Genealogists know to look for birth announcements in newspapers–if the time period is right. It’s unusual for United States newspapers before the late 19th century to publish any mention of a birth and those that are published during that time period are most frequently in rural, weekly newspapers and generally only state that “the stork visited Mrs. Riley Rampley on Tuesday last.”
We all know that the stork wasn’t an unnamed relative from out of state.
I don’t often think to look for references to children in newspapers unless they died in childhood. For some reason I tend to concentrate on references to adults. That can be a mistake.
The Quincy Daily Journal of June 1921 contains a reference to my grandmother (Ida Trautvetter Neill) when she was ten years old. The one sentence reference indicated that Mable Trautvetter of Tioga spent the week with her cousins Lily and Ida Trautvetter of the Green Grove neighborhood.
There are several clues here:
- the existence of all three children
- the relationship among the three children
- the residence of the children
The newspaper isn’t as precise about the relationship as we perhaps would like. All that is stated is that Tioga resident Mabel is a cousin to Lily and Ida. Lily and Ida could be sisters or they could be cousins themselves–the paper does not specify. Lily and Ida were sisters, but while the newspaper hints at that it does not specifically say it.
Grandma’s family moved around quite a bit. This reference provides evidence that as of the newspaper date they were living in the Green Grove neighborhood. Now I just have to find out where that is.
Sometimes it does pay to look for the children.