Sunday, January 19, 2014

Using Digital Newspapers In Research; Library of Congress Chronicling America: Updated

Yesterday was the 3rd Saturday and it was Saturday Seminar day at The Riverton Family History Library. The keynote was great, an hour presentation on photos and stories by Devin Ashby who is a project manager for FamilySearch. He has some great ideas and terrific instruction.

Following the keynote, were two 1 1/4 hour breakout sessions. There are four classes to choose from. Kathleen anxious to learn how to use her MAC better took a class on MAC Tricks from Jimmy Zimmrman. She loved the class.

I took a class taught by Ron Ray, who currently maintains an awesome website for research links: 

As is typical to these classes and even those at events such as Rootstech, the handouts are as valuable as the lecture.

I have to say that as much as I love genealogy I usually come out of seminars and conferences on fire. Yesterday was no exception. The focus of this article is on newspapers as taught by Ron. In another post I will write on the topic of "Beginning Guide to tracing Irish Ancestry taught by Jessica Taylor of, which was the second break out class I took.

OK now, putting into action the newspapers class. 

I will start by going to Library of Congress Chronicling America website. http://chroniclingamerica' Here you can explore historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922.

At first I am going to search for CRAGUN and see what they have. Yikes, 1733 pages on Cragun. This should be interesting and keep me busy for awhile.

I think I will publish this now and share more with you later - I have research to do..

What I am expecting is to find interesting information, perhaps information on people previously lost or unknown to me.
I just have to update this post. Yesterday I reviewed about 16 articles. They were the first Craguns to appear and were on some of my great grandfathers brothers. It was just so interesting. One brother had his finger shot off by armed robbers. I wonder what finger it was and how they picked which one to remove; and why. (humor here). Another article was about how one of his brothers was sued by another for unduly influencing their mother to sign a will naming the sued brother as the sole heir. The article claimed the will  was done the day before their mom died, and that she was not capable of making a sound decision. Now, I didn't think things like that happened in our family. (more humor)

What was also interesting, was that almost none of the people I have so far come across had any or much sourcing done in FamilyTree. Since they are so closely related, and since basic sourcing is so smoothly done in FamilyTree I probably added about 200 sources to the tree yesterday. I even found a few relatives not attached to the tree.

I learned more about our family, it was a fun few hours yesterday. All of this from one website with 1733 pages of newspaper articles on Cragun, and having read only about a dozen of those articles. (I did attach photo copies of all of these articles to FamilyTree.) I used the snipping tool that is part of Windows to make a copy to my desktop and then uploaded that to the persons sources section on their person page. Where the article was about more than one person I also hit the attach to source box button and then went to each individual mentioned and added it as a source from the source box. Again, this is a smooth and easy process.

PS: the two stories I mention here weren't the only interesting stories, just the most dramatic. These old newspapers are really quite fun.

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