Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Friday - - Genealogy

I decided, yet again, to try to start blogging on a regular basis. And since today's theme is Follow Friday, I took a look at some of the blogs I follow regularly and clicked on an article by Kimberly Powell on In particular, her article "Finding Family History in Google News Archive". I didn't realize Google had a News Archive. A major omission in my knowledge which I am glad to have corrected. I also read Kim's link "Search Tips for Google News Archives" which was very helpful as well.

Next, I decided to try a general search using a somewhat uncommon surname in my family and their location. In this case I tried Hankinson and Pittsburgh. Lot's of sports articles (not my family as far as I know), but then I came across an obituary for Mrs. Ellen Ringling which mentioned her daughter, Mrs. Lloyd Hankinson of Greensburg.  Lloyd is a great-uncle, and all I knew about his wife is that her name was Mae. This gives me a brand new avenue of research to follow, to perhaps find out Mae's maiden name and when they got married. It may or may not help, but it's more than I knew before.

My thanks to Kimberly Powell.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am an admitted google-phile.

  2. Thanks so much Jackie for the mention! If you're searching in Pittsburgh, be sure to not just search for surnames. Most of the names found in death notices and other smaller articles do not turn up via search for the digitized Pittsburgh papers (at least the Press and the Post-Gazette). To find most obituary/death notices, I generally have to first determine the death date (not always easy since death records are not public in PA), and then manually browse the papers for the notice - just as if I was looking at microfilm in the library. On the positive side, I still save myself the trip to the library :-)

    There's also a great group of volunteers from the Allegheny County, PA mailing list at RootsWeb who are creating an index of vital statistics/events that have appeared in Pittsburgh newspapers (from the Google News archive). They don't have them all yet, of course, but it's a great place to check as part of a Google News search in the Pittsburgh area.