Monday, November 17, 2014

When Motivation Has Stalled . . .

. . . nothing does it like finding a new website to search.

Yesterday evening I was looking at photos posted on my hometown's Mineral Ridge Historical Society Facebook page.  As I scrolled through the entries I noticed that someone had posted a link to Niles newspapers.  Niles was the nearest larger town with a newspaper which covered news of the Ridge.  The Niles Daily Times, as it was known when I was a child and youth, was one of those newsy papers that told who ate dinner at whose home; who had guests from where; who visited out of town and where they went; etc.  When I went to the link I learned that the newspapers are online, are OCR searchable, and are free.

It was very fun to type in several family surnames and learn that my grandfather sent Christmas greetings to the patrons of his barber shop on the day before Christmas via an advertisement; that one of my aunts had major surgery on a Monday in 1955; that my grandmother advertised the sale of a kitchen cabinet and a porcelain sink; that my mother and my brother, her first baby, spent time in the home of her parents a few months after the baby was born; that my grandfather was installed as a Noble Grand in the local IOOF; and who my grandparents hosted for Christmas dinner in 1955.

The Niles Daily Times, November 28, 1958
And then there were the three of us siblings in the paper.  It's surprising that my mother, the great newspaper clipper, did not clip and save theses little gems.

The Niles Daily Times, August 2, 1958
The Niles Daily Times, August 2, 1958
I remember so many events from my childhood but usually don't remember when they happened.  It's interesting to learn from an old newspaper published online, the dates of those very events I remember.  I wonder what else I will find about my childhood and youth as I search this collection.

Obviously, the news articles I found are not about distant ancestors but, having found them after only a few minutes of research, they give me encouragement that I might find information about great- and great-great-grandparents in earlier issues of the Niles newspapers.

I had given up hope of  The Niles Daily Times ever being available online because it was such a small newspaper.  With sincere gratitude I thank the Niles McKinley Memorial Library.  Great job!

--Nancy.

Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.
 

18 comments:

  1. That had to be fun looking for all your family members and ancestors. I wish the newspapers of Rockingham County and Page County would follow Niles' example.

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    1. I'm waiting for the Steubenville newspapers to become available. I know Ancestry has some issues and I think one of the other big companies has a few others, but I hope the local library or some other organization will scan and publish more soon.

      Don't give up hope, Wendy. Maybe Rockingham and Page Counties will be available one of these days soon. It seems newspapers just suddenly appear online, and without much fanfare.

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  2. It's amazing what the newspapers printed back in the day. I know quite a bit about my ancestor's lives in the late 1800's/early 1900's based on newspaper accounts. It's nice to know some of the good things rather than just the bad things. Nice work by the library!

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    1. I love old newspapers, Debi, and have found quite a lot about some of my ancestors by searching them on microfilm, but I'm thrilled to see online versions with OCR because they are so much better at finding my ancestors' names. And it IS fun to find the good things. (It seems like the bad things are so much easier to find....)

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  3. Thank you for letting us know about this wonderful resource! I've been having so much fun exploring (and finding) articles all afternoon. I only wish they had included newspapers before 1908. Have you ever requested articles from the Warren-Trumbull Public Library? They are another great resource which I've used a lot.

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    1. Hi, Leah. I'm so pleased you've enjoyed the resource and found some articles. I hope the pre-1908 newspapers are in the works and will be published one of these days. I don't know when a newspaper was first published in Niles but surely it had to be before 1900. Maybe, hopefully.... I haven't used the Warren-Trumbull Public Library. Most of my family lived in Mineral Ridge, miles south of Warren, but I could probably find information about Copperweld Steel, where my father worked. Thanks for suggesting that source.

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    2. My great-grandfather worked for Copperweld Steel from the 1940s - late 1960s. I had never thought to ask the library about the company, but that is a good idea.

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    3. I remember you saying that your great-grandfather worked there. My father worked there from the early 1940s into the 1970s. It's possible they knew each other. Anyway, a post about Copperweld and my father's employment there is in the works. I don't know when I'll finish the research and publish it but I hope it will be soon (within the next few months, anyway).

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  4. For late 19th century and early 20th century, I have had luck with a Matawan, NJ, newspaper at their library's website, as well as the Brooklyn Eagle, found at the Brooklyn library website. There is also Old Fulton NY Postcards for various upstate New York newspapers. Glad you had luck finding your ancestor!

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth. I think some of us get in the habit of thinking most old newspapers can be found at Chronicling America and forget to look further. I'm learning that libraries can be a great source. I've used Old Fulton NY Postcards and found my husband's family there. I do need to find an obituary for someone who died in Brooklyn so I'll look into the library's website. Thanks for that tip. I appreciate it.

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  5. It may not be distant relatives, but it is amazing how fun it can be to find your immediate family in the paper. I totally agree that sometimes just that little success can be enough to help us find motivation again. Fun finds!

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    1. It is fun to find known family members and one's self in newspapers, Michelle. Those little newsy paragraphs can add interest to a personal history, too. I don't take everything a newspaper writes as truth but some events are within the scope of my memory and I just need a date to put them on a mental timeline. I'll take motivation wherever I can get it!

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  6. Wow Nancy! What a wonderful find for you. It must have been a real treat to peruse that newspaper.

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    1. It has been fun searching for family and grandparents, Jana. I haven't had whole lot of time but I'll go back when I have more time. Just knowing that it's there as a resource when I'm searching that line is helpful. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  7. Nancy,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/11/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-november-21.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  8. I couldn't help but smile! This find surely thrilled your soul! A couple of years ago I located a similar community column in a Marietta GA newspaper that reminded me of "Mayberry After Midnight" from The Andy Griffith Show. There was mention of my great grandparents and their adult children...my great grandfather visited Mr. McCoy about a business matter (leaving the readers to wonder what the business matter was) and if the children came to spend a day or a weekend it was recorded. It was a terrific find for me. This is my first visit to your blog. Your work is lovely!

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    1. Hi, Melinda. Those chatty newspapers give us a sneak peek into the lives of our ancestors, don't they? I wonder if there is some record of a transaction between your g-grandfather and Mr. McCoy in a subsequent issue of the newspaper. Sometimes the newspapers aren't quite chatty enough to get the whole story. Thanks for your kind words about my blog. And thanks for following. I appreciate both.

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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