Ellsworth Pierce was a brother to my husband’s great-grandmother, Lillian Pierce. This is from the Bridgeton Evening News in Bridgeton, New Jersey, dated 9 January 1919.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Pierce, of Fayette street, have returned from visiting friends at Garretstown, Pa.  While taking an automobile trip they had a very narrow escape from severe injury.  They were going down a steep hill when the brakes refused to work and the car went down into a deep rut and the occupants were thrown against the hood with great force.  Mrs. Pierce’s face was cut and bruised and she suffered from shock.

  • Mariann Regan - May 12, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    I’m interested in what newspaper database you used to find this important event. Bridgeton Evening News sounds like a local newspaper. Were you searching locally?ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - May 13, 2013 - 6:29 am

    Mariann, I found the Bridgeton Evening News at Genealogy Bank. You just get lucky if they happen to have the paper in one of the communities where your ancestors lived. :)ReplyCancel

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I found this notice in the Bridgeton Evening News, dated 30 January 1918.  It is a notice to German Alien Enemies, telling them to register.

This must have been a horrible time to be a German in America.

  • Valerie - May 11, 2013 - 12:09 am

    I like how this notice is in English… very helpful for those new German immigrantsReplyCancel

  • Mariann Regan - May 12, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    That’s some phrase, “alien enemies,” and I remember stories of great suspicion of Germans during the two World Wars. (Then by WWII they were rounding up the Japanese and putting them in internment camps.) My mother-in-law’s family changed their last name so that it would sound less German. Here in Connecticut there is a city spelled Berlin. But since the wars it has been pronounced BERlin instead of BerLIN, to sidestep all German associations.

    Amazing how we still jump to categorize groups of people. I’ve been hearing many generalizations and slurs as the country considers immigration reform.ReplyCancel

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These cartoons are from the Bridgeton Evening News, dated 21 July 1908,  in Bridgeton, New Jersey

  • Mariann Regan - May 9, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    I like these cartoons because they have a good “edge.” When we tend to romanticize our ancestors, it’s healthy to remember that they didn’t romanticize themselves.

    These remind me of an edgy valentine card that I found among my grandmother’s things. It’s more of a cartoon, really. I’ll have to remember to post it next Valentine’s Day.

    I’m a real political cartoon buff — I always go for a sly caption.ReplyCancel

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I did some browsing at Whoopee Bowl Antiques a couple of months ago.  They have a lot of wild stuff there.

No, I did not come home with a snowman or a crystal ball.  Instead, I bought this photograph.

I have no idea who these people are, but I love old photos and I couldn’t resist buying it. Besides, it was taken by the “Photographers to the Queen” – Done & Ball (successors to Brown, Barnes, + Bell).  How could I pass that up?

  • Mariann Regan - May 8, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    Those are amazing photos from Whoopee Bowl–even a bit scary, if you think about it. Christ collected along with Hitler. Oh my.

    I’ve never bought old photographs, but I can definitely see the appeal. Ancestors are mysterious, and history is mysterious, whether known or unknown.


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Katherine M. Thornton Renze was born in November 1860 in Illinois (probably around Alton, Madison County).  She died in 1933.  She was married to Herman Renze, and was a daughter of James Patrick Thornton, a native of Ireland.

  • Mariann Regan - May 8, 2013 - 9:48 am

    From Illinois to Nebraska is a long trip! I am wondering if Renze is an Italian name.ReplyCancel

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