Kinsearching March 19, 2006




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

     The Oklahoma Historical Society Archives and Research Division is in the process of moving to its new location in the Oklahoma History Center at 2401 N. Laird in Oklahoma City. Presently closed, the research library is scheduled to re-open during mid-April. A gala grand opening during the week of April 17 - 21 is being planned. For information about the celebration, send an e-mail to

     Recently, Larry E. Caver, Jr. completed two more books of extracted genealogical and historical data from old newspapers in the Yellowhammer State. DEATH AND MARRIAGE NOTICES FROM THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER (1881) is the third volume in his series pertaining to the capital city while ABSTRACTS FROM ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS, VOLUME I: CHOCTAW COUNTY, CLARKE COUNTY, CONECUH COUNTY, DALLAS COUNTY, ESCAMBIA COUNTY, LOWNDES COUNTY, MARENGO COUNTY, PERRY COUNTY, SUMTER COUNTY, WASHINGTON COUNTY is the first in a new series covering the entire state.

     Since the Montgomery Advertiser was published in the state capital, the newspaper naturally devoted much coverage to events in the city. Included in the news are death notices of Confederate veterans and the "Official Sexton Reports" which shows the names of people buried in the City Cemetery throughout the year 1881. Like many papers during this period, the Advertiser also reprinted articles from other newspapers. As a result, information about marriages and deaths that occurred in fifty-nine Alabama counties as well as in other states often appear; many of the out-of-state notices concern former Yellowhammer residents. Examples of notices are the deaths of eminent writer Sidney LANIER in Asheville, NC, and Mr. B. S. RIVERS of Marlin, TX; the drowning of prominent stock owner Robert BALL near Henrietta, TX; the lynching of desperado Thomas GORDON in Socorro, NM; a duel between the Choctaw chief T. A. CARPENTER and the Creek chief Col. Amos PRICE; and the death of the horse belonging to Wells J. BRAY of Barbour County, AL. Genealogists tracing African-American families will find helpful information such as the death notices for Gussie WATSON of Eufaula, who was killed by lightning, and for Nancy McGREW, who drowned near Tuscahoma.

     Original newspapers in local county courthouses provided most of the data in Caver's ABSTRACTS FROM ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS. This first volume of the series pertains to various papers published in ten counties between the years 1817 and 1910. Some of the papers have only a few extant issues while others may have a longer run. A large amount of the material concerns the counties of Choctaw, Sumter, and Washington. Examples of topics appearing in the papers are a list of letters remaining in the post office in Jackson in 1817; the divorce of William HENRY and wife Ann in 1819; a train wreck and explosion in 1865; administrator's sale of the estate of Eliza BRADLEY in Marengo County in 1873; the death of African American Henry RACKLEY in 1876; the issuance of a Mexican War pension to Prof. W. H. FURGUSON in 1888; and a visit by the stork to Mr. and Mrs. L. W. SAVAGE, JR., of St. Stephens and the death notice of the famous Apache GERONIMO in 1909.

     As many genealogists know, old newspapers are often hard to locate. When they are found, they may not be indexed or the print may be faded. Because of these difficulties, Caver provides a valuable service to researchers by gleaning the genealogical and historical details and making them easily available in book form. Since the material offers a treasure trove of information, Caver's works are always worthy additions to genealogical literature.

     Featuring an interesting picture of the capital city in the nineteenth century, DEATH AND MARRIAGE NOTICES FROM THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER (1881) has 314 pages and is priced at $33 postpaid. Including a bibliography of sources, ABSTRACTS FROM ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS, VOLUME I consists of 250 pages and costs $29 postpaid. Both paperbacks have an introduction to the contents and a full name and place index. They may be purchased from Larry E. Caver, Jr., P. O. Box 520, Wilmer, AL 36587.