How to Find Your Family in Newspapers with SuperSearch


– If you’re in need of a Norwegian translation, I’m told that there are headsets in the back of the room, so you can grab one of those to get your translation. Welcome everyone, I am very happy to be here in Oslo, my very first time to Scandinavia, and it’s been such a pleasure. My name is Lisa Louise Cooke, and I love newspapers. I hope you’ve been digging into them. Now y’all, I’m from Dallas, Texas, ‘kay? And so I do talk a little bit about U.S. newspapers, ’cause that’s where I all do my research. But the strategies we’re gonna talk about, all of you can use these strategies. And newspapers are absolutely the superheroes, I think, of genealogy. I do something called the Genealogy Gems Podcast. Has anybody heard the podcast? Great, I suppose if I asked does anybody not know what a podcast is, some hands would go up, right? A podcast is an audio show, and like radio, but it’s pre-recorded, so you can listen to it on your phone. And if you have a smartphone, all you have to do is go into the app store and either search for my app or get yourself the podcast app. If you have an Apple phone, there’s a podcast app that comes with your phone, and on the Android there’s a brand new Google Podcast app, and you can search for my name or Genealogy Gems. So I love talking genealogy. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years to people around the world, and I’d have to say that newspapers is one of my favorite topics. I am the author of the book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. And so in this session today, we’re gonna talk about what you can find in newspapers, because it’s a lot more than just an obituary, isn’t it? We’re also gonna be talking about using MyHeritage’s SuperSearch and really digging into the collections that they have. But we’ll also talk about a couple of other free ways to get your hands on even more newspapers, and some of my really my top tips that I think every genealogist can use to have more success in newspaper research. So what are you gonna find? Well, you’re gonna find your ancestor. Sometimes they’re just a little mention, or it’s just something that happened to them. But in some cases, they are front and center stage. And in this case, my husband’s grandfather was center stage in his little town on the coast of the U.S., on the West Coast in Oregon. He was retiring from being a high school teacher, and that was big news in his town. And what I loved about this article when I found it was that he started talking about what he would like to do after retirement, and he said I wanna go back to England, and I want to learn more about my family history. Now this is back in the 1950s. Fast forward, I am the genealogist in the family, and I’ve always been hounding my mother-in-law about family history and photos and all this, and I was so excited to read in the newspaper that back in the ’50s, Raymond Cooke is talking about going to England to learn more about his family history where he was born. And so I went to my mother-in-law, and I said I just read about this, and she says oh, Lisa, Lisa, I’ve given you all the pictures, I’ve given you everything, what do you want from me? And I said well all I’m saying is, is if he went to England, he probably took photographs. And she went no. I said slides, movies? Oh, there’s that box in the attic. And it turned out there were carousels of hundreds of slides, photographs from this trip where he went back to meet his school mates, now a bit older, as well as family, too. So it’s fascinating to me how tapping into a new genealogical source like a newspaper article could get you asking that question in just the right way. You know, photographs didn’t ring a bell, but slides she remembered. So it opened up a whole ‘nother treasure trove. And there she is in the newspaper second from the left, (laughs) looking lovely back in the ’50s, in social activities. So the newspaper’s gonna be the place where we can often find our ancestors involved in their local community. More common in smaller newspapers and small towns, why? ‘Cause that’s how they got people to subscribe to the newspaper. They put them in the newspaper, right? So we’re looking at social activities, we’re looking at childhood education all the way through university. I love this one right out of the newspaper, the entire class, all the children and all of them named in the text below. So be thinking about all the different kinds of activities that go on through your education and how that might get mentioned. We also have things like travel and arrivals from one country to another, everything from just a little vacation that somebody took, they went to visit somebody in the next town, to this is a listing of the ship that was going to leave. So I was able to verify some immigration information by simply finding the article in the newspaper stating that the ship indeed was leaving at that time. Also things like legal notices, oh my gosh, can you see how the variation of items that can come out of one type of source are superheroes, and they are because it can create story. It fills in the story, doesn’t it? And that’s what we’re really going for. So a legal notice could be something that they are selling, or they’re being taken to court. We have things like, here’s the legal notices, divorce notices, this one, 1813, divorce has been around awhile. And so this was in the newspaper as well. I don’t know if it makes a difference to your family tree, but you can find out about your ancestors’ livestock, which horses they had and how big they were, or maybe the debts that they incurred in their town. Also classifieds, did your ancestors own a business? Were they involved in a business? Did they work for a business organization? You can find the names of these companies, and it’s really interesting to see what they sold, and what that tells you about the timeframe. Also things like vital records, in my case I have ancestors who lived through the San Francisco earthquake, and the courthouse was destroyed, so the only place I can get a birth record for my grandfather is in the newspaper. It’s not available in the traditional birth certificate. So marriages, births, and of course deaths, which we’re used to seeing. And those ancestors from San Francisco, the newspapers have opened up the story. Explain to me, why did they go to three different locations within 10 years? Well part of it was their first house was destroyed. And then the next one became a neighborhood that was having difficulties with the services. So the newspaper can tell you the bigger picture about what’s going on around your ancestors, even if they’re not named specifically. So let’s talk about newspapers at MyHeritage, because all of these kinds of treasures are just sitting in there waiting to be found. So in terms of locating newspapers, how do we do this? Well, there’s a couple different ways. We could go up to Research and click newspapers as a collection. And if we do that, we can see in the right-hand column that there are a variety of different individual collections listed. You can expand that list. And that’s okay, that’s one way that you could do it. If we come back up to the main menu, under Research, how about the collection catalog? This is my favorite place to go. From there, newspapers is one of the topics, and when I click that, I have just a list of newspaper collections. And it shows me the last time it was updated, how many items are in those records and those collections, and there’s a lot. And as we heard this morning, there are gonna be more. So under this sort by, we can sort by the last updated. So if you’ve done some newspaper research, this is a quick way just to see that you’re not covering the same territory, but you’re going into new ones. But we can also do by collection name, and that’s what I like to do. You can also head over to the left-hand side. You could click just Europe, and that clears everything out, and you can focus on by collection names only within Europe. Or I could do just the U.S. or just Australia. They have records worldwide, so it’s tremendous. I think the card catalog is probably one of the most valuable entry points on the website, and it’s so often not used. But it really helps to dig in and see what’s in the collection. When you’re doing newspaper research, what you’re gonna find is it’s not something that you sit down, you do it for an hour and you’re done, not like I found the 1910 census, or I found that death record. Newspapers, I don’t know if you use this expression, but it’s like herding cats. You ever try to herd cats or get them to go a certain direction? They’re all over the place. Newspapers are all over the place. So what I like to do is use a form like this. Now this form is in my book, but you could even just get a pad of paper and mark out, write down a little synopsis, who you’re looking for, what you’re looking for, who were the people involved? And then we wanna identify the location, where they lived, and also write down what’s the timeframe we’re talking about? Also on this form, I like to give myself a place where I can start logging in as I’m searching, where I’ve looked, where I’ve not looked, because this is the type of search that tends to get picked up and put down. It’s going to happen over a period of time. It’s not gonna be sitting down one time at your computer and you’re done. There’s a lot to be discovered. So where are we looking? We’ve got our profile now of who we’re looking for. We’re gonna be thinking about, of course, the town where they lived, that makes sense. But we’re also looking at neighboring towns, countywide, and of course in the U.S. we have states, and then we have counties. Whatever the narrower jurisdiction is or the wider jurisdiction in your area, your region where you’re researching. And don’t shy away from out of the area newspapers, because sometimes the newspaper is reporting something significant happened in a completely different area. They may also be reporting something that they picked up because they know that those people originate from their town, so it’s significant news to them. So we’ve identified the place and the jurisdictions around this place. So let’s run kind of a basic search, narrowing by location. If we head into MyHeritage, and we just start with a basic search by name, I could put in Jacob Wolf. When you get your search results, I like to look in this left-hand column. And at the bottom you’ll see that you can refine your search. You can do this by publication title, but the truth is you may not know what the publication title is, right? We don’t know the exact name of the newspaper. We can also do it by year, but most importantly, the one I think you should focus on is by place. For newspapers, it’s about location, so we’re gonna click on publication place. In this collection, so I’m looking at Ohio, the state of Ohio, and when I click on publication place, I get a popup box, and that’s gonna tell me what are the newspaper titles in this area where I’m researching. So wherever you’re researching, you’re gonna see, you might see one or two, you might see like in the case of Ohio, which is a good example, there are dozens. So the state of Ohio is kinda big, and I have to figure out where were my ancestors, ’cause I’m not familiar with all of these names, one of my favorite tools is Google Earth. Has anybody ever used Google Earth for genealogy? Yes, I hope you’ll come to my website and check out under videos. I have a one hour class that’s free on Google Earth. It’s a fascinating tool because it is location-based. It’s a free software program that you can download to your computer. Let me show you how I use this. Knowing how many ancestors I had in Ohio, it was worth 10 minutes that it took me to plot each publication in MyHeritage. That’s what I did. I searched for each name of a newspaper right from that box we just saw on the website, and I clicked the place mark, and I typed the name of the newspaper in the title up here at the top of the box. And when you click okay, you end up with these little pushpins all over the map. So I’ve plotted out all of these publications. Now I’m gonna plot out my ancestors. I have a lot of different ancestors in this area, so I’m going to fly to each location using the search box, and I’m gonna put green pushpins. So now I can see where my ancestors lived, birth, marriage, death, and I can see it in conjunction with the collections that MyHeritage has. So in a case like this, if you find there are many different collections listed in that popup box, take a few minutes and plot it out. This is something I turn to over and over again in Google Earth, to be able to zero in. If Charles Katzenberg is right there, I’ve got four towns surrounding him that are prime targets to then go look for those newspapers. When you’re pulling up a list of tens of thousands of newspaper pages, you gotta find a way to narrow it down. We don’t have all day, do we? I wish we did. Here’s another one, John Paulus, and particularly for an area where you’re not personally familiar with it. I, you know, I’ve been to Ohio I think once, so it’s really nice to be able to see what all these different town names are I’m not familiar with. And this, it’s the same for me when I’m working with my German ancestors. I can also in Google Earth click borders, and now it’s going to give me the county names, the states, the countries, again borders works worldwide in Google Earth, so it’s just another tool to give you a good sense of where you’re researching. And as I find new ancestors, I go and I drop them in there with a pushpin, and I continue to make my list that I want to target within MyHeritage. So let’s talk about targeting. Another way in addition to focusing on the location is to focus on record matches. And one of the wonderful things, I think, about MyHeritage is that they do include newspapers in their record matches. Hence on other websites that you see, those are often designed to provide only basic information. So they’re focusing on census records in their record matches, birth, marriage and death, and family trees. You know, it’s exciting to see matches and hints and all these different things that are out there, but you have to know what’s included and what’s not. And at MyHeritage, the newspapers, in fact they are the only site that is including newspapers in the record matches. So I wanna show you how you can get over to MyHeritage and target just these record matches just for newspapers, see, because genealogy research, it’s no longer, you know it’s funny, I started 10 years ago, and everybody was so anxious to learn technology and get on the websites, and more, more, more, and now it’s like less, less, less, right, ’cause there’s so much coming at us so quickly. What we as genealogists have to do is kinda shift now. It’s not grab as much as you can. It’s fine tune and filter and narrow as best as you can right up front, so you spend less time in areas that aren’t going to pay off. And that’s what my focus is. So targeting record matches, at MyHeritage, you’re gonna go under Discoveries. And here we can select Matches by source, and our source is newspapers. So I’m gonna click Record Matches. When you first click to go by source, you’re gonna see you’ve got All Matches, you’ve got Record Matches, and you’ve got Smart Matches. I’m going to click on Record Matches. And then we’re not done yet, because over on the right there is this sort by, and we can do collection name, that’s the drop down arrow, there’s two options here. There’s the number of matches, which is interesting, but more importantly is the collection name. So I’m gonna click that. Now I’m looking at oh, 91 resources, 3,800 matches, I’m gonna be up all night, right? Have you ever had one of those where you’re up all night doing this? 91 sources, okay, so what this is doing is this is including all record types. I’ve got one more thing to do. I’m gonna click the gear icon, and it’s over next to that collection name. Now I can do just newspapers. It says show all record types, show only the structured records, or show only free text records, and that’s narrowed down to yearbooks, newspapers, and those types of items. So while this might looK like a couple of extra steps, it’s worth it, because it’s going to really funnel down to what you’re target is. And your target is newspapers in a certain area. So I will click Apply, and now I have focused results. This list is worth my time and my effort. And what I see now is I have 19 sources with 63 matches, and they are all things like compiled, published resources, yearbooks and newspapers. So I see here I’ve got some from Virginia, I’ve got some from Australia. They’re worldwide, but they’re very focused, and it tells me how many matches I have to review in that particular area. Any questions on that, let’s just take a second, and you get the idea of narrowing in by location and using some of these filters and tools on the site up front to save you time afterward. We’re good, all right, so at MyHeritage, worldwide newspapers, and we heard Galad say this morning we’ve got so many more coming to us. We know that they have the ability to even look at things like synonyms for words. And of course the OCR is picking up the words in the images of these newspapers, so it’s just a tremendous resource. Another one of my favorite resources, because certainly you might get there, and you might discover oh, we’re still waiting, and they don’t have what I’m looking for in particular, is terms of websites. We can go a little further out, and one of my favorite places is Google, because Google is kinda going to be that taxicab if you will, to all the other places around the net, around the internet where you can find old newspapers. So in my book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, I talk about search operators. And I hope that you’re familiar with these. If you’ve been googling, and you’re getting millions of results and getting frustrated, it may be because you’re not using search operators. Many times people will go to Google, and they’ll start looking for people, ancestors’ names. And that often is not as effective in terms of trying to reach out beyond into the rest of the internet, because as wonderful as our ancestors are, they aren’t always by name on web pages. Google can only read the text that is typed on the web page. So unless that web page is literally transcribing and typing everything that is in a newspaper, you need to shift your focus from the person to the collection. So in this case, I go back to this grandfather who was born a month and a half after the great earthquake, and I want to try to find his birth record in a newspaper. I would go to google.com, and I would do San Francisco, and I would put that in quotation marks. If you’ve ever put multiple words into google.com, have you noticed some of the results have some of the words, and some of the results have some of the other ones, and they’re not always together the way they should be? If I put San Francisco inside quotation marks, I’ve just told Google it must be spelled this way, this phrase must be on every search result, and it has to be San first and Francisco second, make sense? ‘Cause we’ve all seen the opposite if we don’t put the quotation marks around it. I’m also gonna put newspapers, because I’m looking for a collection. And one of the reasons why our ancestor’s names are not typed on these web pages out there in the rest of the world is that they are scanned documents, and Google cannot read the text in the images. So scanned images, digitized images are just photographs, they’re pictures, and Google can’t read those. Even when OCR is applied, and we know that MyHeritage applies OCR to theirs, so MyHeritage can read the text on the page, but Google could not. So if there’s a newspaper somewhere else on the web, Google’s not gonna be able to read the ancestor’s name on the page. So we’re looking for a mention of this collection. So I have San Francisco’s newspapers, and I’m gonna use a number search. You can do 1850 dot dot 1900, okay? And what that’s going to do is it’s gonna tell Google any web page that you give me that’s talking about San Francisco and talking about newspapers must have a four digit number that falls in this range. Make sense? So that means if the collection says we have these newspapers from San Francisco from 1850 to 1865, that’s gonna come up on your results list. If you’re looking for anything, and you know I’m using my family’s example, but whatever your example is, it applies worldwide, and that’s the beauty of it. So we’re gonna put a number search. Notice that there’s two periods between the numbers. There’s no space. So that tells Google it’s gotta have at least 1850 or some number that falls up to 1900. And the other thing I did when I ran this was when I first ran it, I started getting a whole bunch of Wikipedia pages, because Wikipedia was citing sources from newspapers. So you can subtract unwanted words if you’ve been searching online, and you’re getting search results, and you’re like this is not what I wanted, subtract those words out. So I just subtracted Wikipedia. And you put the minus sign touching the word, okay? Google needs to know what it is you’re trying to get rid of, so touch it. I have Lars Larson in my husband’s family, and in America, there’s a very famous radio show host named Lars Larson. So no matter what I do, putting in information about him, I get all these web pages about this radio show host. Well his Lars Larson lived at a time there was no radio, so that was a perfect word to get rid of when I Google, I subtract radio, and it really gets rid of it. So with googling, it’s all about bringing in what’s unique about what you’re looking for and getting rid of the stuff you don’t want. It’s that balancing act. And when I do that, this opens up the door to many more sources, particularly free resources, because Google’s not gonna be able to go behind subscription paywalls, so it’s going to be able to find things that might be out there for free for an area that you’re looking for. And I’ve got terrific results: historical newspapers, San Francisco, the Chronical 1865 through 1922. Perfect, of course 1865, right there in that sweet spot between those two numbers that I was asking for. So just using a couple of search operators is a powerful way to open up the rest of the internet to find those gems that are out there, and I’ve been surprised by some of these websites are just volunteers who have the same problem I have. They have ancestors who lived at a time where the courthouse was destroyed. There are no records. So they are just doing it themselves, and they’re making these websites. I would never find them if I didn’t use Google to reach out beyond. One thing I wanted to mention to you is Google happens to have a free newspaper website. And this has worldwide papers from 1840 to current day. Now it’s called the Google News Archive, and it was discontinued, so they’re no longer continuing to digitize newspapers. They have some wonderful French-Canadian newspapers, British, they have U.S., they’ve got worldwide. It’s worth three minutes to go to the Google News Archive and do a quick search and see if they have the paper you’re looking for. If they don’t, go on your way, but they are free. And if they are there, once you click through, they’re completely searchable, they’ve all been OCR’d, so that means we can keyword search all of them. So right there you have this fantastic collection at MyHeritage that you can now get in there and target your searches. You’ve got Google to kinda take you beyond and get into the rest of the internet. And I really recommend, because we can already tell just from this morning, how quickly things are moving and how much they’ll be adding, I really recommend if you’re not doing it, watch the blog at MyHeritage. That’s going to keep you up to date with all the announcements. They make announcements at conferences like this, but as those collections start getting released, where you gonna hear about it, on their blog and on my website. So every Friday, we also compile all the different websites that we track, and we write everything that’s new that we see that’s getting launched. I have a table out there if you would like to sign up for our free newsletter, you’re welcome to do it. We’ll keep you up to date. I still recommend that you follow their blog, because that’s these guys who really know the product inside and out, and they can tell you the fine details about the collections that they’re releasing. So I’ve got some top tips for you for super newspaper research. And these are just things because we’re all at different skill levels. I’ve talked to many people so far at the conference. Many are brand new. How many of you are brand new to genealogy? A few of you, great, welcome. You’re gonna be busy, (laughs) because this is a passion. But we all have varying degrees of experience. So let’s cover a couple of basic ideas, I’m gonna give you a couple of new ideas on strategies that you can use with newspapers, no matter what newspaper you’re researching. After we talked about what’s online, it’s important to know only a fraction of newspapers are online. And that’s one of the reasons I think it’s so important to talk about Google search, even in addition to talking about the collections that are on MyHeritage, because when you get to that point where you’ve exhausted what’s available, and you’re waiting for the next collection, you’d still need to go online to find out how to get your hands on the offline records, the ones in the archives and the libraries. They all have their card catalogs. They all have blogs and websites where they’re announcing what they’ve got in their collections. Google is the way that you identify what’s available and how the best way is to get your hands on it. So it’s kind of exciting to know that even though all the passenger lists are digitized, and all the census records, well we think all. It looks like it sometimes, doesn’t it? But to know that there’s this much still waiting to be digitized and discovered, it’s an exciting time in genealogy. Tip number two is to keep in mind that newspapers are secondary sources. And if you’re new to genealogy, the rest of us are probably gonna be on your case saying cite your sources, cite your sources, because in your enthusiasm to get going, it’s one of the first things we forget to do, or we’re not taught to do. But the important thing about a newspaper is even a hundred years ago, what they wrote in the paper was no more true than what they’re writing last week, right? So we know that a newspaper is documented by somebody, well usually well after the fact. They probably got their information secondhand, right, so as much as I love the richness of the stories that they bring to the table, we have to take them with a grain of salt. And that means we go take that as our major clue and go chase down the primary source to back it up. Can I prove what I just discovered in this newspaper, it’s key, and then documenting your path. My third tip for you is using Evernote. How many of you have used Evernote? A handful of you, so Evernote is a note-taking software program. It’s also an app, it’s a website, it’s a tool for collecting information, particularly when you’re on the web. And the beauty of it with newspapers, and I kind of got, I kinda discovered Evernote from my research as I was writing my newspaper book, because I always use my ancestors as my examples, and I was researching, and I was finding all kinds of great articles. And you could save those to your hard drive, right, you could put those on your computer. But they are not OCR’d when they’re saved to your computer. That means you can’t search for them again later by keyword. That means if you’re looking for an article you found two years ago, you’re gonna be spending a lot of time. And we just identified that you don’t have that much time. So if you use the Evernote Clipper, and it’s just a little tool you can put on your toolbar, you can draw a little box around the article and just save it. I do this for articles that I’m currently researching, even though I’m going to download the original document to my hard drive as usual as part of my archive, I’m going to clip it with Evernote, because Evernote is going to save it, just the picture of that one article. It’s going to OCR it so I can still keyword search all my articles. I have thousands of articles saved in Evernote, and now they’re all instantly keyword searchable. The other big benefit of clipping with Evernote and collecting information off the web with a program, and there’s also one called OneNote by Microsoft, is that I can pull up my notes on my phone, I can pull up my notes on my computer, or I could go on your computer and go to evernote.com and sign into my account, and I would see all my research. So I literally have everything I’m researching, all my documentation, my note-taking, my hypothesis, my research questions right in my phone, and it’s all in Evernote. So if that’s a new idea to you, if that sounds kind of interesting, if you’ve had some challenges with collecting the information you’re finding and being able to retrieve it quickly, on my YouTube channel I have another little explanation video on that to tell you more about it. It’s something I talk about a lot on my podcast. I just think it’s wonderful to have a tool that, again, helps make it just that much easier to get your hands on the articles that you work so hard to get. Tip number four is to look into the future. Sometimes you’ll search, and you’ll see a newspaper, and it looks like it’s 50 years after the fact, and don’t ignore it, click it, because sometimes you’ll see articles like this where it says 50 years ago, this is what happened, and it reprints the original article. In the Winthrop News, I have not been able to get my hands on the original articles because those papers aren’t currently available where I can get them. But I can get my hands on them through them being printed 50 and 75 years later in the same newspaper. So keep an eye on that, it doesn’t always mean that it’s not your ancestor. And this is probably my favorite tip, and I hope one that you’ll use is let’s multiply what we find. You know if you’re finding great stuff, how can you make more of it? Well you can. For one example, do you have a photograph in your family history collection? I do, I have this photograph, and if you look at the car, it says Yellow Cab. So my ancestor drove a taxi cab. And it says 362. Way back when, that was a phone number. It’s printed on the side of the car. I searched, and I had been spelling his name wrong, so he was not coming up. But when I searched 362 in the location where I thought he should be, it instantly came up because 362 was just as important as his name which I was misspelling. So look at the clues that you might have already in documents and photos, and look at things besides names and search for them. Here’s another example. My husband’s mother, or my husband’s grandmother I should say, great-grandmother, what am I saying, this is his great-grandmother, Maryanne Susannah Munns, and she was born in England. And this is the only photo we have of her, and he mentions, her son writes on the back of the photo and says that she died suddenly when he was young. So that was a clue, I did some searching, and I find this article. The Tunbridge Wells Woman’s Sad Death, and when her son, my husband’s grandfather was 13, he found her dead in the water cistern. She had killed herself. And I think she’d suffered from post-partum depression, and she’d lost a child, it was very sad. In the newspaper is the entire coroner’s inquest word for word, including his great-grandfather’s testimony. And in the end it says the jury returned a verdict of death from drowning whilst of unsound mind. So to me, this was really interesting, because as I read it, I discovered that they weren’t always naming everybody by first name, surname. In fact, I made a list of all the variations: Mr. Cooke, Mrs. Cooke, with an E, without an E, it happens all the time. That brought up a couple of more articles in the same collection. As I expanded it, what else could they be referred by? Master Cooke, that was a common way to refer to a young person in that time. Mrs. Cooke, Master Cook without an E, Raymond Cooke, I used all of these variations and found dozens more articles, including this one, where Master Raymond Cooke is playing a violin solo at an event where his mother Maryanne played. So remember that sometimes people went by initials, sometimes they had a Miss or Mr. or Mrs. Sometimes the name isn’t spelled right. Make yourself a list on that form I was talking about where you have all that information collected, and make sure you’re checking them off, and you’re searching for each variation. And one more thing, what about addresses? One of the things I noticed was that they lived at 49 Kirkdale Road. And I thought what could that do? 362 did pretty good with a phone number. So I started searching 49 Kirkdale Road, and I found this article. The owner is going abroad in 1912. His wife has passed. He has a son, and they’re going to move to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to start a new life. This article lists everything they owned in their home down to the two pianofortes that Maryanne owned and played. It was, for me, reading this article is like walking through her home and seeing her most prized possessions. And there is no Cooke mentioned in this article. So only the address is the key. In fact to me, all of this comes together when it comes to newspapers as a way to enrich the story, the story of your ancestors. Think of all the clues that are sitting right now in what you’ve already found that could be taken into a newspaper search and bring up so many more articles and items. In fact one of the things I love to do is pull together my newspaper research and my photos and tell stories in ways that I hope will compel my kids and now my three grandchildren to stay connected and take care of my research long after I’m gone. And this is how this story of Maryanne comes together. (audience applauds)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *