A postcard from your ancestors

I am very excited about a website I've been exploring this week:  Old Fulton Postcards.  It is an amazing source of digitized newspapers throughout the state of New York.  I've known about it for a long time, but never really explored beyond the home page because the title made me think it focused on the town of Fulton.  My ancestors came from another part of the state entirely, so I didn't go further -- shame on me!

Small town newspapers are especially great sources for reporting on the comings and goings of people.  I learned that one of my 2nd-great grandmothers seemed to be a local Florence Nightingale, helping out whenever people were sick.  I learned the married name of her sister, too, when the paper reported that she was visiting from Albany.  This kind of social reporting can be an absolute gold mine for providing the small details that can help knock down brick walls.  A little gem like this:

.....helped me realize that there was still a connection between distant families two generations beyond the only other one I knew about (an indirect mention of a sister-in-law in a census entry more than 30 years earlier).  I still need to work out details (first names would be a nice start) to help me identify the proper New Jersey family, but this tells me they exist.

Sometimes you can get a glimpse of an ancestor's personality.  My great grandfather comes across as a very energetic guy.  He was a horse dealer and was constantly in the paper, either advertising his horses, running them in a race, or coming up with new ideas for making sales -- too bad he didn't live in the internet era or he might have been the one to invent ebay!

And then there are those things you read about that make you cringe, and give thanks that we live in a less dangerous age:

So if you have any ancestors who are from New York.... or even visited New York.... check out this wonderful resource!