Posts Tagged ‘Perry’

A Cousin Story – Cecelia “Celia” “Kess” Perry/Parry Stevenson

When my g-grandmother Georgianna (Hughes/Clough) Hall passed in 1964, a Cecelia Stevenson sent condolences from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Next to her name, in my grandmother’s handwriting, was written “relative”.  Something about this intrigued me.  I searched for cousin Cecelia “Celia” Perry/Parry for years and am finally able to share a small part of her story.

In Georgianna’s address book was written:

• Mrs. L.A. Stevenson – Celia Cynthia [address crossed off] Indiana.
• C.K. Stevenson – 1320 N. Delaware Indianapolis Indiana

I never put two and two together! I hadn’t realized this was my missing Celia Parry!


Cecelia “Celia” was born 12 August 1899 in Galeton, Pennslyvania to George Perry/Parry and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Phillips.  She was a first cousin to my g-grandmother, Georgianna.   Georgianna’s mom, Kittie (Perry) Hughes/Clough/Shipman, was a sister to Celia’s father George.

celia's tree

Lizzie (Phillips) Parry
Lizzie Phillips

Celia’s mother gave birth to at least eight children (censuses indicate nine), three of whom died in 1891 of diphtheria.  At the time, Celia’s father, had deserted the family, to marry another woman (story here). Her mother’s sister, Miss Alice Phillips, cared for the family. Celia’s mom and eldest brother Daniel, age eight, recovered, but the younger children—George, Alice, and Arthur—died.  When George’s second wife learned he was a bigamist, he disappeared.

By 1893, George and Lizzie reunited and relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota where their children William “Will” and Elizabeth “Bessie” were born. George’s mother Ann (Jones) Perry Evans passed in 1896 and her obituary places George in Oregon (no other evidence places the family there).  By 1897 the family removed to Galeton, Pennsylvania, near George’s sister Cordelia (Perry) Palmer/Spoor, where their last two children, Celia and Frederick “Fred” were born.  By 1910, they were living in Westmoreland, Oneida, New York.

When Celia was thirteen (5 April 1913), her 50 year old mom died in Oriskany, Oneida, New York, cause unknown.

It seems the family then returned to Pennsylvania.  On 30 March 1916, at age sixteen, Celia gave birth to  baby boy  in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania. She named him Richard [side note: my Autosomal DNA matches that of Richard’s daughter]. The name of the boy’s father is unknown, but based on family lore, it is possibly something like “Schwartz”.

The boy was adopted by Henry and Jennie (Dykeman) Seltz of Galeton, Pennsylvania. Perhaps Celia selected the adoptive family, as they were neighbors to her aunt Cordelia’s step-son, Leland Spoor (she likely thought of Leland as a first cousin; his mother died when he was two and Aunt Cordelia raised him).

Celia’s photo album (now with her granddaughter) includes photos of little Richard and Mrs Seltz.  The Seltzs must have kept in touch!

seltz nd dick

By 1920, Celia was a “roomer” in the home of Eugene and Laura McKee in Jamestown, Chautauqua, New York.  She was employed at a garment company as a machine sewer.  On 1 March 1920, she married her fellow roomer, Phillip Lee Kessler, a street car railroad conductor, son of Charles Kessler and Nellie Phillips (no known relation to Celia’s mother). The marriage was short lived; the pair divorced 12 Aug 1921. Despite the divorce, Celia’s nickname “Kess”, stuck for the remainder of her life.

When Celia’s dad passed in 1923, she signed as the informant on his death certificate, listing her residence as Galeton, Pennsylvania.


Her father’s obituary, however names Cincinnati, Ohio as her place of residence.

She was enrolled at the Good Samaritan Nursing School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated in 1924.  After graduation, she took a position in the same town as a nurse for a private family, rooming with fellow classmate and good friend, Marie Barlow and a 59-year old widow named Mary Sohngen. The three paid a total of $75/month rent.

Celia next married Lincoln Augustus Stevenson, son of Frank Stevenson and Catharine Freil.  In 1932 they were living in Columbia, South Carolina.  They had a daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, born 12 Sept 1933 in Indiana. She was likely close to Lincoln’s 10 year old son by a prior marriage, Richard Lincoln Stevenson, as he was named in her obituary.

Although Celia and Lincoln were divorced by 1940, she continued to use the name Mrs. Celia K Stevenson for the remainder of her life; Celia appears in the 1940 census as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Marion, Indiana. She worked 48 weeks that year and made a total of $660 (she also received more than $50 from other unnamed sources).  Eight year old Mary Cynthia was not found in 1940, but when her father died in 1950, she was listed as resident of Indianapolis.

Stevenson death

Cynthia’s daughter offers the following detail:

Due to WWII, my mom Cynthia “Cindy” was sent to a Catholic boarding school, St. Joseph’s Academy, in Tipton, Indiana.  She became a Nun but never did her final vows.  She went to St Mary ‘s Notre Dame and then to St Louis University where she met her husband (“my dad”).

Cindy has another half brother-  Young Stevenson, of Montgomery Alabama.  He has five kids and lots of Grandkids!

Cecelia never drove a car and lived for years at 1320 N. Delaware, Indianapolis ( I still remember that address); a studio apartment.  She inspired me to become a nurse.


On 10 September 1946, Celia’s eldest brother Daniel died in Wellsville, Allegany, New York. 

In 1947 Celia’s aunt Alice E. Phillips (her mother Lizzie’s sister) died. Alice had never married and did not have children.  There was a four year court proceeding over her will – numerous newspaper notices offer details of her sister and brother arguing over the inheritance – A number of them named “Cecelia Parry Stevenson” as a heir (she was not one of those directly involved in the suit).

Heirs of Alice Phillips

In Summary:

Celia’s mother Lizzie (Parry) had siblings Alice, Arthur, Lena (Hatcliffe), Mary Ann (Valentine), Rose (McBride) and Fred.  At the time of the trial, only Lena and Fred were living.  Alice never married, worked hard, lived frugally and left a sizable estate.  She had changed her original will, which was essentially a 50/50 split between Arthur and Lena (with Arthur’s portion in a trust, paying him income for life) to one which left the majority of the estate to Arthur.
Lena contested this, saying he forced Alice to revise the will,  utilizing his attorney  (just six months after the initial will was written) and supplying his own associates as witnesses. She further claimed Arthur was a drunk who rarely worked, who physically and orally abused Alice, forged signatures on checks to draw money from her bank account and threatened her with “the bug house” if she didn’t modify the will to be in his favor.  Alice feared him; he kept her isolated from friends and family as she was not mobile in her last years.
The testimony of the witnesses tended to prove these facts. Arthur admitted that he threatened Alice with the “bug house”.  Lena won the case, the jury having found that the will was procured through undue influence. Arthur appealed and lost. According to newspapers, the case was settled in 1951.
Read details here, type Alice Phillips in the search box

In 1953, Celia served on a panel at St. Vincent’s entitled “The Nurse as the Priest’s Assistant in the Spiritual Care of the Sick”.


In 1954, Celia’s picture was in the local paper, as an attendee at a private duty nurse’s brunch (likely on the far right).


In 1968, she was a prize winner at the Grand Opening of a local shopping center!


On 1 May 1977, Celia’s brother Fred died in Conneaut Lake (shore), Pennsylvania.  She never mentioned other siblings to her grandchildren.  Although one grandchild, while in college was in touch with her brother Daniel’s daughter, Elizabeth I. “Bette” (Parry) VanDurme in New York.

The whereabouts of Celia’s sister Elizabeth “Bessie” Parry (who married John Burge) and brother William “Will” Parry are unknown.  The last source mentioning them was in probate notices, related to their Aunt Alice, in 1951. Her sister might be the Elizabeth Burge who died 8 Dec 1966 and is buried with John Burge (d. 1978), at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York.

 Celia died 2 December 1997 in Greenwood, Johnson, Indiana at the age of 98. The inscription on her tombstone reads: “MRS SANTA CLAUS”.  The cemetery office and local historical society could not provide further information about this title.

UPDATE: Celia’s granddaughter writes:  “We called her Grandma Cel”….”By the way, ” Mrs. Santa Claus” was because she always sent cards at Christmas signed that way.  I think I was a teenager before I realized it was her!”




Celia’s children

  • Son Richard Dykeman Seltz, who she gave up for adoption, married Mary Johnson and had four children. He died 12 March 1996 in Kissimmee, Polk, Florida.

Richard Dykeman Seltz, 79, of 728 Yucatan Court, Poinciana, died March 12. Born in Williamsport, Pa., he moved to Poinciana from Galeton, Pa., in 1986. He was a self-employed glove manufacturer and a member of the Masonic Lodge of Couldersport, Pa., and the Elks Club of Kissimmee. Survivors include his wife, Mary; sons, Richard H., Houston, Texas, Scott J., Chatham, N.J.; daughter, Jeanne Wenzel, Jacksonville, Anne Seltz, Rockville, Md.; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Fisk Funeral Home, St. Cloud, was in charge of arrangements.

  • Daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, married a man named Charles Ford and had three children.  She died  9 July 1989 in Sarasota, Florida.

Mary Cynthia Ford, 55, Sarasota, died July 8, 1989.  She was born Sept. 12, 1933 in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. and came to this are three years ago from Pelham, NY. Survivors include two sons, Christopher of Northport, Conn., and Carl of Westport, Conn., a daughter, Cathleen of Richmond, Va., two brothers, Richard Stevenson of Sarasota and Young Stevenson of Montgomery, Ala., her mother Cecelia Stevenson of Indianapolis, and a granddaughter. Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Gulf Gate Chapel. Memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, 3807 Bond Place, Sarasota, 34232.

Cynthia Obituary

  • Stepson Richard Lincoln Stevenson died 19 April 2010 in Sarasota, Florida

Richard Lincoln Stevenson, 87, of Sarasota, formerly of Fort Wayne, Ind., died April 19, 2010. Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Sarasota National Cemetery.

He is survived by his son, Alan; children by marriage Mark and Marian Kennell, Karl and Becky Kennell and Kathleen and Jon Sutter; grandchildren Lydia Mortensen, Michelle Sexton, Erin Stevenson, Alex, Katie and Trevor Kennell; four great-grandchildren, sister Patricia and Ed Epperson, brother Young and Susan Stevenson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley; a son David; a sister, Cynthia Ford; and a brother, Sherrad Denley.

Richard was just 19 when he enlisted in cadet school and became a World War II pilot flying in the Pacific. He flew a C-47 called “Gooney Bird” as a member of the legendary Jungle Skippers in the 317th Troop Carrier Group, which later became the 375th. He followed his retirement from the Air Force Reserves in 1956 with a 30-year career as an accomplished jeweler and gemologist. He was also an award-winning gardener, who could literally make anything grow, especially his beloved orchids. He will forever be remembered for his stories that touched the hearts of so many.


Celia kept in touch with her college roommate, Marie.  Marie’s son recently shared  his memories and photos:

I knew her (1950s – 1990s) as a very caring, wonderful person. She was very close friend, originally to my parents.  Kess trained with my mother, Marie Barlow (her maiden name), at The Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati, OH.
My mother, before she met my father, came from Grafton West Virginia, to Cincinnati to become a nurse.  Kess, my mother and another nurse actually shared an apartment near the Hospital/ school for several years in the 1920s.
Unfortunately, much of my info about her is from memories now. My older brothers, who have all passed, may have had pictures and a more complete history of her. But the pictures they had did not survive the years. I have little knowledge of the marriages, or children. (Back in the 30, 40s and 50s, children did not talk unless a parent said okay)  So the adults kept private issues among themselves. Later in life, she did talk about a daughter and son-in-law and their children, but I don’t recall details now. I believe Kess actually survived her daughter by a year or so. The daughter had a difficult medical condition, I believe. Kess died at a Convalescent Retirement home near Indianapolis.

Over the years, Kess came to visit when she could, but the last 20 – 30 years of her life were very difficult. Her mobility was very difficult due the pain, arthritis, I think. From about 1940s to 1990s, she lived in a modest apartment on N. Delaware Ave in Indianapolis, IN with a major hospital nearby. She worked there at one time, I think. I visited her a few time over the years. She came to Cincinnati for various holidays and events, including the funerals of my mother and father, for my college graduation, 1968, and later for my wedding in 1978.

She is buried in Section J, Lot 576, grave #8, Washington Park East Cemetery.

Kess’ grand-children could be still living. I am thinking also that they are part of the reason for Mrs Santa Claus. I believe, there were times when Kess would send small gifts or notes to children and others, anonymously.
Another thought about Kess, relates to her Garden. I believe she was a volunteer at the President Harrison Home. Volunteers would help with the Gardens, among other things, there. That home was nearby on N Delaware Ave. –



UPDATE: And the COOLEST part of this whole story???  After this was posted, Celia’s six grandchildren, three by her son Richard “Dick” who she gave up for adoption and three by her daughter Cynthia “Cindy” have  met online!!  Happy dance!  The best part of genealogy – connecting cousins!!

Error in Online Trees and FindAGrave

Several online trees have Celia linked to Curt Stevenson and Lydia Fullmer.  These are the wrong parents!  This Celia’s maiden name was Stevenson.  She married Frank Meals and died in 1978 in Pennsylvania.


Censuses (right click and open image in another tab to see a larger version)


celia 1900


celia 1910


celia 1920


celia 1930


celia 1940


Importance of Tracing Collateral Relatives!

If you follow genealogy blogs and/or have attended conferences and taken classes, you know the importance of tracing collateral relatives, friends, associates and neighbors of your ancestors.

Today I discoved the obituary of Uncle William Perry.  The biography is chock full of personal details of my family….and seems to have been written by William himself.  Had I not started researching siblings of my ancestors, I would have missed this article. 


William was my g-grandmother Georgianna (Hughes) Hall’s uncle. William was twice married but fathered no children. He was a brother to Georgianna’s mother Kitte/Katherine/Kate (Perry) Hughes/Clough/Shipman. I have another article in my files from the personal section of the same paper in the early 1900’s stating that Georgianna Hall and her infant son Charles G. Hall (my grandfather) from Malden were in Rome visiting their uncle William Perry.

Georgianna’s maternal grandparents, as mentioned in the article, were George Perry and Ann (Jones) Perry – I am guessing that is how they came up with the name Georgianna – George + Ann.

The article:


Native of Rome Taken by;
Death at Age of 77
Ex-Businessman at One Time
Was Postoffice Clerk
William C. Perry, lifelong resident of Rome, died at his home 418 N.Washington St., at 10 o’clock this morning on the 77th anniversary of his birth. Sometime ago, Mr Perry prepared a sketch of his life and career, from which the following paragraphs are taken.

He was born on the old Lynch Farm In East Rome—then called Factory Village—on August 6, 1860, son of the late George and Ann Perry. His father died Jan. 28,1862 and his mother Nov. 3, 1896.

Family Came from Wales

His grandfather and grandmother the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones, emigrated to this country from North Wales in 1837. They settled and resided on Floyd Hill, or Camroden. Mr. Perry had two sisters, Delia Spoor of Galeton Pa., and Kate Shipman of Lynn Mass., and one brother, George Perry of Galeton. They are all dead.

Mr. Perry received his education in the brick school house in East Rome and in the Utica Business College. He worked for ten years in grocery stores, starting with W. H. Evans at 301 E. Domlnick St. in 1880. He also worked for Daniel O’Connell, George R. Marriott, W W. Roberts and John Lackey.

Clerk at Postoffice

On June 27, 1889, he was appointed a clerk in the Rome post office by the late Supreme Court Judge William E. Scrlpteure, who was then postmaster, a position which he held under five postmasters. He resigned Nov. 17, 1919, after having served continually for 29 years. He was a charter member of Rome Branch, National Association of Postoffice Clerks. He took great interest in this organization and retained his membership in it.

After leaving the postoffice he formed a partnership with Nelson Bartholomew and established an insurance and real estate business This business was sold and they opened a grocery store at 414 W. Dominick St. This continued until July 1, 1921, when the firm dissolved. Mr. Perry taking over the business and continuing the store until October, 1933. Mr. Perry was twice married. On Sept. 10, 1884, he married Miss Lillian French, who died July 28, 1922. On July 9, 1923. he married Mrs. Bessie Blakealee.

Burned I. O. O. F. Mortgage

Mr. Perry was for 15 years a member of Rome Lodge, I. O. O. F. He passed through the chairs of the different branches and had the honor of burning the mortgage which was on the Odd Fellow’s Temple at that time. He was a member of Hatheway Lodge 869, F. & A. M„ American



True Ivorites, Rome Firemen’s Benevolent Association, the National Association of Postofftce Clerks and the First Presbyterian Church. In his younger days he was interested in sports, especially baseball, playing as catcher. He played one season with the Canastotl baseball team and the Oneida County Agricultural Society presented the winning team at the FairGrounds a pair of silver mounted baseball bats which the team gave to Mr. Perry. He also played with the Young Mens’ Sodality team of St. Peter’s Church and Father Ward, assistant to Father Murphy, presented him a gift at the time of his marriage. This gift Mr. Perry valued very highly. Mr. Perry’ prided himself on belonging to a team, the old Red Stockings, which never lost a game in three years. He enjoyed talking baseball, especially of old times and the sporting events of 60 years ago.

Mr. Perry is survived by his wife, several cousins and nieces in Rome and vicinity.

In another sketch prepared by Mr. Perry in March, 1922, he said his parents came to this country in 1846 or 47. They came in a sailing vessel and were three months on the ocean.

Father Ran Milk Route
George Perry lived on the Lynch farm and conducted a milk route from 1855 to 1862, the time of his death Mrs. Perry then left the farm and purchased the house at 507 E. Dominick St., and with her four children lived there until 1886, when she moved to Frankfort, where she died. She was twice married, her second husband being James Z, Evans, who died in Frankfort In 1902.

The old brick school in East Rome, where Mr. Perry received his first education, was afterward used as an engine house and was occupied by old Mohawk Hose Co. 4. of which company Mr. Perry was the last secretary.

His first place of employment was in the old Rail Mill, later the Copper Mill on Bouck St. He was a “pull boy” on the furnace whose heater was the late Robert Edwards, father of C. Robert Edwards of Rome. After working there for seven years he accepted a position as a night clerk in the Commercial Hotel, now the Catholic Association Building, conducted by the late D. B. Prince. This employment was followed by his entry Into the grocery business as clerk, first for Daniel O’Connell. whose store was in the American Block, 100 W. Dominick St., now occupied by the Whelan Drug Co., Inc.
Rome NY Daily Sentinel 1937 – 2828.pdf (pg 2)
Rome NY Daily Sentinel 1937 – 2837.pdf (pg 11)

An Unexpected Source

My favorite free newspaper website is which has 12,698,000 Old New York State Historical Newspaper Pages, all searchable.

Your direct descendants don’t come from New York?  Read on.

My 4th g-grandparents Robert Jones and Catherine Owen immigrated from Llanfaelog, Anglesey, Wales to Oneida County, NY in 1849 on the vessel Julia Howard. Manyof their children (possibly 8), grandchildren and their hundred or so first and second cousins, remained for a number generation in Oneida County.  However there were a few who left the area.

My 2nd g-grandmother Kittie Perry headed off to Massachusetts. I had surmised that she had gone directly to the town of Lynn since that is where she appears for many years in census records, city directories and a few obituaries.  Her sister Cordelia (Palmer/Spoor) Perry and brother George headed to Galeton, PA.  Luckily (for my research) her brother William remained behind in Rome.

Most newspapers in that era had a “social section”, Rome was no different.  You can learn who was out of town and why and who was in town and with whom they were staying.  You hear of who was sick, who had a dinner party and who cheated on their wife. And of course you find the usual birth, marriage and death notices.  Here are a few of the many articles that I found mentioning my Jones/Perry family:

  • Utica Morning Herald, August 24 1895 or 1896: Miss Georgiana Hughes (my g-grandmother) of Frankfort, who has been visiting her mother at Lowell, Mass. has returned, and accompanied by Miss Kittie May Palmer of Frankfort, is a guest of Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Perry of 414 West Dominick Street.
  • Rome Semi Weekly Citizen, September 1, 1896: Miss Georgianna Hughes of Lowell, Mass., and Miss Kittie A. Palmer of Frankfort, NY , are visiting their uncle, W. C. Perry, 414 West Dominick street.
  • The Utica Observer: Wednesday, Sept 4, 1895 W. C Perry, delivery window clerk at the post office, left yesterday afternoon on a bicycle trip of 275 miles to Lowell.
  • Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen, Friday September 24, 1897: WC Perry general delivery clerk at the post office received on Tuesday from his Uncle Owen R Jones of Clipper Gap, Placer County a box of four varieties of grapes. They excel anything in the grape line ever seen in this city.
  • Tuesday, Feb 21, 1891, Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen: The family of George Perry of East Rome, who eloped some time ago with Miss Nettie Hickson, is in a pitiable condition. On Wednesday afternoon three of the four children died with diphtheria, George, aged 4 years, 11 months and 18 days; Alice, aged 6 months; and Arthur, aged three years and one month. The remaining child, a son, about eight years old, has recovered from the disease. The mother is in bed, sick with the same disease, and is unable to do anything, but seems to be recovering. The only one present, aside from the family, and who is able to do anything, is a sister of Mrs. Perry, Miss Alice Phillips, who is now threatened with the disease. The family is not destitute, but they should receive the attention and aid of the Charitable people of the community. 
  • Utica Observer, October 19, 1904 – William C Perry has received a telegram announcing the death in Galeton, PA of his nephew George Spoore.  His mother, Mrs Charles Spoore was formerly Miss Delia Perry of this city.
  • The Auburn Bulletin, Friday, October 21, 1904 – Killed at Play, Game of Cowboy and Indians cost 16 year old boy his life – Corning, NY, George Spoor, aged 16 years of Galeton, PA was shot and instantly killed at that place by Carl Cartson a friend, Cartson was and Indian and Spoor a cowboy in a Wild West show.
  • UTICA HERALD-DISPATCH THURSDAY EVENING, AUGUST 3, 1911 Mrs. F. M. Shipman of Lynn, Mass and her daughter, Mrs. C. M. Hall, and son Charles (my grandfather) of Malden, Mass. are spending two weeks with Mrs. Shipman’s brother. W. C. Perry, 414 West Dominick street.
  • Utica Herald-Dispatch, Thursday Evening October 3, 1918, Page 13 Whole Families Dying: Mrs. F. M. Shipman of Lynn. Mass., who spent a month with her brother and wife. Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Perry.414 West Dominick street, returning home last week In perfect health. Mr. Perry has received a letter from his niece. Mrs. C. M Hall of Malden, Mass.. daughter of Mrs. Shipman stating that her mother had been, stricken with influenza and was confined to the bed, but the doctor says that she is improving. The letter says” The State Guards were called out tonight to do duty putting up tents and caring for the sick. Family after family are dying. They are having over 50 funerals a day here in Malden.
  • Utica Daily Press, September 11, 1909; Their Silver Wedding; Rome, Sept 10 – Mr. and Mrs. William C Perry 414 West Dominick street were married in this city 25 years ago by the late Rev James H Taylor, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and they have since lived here….During the afternoon and evening refreshments were served under the direction of Mrs. Fuller by 6 ladies attired in white, cousins of Mr. Perry. Margaret Jones and Jennie May Roberts of Floyd, Olwin Jones of Utica, Jennie May Palmer of Galeton, PA, Anne Hughes of Rome and Irene Jones of Rome, who were presented necklaces by Mrs. Perry.


  • Utica Morning Herald, November 4, 1896, page 2, column 3; FRANKFORT. PUSHED INTO THE CANAL. Sad Death of Mrs. James Evans of Frankfort (my g-g-g-gandmother).  Nov. 3.-About 7:30 o’clock last evening, as Mrs. James Evans of this village was walking along the towpath of the Erie canal she fell into “the canal. With her three grandchildren, the oldest about ten years of age she was returning from a visit to her sister. They met a team of horses drawing a canal boat and turned to pass them, taking the side near the water. After the team had passed the tow line brushed Mrs. Evans into the water. She was taken out as promptly as possible by the boatmen and removed to her home, where she died in a short time from the effects of her Injuries, at her age being unable to withstand the shock. Mrs. Evans was about 65 years old. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones and was born in Wales. She came with her parents to this country about 45 years ago. They settled in Oriskany and afterward removed to Floyd, where the deceased was married to George Perry. Mr. and Mrs. Perry came to Rome about 35 years ago, and lived on the Lynch farm in East Rome. Mr. Perry for some time conducting a milk route. He died 33 years ago. His widow married James Evans of Rome for her second husband:—Eleven years ago they removed to Frankfort…

To date I have found some 70 articles on this family.  Not only did it give me better insight into the lives of these family members, but many led to more discoveries.  I hadn’t known that my 2nd g-grandmother Kittie had resided in Lowell, MA.  This led to my discovery of her request for an annulment from her husband Frank Clough (for bigamy) in the Middlesex County Court records.  Which in turn led to me finding a copy of their marriage record at the Frankfort, NY county clerk’s office.

My g-grandmother Georgianna’s maiden name was thought to be Clough based on her marriage and death certificates, her handwriting on family photos and social security application (there were no recorded births in Rome, NY until 1882 and she was born in 1881).  These articles led to my discovery that her birth father’s name was probably Hughes. Which led me to the following newspaper marriage transcription on a GENWEB site:  “Perry, Kitty E. – Rome & John Hughes – Ilion. At residence of officiating clergyman Rev. Albert F. Lyle 8-4-1880. (HD 8-11-1880)”.

My point today is don’t overlook unlikely sources; you may find your ancestors. As with all documents, there may be errors, so you should always seek to uncover primary sources to strengthen your case.

A word about the search functions on this site.  It uses optical character recognition (OCR). OCR is not perfect, for example r n is often read as m,  l is often t and vice versa,  p can be read as a y.  I try to look for letters that look similar to each other or that perhaps look like another letter when close to each other.  For example, Thorn could be interpreted as Thom.  So a search for “John Thorn” may come up null, but by changing the search to “John Thom” you may get some hits.

Sometimes the OCR technology doesn’t work , especially if the paper is dark or the letters smeared.

Try searching on something other than a name.  For example I knew that Uncle William Perry lived on 414 West Dominick Street in Rome.  I searched on 414 AND Perry, then just on “West Dominick”  and also on “post office” AND Rome (since that is where he worked for 29 years) . I got lots of hits that I hadn’t found previously.

I have had similar luck with Newspaper Archives (although it is a pay site)  They have old copies of the Lowell Daily Sun.  My 3rd great uncle David Brian Pinder Hall lived for a time in Lowell, MA.  His grandson Joseph Edward David “Frenchie” Thibeault had16 children with 5 different women, most born in Lowell, MA, many of whom I uncovered using newspaper sources.

Seek out some online newspapers and see what you can find of your ancestors!  We’d love you to share some posts of your finds and suggestions for sources.  Remember that there are offline searchable newspapers as well. The Malden Public Library in Massachusetts has old copies of the Malden Evening News on microfilm.  While not searchable, I was able to find birth, marriage and death notices by collecting vital records and searching newspapers a week before and after those dates.

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