Monday, August 18, 2014

Newspaper Articles....Fact or Fiction ?

 There are some who consider newspaper articles as 'primary sources'  for family research and genealogy. I'm not one of them. Here's why:

I never knew my paternal Papaw, he was murdered 10 years before I was born . My Papaw Collins was murdered in August of 1937.

Lets first look at the newspaper article I found from a Vanceburg, Kentucky newspaper:

This article states Papaw went missing on Wednesday August 18th, and the search didn’t start until Thursday, August 19th. When he was found is not stated.

This article also states Papaw was 48 years old upon his death, when in fact he was 55, he was born December 19, 1881.

My Father never mentioned or talked about his Father’s death. I didn’t find out about his murder until after my Father’s death in 1979.

I was told by 3 different Uncle's, that Papaw died on my Father’s birthday, which was August 17th. Papaw’s death certificate (see below) states his date of death as August 18, 1937.
When I asked my older cousin , Carl Collins, about this murder, he told me "Which story did I hear".

I have no reason not to believe the date my Uncles told me.

Another discrepancy I found, was on an 'Official' document. On my Dad’s birth certificate (see below) it states Papaw was a miner, which he was, on Papaw’s death certificate is states he was a farmer for life. In truth, he was both.

I found yet another discrepancy, that article states that Bryant Hamilton "served overseas together with Mr. Collins in the World War". The US entered World War I in 1917, Papaw was discharged from the Army on April 13, 1913. Papaw didn't fight in World War I. He had gotten in trouble for shooting and killing another soldier on December 25, 1912......


What I've learned from all of this, don't trust anything, double, triple check all sources, even 'Official' documents.

Daddy and Papaw, I miss you both.......

That’s my 2 cents......

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