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Communicating significant events back in the day

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  • vmichna
    I have always wondered how people communicated events such as deaths, births, and other significant events to the community back in the days before phone,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 2, 2010
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      I have always wondered how people communicated events such as deaths, births, and other significant events to the community back in the days before phone, internet, etc. I wonder about this every time I look for an old obit and don't find it or look for family members in old newspapers during times when I know certain events have occurred.

      For example, I have several relatives that died between 1900 and 1920. Some were well known, respected members of their communities and there is not even a mention of their death in the local paper.

      Does anybody have some info on how people communicated life's events before all of today's gadgets and gizmos came along?

      Valorie
    • Nangotoo
      People in families generally didn t live that far away from each other. Before the phone and after it was invented, there was the telegraph--for many years
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 2, 2010
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        People in families generally didn't live that far away from each other.  Before the phone and after it was invented, there was the telegraph--for many years before the phone. AND--they put ink to paper and wrote letters. There was local radio stations where there was local news, too.  In fact, until a few years ago, I was still writing letters.  I still send people cards and Christmas letters by snail mail.   As for obits., they would get extra copies and mail them to their relatives in their notes and letters--something we continue to do today for people who don't have a computer.
         
        Not everyone even today puts their relatives' obits in the paper.  Some people still request that their relatives not bother with an obit. It happens all the time here in San Diego, CA.  Many of my friends who have died haven't had an obit in the paper. Its just a personal choice of the deceased or their families. :-)  So it wasn't unusual in the old days not to have an obit. 
         
        Sometimes, though, there was an obituary.  It was in a church newsletter, a smaller newspaper that doesn't exist anymore and there are no copies of them left or the issue they appeared in wasn't saved by anyone to last until we could find them today.  Or a larger newspaper that doesn''t exist anymore.  Some of the larger newpapers that do exist now didn't save their obits. or maybe there was a flood or a fire, etc.  I just have a few obits. that I need for family members who have died before the 1960's...and that's in all of the families that I have been researching for 30+ yrs.  
         
        I think that maybe in today's quick communication world where everyone can get info on everything they want to have, it easy to lose sight of what the world was like pre-computer, pre-cell phone, etc.  Younger people have no idea of how much simpler life was just a few decades ago when we didn't HAVE to know everything right now. LOL
         
        Nan
         
         
         
         

        I have always wondered how people communicated events such as deaths, births, and other significant events to the community back in the days before phone, internet, etc. I wonder about this every time I look for an old obit and don't find it or look for family members in old newspapers during times when I know certain events have occurred.

        For example, I have several relatives that died between 1900 and 1920. Some were well known, respected members of their communities and there is not even a mention of their death in the local paper.

        Does anybody have some info on how people communicated life's events before all of today's gadgets and gizmos came along?

        Valorie

      • George Patrick
        Valorie, Most families had at least one person who took the job of recording such things in the Family Bible. But, some of these folks were better at
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 3, 2010
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          Valorie,
          Most families had at least one person who took the job of recording such things in the Family Bible.  But, some of these folks were better at recording than others which seems to be about the same today with all of the fancy gadgets.  My grandmother had two Bibles which were clearly visible on top of a long buffet (sic), one for The Lord's Work and one for family records.  On the wall just above the two Bibles was a picture of Jesus with those cleverly painted eyes that watched and followed you as you walked across the dining room--remember that?  Somehow, someone from another family who married into my family, ended up with the Bible that recorded family events.  It was evidently sold to some genealogy organization and now, when I need to find out something from that Bible, I have to go online to read the transcribed version of the records.
           
          George
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: vmichna
          Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 9:33 PM
          Subject: [TexasCzechs] Communicating significant events back in the day

           

          I have always wondered how people communicated events such as deaths, births, and other significant events to the community back in the days before phone, internet, etc. I wonder about this every time I look for an old obit and don't find it or look for family members in old newspapers during times when I know certain events have occurred.

          For example, I have several relatives that died between 1900 and 1920. Some were well known, respected members of their communities and there is not even a mention of their death in the local paper.

          Does anybody have some info on how people communicated life's events before all of today's gadgets and gizmos came along?

          Valorie

        • vmichna
          Thanks for the replies. It happens that I don t have the family bible and if there is anyone that would have known the relatives I am looking for, they passed
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 3, 2010
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            Thanks for the replies. It happens that I don't have the family bible and if there is anyone that would have known the relatives I am looking for, they passed away years ago. Also, given what I know about the family, it really doesn't suprise me that there isn't more info out there.

            However, this discussion has given me some ideas. Thanks for the all of the info.

            Valorie

            --- In TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com, "George Patrick" <GPATRICK@...> wrote:
            >
            > Valorie,
            > Most families had at least one person who took the job of recording such things in the Family Bible. But, some of these folks were better at recording than others which seems to be about the same today with all of the fancy gadgets. My grandmother had two Bibles which were clearly visible on top of a long buffet (sic), one for The Lord's Work and one for family records. On the wall just above the two Bibles was a picture of Jesus with those cleverly painted eyes that watched and followed you as you walked across the dining room--remember that? Somehow, someone from another family who married into my family, ended up with the Bible that recorded family events. It was evidently sold to some genealogy organization and now, when I need to find out something from that Bible, I have to go online to read the transcribed version of the records.
            >
            > George
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: vmichna
            > To: TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 9:33 PM
            > Subject: [TexasCzechs] Communicating significant events back in the day
            >
            >
            >
            > I have always wondered how people communicated events such as deaths, births, and other significant events to the community back in the days before phone, internet, etc. I wonder about this every time I look for an old obit and don't find it or look for family members in old newspapers during times when I know certain events have occurred.
            >
            > For example, I have several relatives that died between 1900 and 1920. Some were well known, respected members of their communities and there is not even a mention of their death in the local paper.
            >
            > Does anybody have some info on how people communicated life's events before all of today's gadgets and gizmos came along?
            >
            > Valorie
            >
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