While driving to work this morning listening to a new podcast, I had an thought for an interesting blog serial I could focus on.
I know I have totally not been posting like I had wanted this year. Honestly 2016 has not been a particularly fantastic year for me, I won’t bore you with all the details but let’s say the hospital staff know me a bit too well. So, I haven’t focused on posting or on doing ancestry research this year.
But, back to my idea! So, this morning I was listening to a new (to me) podcast called Medieval Death Trip. It sounds more ominous than it is. It is a literary focused podcast examining various excerpts from medieval primary sources along with commentary. I was listening to the prologue this morning where the author of that podcast (author, host – what is the correct term for that?) said he was inspired by the book, Wisconsin DeathTrip. That book is a non-fiction work published in 1973 that is based on a collection of late 19th century articles, photographs, narrations from Wisconsin – most of them kind of “news of the weird” but as a collection highlight the lives, thoughts, fears, etc. of the people living at that time. I haven’t read this book, but I think I’m going to because that sounds fascinating.
So, after being inspired by a podcast inspired by a book, I thought of a weekly blog serial taking the ideas of using print media from the various locations and times of my ancestors to flesh out their lives.
I LOVE looking at old newspapers! While a great place to find a wealth of information in your genealogical research, it also is a unique glimpse into the lives of the people in that region and time. Often our research takes us to the time before internet and computers, before Skype and email, and usually before TV or telephones or radio. Local newspapers were the lifeblood of information. It’s how you learned what was going on in your community, your state, your country and the world. Not only are their articles about the main events happening, but also you find very mundane articles about who is having dinner with who.
So, my plan is to have a weekly post called Old News - New Stories highlighting an article, excerpt, advertisement, photograph, etc. from a publication which is local to one of my ancestors during their time. So, hopefully you will find it interesting and perhaps inspire some of your own research into the lives and times to help bring your ancestors to life (figuratively speaking).