26 May 2009

Tribune Tuesday: The Alta is Dead

This day in the Oakland Tribune, in 1891:

The Last Issue of the Pioneer San Francisco Journal

The Alta California, the pioneer journal of San Francisco, has ceased publication. The last number of the regular daily paper was issued this morning. Today all the employees were discharged, except H. G. Cohen, the manager, and H. Spear. A small sheet will be printed daily for one week to complete publication of legal advertisements now running in the paper.

The reason for the suspension is that the paper does not pay expenses and the owners are tired of running up a deficit.

From: The Oakland Tribune, 26 May 1891, Page 1, Column 7

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

Today we're grilling, playing Bocce in the backyard, and I'm thinking about the struggles we've been through that allow us to take time to enjoy our own homestead and relax with our families, feeling safe, full and secure.

Partly, I'm thinking of my grandfather, C. B. Jones, who was a fighter pilot in WWII, was awarded multiple medals for his service in the Pacific theatre, and served as commander of various fighter fleets during the war. He was a graduate of the USNA, class of 1926, and spent his career and his life in the Navy. He died when I was only ten, but I vaguely recall being bored by his tales of air combat missions, war politics and homestead frivolity.

Oddly enough, I'm also thinking of an ancestor of my husband's, Peter Toglio, who served with both the Confederate and Union sides during the Civil War. He served in the South in South Carolina, deserted, and went North. When he found there was no work, he took on an assumed name, and signed up with a NY unit.

For the latter, service was something he found himself in. For the former, service was something he sought. What's the difference between the two? Raising a son of my own now, I see the photos of the passing soldiers on the nightly news, and I wonder how their families get on, without them. They're all younger than I am, now, those men and women fighting so far away. I don't think I have the courage that they or their families do.

19 May 2009

Tribune Tuesday: Caused By Gin

A new series I am starting, sharing items of interest from this day's Oakland Tribune, back in 1891.


Mrs. Rousch Tells Why She Chased Her Sick Husband in Alameda

Mrs. Peter J. Rousch was examined before the Lunacy Commissioners this afternoon. It was asserted that she dragged her dying husband out of bed and threw him upon the floor and then pelted him with dishes and other articles. Mr. Rousch was compelled to leave home, and is now in a hospital in San Francisco. The lady stated that her husband is a drunkard, and while he was ill he drank some liquor and it made him insane. When she was out of the room he hurriedly dressed himself and ran out of the house and went to a saloon. She denied that she had pelted him and driven him from home. In explaining some of her own queer actions, she said that she had been in the habit of taking too much gin occassionally and that was the cause of her trouble. Judge Greene gave her some good advice and discharged her from custody.

From: The Oakland Tribune, Tuesday 19 May 1891, Page One, Column 5

17 May 2009

Alert: Family Bible on ebay with family pictures!

I was reading through some of my favorite blogs today, including the blog Forgotten Bookmarks, which chronicles the bookmarks found in old books by a person who works at a used bookstore.

They posted recently about an 1837 family bible that includes not only family vital information, but also had in it photos which may likely be of the family itself. You can check out the blog post here (I recommend the blog for book and history junkies who like that sort of random stuff). You can see the auction for it here. The bible is being sold with the photos itact.

If you see a snoot as a high-bidder, that's me. I don't know the family, but would hate to see this land in a private collection and not make its way back to the family. I'll happily yield the auction or sell for cost to the right family! Spread the word and maybe we can hook a descendant up with this treasure!!

Surnames seem to include: Tyson/Tison, Hall, Carty, Knight

13 May 2009

Confederate Veteran Magazine Online [Reference Shelf]

I was watching an episode of History Detectives on PBS the other night, and one of the episodes concerned some photographs taken during the Civil War. In the course of the investigation, the researcher consulted a volume of Confederate Veteran, which was a new resource for me.

Published 1893 to 1932, the magazine served as a roundup of news from Confederate Veterans organizations around the country. Sections of the magazine recounted stories from the war, and also offered information on the deaths of veterans as they occurred.

I decided to check online to see what was available, and found the following resources online. Here they are, as an addition to your online reference shelf!

* Confederate Veteran, full view, on Google Books. Only three years are available at this time, (1916, 1920, and 1922), although there is an 1895 edition under the full name of "The Confederate Veteran Magazine".

* Transcriptions of the 1909 editions of Confederate Veteran Magazine, hosted at GenNet. Each issue is presented in a separate PDF file.

* State and regiment index, presented by the St. Louis Public Library. Offers volume and issue references for articles re: different regiments.

* Library of Virginia Confederate Veteran index. Full names-index to all years of the publication.

06 May 2009

Survivor Accounts of the Lusitania [Tidbits]

Tomorrow is the 84th anniversary of the sinking of The Lusitania, so why not read some eye-witness and survivor accounts over at Internet Archive?

01 May 2009

A Capital Idea! [Quick Tips]

I was sitting at my computer in my home in California the other day, ruing my lack of digital access to a certain year-span of Charleston, South Carolina newspapers. I had been making good progress researching a particular family of Charleston (we'll call it family "A"), but realized that my goal of searching on family members in newspapers was impeded by the gap in digital coverage. Frustrated, I decided to shift gears and pick up on some research on a different family (family B) living 155 miles away in the state's capital, Columbia.

As I was poking around in a very robust archive of Columbia papers, which included the year-span I was ruing just moments before, I decided to give in to a whim and searched on the surname of family A in the Columbia paper archive.

Imagine my surprise when the search yielded five results from 1908, all pertaining to an ancestor who had been arrested and tried for embezzlement during his work with a railroad company! Needless to say, I hadn't heard about this mini-scandal from family members, so the articles took me completely by surprise. As the ancestor was eventually acquitted of all charges, it was probably a case of "best left to forget", which the family tried to do, and moved on accordingly.

Days later, when doing a search in a newspaper archive for Augusta, Georgia, I tried the same family A surname, and found another article on the arrest and trial, this time with more details than even the Columbia papers offered. The embarrassment for the family was obvious--I could almost hear them moaning, "how many papers are they going to print this in?!?" The re-occurrence of the articles has led me to plan on making a thorough search in national-scope databases for occurrences of this ancestor's name in this time period. It's something I had never thought to do before, but armed with this new knowledge, I am excited to see what tidbits and details other articles may mention. At the very least it will keep me busy until the day I have access to those Charleston papers... either in-person or via the internet.

So what's the lesson here? Obviously, not everyone we're researching "makes the paper" in other states (for better or worse), but who's to say that they didn't? Papers in a state capital often include items of interest from all over the state- so there's a perfect place to start on searches when you don't have access to the papers in the town or time that you need. Think outside of the geographic box when performing your digital newspaper searches; you may just find something of intrigue and import which you never even thought would be there!