Kinsearching November 11, 2007




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

     Known for his work concerning the Yellowhammer State, Larry E. Caver, Jr., has added another book to his list of accomplishments. Containing extracted genealogical and historical data from old newspapers, ABSTRACTS FROM ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS, VOLUME II: LIMESTONE COUNTY, MADISON COUNTY, MARSHALL COUNTY, JACKSON COUNTY is now available.

     Caver's latest volume pertains to various papers published in the counties of Limestone (1859, 1860, and 1865-1870), Madison (1833 and 1835), Marshall (1853, 1856, 1858, 1919, and 1936), and Jackson (1839, 1868, 1873, 1879-1880, 1917, 1932-1933, and 1937). Some of the papers have only a few surviving issues while others may have a longer run. In addition to local news, these newspapers reprinted articles from papers in other parts of the country. As a result, information may appear about people and events in Alabama counties as well as in other states; many of the out-of-state notices concern former Yellowhammer residents.

     Examples of interesting articles in these issues are murder cases; an 1833 biographical sketch of 106-year-old James MASON of Scott Co., KY; item about the discontent of the Cherokee Nation in 1853; information on 102-year-old Henry LEWIS of Allegany Co., MD, in 1867; an 1835 regimental order; lists of letters remaining in the post office in Huntsville in 1835 and in Bellefonte in 1839; court cases; marriage of J. H. REAGAN, former Postmaster General for the Confederacy, and Mollie F. TAYLOR in Anderson Co., TX, in 1866; and $500 reward offered for missing child Caroline Hawkins BULLOCK in 1833. Details about deceased individuals appear in many forms: death notices, like those of Alabama legislator Thomas H. HOBBS in 1867, former Texas Ranger Harry LOVE in California in 1868, and James ADAMS of Hendricks Co., IN, who "ate thirty-two peaches, a couple of muskmelons, one raw sweet potato, and drank two gallons of buttermilk" in 1867; and lists, such as those of infant deaths from scarlet fever Madison County in 1833, deaths from cholera in Tennessee and Alabama in 1833, and deaths from a tornado in Jackson County in 1932. Genealogists tracing African-American families will find helpful information such as the death notices for 102-year-old CLARA, "an imported native African," near Macon, GA; Bill ROBERTS in Lee County in 1880; and Augustus CARSON of Franklin, TN, who "attached himself to the cause of the Confederacy."

     Experienced researchers know that old newspapers are often hard to find. When they are located, they may not be indexed, the print may be faded, or their condition may make them too fragile to use. Due to these difficulties, Caver provides a valuable service by gleaning genealogical and historical details and putting them into a convenient, easy-to-use publication. Because the material offers a treasure trove of information, ABSTRACTS FROM ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS, VOLUME II: LIMESTONE COUNTY, MADISON COUNTY, MARSHALL COUNTY, JACKSON COUNTY is a worthwhile addition to genealogical library collections.

     The 269-page paperback has an introduction and an index which lists full names of individuals and places. Priced at $32 postpaid, the book may be purchased from Pioneer Publishing Co., P. O. Box 408, Carrollton, MS 38917 (phone 662-237-6010; website

     Just as newspapers in the United States are helpful in tracking American ancestors, European newspapers offer useful information for tracing overseas forebears. The following data come from THE ABERDEEN CHRONICLE, Aberdeen, Scotland, 9 November 1816 (no. 527), p. 4, c. 4:


     "At Lochbuy-house, the Lady of Murdoch M'LAINE, Esq. of Lochbuy, a son."


     " Newington, near Edinburgh, on the 30th October by the Rev. Dr. FLEMING, Dr. George BARCLAY of Aberdeen, to Emma, daughter of Walter BERRY, Newington."

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