Genealogy Tip: Out-of-Town Obituaries

This is important.

Look at this typical daily report of marriages and deaths in a local newspaper from the 1800s.

Marriage and death notices, Stamford Advocate newspaper article 17 August 1860
Stamford Advocate (Stamford, Connecticut), 17 August 1860, page 3

What do you notice?

For the Hilton-Smith marriage, the wedding took place in South Norwalk, Connecticut. The groom was from Brooklyn, New York, and the bride from South Norwalk.

In the death notices: Charles Brooks died in Norwalk, Connecticut; Lewis Hoyt died in Danbury, Connecticut; Mrs. Chloe Colt died in Torringford, Connecticut (which is part of Torrington, Connecticut); Alanson Lyon died in Redding, Connecticut; and David Sherman died in Bethel, Connecticut.

What do all of these people have in common?
They were not from Stamford, Connecticut, where the newspaper was published.

Why is that important?
It is a reminder to genealogists to search for birth, marriage and death notices in not just the local newspaper where the event occurred – but in newspapers from across the state and bordering states.

Newspaper editors cast a wide net in reporting and publishing local news. The information you are looking for might have been published in a newspaper from the other side of your state or in a neighboring state newspaper.

Genealogists should learn from this example and cast a wide net in looking for the key articles about their ancestors in the billions of newspaper articles available in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

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