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African American Newspapers Forum

Re: A Higher Purpose For Newspaper Articles


I hadn't really thought of a higher mission in the context of how and why our ancestors appeared in historical newspaper articles. I guess I've been too busy doing the "happy dance" as I follow the trail they have left in the newspapers.

For me, genealogically speaking, the articles have greatly enhanced and given life to the dry facts found in researching census, vital and other types of records conecrning the ancestors. To read reports on their activites in social circles, community, church, educational activites, their trials and tribulations has been very infomative and enlightening.

How this information got into the newspapers never crossed my mind. I have since learned that family and/or family friends were responsible in some instances as distributing agents, or reporters for the Indianapolis Recorder and the Cleveland Gazette.

So, in that light, a mission/concern is to inform other genealogists and recorder's of family history is to not overlook the value of searching for information in the historical AA newspapers, local and national, for the possibility of gathering information on their ancestors.

A BTW, my earliest ancestral newspaper finding was in an 1843 edition of the Pallidium of Liberty, an AA political newspaper published from Columbus, Ohio between 1843-1845. A 3rd great-grandfather, Lewis Adams, from Urbana, Ohio was a contirbutor and circulating agent.

Please excuse my delay in responding to your posting and thanks for reminding me of my resposnsibilty (mission) to other's ..... genealogically speaking :)

Art Thomas

Art's Family & Other Folk


Arlene Wrote:
"Art, With respect to your Happy Dance posting, you are, as always, very welcome. I've been thinking that our mission with respect to the historical black newspaper articles, geneaologically, is higher. I have said that the articles themselves serve as "gap fillers" in that they fill in the gaps of ancestors lives, that mere census renderings cannot capture. I think, however, that our research compels us to determine why these ancestors are in those newspapers. What was their connection to the individuals supplying the news to the papers?

. What are your stories of the newspaper connections to your ancestors? I believe that geneaologically, determining the connections are just as important as finding the articles - do you agree?"

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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