During the gold rush to the West and other surges of expansion, the newspapers were packed with bulletins such as "John Smith, George Martin and Gregory Morton left last Tuesday to join the train at Huntsville traveling west." Or, "Josiah Martin finished outfitting his team and wagon and left yesterday." The Civil War generated as many items about hometown boys who left for service or news when they wrote home.
Other notices can be of value. When an extensive search of records of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania failed to turn up a conclusive record proving that Judson Lysander Gelatt of Nebraska was a brother of James Gelatt, the newspaper came to the rescue. From the Independent Republican, Montrose, of March 29, 1880, in a column headed Thomson Borough, an item that "James Gelatt of Susq'a Depot, has bought the house and lot in this place, where his mother lives, of his brother, J. L. Gelatt, who is in Nebraska."
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