Keeping with my Technique Tuesdays theme, I'll share one of my favorite tips for using one of my favorite resources. I love love love researching in old newspapers. I fear I spend far more time reading 100-year-old "news" than I ever do reading current papers!
Here's the tip...if you have a birth date or anniversary for your ancestor, be sure to look for something in the newspaper around the same month and day at significant intervals, such as a 21st birthday or a 25th or 40th or 50th anniversary. I’ve never been able to find a contemporary article of my great-grandparents marriage, but 50 years later, the newspaper not only detailed their anniversary celebration, but provided a description of the bride’s attire and the honeymoon plans from the original event.
I've also seen a number of mentions in newspapers of birthday celebrations for, 5-year-olds. And who often attends a 5-year-old's birthday celebration? His cousins, aunts and uncles of course!. Check out all those guests mentioned. You just might discover in those names the married name of your ancestor's sister.
Oh, and one more side tip - don't believe everything you read in the paper. This couple was actually Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Thomas Bradley. Thomas G. (for Graham) Bradley, was actually their son.
Mill Valley Record, 27 Nov 1931
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.