Using Newspaper Archives to Tell the Stories of Your Ancestors

I’ve been using small news items from newspaper archives to help tell the story of my “brickwall” ancestor, Joseph C. Felver (1825-1909). Joseph lived at 169 East Blackwell Street  in Dover, NJ. His daughter Mary “Mame” (Felver) Taylor and her family lived at the same residence.

When I found this item I had to laugh. Joseph Felver was taxed for a dog he did not own and his appeal made the newspaper.

November 18, 1892 - The Iron Era, Dover, NJ

November 18, 1892 – The Iron Era, Dover, NJ

More interesting to me is this piece from 1903 about an accident where Joseph was thrown from his sleigh. In 1903 Joseph would have been about 78 years old and, according to this article, he was still working. Also, after being thrown from his sleigh and being dragged half a block he didn’t have any injuries. Sounds like a pretty hardy guy, to me!

December 25, 1903 - The Iron Era, Dover, NJ

December 25, 1903 – The Iron Era, Dover, NJ

Sometimes the most innocuous tidbits from a newspaper can provide great detail or good reference points for future research, so don’t dismiss anything with your ancestor’s name included. Save it, make sure you record where you found it, and come back to it later if it doesn’t fit in now.

 

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