Some of the Most Interesting Things I Found on GenealogyBank in 2017

Being a life-time genealogist, I’m enthusiastic about discovering interesting stories about my relatives – and with the help of GenealogyBank, the process of discovering those stories is even easier. Newspapers are THE source for finding these stories.

GenealogyBank has two collections of newspapers to help you find more details of your ancestors’ lives:  the Historical Newspaper Archives and Recent Obituaries. I used both of these collections this year and found some incredible stories about my family tree along the way.

Here’s a look at some of the things I learned about my relatives this year using GenealogyBank.

My ancestor Tristram C. Goodwin (1781-1813) fought and died in the War of 1812 – I had no idea I had any relatives who had fought in the War of 1812, let alone died in that war. I found Tristram’s story with the help of GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

Illustration: “Drawing of a Forsyth rifleman at French Creek with Bartlett’s Point in background and British war ship.”
Illustration: “Drawing of a Forsyth rifleman at French Creek with Bartlett’s Point in background and British war ship.” Source: Thousand Island Life.

My cousin Marie Frances Burgess (1920-2001) was one of the last remaining Shakers in the world. I discovered her 2001 obituary using the Recent Obituaries collection.

Photo: section of Shaker Village, Sabbathday Lake, Maine, from an old postcard
Photo: section of Shaker Village, Sabbathday Lake, Maine, from an old postcard. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

My cousin Collin McKinney (1766-1861) not only signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 but was, according to Wikipedia, “one of the five individuals who drafted [it] and the oldest person to sign it.” I learned about this incredible story through the recent obituary of one of my Mayflower cousins, who was a descendant of Collin McKinney.

An obituary for Lola McDaniel, Galveston County Daily News newspaper article 29 August 2010
Source: GenealogyBank, Galveston County Daily News (Galveston, Texas), 29 August 2010

My cousin Zachariah Stevens (1778-1856) was one of the fathers of American tinware, which I discovered using the Historical Newspaper Archives.

Photo: tinplate trunk, by Zachariah Brackett Stevens, c. 1815–1835
Photo: tinplate trunk, by Zachariah Brackett Stevens, c. 1815–1835. Source: American Museum of Folk Art. http://collection.folkartmuseum.org/view/objects/asitem/items@:4635

I confirmed that my Hanson relatives in Dover, New Hampshire, were Quakers using the Historical Newspaper Archives.

An obituary for Solomon Hanson, Sun newspaper article 5 October 1805
Source: GenealogyBank, Sun (Dover, New Hampshire), 5 October 1805, page 3

My ancestor William Kemp was a “shouting Methodist,” and was ejected from church by the pastor. I learned about this amusing story with the help of the Historical Newspaper Archives.

Photo: Maple Avenue Methodist Church, Stamford, Connecticut
Photo: Maple Avenue Methodist Church, Stamford, Connecticut. Source: Thomas Jay Kemp.

My 90-year-old 4th-great-uncle Moses Plummer (1765-1859) survived the “Great Catastrophe” of Meredith, New Hampshire. I pieced together this fascinating story using a variety of historical newspaper articles.

An article about the “Great Catastrophe” of Meredith, New Hampshire, Weekly Union newspaper article 21 March 1855
Source: GenealogyBank, Weekly Union (Manchester, New Hampshire), 21 March 1855, page 2

Genealogy Tip: Make 2018 the year you find the fascinating stories that make your family tree memorable. Start your search today at GenealogyBank.com.

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2 thoughts on “Some of the Most Interesting Things I Found on GenealogyBank in 2017

  1. Pamela- Newspapers give a wealth of stories about ancestors with a good feel for what life was like for them. As for what your “wed site”. I’m not sure if you meant that you are looking for a website that would give you stories about you ancestors. Google is a good option to search family stories. Also FamilySearch.org has a section for memories and stories. I hope this helps.

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