04 April 2014

Soar like an Eagle! Then get some rest.

If you have Brooklyn, New York ancestors, a new source is ready for research. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has just completed digitizing all Brooklyn Eagle pages 1841 through 1955. The images are hosted free of charge on newspapers.com.

For quite a while now the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper has only been available through 1902 via the Brooklyn Public Library website. 

The Old Fulton New York Newspapers website has the Eagle, as well, but more advanced searches requiring Boolean operators can sometimes be trying. On the new BPL Brooklyn Eagle site, while the search function does not allow much complexity, it does allow one to easily limit one's search by publication years or even by specific date. If searching on a full name or a phrase, put it within quotation marks (as one would in specific Google searches).

I entered my maternal grandfather's name, Joseph Wilson (in quotes) knowing full-well that I'd get too many hits: 1,748. 

I then limited the search by the years I knew he'd been in the United States: 1897-1955. I received 304 results. Still quite a few, but, in this case, I actually found him in the eleventh thumbnail. The words "knitting mills" caught my attention. 

Once one selects from among the articles found via Optical Character Recognition, one may then enter the word or phrase to see it highlighted on the page. If one clicks on the magnifying glass on the upper right, a small window appears. I typed in "joseph wilson" and the phrase was highlighted on the page.

This was a record I'd been seeking and never before found: the bankruptcy of my grandfather and his brother Benjamin Wilson. I always heard that my grandfather Joe and great uncle Ben had been in business with each other. My family's side (as told to me by my mother) was that Ben was a bit  profligate with spending and they went bankrupt. After that, my grandmother Tillie was the keeper of the household finances and my grandfather and his brother were never again in business together - even though they both continued separately (and successfully) in the sweater manufacturing industry.

Until this newspaper legal notice, I'd not known the name of the business or when they'd gone bankrupt.

The BPL site allows one to clip articles, save them to one's computer, one's Ancestry tree and/or print them. I decided to do all three. 

To clip articles one must have a user name and password or one may sign in through one's FaceBook account. I don't like sharing my FaceBook information with every company, so I took the username/password route.

To clip an article, click on "clip," above the image, and drag the box to enclose the area one wants saved. The white "(optional) add description" box allowed me to enter a full source citation to be saved with my clipping. The program actually does provide and attach most of the information one needs for a full Evidence Explained citation, but I wanted to put the citation in the proper format, as well.

"In Bankruptcy," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 23 January 1928, p. 17, col. 7; digital images, Brooklyn Newsstand (http://www.newsstand.bklynpubliclibrary.org : accessed 4 April 2014).
Once I clicked on the blue "Clip" box in the lower right of the citation box, the article was clipped and I was able to save it, print it and post it in my grandfather's profile within my Ancestry.com tree. One may also share it with others and link to it from a blog or webpage from the clipping page.

The source citation I added (in all its EE-format glory) appears below the image on the clipping page. 

One more note: the webpage also has a search engine for a collection of photographs from the Brooklyn Eagle. One may access the search box by clicking on "Photo Search."
   Pretty sweet. Don't stay up too late.


  1. Thanks so much for the hint. I'm also researching Brooklyn ancestors and have found the Old NY Fulton site more difficult to use. Now I'm going to follow your advice and click to look through the BPL site!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Marian. Well, Fulton has so much more. But, if you want to search just the Eagle (and don't have a paid subscription to newspapers.com), this is definitely the way to go.

  3. I have lost sleep using the Old NY Fulton site! I was so excited to find a wedding announcement from 1935 for my grandfather's siblings children in the Brooklyn Eagle. I am thinking twice before checking out the expanded coverage. My son takes away my laptop when he sees me on , for too long...Then I find a book on the same subject and now he thinks it is compulsive to read a book for hours... He hid my Houston gardening book yesterday. Then I went outside and sprayed fungicide... He takes care of me... awe


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