Kinsearching February 11, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Today many people, including genealogists, often complain about the lack of privacy, especially with the explosion of data accessible on the internet. Before the tremendous growth of populations in cities and the easy availability of personal computers, residents of small towns and communities griped that every body seemed to know everyone else's business. Despite the validity of these worries and criticisms in their own lives, genealogists usually relish discovering personal facts about their ancestors--especially those forebears they never knew.

     One source that may help "flesh" out the daily lives and relationships of earlier generations is the town or county newspaper. With the decline of small newspapers, much interesting material about local inhabitants has been lost. Although we may chuckle or laugh when we read the personal columns in old newspapers, the information provides insight into travel plans and methods of transportation as well as an individual's place of residence, marital status, age, occupation, friends or relatives, and where they lived. The following items from the "personals" column of the February 3, 1900 (Saturday) issue of The Hillsboro Daily Record, published in Hillsboro, Texas, gives details reported about its citizens and visitors more than 100 years ago:

"Mrs. Tam (sic) BROOK went to Whitney today to meet Mr. BROOK who is coming in from San Angelo.
H. H. BURKS of Itasca is in the city today.
Ab DERDEN went to Itasca last (rest of page cut off).
Dave DERDEN, Sr., arrived last night from Austin.
O. F. DORNBLASER returned last night from a northern town.
Miss DAISY ECHOLS is spending a few days at Vaughan.
Mrs. Wm. A. FIELDS and infant son departed last night for Galveston on a brief visit to relatives.
E. HANS returned to Corsicana this morning.
Mr. HEFLEY, proprietor of Dr. Peppers Phospate (sic), passed through the city this morning, going north.
Clabe HICKEY returned last night from Eastern (sic) Texas.
A. W. KERR took the train to Itasca this morning.
Rev. Phillip KING returned to Corsicana this morning.
W. J. LEE of the Mertens Messenger was hustling business for his paper among our denizens.
Miss LEGG, of West, came up this morning.
W. G. LIVINGSTON of Milford, a former citizen of this city, came down last night and will spend the day here.
Miss Kerby MCCHESNEY returned this morning from Grandview.
J. R. NOWLIN returned last night from Temple.
Mrs. B. W. OWENS left this morning for Kosciresko (sic), Mississippi.
Professor W. B. PHILPOT of College Station is in the city visiting the family of
Dave DERDEN, Sr.
Arch PIPER returned last night from Dallas.
D. R. POWERS, who is with the Brandon Enterprise, was a pleasant caller at our office this afternoon.
Uncle Dave SAWYER was among the goers (sic) to Itasca this morning.
John SCOFIELD came in last night from Louisana (sic) where he has been on business.
G. M. SPEARS of Mertens was in the city yesterday.
W. A. THORNTON will go to Dallas tonight on a bus trip.
Mrs. A. M. WALKER and daughter, Miss Maggie JOHN (sic) of Corsicana, are visiting relatives for a few days in the city.
T. P. WEATHERED went to Bloomington Grove this morning.
Miss EDDIE WEBB of Crawford arrived in the city last night to visit her sister
Mrs. W. G. GRIMES.
C. C. WILLIE went to Waco this morning and will return Monday.
Mrs. C. C. WILLIE and Mrs. J. B. BUNTYN left this morning for Tyler to visit relatives."

     This material comes from a copy of the newspaper found in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. It is located on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock.