Most items from area newspapers can have genealogic significance. For example, a local publication may print a list of children having a perfect attendance record as submitted by the area schools. This student list may provide valuable clues such as age, appearance and characteristics of the individual.
There are often one line notices from people who found a stray farm animal or are selling a farm and in many cases offering products and services. Quite often newspaper reporters poke and prod for filler material such as residents visiting relatives as well as those who come to visit.
Other items of interest may be a farmer whose cow produced a two-headed calf or the success and maybe in some cases the failure of that year
s crop. Wedding announcements, birth notices, buy, sell, trade, help wanted, sales and all other notices help when someone is looking for an elusive ancestor. Often, even mention of a name might be a valuable clue to their story. More times than not there may be valuable bonus items.
Since there does not seem to be a standard system, I developed my own coding. There are major classifications: N, L, B, M, D which are News (may also be an ad), Legal notice, Birth, Marriage and Death. The legal notices may provide information packed probate, wills or foreclosure information or other items, which may be criminal or misdemeanor in content.
I did not try to distinguish among the various types of legal notices, nor of the news items. However, there are separate sub-classifications of the B, M, and D classes. A lower case I, indicates it is regarding an individual, s is a spouse, c a child, p a parent and o is other. For example, an article describing the death of a child of A.Z. Jones would be classed as Jones, A.Z.-Dc (death of a child), but if the child were named Mary, there would also be an entry for Jones, Mary-Di (death of an individual). There are also a few cases where a couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary; coded as M50 (marriage 50 years), or a 21st birthday is coded as B21. A wedding guest is coded as Mo (marriage other). The local post offices often used the newspaper to notify the residents of Richland County about their unclaimed letters. These will be coded as ul.
N, for News
L, for Legal
B, for Birth
M, for Marriage
D, for Death
followed by a letter to indicate
and a number to indicate years
As of 1884-09-11 a new code had been added;
ul, Unclaimed letter
All entries include the issue date of the paper, page and column containing the item.
Later updates will include the name of the newspaper as there were many changes in ownership over the years.
As of this update, all material is from the above mentioned newspaper.