Category Archives: Newspapers

A trip to South Dakota

In the last post I mentioned that I had looked up a bunch of my relatives in Vermont Newspapers. While researching Jason “Elroy” Fuller, I came across something interesting.

One of the first things I found while researching him for the first time was this bio in the book Genealogy of Some Descendants of Thomas Fuller of Woburn. By: William Hyslop Fuller.

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As you can see it says that Elroy lived in South Dakota for 8 years. Being a decent genealogist I know that sometimes you have to take these family histories with a grain of salt. For nearly a year I couldn’t find anything that lead me to believe that Elroy really went to South Dakota. Why would he leave his wife and eight young children alone for such a long period of time?

While searching the newspapers I found something interesting.

The Vermont watchman, November 24, 1904, Elroy Fuller

So it turns out that the family history of Thomas Fuller was correct. Elroy did in fact go to South Dakota. Apparently he didn’t tell anyone that he was leaving. Which made me wonder why there of all places he could travel in the US. As far as I knew my ancestors had no connections to that part of the country. I didn’t find anything on when Elroy came back to Vermont, but I knew that by 1915 he had passed away in Roxbury, VT.

I had given up any hope of finding out more. Until I was searching for Elroy’s father-in-law Luther Blanchard. A few months before the above article saying that Elroy left, I found this one:

Luther Blanchard The Vermont watchman, June 23, 1904 pt2

The Vermont Watchman (23 Jun 1904)

Luther’s second wife was Lydia Hackett, William’s sister. This was the SD connection I was looking for. While William was visiting his sister he must have been introduced to Elroy. What I still don’t understand and probably never will, was why he left for such a long time without taking his family with him. And what was he doing up there?

This information that Elroy traveled to South Dakota is huge for me. My mother and myself are somewhat of the black sheep in our families. We like to travel, not just travel, we moved.. a lot. Knowing that one of our ancestors moved so far away from his family makes us happy to know that we aren’t the only ones. And it’s possible we got it from him.

My question to you guys is this: Is there a place I can look for records about his time in SD? I’ve tried Ancestry and Family Search. I don’t have any ideas from there. Any help would be wonderful.

Isn’t it funny..

.. that when you make plans, life tends to get in the way. Back in June I wanted to start posting here again, but things happen and decisions needed to be made. But enough about that. This is a genealogy blog after all right?

A while back someone shared with me a website that has free digital copies of many old US newspapers. I’ve tried looking at newspapers.com but they didn’t have any newspapers from Vermont at the time. Taking a shot in the dark I started looking up my ancestors. To my surprise I found quite a few of them. I had no idea that back in the late 1800’s any news was worthy of being posted in the newspapers.

For example:

The Vermont Watchman (15 Apr 1896)

Mr. Fuller is my 3x great grandfather. Along with his father in law Luther Blanchard, I have found nearly a hundred little snippets like the one above. I’m slowly starting to look up my aunts/uncles and cousins in these newspapers to get a better look at the life my family had. While I was looking for possible criminal cases, births, marriage, or deaths, I think I found something much more valuable to my research. 

When I started searching for my family, I wanted to get to know the people who had helped create me. They were real living, breathing human beings and I feel closer to them each day I found an article like the one above.  I can’t wait to start sharing these snapshots into my ancestors lives with you all.

 

** The website I mentioned is Chronicling America **