/6/1902 Newspaper Archives
Carlsbad Carlsbad Current-Argus 1/28/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chama Northwestern New Mexican 6/10/1893 – 6/17/1893 Newspaper Archives
Chloride Black Range 12/29/1882 – 8/6/1897 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus News 7/9/1909 – 5/26/1911 Newspaper Archives
Deming Deming Herald 4/2/1901 – 3/10/1903 Newspaper Archives
Deming Deming Headlight 1/24/1891 – 2/18/1899 Newspaper Archives
Deming Deming Tribune 12/25/1884 – 12/25/1884 Newspaper Archives
Deming Deming Headlight 6/3/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eddy Eddy Argus 6/30/1893 – 6/30/1893 Newspaper Archives
Eddy Eddy County Citizen 6/13/1893 – 6/27/1893 Newspaper Archives
Elizabethtown Mining Bulletin 1/4/1900 – 8/11/1900 Newspaper Archives
Estancia Estancia News 9/1/1905 – 7/5/1907 Newspaper Archives
Farmington Daily Times 2/16/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gallup Gallup Independent 10/11/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grants Cibola County Beacon 6/20/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hillsboro Sierra County Advocate 9/25/1886 – 11/26/1897 Newspaper Archives
Kingston Kingston Weekly Shaft 4/16/1887 – 7/15/1893 Newspaper Archives
Kingston Kingston Clipper 3/8/1884 – 3/8/1884 Newspaper Archives
La Mesilla Defensor del Pueblo 3/7/1891 – 3/28/1891 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Estrella 2/1/1911 – 5/18/1935 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Labrador 9/8/1896 – 6/14/1912 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Tiempo 11/9/1882 – 7/8/1911 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Dona Ana County Republican 3/11/1897 – 2/15/1902 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Mesilla Valley Democrat 9/2/1886 – 12/2/1890 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Eco del Valle 11/18/1905 – 5/6/1916 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Las Cruces Progress 2/22/1902 – 1/1/1904 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Las Cruces Democrat 2/3/1892 – 11/29/1899 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Las Cruces Daily News 3/5/1889 – 11/23/1889 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Borderer 7/24/1872 – 1/10/1874 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Mesilla Valley Bulletin 2/2/1934 – 10/21/1938 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Flor del Valle 2/3/1894 – 10/11/1894 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Thirty-Four 4/16/1879 – 11/3/1880 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Democrata 6/2/1894 – 11/24/1894 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Empresa 9/26/1896 – 6/12/1897 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Eco del Rio Grande 2/12/1876 – 3/2/1882 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Verdad 9/16/1890 – 4/9/1898 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Promotor Escolar 9/12/1891 – 2/16/1892 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Observador Fronterizo 9/11/1888 – 10/30/1888 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Las Cruces Daily Times 5/8/1889 – 5/10/1889 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Newmans Semi-Weekly 4/2/1881 – 4/20/1881 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Gaceta Popular 10/24/1919 – 12/1/1919 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Fronterizo 4/29/1875 – 4/29/1875 Newspaper Archives
Las Cruces Las Cruces Sun-News 2/15/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Las Vegas Daily Gazette 7/27/1880 – 1/31/1886 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Revista Catolica 1/8/1888 – 2/10/1895 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Grito del Norte 8/24/1968 – 7/1/1973 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Las Vegas Daily Optic 3/8/1884 – 10/31/1900 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Misionero Bautista: Organo Oficial de la Convencion Bautista Hispano-Americana de Nuevo Mexico 12/21/1943 – 8/21/1951 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Las Vegas Weekly Optic 10/23/1880 – 10/30/1880 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Voz del Pueblo 6/4/1892 – 12/13/1904 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Sol de Mayo 5/1/1891 – 7/24/1891 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Hispano Americano 4/21/1892 – 10/15/1892 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas New Mexico Herald 6/25/1879 – 7/30/1879 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Las Vegas Record 1/29/1901 – 4/12/1902 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Campaign Bulletin 8/25/1880 – 8/27/1880 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Daily Examiner 8/30/1895 – 8/30/1895 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Chronicle 10/19/1886 – 10/19/1886 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Clarin Mexicano 10/30/1890 – 10/30/1890 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Political Comet 11/4/1882 – 11/4/1882 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Cachiporra 10/19/1888 – 10/19/1888 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Boletin de Anuncios 1/19/1878 – 1/19/1878 Newspaper Archives
Las Vegas Las Vegas Optic 11/7/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lordsburg Western Liberal 6/23/1893 – 4/12/1901 Newspaper Archives
Los Alamos Los Alamos Monitor 9/27/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Magdalena Magdalena News 2/28/1918 – 3/10/1918 Newspaper Archives
Magdalena Magdalena Mountain Mail 4/5/1888 – 4/5/1888 Newspaper Archives
Maldonado Estrella 1/30/1897 – 1/30/1897 Newspaper Archives
Maxwell Maxwell Mail 1/7/1915 – 12/30/1915 Newspaper Archives
Mesilla Mesilla News 2/1/1879 – 2/9/1884 Newspaper Archives
Mora Mosquito 12/3/1891 – 6/30/1892 Newspaper Archives
Mora Cronica de Mora 6/13/1889 – 11/2/1889 Newspaper Archives
Mora Gaceta de Mora 8/28/1890 – 8/28/1890 Newspaper Archives
Mora Mora Echo 9/16/1890 – 9/16/1890 Newspaper Archives
Mountainair Independiente 1/26/1918 – 12/25/1920 Newspaper Archives
Raton Relampago 5/21/1904 – 8/6/1904 Newspaper Archives
Raton Weekly News 5/6/1904 – 6/24/1904 Newspaper Archives
Raton Union 2/26/1898 – 9/10/1898 Newspaper Archives
Raton Raton Range 6/22/1893 – 8/29/1895 Newspaper Archives
Raton Raton Reporter 7/12/1893 – 7/12/1893 Newspaper Archives
Raton Amigo del Pueblo 1/8/1896 – 1/8/1896 Newspaper Archives
Rincon Rincon Weekly 8/29/1895 – 5/11/1897 Newspaper Archives
Roswell Roswell Record 7/14/1893 – 7/14/1893 Newspaper Archives
Roswell Roswell Daily Record 1/3/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ruidoso Ruidoso News 12/1/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
San Acacio Comercio 7/11/1907 – 7/11/1907 Newspaper Archives
San Marcial San Marcial Bee 4/29/1893 – 3/29/1902 Newspaper Archives
San Marcial San Marcial Reporter 4/14/1888 – 3/8/1890 Newspaper Archives
San Marcial Libertad 4/15/1896 – 4/15/1896 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Santa Fe Daily New Mexican 4/15/1871 – 6/27/1905 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Santa Fe Weekly New Mexican and Livestock Journal 4/25/1863 – 8/30/1906 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Nuevo Mexicano 8/16/1890 – 5/9/1908 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Boletin Popular 4/1/1886 – 5/30/1895 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Voz del Pueblo 4/27/1889 – 6/15/1889 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Guia de Santa Fe 10/2/1886 – 10/16/1886 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Cachiporrota 10/8/1890 – 10/28/1890 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Gato 5/23/1894 – 8/24/1894 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Registro de Nuevo Mexico 5/2/1916 – 5/2/1916 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe New Mexican Mining News 12/21/1881 – 12/21/1881 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Santa Fe Weekly Express 7/2/1887 – 7/2/1887 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Gauntlet 6/25/1894 – 6/25/1894 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Santa Fe Weekly Sun 6/17/1893 – 6/17/1893 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Capitol 9/14/1901 – 9/14/1901 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Clarin Mejicano 8/10/1873 – 8/10/1873 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Verdad 9/12/1844 – 9/12/1844 Newspaper Archives
Santa Fe Santa Fe New Mexican 9/12/1994 – Current Recent Obituaries
Santa Rosa Santa Rosa Sun 10/31/1919 – 5/28/1920 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Southwest Sentinel 10/19/1886 – 12/27/1887 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Silver City Enterprise 9/17/1886 – 8/23/1895 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Silver City Independent 8/3/1897 – 11/5/1901 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Eagle 8/28/1895 – 8/28/1895 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Mining Chronicle 3/3/1881 – 3/3/1881 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Herald 4/1/1876 – 4/1/1876 Newspaper Archives
Silver City New Southwest 1/7/1882 – 1/7/1882 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Grant County Herald 6/15/1878 – 6/15/1878 Newspaper Archives
Silver City Silver City Daily Press & Independent 4/19/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Silver City Silver City Sun-News 3/2/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Socorro Defensor del Pueblo 3/30/1906 – 4/9/1943 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Progreso 5/17/1887 – 8/9/1887 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Industrial Advertiser 6/10/1893 – 8/24/1895 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Hispano Americano 11/17/1891 – 1/9/1892 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Socorro Bullion 4/24/1886 – 9/11/1886 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Estrella de Nuevo Mexico 8/7/1896 – 3/26/1897 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Combate 1/3/1898 – 1/15/1898 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Bullion 3/1/1884 – 3/1/1884 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Republicano 3/16/1901 – 3/16/1901 Newspaper Archives
Socorro Golondrina 2/12/1898 – 2/12/1898 Newspaper Archives
Springer Colfax County Stockman 7/8/1893 – 12/27/1913 Newspaper Archives
Springer Estandarte de Springer 6/27/1889 – 6/15/1893 Newspaper Archives
Springer Sentinel 2/8/1901 – 12/27/1901 Newspaper Archives
Taos Revista de Taos 2/20/1904 – 2/20/1904 Newspaper Archives
Taos Taos News 2/15/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wagon Mound Combate 12/6/1902 – 11/2/1918 Newspaper Archives
White Oaks White Oaks Eagle 8/22/1895 – 8/22/1895 Newspaper Archives
White Oaks Lincoln County Leader 6/24/1893 – 6/24/1893 Newspaper Archives
White Oaks New Mexico Interpreter 11/15/1889 – 11/15/1889 Newspaper Archives

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Nellie Tayloe Ross: the Nation’s First Female Governor

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena searches old newspapers to learn more about one of the pioneering women in American history: Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman governor in U.S. history.

It would seem fitting that the first U.S. state to inaugurate a female governor was Wyoming. Wyoming, whose motto is the “Equality State,” approved female suffrage prior to statehood in 1869. In 1924, after the untimely demise of her husband, then-Wyoming governor William Ross, Nellie Tayloe Ross was asked by the Democratic National Committee if she would run for governor.

photo of Nellie Tayloe Ross, 1922

Photo: Nellie Tayloe Ross, 1922. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

While she was discouraged by others close to her, in the end Nellie – who had two sons to support and bills to pay – decided to add her name to the ballot. The race would be tough for a Democratic woman since Wyoming was largely a Republican state and many did not see politics as a place for women. On top of that, her campaign relied largely on friends and advertisements since the recent widow was not ready to actively promote herself.

However, Nellie won the election on 4 November 1924 and was inaugurated on 5 January 1925.

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Two Women Running to Be Nation’s First Governor

During that 1924 election year, Wyoming wasn’t the only state looking to elect a female governor. In Texas, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson was also campaigning to become the nation’s first female governor.

This article from the Evening Star reminds readers that Wyoming was first in granting women’s suffrage: “Thirty-four years ago, Wyoming Territory felt sufficiently grown up to put on the long pants of statehood, and the strangely assorted group of cowmen, homesteaders, prospectors, and lawyers who framed her progressive laws cudgeled their brains for some gesture with which to demonstrate their superiority over the backward and decadent East.”

article about Nellie Ross and the Wyoming election of 1924, Evening Star newspaper article 18 October 1924

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 October 1924, page 4

In the 1924 election, Texas’ Ma Ferguson was elected governor in her state’s race. Interestingly, her husband had also been governor years earlier but was impeached. That didn’t stop Miriam from winning her race and becoming the first female governor of Texas. However, Nellie was inaugurated in Wyoming 15 days before Ferguson was in Texas, giving her the title of the nation’s first woman governor.

Nellie, the Governor

After her overwhelming win, Nellie continued to work on some of her husband’s projects including enforcement of prohibition. In addition she promoted her own agenda that included “…requiring cities, counties, and school districts to have budgets; stronger state laws regulating banks…obtaining more funds for the university; improving safety for coal miners; protecting women in industrial jobs; and supporting a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would cut back on child labor.”*

Nellie’s brief stint as Governor of Wyoming (she was governor for two years) was not without its detractors. One might expect that many men who believed that politics was no place for women would be hyper vigilant to point out her foibles and mistakes, but women were also among those who were unhappy with her performance. Their complaints included that she had not done enough to assist women in the political sphere, including her lack of female political advisors.**

One issue that women’s clubs had with Nellie was her position on prohibition. In this article boldly titled “California Women Snub Nellie Ross” about a Southern California chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), they had “by resolution…declared Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross inconsistent in avowing herself a prohibitionist and at the same time campaigning in the California presidential primary in behalf of the candidacy of Governor Al Smith, of New York.” They want on to say: “We deplore the position taken by Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross, former governor of Woyming [sic], who is now in California proclaiming herself a prohibitionist and in favor of enforcement of the prohibition laws of the United States and yet is speaking publicly in support of the presidential candidacy of Governor Al Smith, of New York, whose record on nullification of the prohibition law and whose personal sentiments in opposition to prohibition are well known to the people of the entire nation.”

article about Nellie Ross and prohibition, Macon Telegraph newspaper article 20 April 1928

Macon Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), 20 April 1928, page 1

Public Life after Being Governor

After Nellie served two years as governor, she continued a high-profile life that included the lecture circuit. In this 1930 South Dakota engagement reported by the Aberdeen Daily News, she was addressing the issue of women in politics. She said: “Political emancipation in the 19th amendment gives recognition of women as thinking, intelligent human beings.” She went on to talk about the fact that it wasn’t easy for women to enter roles that had been traditionally held by men. She stated that “men have felt the responsibility resting upon them for so many years…that it is hard for them to allow women to enter in.”

article about a speech by Nellie Ross, Aberdeen Daily News newspaper article 27 June 1930

Aberdeen Daily News (Aberdeen, South Dakota), 27 June 1930, page 7

Nellie went on to be the vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee and then, in 1933, was the first woman appointed to head the U.S. Mint, a job she held for 20 years until 1953.

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There’s no doubt that Nellie enjoyed many firsts in her life. She was written about in newspapers throughout the United States for the various events and activities she took part in. She also made the news in 1976 when she turned 100 years old.

article about Nellie Ross turning 100, Seattle Daily Times newspaper article 26 November 1976

Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 26 November 1976, page 2

Nellie died at 101 years of age in Washington D.C. Although she had been Wyoming’s governor for only two years, her title of first woman governor was one that was repeated in almost every newspaper article about her throughout her life – including her obituary.

obituary for Nellie Ross, San Diego Union newspaper article 21 December 1977

San Diego Union (San Diego, California), 21 December 1977, page 36

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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* Rea, Tom. The Ambition of Nellie Tayloe Ross. WyoHistory.org. http://www.wyohistory.org/essays/ambition-nellie-tayloe-ross. Accessed 28 December 2014.

** Ibid

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Descendant of Texas Declaration of Independence Signer Dies

Martha F. Fenstermaker (1943-2014) recently passed away, and in her published obituary it mentioned that she was “a direct descendant of Samuel Augustus Maverick, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.” Her obituary also states she was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

obituary for Martha F. Fenstermaker, Laredo Morning Times newspaper article 4 December 2014

Laredo Morning Times (Laredo, Texas), 4 December 2014

Her ancestor’s last name “Maverick” is where we get that word from, based on his tendency to be “individually minded.” He refused to brand his cattle—and in Texas, unbranded cattle came to be called mavericks, and the term stuck.

photo of Samuel Augustus Maverick

Photo: Samuel Augustus Maverick. Source: Wikipedia.

Genealogy Tip: Don’t only search obituaries looking for your known relatives—you also want to do a search using an ancestor’s name who died long ago. It just might be that a cousin unknown to you has mentioned a mutual ancestor in their obituary.

Related Descendant Articles:

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Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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December Update: GenealogyBank Added 3 Million More Records!

Every day, GenealogyBank is working hard to digitize more newspapers and obituaries, expanding our collection to give you the largest newspaper archives for family history research available online. We just completed adding 3 million more U.S. genealogy records, vastly increasing our content coverage from coast to coast!

screenshot of GenealogyBank's home page showing the accouncement of 3 million more genealogy records being added in December

Here are some of the details about our most recent U.S. newspaper additions:

  • A total of 39 newspaper titles from 20 U.S. states
  • 13 of these titles are newspapers added to GenealogyBank for the first time
  • Newspaper titles marked with an asterisk (*) are new to our online archives
  • We’ve shown the newspaper issue date ranges so that you can determine if the newly added content is relevant to your personal genealogy research

To see our newspaper archives’ complete title lists, click here.

State City Title Date Range Collection
Alabama Dadeville Dadeville Record, The* 09/08/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
Alabama Eclectic Eclectic Observer, The* 04/04/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Alabama Luverne Luverne Journal, The* 06/03/2010–Current Recent Obituaries
Arizona Poston Poston Chronicle 02/26/1943–05/16/1945 Newspaper Archives
Arkansas McGehee Rohwer Outpost 10/24/1942–07/21/1945 Newspaper Archives
Arkansas McGehee Rohwer Relocator* 08/01/1945–11/09/1945 Newspaper Archives
California Altedena AltadenaPoint* 01/10/2008–Current Recent Obituaries
California Manzanar Manzanar Free Press 04/21/1945–05/26/1945 Newspaper Archives
California Newell Tulean Dispatch* 05/30/1942–10/30/1943 Newspaper Archives
California Sacramento Sacramento Bee 1/16/1959–1/17/1959 Newspaper Archives
California San Francisco Corriere del Popolo 03/13/1917–03/13/1917 Newspaper Archives
California San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram 1/2/1947–12/30/1950 Newspaper Archives
Colorado Amache Granada Bulletin* 10/14/1942–10/24/1942 Newspaper Archives
Colorado Amache Granada Pioneer 11/01/1941–09/08/1945 Newspaper Archives
Colorado Denver Rocky Shimpo 06/02/1944–12/31/1945 Newspaper Archives
Florida Miami Miami Herald 5/5/1926–11/30/1926 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Augusta Augusta Chronicle 6/4/1983–10/7/2003 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Columbus Columbus Daily Enquirer 4/1/1935–12/29/1940 Newspaper Archives
Georgia Macon Macon Telegraph 11/1/1938–8/28/1942 Newspaper Archives
Kansas Wichita Wichita Eagle 6/30/1971–11/30/1972 Newspaper Archives
Kentucky Lexington Lexington Herald 1/1/1935–1/31/1938 Newspaper Archives
Louisiana New Orleans Times-Picayune 1/22/1936–12/2/1936 Newspaper Archives
Michigan Cassopolis Cassopolis Vigilant* 07/23/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
Michigan Edwardsburg Edwardsburg Argus* 07/20/2009–Current Recent Obituaries
New Jersey Trenton Trenton Evening Times 2/15/1946–11/11/1973 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Arbeiter Zeitung 09/23/1892–12/23/1892 Newspaper Archives
New York New York Vorwarts 11/25/1922–11/25/1922 Newspaper Archives
North Carolina Charlotte Charlotte Observer 1/1/1931–10/26/1933 Newspaper Archives
Ohio Bellville Bellville Star, The* 11/21/2013–Current Recent Obituaries
Ohio Mechanicsburg Telegram, The* 02/24/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Pennsylvania Erie Erie Tageblatt 02/24/1914–02/24/1914 Newspaper Archives
Pennsylvania State College Centre Daily Times 1/2/1981–10/31/1984 Newspaper Archives
Utah Topaz Topaz Times 09/26/1942–08/31/1945 Newspaper Archives
Virginia Chase City News-Progress, The* 02/23/2012–Current Recent Obituaries
Washington Bellingham Bellingham Herald 11/28/1941–8/30/1945 Newspaper Archives
Washington Bremerton Kitsap Sun: Web Edition Articles* 08/27/2014–Current Recent Obituaries
Washington Olympia Morning Olympian 4/1/1945–11/27/1950 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin Appleton Appleton Volksfreund 06/23/1921–06/29/1922 Newspaper Archives
Wisconsin Milwaukee Wahrheit 01/05/1901–12/26/1903 Newspaper Archives

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Are You a Descendant of Mayflower Pilgrim John Alden?

The Rev. Bailey Loring (1786-1860) was a descendant of John Alden, who was a crew member on the Mayflower and one of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony. Rev. Loring’s mother was Alethea (Alden) Loring (1744-1820), and her great-grandfather was John Alden, who married Priscilla Mullins.

Family stories and ancestral connections were reported in old newspapers, and GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives are essential for getting the stories of your family history. For example, here is Rev. Bailey Loring’s obituary, which states he is a direct descendant of John Alden.

obituary for Rev. Bailey Loring, Boston Recorder newspaper article 10 May 1860

Boston Recorder (Boston, Massachusetts), 10 May 1860, page 75

A “Shout Out” to the Alden Kindred of America, one of my all-time favorite genealogical organizations and websites: FYI—you’ll want to link this obituary and citation to your website. The “Alden Kindred” is a lineage society open to all descendants of John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden and those interested in the work of the society.

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Are you a descendant of John and Priscilla Alden? Tell us about your familial connection in the comments section.

Related Mayflower Articles & Resources:

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