However, their military service was almost always mentioned in their obituary notice—as in this example, published in the Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 31 July 1840, page 2, of the late Isaac Van Wart (1751-1840) of Tarrytown (Westchester County) and Pittstown (Rensselaer County), New York. Obituaries, birth announcements and marriage notices are some of the excellent resources newspapers provide family historians. During times of war, draft, slacker, and casualty lists are another helpful genealogical resource. In addition to information about your individual ancestors, newspapers provide the stories about what the entire United States was going through, to help you put your ancestors’ experiences in context and thereby come to understand them a little more. Digital newspaper archives online have become the core tool for modern genealogy, helping genealogists and family history researchers discover more about their family’s military past than ever before possible.
Researching Genealogy with Military Records and Lists in Newspapers From the Revolutionary War to Pearl Harbor to Iraq, newspapers are a valuable resource for researching your military ancestry and learning about the history of war in the United States. Newspapers have been a dependable source of information that Americans have relied upon throughout this nation’s history.
U.S. War History in Newspapers This was vividly demonstrated after Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor launched the U.S. into World War II. The next day Congress declared war on Japan—and Americans were riveted by the bold headlines and news stories splashed across the front pages of the nation’s newspapers.
Omaha World Journal (Omaha, Nebraska), 8 December 1941, page 1. Newspapers tell us what happened every day of our ancestors’ lives. From the Revolutionary War to the wars in the Middle East, newspapers let us read about our ancestors’ participation in the nation’s conflicts—and what the country as a whole went through. We volunteered, we were enlisted in the U.S. military through the draft—and when we didn’t register for the draft, the government issued “slacker lists” to encourage full participation in the war.
U.S. Military Draft Lists Military draft lists were published in newspapers, like this one printed in the 26 July 1917 issue of the Perry Republican (Perry, Oklahoma), page 1. It is a census of the men living in Noble County, Oklahoma, in 1917—a valuable genealogical resource to help with your family history research. Similar lists were the “slacker lists” or “draft dodger lists”: listings of those persons that tried to evade the draft. After World War I the United States War Department issued lists of those men that did not register with the military draft. These lists were widely published in newspapers across the country, like this example from the Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 25 May 1921, page 1. From the declaration of war through obituaries published decades after the conflict ended, newspapers have been a dependable source of information about our ancestors and their participation in the United States Armed Forces. Newspapers reported on the battles and covered the stories of the war every step along the way. Family historians can gather facts for their family trees and put them in the context of the war as it happened. U.S. Military Casualty Lists Another valuable resource for family historians are the war casualty lists many newspapers published. In this example, published in the Macon Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), 6 August 1918, page 1, the newspaper published the full casualty list and spiked out the Georgia men that died in a prominent boxed note that appeared on page one. Most U.S. citizens do not remain in the military as a lifelong career. However, their military service was almost always mentioned in their obituary notice—as in this example, published in the Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 31 July 1840, page 2, of the late Isaac Van Wart (1751-1840) of Tarrytown (Westchester County) and Pittstown (Rensselaer County), New York. Obituaries, birth announcements and marriage notices are some of the excellent resources newspapers provide family historians. During times of war, draft, slacker, and casualty lists are another helpful genealogical resource. In addition to information about your individual ancestors, newspapers provide the stories about what the entire United States was going through, to help you put your ancestors’ experiences in context and thereby come to understand them a little more. Digital newspaper archives online have become the core tool for modern genealogy, helping genealogists and family history researchers discover more about their family’s military past than ever before possible. Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 7 April 1917, page 1.
GenealogyBank’s huge newspaper archives of over 5,700 titles has plenty of newspapers for the Springfield, Massachusetts, area, with coverage spanning the years 1782 to Today. This valuable genealogical resource has thousands of news stories, obituaries, and birth and marriage notices to help you with your family history research.Our collection has 13 newspapers for Springfield, MA; 12 of them are historical newspapers that have been completely digitized, meaning you have access to every news story and obituary as well as all the comics, letters to the editor, advertisements, etc. The 13th newspaper, the Republican, has digitized copies of all that newspaper’s obituaries from 1988 to Today.
You can search both the historical Springfield, Mass., obituaries and newspapers (date range: 1782 to 1989) and the Republican’s obituaries (date range: 1988 to Today) easily online at our genealogy website. Here is a complete title list for GenealogyBank’s Springfield, Mass., newspaper archives, with the starting and ending date for each newspaper’s coverage. Each title is an active link that will take you directly to that newspaper’s search form.
Millions of books are going online. Entire libraries – that never close; available 24/7.
It is now possible for genealogists to read, download and keep genealogies, local histories – publications of all types and sizes. Instantly accessible online and easily stored on your personal laptop or handheld computer.
Remembering one of our own: Linda Fay Kaufman, genealogist, 1940-2009 Enthusiastic genealogist Linda Fay Kaufman (1940-2009) has passed away. She put her family history research online and actively corresponded with genealogists across the country. A search of the genealogy lists shows her posts as recently as the last few months.
Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) – April 12, 2009 Kaufman, Linda Fay Born in Hanover, NH on July 15, 1940, died peacefully on March 30, 2009 surrounded by family at North Memorial Hospital. She is survived by husband Stan, daughters Eleanor Kaufman (Chicago, IL) and Elizabeth Shiroma (St. Paul, MN), son-in law Ian Shiroma, grandson Ryan Shiroma, sisters Marcia Fay (Bethlehem, PA) and Norma Bigos (Baltimore, MD), nephew Jon Bigos (Baltimore, MD), and extended family across the U.S. A graduate of Newton High School and Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Linda studied classical languages and literature in graduate school at Yale University. During this time, she met Stan, and they married in 1964. Linda taught at Vassar College and at the Thomas School for Girls. In 1969, she embarked with Stan for universities in Germany, first in Heidelberg and then in Mainz. In Heidelberg, she taught English to German-speaking adults. Later, she worked in the University’s Library of Southeast Asian studies, organizing and cataloging documents in the many languages of that region. At the University in Mainz, she assisted in the Comparative Literature Department. In 1976, Linda and Stan moved to Minnesota, and adopted their first daughter Elizabeth the next year; their second daughter Eleanor was born in 1979. When the children were in school, Linda held several accounting positions. She then became a Certified Professional Accountant and developed a small practice of her own, specializing in tax returns with international involvement. She especially enjoyed her work assisting recent immigrants in the Somali community. During the past decade, Linda conducted extensive genealogy research on her New England family roots. She developed comprehensive family websites, collaborated with many others, and responded to world-wide inquiries from fellow genealogists and distant relatives. Linda will be remembered lovingly by her family and the many people whose lives she touched. A gathering in her honor will be held later in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to Green Belt Movement (http://greenbeltmovement.org) or Books for Africa (http://www.booksforafrica.org/) Edition: METRO Page: 5B Copyright (c) 2009 Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities
Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington St., Braintree, Massachusetts. For more information, call 781-848-0405 x4420 or visit www.thayerpubliclibrary.net Program: Discovering Your Ancestry Using the Internet Speaker: Michael Brophy When: Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Cost: Free and open to the public. The most popular and useful features of www.newenglandancestors.org, www.familysearch.org, www.genealogybank.com and other Internet resources will be discussed. New England Ancestors is the database of the 150+ year old New England Historic Genealogical Society. Family search is the website of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT. Cyndi’s list is the most powerful search engine on the Internet for high quality genealogy databases and subjects. GenealogyBank is a fast growing website that contains the best newspaper collections on the planet.
We routinely hear from genealogists telling about their success – “Wow, look what I found!”
We really love to hear those stories and today it is my turn.
Last week I was stunned to find that one of my cousins had posted early photographs of our family online.
There they were – the actual pictures of my third great-grandfather Isaac Garcelon (1790-1872)
and his parents William (1763-1851)
and Maria (Howe) Garcelon (1763-1850).
I could see why they were so bundled up.
They were from Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine. Having grown up in New England I am used to cold weather – the snow would stay on the north side of my grandparent’s home until April almost every year.
This find got me to searching in GenealogyBank to find out more about them. I simply searched the name: William Garcelon and quickly found death notices for William Garcelon (1763-1851) that were published in two newspapers, one in Massachusetts and one in Maine.
The Boston Evening Transcript23 Jan 1851
and in the Portland Daily Advertiser (29 Jan 1851).
Then I quickly spotted the marriage announcement of William’s nephew – Captain Asa Garcelon (1796-1859) that was published in the Eastern Argus (Maine) 16 March 1825.
Notice that every one of these articles appeared in out-of-town or out-of-state newspapers.
TIP: Colonial and 19th Century Newspapers often printed out of town birth, marriage and death notices. GenealogyBank makes them easy to find because it let’s you search all 3,700 newspapers for your ancestors.
TIP: Be flexible in your searches and remember that their obituaries or marriage notices just might have been printed in out of state newspapers – like the wedding announcement of Nicholas Goodson and Sarah Matthews in Isle of Wight County, Virginia – that was published in the Maine newspaper – the Eastern Argus in 1825. Like cable news television stations today – newspapers carried news from across the country.
There were no articles telling if Nicholas Goodson was ever arrested.
It is a great day for genealogy. What an opportunity we have to find these historic artifacts, articles and documents about our family.
Sometimes genealogists look at GenealogyBank‘s 3,700+ newspapers and only focus on newspapers published in their home town. Beginning researchers often concentrate on their local newspaper or other newspapers published in their state and don’t think they need the rest of the content in GenealogyBank. When I first began researching 43 years ago – I found an obituary about Edward Kemp (1863-1926) published in the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Register (NEHGS Memoirs. January 1928. pp. 103-104). The obituary said that he was born in County Cavan, Ireland. That would have been crucial information for my Kemp research at that time. But the article also said that he was born in New York City so I erroneously concluded this was not my relative. I thought our family was “only” from Stamford, Connecticut. It would be years later that I would again find Edward’s obituary in the Register. The second time I recognized him immediately as my cousin. By then I knew that the family was from County Cavan – but I stared at that information and wondered – how was it I didn’t find this earlier? And, then I recalled that I had tossed it aside because he was from New York City. Tip: Families move to other parts of the country. Use GenealogyBankto find your family obituaries; articles, and documents – no matter where in the country these items were published.Don’t assume you only want your hometown newspaper.
Let me give you an example – framed on the basic question researchers often ask – What do you have on Stamford, CT? The question should be more precise. What do you have on Grace Stewart – who was born and married in Stamford, CT?
What was known? Her name: Grace Toms Approximate year/place of birth: born about 1896 in Stamford, CT Spouse: She married “Charles Stewart” Other: The rest of the “Toms” family lived/died in the Stamford area.
Problem: Initial searches found nothing on them. Charles Stewart and Grace Stewart are common names.
A search of GenealogyBank for Grace Stewart yielded 1,238 results – that is just too many to sort through to find her. I narrowed the search to just the more recent America’s Obituaries section to see if I could locate her obituary notice. That resulted in 143 hits – I could sift through those – but I first limited the search again by state – for just obituaries published in Connecticut newspapers. This time I got zero hits. So I turned to search for her husband: Charles Stewart. A search for him in the America’s Obituaries section for all newspapers produced 632 hits. When I limited the search to just CT newspapers I found one hit, but it was not him
I then repeated the America’s Obituaries section search for Grace Stewart but this time I added her middle name “Toms” to the extra search terms in “Include keywords” box. Nothing.
One more try. I repeated the America’s Obituaries section search for Grace Stewart but this time I added “Stamford” to the extra search terms “Include keywords” box.
Grace Stewart Washington Post, The (DC) – February 4, 1992 GRACE STEWART, LAWYER, ASSOCIATE JUDGE, DIES Grace M. Stewart, 93, an associate judge of the Municipal Court in Washington in 1952 and 1953, died of pneumonia Feb. 1 at the Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockville, where she was a patient for five years. She was a Washington resident off and on for 74 years. Mrs. Stewart was appointed to the court after serving as executive assistant in the attorney general’s office. She worked for the Justice Department for 24 years. After she left Municipal Court, she was on the staff of the Senate District Committee and later became administrative director of the Washington office of Executive Manpower Corp, a recruitment firm. She retired in 1973. A native of Stamford, Conn., Mrs. Stewart attended American University and its law school. She was a typist with the Veterans Administration before she became a lawyer at Justice.
She belonged to the Federal and Women’s Bar associations and Phi Delta Delta legal fraternity.
Her husband, Charles Stewart, died in 1920. Survivors include two daughters, Barbara S. Eskey of Rockville and Patricia S. de Hoffman of La Jolla, Calif.; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Copyright (c) 1992 The Washington Post
Tip: Don’t only concentrate on your home town newspaper. You can find articles about your family published in out of state newspapers – in this case the Washington Post.
Tip: Be sure to be creative in adding/removing search terms to fine tune your search.
Her lengthy obituary concluded by saying: “Her life was an example of overcoming enormous challenges, and making a difference in the world, patiently, quietly–and then there was the occasional wild rumpus. “ Her late husband, A.J. Myers had been a POW at the “Hanoi Hilton” at the same time John McCain was there.
San Antonio Express-News (TX) - October 13, 2008 Reprinted with permissionGenealogyBank Patty [Florence] Barthell Myers died October 9th, at the home of her daughter in suburban Philadelphia, where she was living and receiving hospice care since August. Born in Evanston, Illinois on June 6, 1930, Patty was the third of four children of Harriet Lyon and Edward East Barthell, Jr. She grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, spending summers on Lake Michigan. She graduated from New Trier High School with honors and attended Northwestern University in Evanston. She met her first husband, Louis Harold Cargill, Jr. on Lake Michigan and they married on Patty’s birthday in 1951. They had 3 children, Lucy, James, and Lon Cargill. Lou died in 1985 and Patty returned to San Antonio. Lon died in January of 1985. Patty married Armand J. Myers in 1988. A.J. and Patty met in 1965 when he was flying fighter jet missions over North Vietnam. He was shot down June, 1966, and was a POW in the Hanoi Hilton for 6 years. When he was re-patriated, his Air Force sponsor was Patty’s husband, Lou. Patty and A.J. married in 1988. A.J. died in 2002. Patty’s life’s work was genealogy. In 2007, she published her FEMALE INDEX TO GENEALOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND, by James Savage,1860. She is survived by her brother, John Peter Barthell of Sequim, WA, sister Polly Barthell Clark of Orlond Beach, FL, brother Edward East Barthell, III, of Appleton WI, cousin Charles Arthur Carroll, of Manhattan, and cousin Elizabeth (Betsy) Barthell of Overland Park, KS. She also leaves her daughter, Lucy, and her husband Mark Bonnington, of Malvern, PA, son James Eric Cargill of San Antonio, her grandchildren Colin Mark and Cara Ellen Bonington of Malvern, PA and John Shaw Lynch, of Williamsburg, VA and his sister Ashley Lynch Rodi, and God daughters Kemper and Edyn Rodi, of Newport Beach, CA, and sister-in-law, Sally Dulin Shaw of Mexico City. Patty requested no memorial service. Her ashes will be scattered on Lake Michigan, the pink beaches of Bermuda, and the coast of Oregon. Her life was an example of overcoming enormous challenges, and making a difference in the world, patiently, quietly–and then there was the occasional wild rumpus. Friends may call at her home in Oakwell Farms, 15 Campden Circle, San Antonio, TX on Thursday, October 16th, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Donations may be made in her name to the nearest public library. Copyright (c), 2008, San Antonio Express-News. All Rights Reserved.
Genealogists will love the fact that the new Republican choice for Vice President – Sarah Heath Palin is a descendant of multiple Mayflower passengers: John Tilley, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Elder William Brewster, Richard Warren and other well known New England families.
I am also descended from those Mayflower passengers …. so we’re cousins.
She is also a descendant of the Rev. John Lathrop – famous to genealogists as the “gateway” ancestor of many US Presidents, inventors, actors and celebrities.
No doubt in the days ahead we will see stories of how she is related to our other cousins: George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Dick Cheney, George Washington, King George III, King Henry VIII, Abraham Lincoln and the list will go on and on.