Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Santa

Recently, I decided to do some newspaper research using the Newspaper Archives available through my membership at Godfrey Memorial Library. These are the digital images of the previously microfilmed documents from Heritage Quest. With no specific plan in mind, I first browsed the list of newspapers available. To my surprise, the 1930 and 1931 issues of the Rushville Republican from Rushville, Indiana are on-line. (Before, I've always had to make a trip to Rushville to read any of these papers so my excitement grew.) I began with a search for the surname STEWART which produced lots of hits just as I expected since that line has been in the Rushville area as long as Indiana has been a State and before.

One of my finds was the following birth announcement (Rushville Republican, 18 Jun 1930, BIRTHS page 3, col. 2):
Mr. and Mrs. Dayton Stewart living east of Carthage are the parents
of an eight pound baby girl born at their home Sunday. The girl was named
Mary Lou.

I had the Dayton Stewart family of Carthage in my file which included all the children's names but no dates. This is a relatively distant collateral line but I'm always happy to get new data of any kind. At least now I could confirm the birth date of Mary Lou even though I still didn't know if sister, Phyllis, or brother, Harold, are older or younger than she.

I recorded and documented my find and continued on with my research. There, among the reports of family dinners, court issues, marriage announcements and such, was a letter to Santa from Phyllis Stewart (Rushville Republican, 10 Dec 1930, page 6, col. 3).
Carthage, Ind.
Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl 6 years old. I go to Mays school, my
teachers name is Miss Blount. For Christmas I want a rocking chair, a ring and a
violin as when school is out I want to take violin lessons. Don't forget my
little sister Mary Lou as this is her first Christmas, bring her something to
play with and don't forget my brother, Harold, bring him something nice. He
is 12 years old.
From your little friend,


P.S. I am sending 10c to help some other child that will not have as much as I.

Who would have thought in that little letter to Santa a genealogist could get information that approximates birth years for the two siblings of Mary Lou Stewart? You never know where or how new data will appear.

Merry Christmas and Good Hunting to you all,


1 comment:

  1. Wow that is very cool what a great find!
    This does show that information can come from unexpected places.
    So I guess you be looking through this newspaper archive a bit more huh?
    Happy searching!
    Larry P.