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Monday, January 4, 2010

Newspapers are a great genealogy resource!

Karen's Question:
I am trying to locate the birthplace of my gg grandfather, August Frederick Bredow/Bradow.

August was born in Germany (probably the Berlin area) in Feb. of 1855. He died in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on March 6, 1922. According to both the 1910 and 1920 censuses, he immigrated in 1882 and was naturalized in 1887, as was his wife, Anna Scheeler.

Here is my research for his residence (or possible residence) after emigrating:

1883 - wife Anna's sister is born in Maryland. According to censuses, there are Scheelers in Talbot County, Cumberland and Baltimore.

1889 - August and Anna married, according to 1910 and 1920 censuses, location unknown.

1889/1890 - August Bradow is listed in the Youngstown Ohio city Directory as a scale maker working for the Forsyth Scale Company, 378 Summit Ave. Forsythe Scale Company is not listed in a 1902 directory, so perhaps that explains his move to Pennsylvania.

1890 and 1893 - sons Frederick and John are born in Ohio.

1898 - daughter Martha born in Pennsylvania, probably Bellefonte.

1900 census - August Brads/Brado living in Bellefonte on S. Spring St. He probably worked for the Standard Scale and Supply Company, which relocated to Beaver Falls in 1903. He was working for Standard Scale when he died in 1922.

1905 - August Bradow listed in the Beaver Falls city directory.

1910 and 1920 censuses show the family living in Beaver Falls.

Family history claims that August entered the United States through one of the Great Lakes ports, though I haven't been able to find anything to substantiate that.

Any guidance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Olive Tree Answer: Dear Karen, It helps us to understand the travels of our ancestors when we look at maps: Youngstown and Beaver Falls are quite near each other, and of course, both are located close to Cleveland and Erie ports.

Have you obtained the death information for August and Anna?

The process of finding naturalization records is not an easy one: seekers of citizenship could have applied at any court during the process, and those who moved about may have their various papers scattered over several states. But the effort is occasionally worth it.
Footnote has a Western PA Naturalization index online.

Footnote.comicon has Naturalization Records online. Also see website for free Naturalization Records and other citizenship papers

Have you followed up on sons Frederick and John? Some records of theirs may give exact birthplace. That location should lead you to church records: and occasionally, church records offer surprising informatin about where parishioners were baptised, married, or what church they transferred from.

Look at local newspapers: in Youngstown and especially Beaver Falls. There may have been birth announcements, announcements of the marriages of the sons, and obituaries of August and Anna. You may also be fortunate and find mention of in-laws or family visiting the Bradow household. has many newspapers. You can also Search Obituaries in

The Youngstown/Mahoning County Public Library has a card index for the Youngstown Vindicator (which covers the relevant years).

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