New material added 14 Jan 2005 (Dated November 2004)

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General Interest Articles

Table of Contents

Newspaper Biography

Recently Added Articles

This web site is the result of a project to develop procedures for and evaluate the feasibility of extracting information of genealogical value from small community newspapers.

The newspaper chosen was the Wayne County Press from Wayne County, Illinois. A Microfilm of this newspaper for 1896 and 1897 was obtained on interlibrary loan. The film was examined for articles that had information that might be of value to a person doing family research. It was found that there were three regular columns of tidbits of information that were of use. These were County Correspondence, Society News and Local Brevities. These were basically gossip columns. Only the items in the columns of genealogical value were extracted. These included items that showed a relationship between family members, residence, employment and business activities. Articles that are usually thought of for genealogy work such as births, marriages and obituaries were also extracted along with articles about birthdays, anniversaries and membership in organizations.

The articles are indexed by the names in them, not by specific persons. It is apparent that the newspaper had many names spelled wrong. No attempt was made to correct these errors. I have probably introduced a few errors of my own. On a few occasions, when the context allowed, the index will be have a name more specific then the article. This usually occurred because there would be two or more articles that were obviously about the same person that had different variations of the personís name. For instance one article might use first and middle initials for the person and another article would use their first and last name.

The articles cover about seven months. It took a while to figure out what to extract and some of the first issues extracted have not been as thoroughly done as the later ones. It is my intention to go back and examine these issues for more articles. Additional articles will be added as time permits.

The articles are also in a table of contents by date.

If the information in this web site has been of value to you I would like to hear from you. I am also looking for others to help with the transcription. You do not need access to a microfilm to do the transcriptions. I will provide digital images that can be displayed in one window of your PC while you type in another. No special software is needed and the images can be magnified to check hard to read text.