I read it in the news! Newspapers have been a mainstay of my research for the last several years. From the items I've found I've filled in huge chunks of my family's history.
One of my biggest newspaper finds was actually a transcription posted on the Ontario County, NY GenWeb site. It was a legal notice that listed the heirs of Laura Carter. At the time I had no idea who she was but there were a couple of names that I recognized. From that brief newspaper posting I had a starting point for further research that allowed me fill in many branches of my Hall family tree that I previously knew very little about. I originally wrote about that find here.
One of my most fun trips through the newspaper archives was researching the history of my grandparents house. I "knew" it had been an orphanage at one time. It turned out it was the Syracuse Baby Camp. Take a peek at what I wrote, it's a piece that I'm quite pleased with (except for the lack of source citations).
The Wreck of the Flyer was a local bit of history that I was unfamiliar with. I was surprised that I'd never heard the story as a cousin was the fireman that was killed in the wreck. Since I wrote about it originally, I've found several more articles and the original newspaper reports and I should write a follow up. I cross the tracks just south of the site of the wreck and have told the story to students several times so my family history is their local history.
John has no interest in genealogy and his sisters knew very little. I took out a subscription to the archives of the local paper and found more than I thought possible. Obituaries helped me sort all the August's and Adam's. The other items were mostly sad. I've written about Helena Grabowske and the loss of three of her sons. Then there was the sad tale of Adolph Niemann that played out in the paper over several years. I have dozens of transcriptions that I made detailing the public record of his family. I have posted a couple of them and may post others in the future.
My family hasn't been written about very often but some of the items I've found have been gems. I found the article announcing my mother as salutatorian of her class. I also found a wedding announcement that listed Mom as the maid of honor. I asked her about the yellow chiffon dress that was described and she demanded "HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT!" lol Mom and chiffon, not something I ever would have pictured! I also found several articles about my father's science fair entries.
There have been many other interesting finds. In looking through my archive I found it interesting that I haven't written about any of these finds in about a year. I'll have to get more of the transcriptions published here soon.