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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cross-checking Newspapers

As family historians we know that newspapers are a wonderful resource for researching our ancestors. However, it is important to remember to look in more than one newspaper to gather pieces of the story.

My Grossman branch of the family lived in Chilliwack, BC. The September 5, 1906 edition of the Chilliwack Progress states:

Mrs. Carl Grossman left on Sunday morning’s [September 2] train to meet Mr. Grossman in Vancouver. They will spend about ten days visiting Vancouver, Victoria and Bowen Island. Dorothy and Babbie Grossman accompanied their mother.
Chilliwack Progress, September 5, 1906

In the early part of the 20th century it was common for newspapers to list hotel arrivals  — think of the privacy issues that would cause now! A search discovers “C. Grossman, wife and family, Chilliwack” as a hotel arrival at the Dominion Hotel in Victoria in the September 3 edition of the Daily Colonis.

The Vancouver Daily World of September 12, 1906 records “Mr. and Mrs. Carl Grossman and daughters, of Chilliwack, are visiting in Vancouver” in the “People Passing” column.

None of this information is ground-breaking but it tells me that they had the money to travel and stay at the Dominion Hotel. Six-years-old Dorothy and three-years-old Babbie (Eileen) travelled with them, but two-year-old George and four-month-old baby Grace must have stayed at home. Perhaps they stayed with Mrs. Grossman’s sister and family. What makes this trip even more curious is that it happened just a few months after Carl Grossman’s grocery store was destroyed in a fire and according to the newspaper Carl was busily getting his new store ready.

Broaden your searching beyond the place where your ancestors lived and you might also find out where they travelled, where they stayed, and who they visited.

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