Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Newspaper Research Brings Surprise

Every once in a while, research reveals a surprise that sets you back on your heals. This happened to me this weekend as I was researching on GenealogyBank for data about my gg grandfather, Francis McCue or Frank McHugh as his name evolved before he died.

Let me back up a bit. I was privileged to attend RootsTech with my friend, Bev. We decided to get there a few days early so we could spend some time in the Family History Library. While there, I actually found some court records for Bridget McHugh which dealt with the estate of Frank McHugh. More on that in a later blog.

Then, at RootsTech, I attended a session by Drew Smith on using your blog as a research log. That was it. This is what I am going to try and do as I spend this year trying to find where in Ireland Frank McHugh came from.

Yesterday, I spent several hours researching in GenealogyBank for any news items on Frank McHugh but instead came across a small article about Bridget. Of course, every little bit of information causes many more questions that lead to more research. But, that is what makes researching our families so interesting.

Newspaper -- MCHUGH, Bridget, arrested, 1887, Pittsfield, MA

Questions that now need to be answered are: Why was having some beer in the house against the law? Why did she have beer in her house? When was the trial and what was the result? (I searched GenealogyBank but found nothing on the trial).

Newspaper research is really fun because it helps bring our ancestors to life. My gg grandmother was a real person who got her name in the paper probably in a way she never expected. I sure was surprised!