June 28, 2012

Newspapers can get the names wrong

Looking for information on Clarence H. Sandford, husband of Hattie Clark, I searched newspaper archives and found him listed as giving away his niece Jane at her wedding in 1894.  However, some confusion followed regarding the name of both the bride and the groom.  I didn’t have much information on Clarence’s siblings, so I thought this marriage would help me.  Eventually it did, but lots of cross-checking was needed.

These are two marriage notices I found:

NY Tribune    17 Jun 1894
The marriage of Miss Jean Webb, daughter of Mrs. M.J. Webb ……. to Lt George Jervey .. will take place next week

The bride will be given away by Clarence H Sandford, her uncle

NY TIMES      28 Jun 1894
Jervey – Weber
Wedding of Miss Jean B Weber, daughter of Mrs. M.J. Weber, to Lt. James Postell Jervey

So was her surname Webb or Weber?  Was his first name George or James?  I looked further and found:

New York Herald-Tribune 28 Jun 1894

            Jean Bontecou Webb, the only daughter of Mrs Mary I Webb and
            Granddaughter of Hiram Sandford, Chief Engineer of the US Navy

            Bride was given away by her uncle Charles H Sandford

            Groom Lt James Postell Jervey, Corps of Engineers, US Army

After further research, it seems that this item got both of their names right -- and we got a name and occupation on her grandfather, a bonus!

Newspapers can be a great source of information and can provide marriage dates, additional family relationships, occupation descriptions, addresses.  BUT beware, names can be just plain wrong or misspelled.  So check several sources whenever possible.

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