Party For Mrs. Swope
Sometimes an innocent looking newspaper item will provide valuable clues for a family tree.
I found the following item back in March of 2012 which seemed to have lots of names but no relevant dates.
Relevant dates would be birth, marriage or death dates. Those are the dates which appear on official documents which one wants to have, to cement the documentation for an individual on the family tree.
An item in the newspaper without relevant dates seems to be a waste of time for some people but I find that many times these little items have a lot of information which will help strength the family tree.
A case in point is the following little society page item I found in the 1930 St. Petersburg, Florida newspaper.
To View the Original item, [the item is to the left of this link]
Select The Evening Independent in box below:
“Party For Mrs. Swope”
|Newburgh, New York|
The Evening Independent
Apr 8, 1930
At first glance this write-up does not seem to contain much information that could be used in a family tree much less allowing one to find a family tree, but there is. The main subject “Mrs. Swope” is not my target for a family tree. My target is the hostess because her address is given and at the bottom of the item it says “Mrs. Ross Blood, mother of the hostess…” so there are two clues for me to use to find a family tree. I was not only able to find several family trees which had Mrs. Ross Blood, but I was able to match the address with the daughter and come to find out that the daughter “Doris” in 1930 lives at the same house as her parents; 1219 ½ Tenth street north.
The way I was able to find all this information was using the clues the item gave me. The first of course is the date of the party April 1930. The next clue is the location of the party because it is a local event, the newspaper is published locally, and on the heading of the original newspaper the city is given. An additional clue is the address given; 1219 Tenth street north. The next clue is the hostesses’ father’s first name “Ross” and of course the maiden name of the hostess “Blood”.
I simply had to do a search for a Mr. Ross Blood who lives in St. Petersburg Florida in the 1930’s and has a daughter named Mrs. Dooley. I was able to find a Mr. Ross Blood on a family tree and in that tree they had the 1930 and 1920 census.
In 1930 he lives at 1219 Tenth street north with a wife named Ada. I reviewed the 1930 census pages to see if I could find a Mrs. Dooley and a few pages from where Ross and Ada are listed there is a Mrs. Doris Dooley. I then looked at the 1920 census for Ross and Ada and found that they have a fifteen year old daughter named Doris. So it was reasonable to believe that the Doris Dooley in 1930 census was the daughter, but what cinched it was the fact that Mrs. Doris Dooley lives at 1219 ½ Tenth street north; or the same house as Ross and Ada. The fact that they are listed a few pages apart from each other in the 1930 census is resolved with the census takers note. On the 1930 census he has drawn a line across the page to indicate that he had gone back to the address to get the rest of the census so that the 1219 and 1219 ½ would have appeared on the same sheet if they were all home when he took down the information.
The interesting part of this whole story is that I was only able to find one family tree with a Ross Blood but as I gathered information off of that tree I was able to find more trees for him and his family. Those new trees also had new information but not the same information. For instance one had the 1930 census but not the 1920 census so they did not have the daughter “Doris” listed on the tree. Another had the same father and mother for Ross but no wife; all the dates and places matched, they just did know that he was married. When I first found the first Ross and Ada I immediately went into Family.Search.org and looked for a marriage certificate for them and I was able to find it on the first try, so I had that document to prove that I was looking at the right family. Subsequently I found other family trees and they too had pieces missing so when I sent out the link to the newspaper account of the party and a text file explaining why the item was important I also sent them the marriage certificate and the 1930 census telling them where to look for the two addresses.
Now you might be asking yourself, why does it matter if I have a party write-up on my tree when it does not give me birth, marriage or death dates? Well, a party write-up with an address gives you a confirmation of where the people lived at a given time in history, and thus you may be able to confirm more accurately that the other information you have is correct. So don’t dismiss a newspaper item at first glance.
The following information is exactly what I sent the family tree owners in an Ancestry.com message.
The Evening Independent
Apr 8, 1930
Page 4 Col 1
Party is Given
For Mrs. Swope
… at the home of Mrs. P. C. Dooley Jr. 1219 Tenth street north…Mrs. Ross Blood,
mother of the hostess, assisted in entertaining.
[Dooley, Patrick C. age 27 m at age 24 Tenn., Tenn., Tenn. – Salesman Dept Store]
[Dooley, Dorris B. age 25 m at age 22 Ill., Ill., Ill.]
[Dooley, J. Ross age 2 s Florida, Tenn., Ill.]
[Address 1219 1/2 10th north]
United States Census, 1930,”
R Ross Blood (St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida)
Name: R Ross Blood
Event Date: 1930
Event Place: St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida
Marital Status: Married
Estimated Birth Year: 1872
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Father’s Birthplace: Illinois
Mother’s Birthplace: Illinois
Enumeration District Number: 0022
Family Number: 375
Sheet Number and Letter: 13B
Line Number: 97
NARA Publication: T626, roll 329
Film Number: 2340064
Digital Folder Number: 4531950
Image Number: 00774
Household Gender Age
R Ross Blood M 58
Spouse Ada L Blood F 53
(Address is 1219 10th north)
Kentucky, Marriages, 1785-1979,”
Ross R Blood (1901)
Groom’s Name: Ross R Blood
Groom’s Birth Date: 1873
Groom’s Age: 28
Bride’s Name: Ada L Pixley
Bride’s Birth Date: 1878
Bride’s Age: 23
Marriage Date: 01 Jun 1901
Marriage Place: Covington, Kenton, Kentucky
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M01260-2
System Origin: Kentucky-EASy
Source Film Number: 551104
Sent 1930 and marriage to family trees:
Fagan/Bonia Family Tree
Bogard Family Tree
Wabash County, Illinois Families