Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finally, My Newspaper Comes Online!

     OK, I should be cleaning my house right now, or planting my little tomato plants.  Day off from work, decent weather and yet-- here I sit.  While having my morning coffee I made the mistake of checking the Old Fulton NY Post Card site, with all it's wonderful NY newspapers, to see if by any chance the Shortsville Enterprise had been added and hallelujah there it was!  My euphoria was slightly tempered by the fact the early editions were not included, only 1919 and onward.  I had read those early editions on microfilm borrowed from the NYS Library, but no doubt missed a few articles about my relatives.  I had hoped to be able to use the search engine at the Fulton site to be sure I had caught them all.  Then again, later editions are better than nothing. 

     The Enterprise covered part of Ontario County, NY, mostly Shortsville, Manchester and surrounding towns.   In the short time I've been searching the files I have learned quite a few details about my relatives lives.  Nothing earth shattering, but the little things that make family history come to life.  For instance, I've learned that my great grandfather Edward O'Hora, whom I knew suffered terribly from rheumatoid arthritis, traveled to Alden, NY to take the mineral water baths in an attempt to alleviate his pain and was hospitalized several times for his arthritis before his untimely death . I learned his widow Nellie took in a Fresh Air child in the mid 1920's, actually the same one each time, little Julia Whalen, (I didn't even know the Fresh Air program existed that early), and that Nellie's sister who lived in NYC frequently visited the O'Hora farm in the 1920's.  You can take the girl outta the country...

     I've discovered my 2nd great grandfather Philip Power's home was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1928, and that a tenant house on the O'Hora farm burned in August of 1921.  I wasn't aware they had a tenant house.  It was occupied by the Fischer family, which clears up a mystery for me, I have an old photo from an album belonging to great aunt Alice O'Hora with the name Fischer on the back, now I know who the Fischers were.

     There are a few tricks to these old newspapers.  Quite often the date was on the front page only, subsequent pages had no dates.  If your article was on one of those inside pages you were left to puzzle over when the event in question occurred.  There a couple of ways around this, you can look for a date in a legal advertisement or an article on the page.   I've also used obituaries on the page and checked other sources to find the death date of the decedent thereby giving me the publication date, or month and year at least.

     So while I was initially disappointed with the newspaper dates available, I'm delighted with what I've found so far.  Is that thunder I hear in the distance?  I'd better stay inside and do more research...

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