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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Shedding Light on Newspaper Finds

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In Learning the most from historic newspapers, you had the opportunity to download the free Newspaper Extraction Form which sheds new light on the details you discover in historic newspaper articles
Just in case you were unsure as to how to complete the form, some examples have been provided for you here along with highlights of new avenues of discovery.


The beauty of the Newspaper Extraction Form is the way it causes you to focus on specific details so you can discern possible historical records to access and additional people to research. These forms become records that you can attach to Family Tree atFamilySearch.org. Take a look at the Memories for Lafayette Franklin Vance (1861-1952). You will need to be signed in to view it. A Newspaper Extraction Form has been attached to his profile. The article appeared in the May 17, 1935 edition of The State newspaper. It was entitled Lexington Church Conference Host. Lafayette (Dr. L. F. Vance) was mentioned twice.

Rev. Vance was an AME minister and a presiding elder. He devoted all of his energy to securing land to build churches and grow congregations across much of South Carolina. Many articles appear in The State newspaper that give his whereabouts, topics of his sermons, and places over which he presided.

Dozens of articles in The Palmetto Leader (an historic African American newspaper) and The State help to fill in the gaps between census years. A new area to research Lafayette was mentioned in this particular article (Edgefield, South Carolina). He was stationed in Edgefield between census years 1930-1940. Perhaps he would be listed in a city directory for that area, or maybe he can be found among land deeds documenting his residence or the local church.

Another person of interest is mentioned, Rev. I. O. Simmons. Rev. Isaiah Obediah Simmons was the husband of Laura Nunia Vance Simmons, the daughter of Lafayette Franklin Vance and Nunia Johnson Vance (first wife). Discovering Rev. I. O. Simmons in the AME Church conference article suggests the possibility that he can also be traced in subsequent articles documenting AME Church conferences.

Adding this extracted record to FamilySearch.org is a great way to make your findings available to others in addition to sharing important details that you have gleaned. Others who are related can also find new direction and clues to other existing records.

A newspaper obituary for the Lula Johnson Vance, second wife of Rev. L. F. Vance, was published in The State on August 10, 1927. Two prominent AME Church leaders spoke at her funeral, J. E. Beard, and E. A. Adams. A manuscript of Rev. E. A. Adams can be found in the South Caroliniana Library on the campus of the University of South Carolina. It is a good idea to always check repositories that collect manuscripts. You may discover mentions of your ancestor.

This article is also the only mention of where Lula attended college, William's College. This detail was overlooked numerous times before actually using the Newspaper Extraction Form. Perhaps her college record has been archived.

Another important detail has been preserved in this article. This is one of the only places where Lula's burial place can is mentioned. It states she was buried in historic Randolph Cemetery. Unfortunately, no headstone can be found. The cemetery was vandalized in later years, and the exact place of her burial spot has not been determined.

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