Friday, July 11, 2014

Old Newspapers

I was looking through a microfilm containing images of old Carthage, Illinois newspapers, hoping to find some information regarding my Doran family line. Unfortunately, all I could find was Fanny (Doran) Neason being listed on delinquent tax rolls. Given the size and frequency of these lists, it doesn't appear unusual for someone to be listed on them.

Searching through old newspapers on microfilm can be difficult. The small text, being not too dark on the paper and slightly out of focus for the imaging makes for strained eyes. Add to that ads mixed in with articles where you can't tell very well what is an article, what is opinion and what is an ad, very few headlines and wording that can be labored and it makes for a long night looking at these pages. However, sometimes you can find some good information.

Where can you find old newspaper articles? There are several newspaper archive web sites:

Library of Congress Chronicling America
University of Pennsylvania Digital Library of Historical Newspapers Online - Links to many different newspaper archive sites
Old Fulton New York Postcards - More than just New York and more than just postcards
Mariam Robbins Online Historical Newspapers Website - Links to many different newspaper archive sites - Pay site that has many newspapers digitized and indexed

This one I found on some time back. It talks about an accident that apparently happened to someone else previously due to the headline describing the "The Kerosene Folly Repeated at Sperry". Lena Panther had apparently poured kerosene from a can onto a fire resulting in an explosion causing fatal injuries. Lena/Helena was the daughter of my great-grandfather's brother.

Of course, birth, marriage and death announcements are the best articles to find. I found the newspaper marriage license announcement for my great-grandparents, Alois Panther and Elizabeth Dunzinger on in the November 1, 1877 issue of the Burlington Hawk Eye. As always, never be stuck on any given spelling. Their names in this listing are spelled Aloes Panther and Lizzie Denzingen.
Then you find articles that aren't associated with your family but still document something occuring in history. Here are two examples:

First is an article published in the Carthage Gazette shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, talking about John Wilkes Booth.

Next is an article talking about an aurora borealis, or northern lights, event in April 1882. I did a Google search on this and did indeed find a number of descriptions of this event from many locations across the country. It says that telegraphs were able to be operated without a battery while this was occurring.

Finally are the articles that defy explanation. First is one that is spelled and worded in what appears to be a German accent and sounds very critical of women:

Finally, here is one that jumped out at me. It is regarding the "Horrors of Ventriliquism". I'll let you figure this one out!

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