Recently, I blogged about How to Obtain Missouri Newspaper Articles. I stumbled upon this resource when looking for the answers to the untimely deaths of Catherine Vanderstay Gerling and Wilhelm Gerling, her son, in Weston, MO in 1867.
I was hoping the State Archives would find an obituary that would explain the cause of the deaths. They didn’t find any obituaries, but undaunted they kept searching, and found something just about as good – something I would have never thought to look for.
A News Story
In the Reveillie, the Platte City Newspaper, on August 23rd – the week after their deaths – there was a very brief news story. It doesn’t mention Catherine and Wilhelm by name, but it says two persons in Weston died the prior week from Cholera. It must be them.
Reveille Newspaper Article on the Gerlings
The Lesson Learned
My take-away from this experience is to keep my eyes, ears, and options open in my searches beyond my stated objective. I don’t know that if I were the one searching I wouldn’t have stopped several times prior to getting this article – first when there wasn’t a paper in Weston available, and second when I didn’t find an obituary. But the PROs at the State Archives knew better and found this wonderful treasure.
Rest in peace Catherine and Wilhelm.
Happy researching to the rest of us!