Trading My Rifle for Some Skunks and Ferrets

GoogleBooks contains a wide variety of material and one never knows what snippet of information one will run across or who it will be about. It’s not just the rich, famous, and well-heeled who appear in old published items.

It could be your run-of-the-mill ancestor looking to trade his shotgun in 1916.

The Fur News was published monthly in Somerville, New Jersey–at least for a time. In December of 1916, Albert Cawiezell of Davenport, Iowa, was looking to trade his rifle in exchange for “star scentless skunks or ferrets.”

I never knew there was such a thing as the Fur News. If your ancestor was involved in the fur trade during the time period it was published–he may be mentioned. He probably won’t be, but the articles, advertisements, and other information may provide you with some additional insight and may even explain a thing or two about your ancestor.

This item tells me that there was an Albert Cawiezell living in rural Davenport, Iowa, in 1916. That may be a clue.

Some items located in GoogleBooks are actually trivial, some are seemingly trivial, and others are obviously significant. The problem is what what ends up being trivial or not depends on the individual research problem.

You should include GoogleBooks in your hunt for your ancestor. Even if he wasn’t a fur trader.


2 thoughts on “Trading My Rifle for Some Skunks and Ferrets

  1. My relatives were mainly in the area of Washington/Clinton/MarionCounties in IL. Some lived a short time in Williamson County, IL. Google Books found my 2nd GGFather in a book about St. Louis history. His eldest son had a business there and the book talked about him and his family. That’s how I found my 2nd GGFather arrived in New York, couldn’t find work and heard Washington County, IL, had good farm land. He set out on foot arriving sometime in 1847. I was able to match names known locations of other family members to know it was mine. Got occupation info on others, able to help narrow down death years for some (listed as living in or dead when the book was published). I still haven’t pinned down 2GGFather’s immigration. But I know it was 1847 or before and New York, not New Orleans like many others in Southern IL.

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