I had four research visits this week, this is the second.
Providence Public Library
The question: how to find some obituaries or other stories from Providence newspapers.
The PPL has a “Rhode Island Collection” featuring the only index I know of the Providence Journal. The newspapers are available there on microfilm. I quickly found the Rhode Island Collection Catalog on the First Level.
The catalog holds an index of major Providence Journal/Bulletin stories since 1900. It also includes references to books contained in the Rhode Island Collection itself, even to sub-sections within books, and of course many of those resources are earlier than 1900.
Unfortunately it is unlikely to contain references to average ancestors. There were no references to obituaries of the ancestors I checked. I have a gg-grandmother who was killed by a streetcar, and I know there are newspaper articles about it, but she is not in there either.
So I thought of my most famous ancestor since 1900, and that is my aunt’s husband, Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, William Wilberforce Douglas. He was mentioned in about a dozen books, and here is the card for his Providence Journal index:
For instance, the first item is a biographical sketch, in the “Journal” (not Bulletin), 2-19-1905, page 22.
This is a reference to him contained within a book/periodical:
From this you can see that a Rhode Island resource like the Brown Alumni Monthly is also indexed in the Rhode Island Collection. That could be helpful. All in all, I suspect the card catalog is better suited to important folks, or to historical topics.
Most books from the collection are available only by request. But the catalog itself is always available during open hours, and some city directories and other materials were also available nearby. The library, located at 150 Empire Street, has more information about the Rhode Island Collection.
So I turned my attention to the newspaper articles listed above, and also just by browsing through the papers on microfilm following the death dates, I found obituaries for some additional ancestors.
These are two of my great-grampa Russell Darling’s grandparents:
- Hannah (Andrews) Lamphere, The Providence Daily Journal, Tuesday, June 25, 1878, page 2.
“In this city, on the 22d inst., after a long and painful illness, Mrs. HANNAH, wife of Russell Lamphere. Funeral services at the house, 32 Candace street, Tuesday morning at 8 1/2 o’clock. Burial at Norwich Ct. ”
- Russell Lamphere, The Providence Journal, Thursday January 20, 1898, page 6.
“LANPHERE — In Eden Park, Auburn, on the 18th inst., Russell Lanphere, aged 81 years and 6 months. Prayer at his daughter’s residence, 17 Blackmore avenue, Eden Park, Thursday, the 20th inst., at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial at Norwich, Conn.”
Two things are new to me in these obituaries.
- The first is found in Russell’s 1898 obituary: my gg-grandmother, Emma, was not the daughter who lived in Eden Park. Nor was another daughter, Sarah, because she lived in Pawtucket with her husband, Burrington Anthony Capwell. So this may help me find a daughter I have been unable to track, Caroline. Or, there could possibly be a daughter I know nothing of? A page by page perusal of the 1900 census for Eden Park did not turn up a likely answer. But I have more ideas of things to try.
- The second is that they are both buried in their old home, Norwich, Connecticut. I did not know that. Not finding anything on FindAGrave, I posed the question to Facebook friends. Midge Frazel suggested I consult the town of Norwich. When I did that I found a Department of Parks and Cemeteries, and a pdf list of the thousands of people buried in cemeteries maintained by the town.
AND THERE THEY WERE, in Yantic Cemetery. Next time, a trip to Yantic Cemetery.
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