Thursday, April 4, 2013

Your Unsourced Undated Newspaper Clipping, Blogging, and Michigan State Censuses

Sometimes other genealogists provoke us to remember things we had forgotten.

* I once had one of those classic unlabeled newspaper clippings, one that would gain credibility if it could be properly sourced. And there is one often distinctive identifier that even the most clueless newspaper-clipper can't erase: the font, typeface, and layout. Fortunately I had reason to think that it belonged to a particular town and an approximate point in time. I made a copy of it and took it to the local library, and compared it to the two local newspapers being published then. One of them matched, reducing the search time required to find the original -- but not to zero!

* Wondering what to blog about, or whether even to start? Although I don't use them, Geneabloggers offers a myriad of "blogging prompts" keyed to days of the week. There are some basic decisions to make: do you want mainly to contribute original material, or be an aggregator of others (by mentioning and linking, not wholesale copying!)? In either case, what really "gets you going" about genealogy: a particular region? methodology? theory? family stories? technology? conferences and institutes? Start out with a focus based on the passion within your passion; over time you will find that it changes, as this blog has. Finally, plan a schedule and work far enough ahead of it so that you can read your draft posts "cold" one more time before publishing them. That way you can be a perfectionist within reason and still get it done.

* I've said this before, and now I'm saying it again: if you have Michigan people, you should be reading Bushwhacking Genealogy, which just reported on progress in digitizing early Michigan state censuses.

Harold Henderson, "Your Unsourced Undated Newspaper Clipping, Blogging, and Michigan State Censuses," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 4 April 2013 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Cathi at Stone House Research said...

I never thought of using the typeface to help identify which paper a clipping came from! Genius. Thanks for the tip.

Sonja Hunter said...

Thanks, Harold! And thank you for your guide to the Allen County Public Library GC. I keep meaning to look through their online holdings since I haven't done it in a long time. Maybe someday I'll be able to go in person.