Monday, June 20, 2016

Last Ditch Effort

In a last ditch effort to take advantage of the newspapers on MyHeritage before they go away on June 21, I spent some time yesterday and today searching for several ancestors.

I found this "blurb" for an article in a Steubenville, Ohio, newspaper where my great-grandfather Henry Meinzen lived.

You know how the text example is sometimes/often garbled.  It is in this, too, but there's a string of words that stood out to me, just before the highlighted "Henry Meinzen."  Here's a transcription in case you can't read it.

     "... of this llnson on an auto trip to Pittsburgh ' city and one brother Henry Meinzen
     to attend the golden wedding anni-' also of this city, versary of their parents, Mr.' and
     J. C. "Stills, congratulatings from a Dr..."

When I saw "one brother Henry Meinzen" my eyes perked up.  (Yes, sadly, I jumped to the conclusion that this transcription of four words appeared in the newspaper in exactly this sequence.)  You know how fast your brain works out a problem like this.  There were two Henry Meinzens living in Steubenville in 1920.  It took me only a second or two to know this was not the younger Henry Meinzen because he was a brother to 14 siblings, several of whom were still alive.  Had the article been about one of the younger Henry's siblings, the wording would have been different.

But the older Henry Meinzen?  I've been looking for his family since 2006 without success.  All I know about his family of origin has come from family information and his 1925 obituary that tells me he had one brother, Karl, still in Germany and that his father's name was Karl.  So what's this about "one brother Henry Meinzen?"

Could this be the long-searched-for family member I've been hoping to find, one of Henry's siblings?  Right there in Steubenville, too, since it's a Steubenville newspaper?  And how could Henry's sibling never have been mentioned among family resources/records/memories if he/she lived in Steubenville?  But perhaps this is an error in the newspaper, or in the "blurb." 

Don't you love OCR -- optical character recognition?  It would have taken me years of reading newspapers, both the paper kind or on microfilm, to find these four words in a string.  I can hope those four words are together in the printed newspaper.  I can hope this leads me to some helpful information.

I'm so glad I chose to spend time today on this last ditch effort.  Perhaps it will take me one step closer to Henry's family of birth.  Perhaps.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Time well-spent! I have not solved any mysteries with the newspapers at My Heritage, but I have found lots of interesting little tidbits in the society columns.

    1. Tidbits from society columns are almost (not quite, but almost) as good as solving mysteries. Wendy. It's like adding meat to the bones of names and dates. I love it when I find those bits and pieces.


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