Small item can lead to huge tree

In every newspaper old or new you will find some small item that has been put there by a relative and it is in memory of a loved one. They are usually very small item and really don’t have much information, but they can lead to many more newspaper items. For instance this 1928 Milwaukee Journal small item:

Slide 0 - You never know what you will find

Slide 1 - Even a small item - Coleman


Slide 2 - Mrs W W Coleman In Memoriam - Jan 1928

Using this information I created a tree on Ancestry dot com for Mrs. W. W. Coleman. I used Ancestry dot com to create the tree because the program uses the information I enter to look for other records which might fit the person. Since I had her death date I used that date to look for her obit in the 1924 newspaper.

Copy of Slide 4 - Did a search for WW Coleman



Slide 3 - Coleman - Mrs WW Jan 1924 - Milwaukee Wis

While on the newspaper page I do a search for W W Coleman

Slide 4 - Did a search for WW Coleman

When I do a search for W W Coleman in the Google newspaper collection I get this.

Slide 5 - Results of search for WW Coleman

From the search, I was able to find a reference to WW Coleman and found a son Edgar W Coleman

Slide 6 - Edgar W Coleman photo 1932 Jun - Milwaukee

Slide 7 - Edgar W Coleman obit 1932 Jun - CONFIRMED

As a build the tree form Mrs W W Coleman to her son Edgar I am able to find other records that fill out the tree.

Slide 8 - Edgar W Coleman Tree

and in some of those records I am able to find W W Coleman’s death and was able to find an obit for him.

Slide 9 - obit - W W Coleman

the obit gives me more information for the tree. I was able to get Mrs. W W Coleman’s name. Slide 10 - Tree

The additional information from the obit and additional new records from Ancestry dot com allow me to find a new branch in a 2003 newspaper.

Slide 11 - Thomas Wyatt Norris obit

The new item gives me more information for the tree, which had begun with a little item.

Slide 12 - Tree

So never pass up a small item thinking that it does not have enough information.

Slide 1 - Even a small item - Coleman

I hope this post has helped you.

Thank You.


By Jose A Munoz

Retired General Motors designer who now works on subjects dealing with genealogy. I create trees using items I find in old Google News Archive newspapers and I contact other tree owners notifying them about the news item concerning their relative and send them a link to the tree I created. I post a screen print of the news item on the tree for others to copy, so that my work will benefit others. Occasionally, I will post about the tree I created or the item that I found, always with a "how to" in-bedded in the post. I want my blog posts to help others with their family trees or with their genealogy experiences.

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