Grand news!!

Was browsing the website for the PA State Library today, thinking it was about time for me to send them a request regarding those Harrisburg papers (see posts under People and Families>Detweiler), and wondering just how long it would take for an answer and what they would say about fees…

Then, I read the page about their newspapers collection. I was stunned, shocked and disbelieving to read that they actually do Inter-Library Loans, free of charge, of their microfilm copies! I had no idea. How could I have missed that?!

I had just been about to go outside for yard cleanup, but needless to say when I read this I had to call the local library immediately. I stood about on the path outside for approximately five minutes, pacing while telling the librarian the dates and locations I was looking for. I mentioned the Harrisburg Patriot, since I’m not sure what newspaper was prevalent there at that time, but I though it might be the Patriot–had to call back later after discovering the State Library’s online card catalog which said that for 1887 they had the Patriot but for 1890 only something called the Daily Morning Patriot and the Evening Star…had to call back a third time one minute ago because actually, they have the Telegraph from 1870-something to 1948, so that sounds like it’s a more complete collection. I was so overwhelmed by the discovery I wasn’t sure what to think, so I had to keep changing the information. They probably think I’m such a pest! 🙂

In any case, I’m sure this will be quite a breakthrough. And furthermore, the State Library has countless newspapers from other areas of Pennsylvania–this discovery will continue to serve me well in the future, I am sure. I was just thinking today that I need something from Reading–long story, trying to trace descendants of Darlington Kulp, grandson of first Darlington and son of MHK’s brother Howard; he was a Baptist minister in Reading at one time though I think he died in Delaware County.

Anyway, I was told it may take some time for the microfilm to arrive; request goes out on Thursday and we won’t hear from them till the Thursday after that at least, plus I was told the request has to go through the Pottsville library as well before it gets to Harrisburg…well, you get the point. Still, I don’t have to go anywhere nor pay a cent. How excellent!

Occupation: Lady

This morning I went out on errands, and after they were completed I decided to visit the downtown shops, and, of course, my favorite place in Shamokin’s business district–the library.

I headed there after a mostly dull trip to two odds and ends shops. At the second one I missed a trunk of 1940’s newspapers by ten minutes, nothing was left but a piece of the classifieds. After that disappointment, I wandered about the smoky junk shop for a few minutes, and, finding nothing remarkable, I proceeded to the library. I did not expect to find much there in terms of my research, as I’ve read about 80 percent of their historical materials, but there was something I needed to look up, and I enjoy being there anyway.

After checking some minor matters in a book of burial records, I went to the file cabinet where miscellaneous records on microfilm are kept, hoping that there might be something in those registers, indexes, records and dockets that I hadn’t seen yet.

Well, there were birth records, tax records up to the 1840’s, minutes of the county commissioners or something of that nature from about the same time; and marriage license dockets from the 1890’s. In that collection, there would be, of course, records of the marriage of M.H. Kulp and Sarah Detweiler, but I thought, why would I need to read that, I know what it says.

However, I had nothing better to do, so I brought out the reel and set it up at the microfilm reader. After scanning the reel’s index which preceded the actual records and required especial attention to muddle through the 19th century clerk’s handwriting, I finally found the page number and scrolled up to it.

The first few lines of the marriage license was basically what I had expected–names, parents’ names, where born, age, etc. Then, “Date of former marriages of woman, if any, and to whom.”

This of course mentioned W.C. Detweiler, Sarah’s first husband, and the date that they were married, August 11, 1887. This I’d known, but two lines down:

Name and date of death or divorce of woman’s former husband,
WC Detwiler October 24 1890

I have been looking for this date for almost as long as I’ve been researching the Kulp family at all, and finally I’ve located it in one of the more ordinary places it could have been. Needless to say, this will open up paths such as obituary searches, and of course it is an important detail for reference.

And, toward the end of the record was an interesting line which, for me, summed up the grand old era of this 19th century marriage:

Occupation of man, Lumberman
Occupation of woman, Lady