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24 May 2012

Don't Assume They Were Not In the Newspaper

I spent a some time experimenting with a Chicago newspaper database recently, hoping to find a death notice for a relative there. The man worked for the Pullman Car Company in the paint shops and I knew I'd be lucky to get a death notice at all.

No death notice. But he was mentioned in the society pages when his daughter came to visit and apparently he was actively involved in several local social clubs where he held offices.

Don't assume your ancestor won't be in the paper. I didn't get the death notice, but I did get a few clues.


  1. Newspapers were the "Facebook" of the time - society pages contain great tidbits of information!

  2. I am often unsure how to find local newspapers & how to search those newspapers.

  3. I had an ancestor who suffered a fatal accident while working for Pullman Car Company. I found more information about his death in the company's yearly report than the newspapers. The report included information about his wife receiving a payout from the company. I found the yearly reports on Google Books.