obituaries

19 Aug 2014

Google News Archive for German Newspapers

Today’s guest post is about using the Google News Archive for German newspapers. German-language newspapers published in the U.S. can be important sources for obituaries and other information on German immigrant ancestors. My Germanic Genealogy teacher, Carolyn Thomas, of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, shares her insights on using the Google News Archive for German newspapers:

Besides the links to German-language newspapers in Chronicling America Nancy has shared, the Google News Archive has some German-language historic newspapers digitized and accessed by title at http://news.google.com/newspapers.

These were part of Google’s plan, unfortunately no longer supported, to digitize all extant historic newspapers. Some of us have benefitted greatly from the locations and newspapers with which Google began that effort.

For example, the following are German-language newspapers in Pennsylvania and Louisiana are available online at the Google News Archive for free:

Pittsburgh:

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 to  investigate.

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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. In fact, he was buried in a rented grave and when they family couldn’t pay, they buried him deeper and resold the plot at Saint Boniface Cemetery in Chicago.)

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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 […]