10 Sep 2013

Berggren Brothers of Ishpeming, Michigan, for Tombstone Tuesday

The Berggren brothers of Sweden were killed “in the usual way” mining iron ore in Ishepeming, Michigan, in 1889. Today’s Tombstone Tuesday is about Lars Erick and Per August and the grief their friends and family felt decades later. When I went to the Upper Peninsula, I was determined to find out what had happened to them, for the family stories were garbled. At the local historical society, I found the news article about the mine accident.

Erick and August emigrated from Sweden to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with their widowed mother, Lovisa Berggren. Erick married Mathilda Lind, the daughter of his landlord, in July of 1885, in Ishpeming. August was unmarried. They worked alongside my great-great uncle in the Cleveland Mine, until the day a charge failed to explode…and they went together […]

22 Jun 2013

Obituaries from Chicago German-Language Newspapers for Gottfried Hann

Today’s topic is obituaries from Chicago German-Language newspapers for Gottfried Hann (1861-1896), my great-grandfather, as I continue trying to read 19th-c. German without actually knowing any.

Gestorben: Gottfried Hann, geboren am 2. May 1861 im Ladis, Tyrol, 35 Jahre alt. Gestorben am 17. Oktober 1896. Hinterlasst Frau und zwei kinder. Beerdigung findet statt Montag, den 19. Oktober. Nachmittags 2 Uhr. von 21 Dayton Str. Tyroler und Vorarlberger Verein Chicago. F.A. Mathis, Sekretär. Daniel Kulin, Pres.

Died: Gottfried Hann was born on 2nd May 1861 in Ladis, Tyrol, 35 years old. Died on 17th October 1896. Leaving his wife and two children. Burial will be held Monday, 19th October. 2 o’clock in the afternoon. [Funeral party leaving] from 21 Dayton Street. Tyroler and Vorarlberg Club Chicago. F.A. Mathis, Secretary Daniel Kulin, President.

(I left the Victorian hearse ad in there because it’s cool. Gottfried’s family couldn’t afford a get-up like that. […]

13 Mar 2013

How to Write an Obituary a Genealogist Will Love

How to Write an Obituary a Genealogist Will Love. I didn’t know Harry Stamps, but I wish I had.

Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

 Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life. 

The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He loved his mom Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the help of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after […]

2 Oct 2012

Tuesday’s Tip: Updates to Chronicling America

There are now 5,206,652 pages of newspapers available at Chronicling America. Not familiar with this free site sponsored by the Library of Congress and NEH? Visit the site at

You can search and download pages from selected American newspapers across the country from 1836-1922. To see a list of the digitized newspapers and enter search terms, visit at

The site also offers the U.S. Newspaper Directory, supplying information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. You can identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them at Newspaper titles currently listed: 151,814.

New titles and images are added regularly so visit often.