Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tip - Don't Overlook Old Social News

Have you ever tried to piece together who's who in a family? Of course you have! It really gets interesting when the eldest children in family are having grandkids while their younger siblings are still working on cranking out their own babies. Well stop banging your head on the desk in frustration!

If your ancestors lived in a small town, don't overlook the social gossip that was printed in the newspapers. They often show party guest lists, out of town visitors, medical updates, estate sales (with every item being sold listed), etc. In small towns everyone knew everyone else's business.

Guest lists for family dinners or reunions can be a real find for the family genealogist. At these events you know that almost everyone who attended is related to the host in some way, by blood or marriage. Now that you have the names, you just need to piece them together. Of course there is always the possibility to keep in mind that single attendees may have been boyfriends or girlfriends who never made it to marrying into the family....or they could be grandkids or inlaws or....

Here is an example from my paternal family. The folks I've been able to positively identify have corresponding notes. There are a few that I'm still working on and haven't pinpointed their relationship yet.

I've used my paternal grandmother, Ada M. (DeHart) Yohn as the base person to use in the relationship metric.

News article that appeared in the Reading (Berks County, PA) Eagle, on May 22, 1931
My notes on the Guest List:

Rev. A. R. Bachman - pastor of St. John's Reformed Church, Mt. Aetna, Berks Co., PA, the family church

Miss Maggie Stumbach

Mrs. Lizzie Lightner

Samuel DeHart - brother to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Miller, Philadelphia - sister to my grandmother (Martha)

Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas

Mrs Emma Hoffman and Children, Jacob and Russell - sister to my grandmother

Mrs. Kate Boeshore and daughter Emma, Fredericksburg - sister to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Frank DeHart and daughter Mary - brother to my grandmother

Charles DeHart - brother to my grandmother

Mrs. Ada Yohn and children Floyd, Evelyn, Arline, and Fern - my grandmother and her 4 kids, my Dad wasn't born until December of that year.

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Bulles and children Elizabeth and Bernice - sister to my grandmother (Lillie)

Mrs. Carrie Sherman, Reading - sister to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Hiram DeHart and children Allen and Alberta - brother to my grandmother

Miss Maggie DeHart - sister to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis DeHart and children Lucille and Curtis - brother to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Henry DeHart, Myerstown - brother to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. George DeHart, Lebanon - brother to my grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Artemus Bulles - nephew to my grandmother,  Raymond and Lillie Bulles's son

Lewis Bear - Carrie Sherman's companion/2nd husband (actually spelled Louis)

Stanley Adams, Reading

William Shimp, Wernersville

Mildred, Eleanor and Lucy Ream. Fredericksburg - My grandmother's sister, Kate Boeshore's granddaughters via daughter Mary E. (Boeshore) Ream

Miss Ethel Balthaser

Rufus Brigel - future husband of Elizabeth Bulles (dau of Raymond and Lillie Bulles)

Mr. and Mrs. Ross Bear, Reading - (related to Louis Bear, but how?)

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