The Mauch Chunk
compilation of marriages and obituaries from the early Mauch Chunk Newspapers
Mauch Chunk’s first
newspaper printed its inaugural issue on May 30, 1829 when Asa Lansford Foster
began publishing The Lehigh Pioneer & Mauch Chunk Courier. In that first issue, Foster wrote:
We have at length issued our first Number, and present
it to the public without apology or recommendation; – and although custom has
in a measure rendered it necessary that where a person appears in the garb of a
public character, he should let his audience or patrons become acquainted with
his intensions, and the course which he expects to pursue; – yet, fearful that
we might promise more than we should be able to perform, we shall say but
little of our intended actions, – except, that we shall use every
exertion to render our paper valuable – so that we may secure the encouragement
already given and merit what we may hereafter receive.
were published continuously in Mauch Chunk / Jim Thorpe up to about 1970, when The
Times News moved from its cramped offices on Race St. in Jim Thorpe to a
more spacious location in Lehighton.
Over the years the paper had gone through several name changes and many
Foster began, the newspaper business was still in the process of
development. A look through these old
papers and one thing you’ll notice is the lack of much in the way of local
news. Outside of the business items and
advertisements, local news could mainly be found in the short mentions of
deaths and marriages.
the cooperation of the Dimmick Memorial Library, I began going through the old
papers in order to extract the main news of local interest, the marriages and
deaths. There were times when I could
go through months of newspapers without finding either. There were prominent local people who died
during this era and the paper makes no mention of the death. And there are people with no apparent local
connection who died in far-flung places and the paper did publish mention of
their passing. The same can be said for the marriage records.
the most important reason for doing this pertains to the marriage
announcements. Before 1834 there were
no organized churches in Mauch Chunk.
Since most of the marriages prior to that year (and many in the years
following) were performed by judges, lawyers and magistrates (the “Esquires”),
they do not appear in any church record.
these notices were very short and to the point, they lent themselves well to
data basing. Information that does not
fit into other columns appears in the Notes column, with comments of my
own in parenthesis.
ULTIMO AND THE INSTANT
(confusing dates in the newspapers)
the mid 1800s, the editors of the Mauch Chunk papers (and elsewhere) confused
their dates a bit. They sometimes used
the abbreviations “Inst.” and “Ult.” for the terms “Instant” and “Ultimo”. The first means the event occurred in the
present month, as in a July 27th newspaper stating a death or
marriage occurred on the “20th inst.”, meaning the 20th
of July. If the same paper had the date
of the event as the “20th ult.”, that would mean the 20th
of June. However, sometimes and it
wasn’t clear exactly which month they were referring to. Alternate sources sometimes cleared things
up, but where there were no available alternate sources, I did as best as I
could with the dates. These
questionable dates occurred a small amount of the time, and usually when the
newspaper was early in the month.
Hopefully, I got the dates correct on my pages.
Several Mauch Chunk newspapers are
represented here. To facilitate things,
I’ve abbreviated the names of the papers.
The key to those abbreviations are as follows:
C = Mauch Chunk Courier (or The
CCG = Carbon County Gazette. In the later 1840s the full name of this
paper was “Carbon Co. Courier and Mauch Chunk Courier”.
CC T = Carbon
Mauch Chunk newspapers have a sort of genealogy of their own. The Courier was the first, under Asa
Lansford Foster. He sold the paper and
it became the Carbon Co. Transit. These
owners sold the paper back to the Foster family (sons of Asa’s) and it became
known as the Carbon Co. Gazette, later the name expanding to the Carbon Co.
Gazette & Mauch Chunk Courier. The
Foster family again sold the paper in the early 1850s and the paper evolved,
eventually, into the Coal Gazette, which published under that name for several
Carbon Democrat was a rival publication.
Later another paper, the Mauch Chunk Democrat, joined the field and
Mauch Chunk had 3 weekly papers. In the
1860s the two Democrats merged into “The Democrat”, which, like the Coal
Gazette, continued to publish for several decades, into the early 1900s.
record covers the years 1829 to 1850 (inclusive). To the best of my ability, all reported marriages from this era
are shown here. Exceptions include a
few pages that were in such poor condition that facts could not be gathered
reliably. Much of the problem had to do
with the micro-filming process. Some
pages were blurred, and in many cases the edges of the pages were not filmed
properly. Each marriage appears twice
in the following pages, appearing under both the bride’s and groom’s name. In many cases, the surname spellings were
much different from how the names are commonly spelled. I usually spell the surnames as they are
commonly spelled, noting how they are spelled in the notice in the “Notes”
The problems that occurred with some of the
marriage notices also occurred with the death notices. That is, poor condition of the newspaper and
oddly spelled surnames. To make lookups
easier, I did the same “corrections” as in the marriage notices with the
spellings. With the newspapers in poor
condition, I did as best as I could.
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Research, transcription & web page by
2002, updated 2004