I Went to a Garden Party (in 1898)

This is in response to Amy Johnson Crow’s #52Ancestors series of prompts about writing short posts, to get to know the ancestors better. Week #13’s prompt is “In the News,” and begs the question, “Have you used newspapers in your research?”

And the answer is, “Oh my goodness, yes!” I’ve found so many interesting items about my ancestors and their contemporaries, via newspaper articles, such as why someone got a divorce (alleged abandonment), possible reasons why a family moved to another city (bankruptcy), what they did for a living in the 1800’s (cabinet maker, coach builder, draper), or a transcription of their testimony at a trial when they were robbed. Newspapers can be a rich source of finding out what the ancestors really were like, and how they lived.

This article is from a very old newspaper, describing the proceedings of two local parties in Franklin, West Virginia, around 1900, which was reprinted in The Pendleton Times for the town’s bicentennial celebration.

Pre-1900 parties in Franklin, West Virginia

Two of my 2nd-great aunts (see the above doodle on the article) attended the “lawn fete” in 1898, along with several Boggs boys. In December of 1898, Annie married Hugh Carey Boggs (could he have been nicknamed “Pent”? Because I can’t seem to find another Boggs fellow with a given name of Pent. Maybe someone on Facebook’s Pendleton Pals site would know?) The other aunt, Mary Ralston Daugherty, didn’t marry, but was working as a stenographer as of the 1900 census. These girls had two other sisters, Susie and Sallie, within the same age range, all born in 1870-1880, who did not attend the party. Wondering why?

Please comment, if you feel so inclined!

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