Ancestor’s Life Recorded in Newspapers

by , under Ancestry.com, How To, My Family History, Newspapers, WRHS

Nelson Dinghman (b 1818-d 1907) was my great great grandfather. When I was growing up, I never heard a word about him, even though he had lived only about 15 miles from my childhood home in Andover, Ohio. Early on in my involvement in genealogy, I looked for information about Nelson and learned that he migrated from Montgomery County, New York, in 1841 to Salem Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where he eventually purchased and farmed a large tract of land.

His early life is detailed in History of Mercer County, published in 1888. I first found this book in print form at the Western Reserve Historical Society <www.wrhs.org> Research Library. Since then, I have found the same biographical material on the Mercer County Genealogical Society website on Rootsweb.com <http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pamercer/PA/Biographies/nelson-dingman.htm>.

I recently signed up for the Ancestry.com World Explorer Plus “Package,” which includes access to Newspapers.com and Fold3.com. The access to Newspapers.com <www.newspapers.com> proved to be a real boon in learning about Nelson’s later life.

I did a search for Nelson Dingman (without specifying any other information or filters) and came up with 27 “hits” for him in the newspapers of the day in Greenville, Pennsylvania, which is the main large city in northern Mercer County. An obituary was among the finds, along with several items about minor court cases involving Nelson and his sons regarding care during his retirement from farming. Based on all this online information, and especially with the additon of the newspaper reports, I will be able to construct a rather detailed article about my great great grandfather.

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