52 Ancestors: Surprise

One of my favorite places to research my family history is newspapers. You never know what kind of surprise you may find!

Recently, I was on newspapers.com, typing in family names and seeing if anything new had popped up. It had been a while since I had a subscription. I searched for my great-grandfather Hermann Borchert, and three different articles popped up.


Hermann Peter Borchert


I had known Hermann was a printer, from family stories and his obituary, but these articles were a surprise for me.

The first, from the Indianapolis News on January 8, 1900, announcing the election of officers for the German Typographical Union No. 14. Hermann was elected Vice-President. The second article, from the Indianapolis Journal the next day contained a similar announcement.


The Indianapolis News, January 8, 1900.


The final article was from the Indianapolis News on April 30, 1904. The German Typographical Union, along with other German unions, were going to hold a First of May Demonstration. Hermann is listed among those speaking.


The Indianapolis News, April 30, 1904.


These articles help give a little context to his work and what he did in his spare time.

Newspapers.com also provides a free trial if you have never signed up. It’s worth taking the time and seeing what kind of surprises you might find! (If you have the all-access Ancestry pass, the basic newspaper subscription is included).