Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, October 9, 2015

I read it in the newspaper

I have been teaching a class about probate records lately and part of the class covers the issue of giving notice. In a probate action, nearly everything done in the court requires some kind of notice. Some of these notices are published in the newspapers. In Arizona, for example, a notice to the deceased's creditors must be published several times in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the probate is being conducted. With all the online digital newspaper collections, these notices are discoverable. If you find a notice of the probate, you will then know that a probate has occurred and you will also know the time period of the probate and the court. Both of these facts will help you in locating the complete probate file.

As an example of the number of probate notices, I did a search on the word "probate" in the Library of Congress' Chronicling America newspapers. There were over 790,000 references to the word. I did another search and immediately found a relative's probate in the 1883 Salt Lake Herald newspaper.

Of all the online resources becoming available, newspapers hold out the promise of providing detailed information that most other records lack. I did a recent search, again in the Library of Congress newspapers, and found over 30 articles about my Grandfather. These articles, in a small town newspaper, help to establish the chronology of his moves from job to job and where he was living with his family at different times.

I have several extensive posts in the past, search for "james tanner digital newspapers," that list hundreds of sources.

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