Newspapers good places to look for material
By LYDIA GRIMES - Features Writer
The May meeting of the Escambia County Historical Society had as its guest, Larry Caver, who presented a program at the meeting on using newspaper transcriptions to research family history. He has sent me a notice of a new book that he has written called DEATH, MARRIAGE AND PROBATE NOTICES FROM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA NEWSPAPERS, Vol. II (1866-1875). In his announcement, Larry notes that the collection contains valuable historical and genealogical information on individuals who resided in Central Alabama counties following the Civil War. This is the second volume in a continuing series of newspaper transcriptions related to Montgomery, Alabama.
In his email announcing the book, Larry writes that during the years following the Civil War, "Some local newspapers were not in operation, so the Montgomery newspapers became an important source of communication. The collection also contains some valuable information for individuals residing in other parts of the state. Montgomery's newspapers devoted a lot of coverage to the surrounding counties in Central Alabama. Information was often included from correspondents and other newspapers in Alabama counties from as far east as the Georgia line and all across Alabama counties in the Black Belt region to the Mississippi line. In some instances this collection may contain valuable reprinted extracts from newspapers that have since been lost from local county records."
Larry does not try to make a profit from the sale of his books but uses the money to continue his research and to fund his trips to various organizations. The anticipated release date for the new book is September 1, 2003.
I will be happy to let you know where to order the book if anyone is interested. I would like to point out that people often overlook newspapers as a resource for genealogical material. Sometimes articles will appear in publications that one would think would be too far from the happening. You must remember that there were few newspapers and those that were operating would sometimes print outlying counties information.
Newspapers in this area have been microfilmed and placed in the Alabama Room in the Leigh Library at Jefferson Davis Community College. Not all papers are there, but it is a place to start.