Now I have spent a lot of time down at Lewis Clark State College, here in Lewiston, Idaho looking at the microfilm of the Lewiston Morning Tribune looking for obituaries or other types of news stories. I didn't really hope that my local newspaper would be available in the near future – but after an email from Jill Nock of the Twin River Genealogical Society, I found out that my local newspaper was online which is available at http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=BtfE7wd9KvMC . Now, this isn't a perfect system, there are a lot of issues that aren't available yet, but the archive starts on January 2, 1900 and runs through the 2000’s and they are in black and white. You might wonder at some of the usefulness of the archive.
I was wandering around a little bit and looked at the issue from late January 1944 and found the obituary of my step grandfather’s grandmother. I knew that she died in Oregon and didn't really expect to find much, but there in black and white was her obituary. It gave me a piece of information that I had always been curious about. Mary Crumpacker was originally married to Jesse Green Shearer and he died in 1888. I never knew what the cause of his death was…because he was a young man. According to the obituary posted for Mary Crumpacker Earl (Thomas Perrin Earl was her second husband) Jesse Shearer died of pneumonia. Now, I most likely would not have been able to obtain a death record because of the time period and without a lot more research and time I don’t have, I might not have found that Jesse Shearer had died of pneumonia. There are lots of interesting tidbits in these old obituaries.
Then I decided to try out the search engine and typed in Ora + Gage to see what I would find. I knew that my great grandparents might have several entries in the local newspaper. I was pleased with some of the information that I located….and it wasn't just only in my local paper. It searched all of the newspaper archives. I found announcements of when their sons were home on leave during Korea and National Guard service. I found an article about my great uncle’s first marriage. I loved these marriage articles from the early 1950’s – they mention all types of details such as what the bride’s maid of honor was wearing and how the mothers of the groom and bride are dressed. I assumed that one my uncle’s brothers was his best man…but I never would have guessed that it was one of his older brothers. Right below that article was another announcement of my father’s teacher who was widowed while he had her as a teacher and her remarriage. In fact, her son ended up as part of the family when he married my cousin.
I foresee many happy hours looking through these archives and am excited by what I may find. With my little clipping program in Windows 7, I can save these images and attach them to my genealogy database with very little effort on my part. Sounds like a win – win situation for me!