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African American Newspapers Forum

Re: Archie Burkley ex Slave IL
In Response To: Archie Burkley ex Slave IL ()

This clipping is a good example of the need to put together several sources of information to verify a story.

A librarian who heard me speak at the FGS conference in Springfield, IL in 2011, sent me an obit she came across. It was of Archie. It was from the local white paper where his death occurred so it was much more detailed than this small one that was condensed or clipped from another paper.

I had been tracking a bunch of coal miners in Illinois that had come to this county primarily from Braidwood, IL, and when I was on a research trip there I had obtained a number of marriage certificates--one was Archie's. The MC showed him with a birth date circa 1863 and a birth place of Fluvanna Co, VA. I found IL census records (1900, 1920, 1930) of him in Bureau County, and the 1930 one added 20 years to his age! I also found 2 censuses (1870, 1880) in Fluvanna County that I believe show Archie and they support the 1863 birth.

Significant details from the obit provided by the librarian substantiate that the Archie in the article with the inflated age is the Archie of the census and marriage records.

Although not always entirely accurate, newspapers often provide great clues, leads, and details to aid your research.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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