New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project

In this installment of Web Sightings, we take a look at the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project, one of the latest states to be brought into the fold of the larger National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

There are no New Jersey digital newspapers included in the Chronicling America portal for the Library of Congress. That situation is about to change with the recent announcement.

I am excited to learn and share with you that New Jersey has been included in the latest round of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant winners as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).1 New Jersey is one of the states that I spend much of my time researching online, and the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress is a topic that I have lectured on and written about in the past, on this blog and elsewhere, so this is a welcome announcement indeed.

According to the Rutgers University blog the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is a joint collaboration with Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Library, along with the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton, three big holders of historical collections in the Garden State.


The $186,204 grant will allow for the inclusion of at least 100,000 digitized pages from New Jersey’s historic newspapers published between 1836-1922.2 The advisory board is already hard at work determining which of the 450 available microfilmed newspaper titles meet the criteria for inclusion.3 That list has now apparently been winnowed down to 29 titles.4 I sure hope the early Trenton newspapers make the cut, and that the Hightstown Gazette is among the selections as well.

Students, educators, historians and genealogists alike will benefit from their efforts. When complete, free access to the New Jersey content will be through the Chronicling America website, which will augment the 11.5 million plus pages already available online.

In addition to New Jersey, other new states added to the mix in 2016 are Alaska, Colorado and Maine, bringing the total number of project partners to 44.

States not yet represented are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The long-term goal is for all states and U.S. territories to be represented, in roughly 30 million total page views.5

1 “2016 NDNP Awards Announced – Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey Join the Program,” Program News, posted 17 Aug 2016, National Digital Newspaper Program ( : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
2 “Rutgers University Libraries Receives Grant to Digitize Important Historical New Jersey Newspapers,” Press Release posted 18 Aug 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project ( : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
3 “Advisory Board and Newspaper Selection,” posted 21 Sep 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project ( : accessed 08 Jan 2017).
4 “Project Update: December 1, 2016,” posted 1 Dec 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project ( accessed 08 Jan 2017).
5 Barbara Quint, “Chronicling America Service Offers Comprehensive Directory of U.S. Newspapers,” posted 26 Mar 2007, Information Today ( : accessed 08 Jan 2017).

1889 Obituary of Samuel Fryman

Transcription of the 1889 obituary of Samuel Fryman, a member of the Home Guards in the border state of Missouri during the Civil War


Holt County Sentinel masthead 22 Nov 1889

An earlier post included the newspaper image of the obituary of Samuel Fryman, my 3rd great-grandfather (through his son, Frederick Fryman). I have posted the transcription here as well to aid other researchers. Please note that I have taken some liberties with the formatting to improve readability for this media platform, but all wording remains true to the original. Like many obituaries, it provides a neat capsule of his life, but is incomplete and contains incorrect information.

[Transcription follows]

Death Roll.


Samuel Fryman was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, January 15, 1807, and died at the house in this place, November 13, 1889. His first wife was Mary Shepherd, to whom he was married February 9, 1832 in Belmont County, Ohio.

They came to this county in 1853 and located on a farm three miles east of the Court House. By this union there were 11 children, 7 sons and 4 daughters. Of these, 4 sons and 2 daughters are now living. George and James Fryman who live here and Mrs. Josiah Smith, at Forest City. Frank at Seneca, Kansas, Mrs. Jacob Baskins in Jewell County, Kansas, and Thomas in Custer County, Nebraska.

Mr. Fryman left 31 grand-children living. Of these, George has 7, James 2, Mrs. Smith 4, Thomas 3, Fred 6, Mrs. Baskins 9. There were also 18 great-grand-children—7 by George’s children and 11 by Mrs. Baskins. Mary Fryman died, August 9, 1879. After a year or so Mr. Fryman married Margaret Dunkelberger, who died a few years afterwards. October 22, 1885, he married Mary E. Crumb, who survives him. All of his children were by his first wife.

Mr. Fryman after the death of his first wife left the farm, and went to Minnesota Valley, where he lived awhile, when he came here, and remained ‘till his death.

His death was the result of kidney disease and the immediate cause of death overwork. He was a man of a vigorous constitution, but overestimated his strength. He was confined to his bed only a few days. The burial took place at the family burying ground at the old place east of town.

Mr. Fryman, though a Democrat before the war, early espoused the cause of the National Government against the states in rebellion. He served in the Home Guards at all times when their services were required and was ever a consistent, law-abiding citizen. He joined the M. E. Church in Ohio more than sixty years ago, and when he came to Holt County attached himself to the Richville congregation. When he removed to Minnesota Valley he dropped his membership in the church, and never renewed it although he remained consistent to the faith ‘till his death.

[Transcription ends.]


“Death Roll,” Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri), 22 Nov 1889, p. 4, col. 3, Samuel Fryman obituary; digital images, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress ( : accessed 12 Apr 2014).

“Happiest when surrounded by little children”

1944 newspaper obituary clipping for Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson of New Jersey and Kansas



[Transcription follows]



     Mrs. Andrew Carson, (Anna Mary Hopkins) was born December 25, 1857 in Trenton, N.J., and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs R. Knott in Abilene, Kansas, on Saturday, September 16, 1944, at the age of 86 years, 8 months and 19 days.

     On June 9, 1875 she was united in marriage to Andrew Carson of Trenton, N. J., in 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Carson moved to Skiddy, Kansas, later they moved to a farm near White City, where they lived until 1919 when they moved into town.

     She joined the Methodist church in White City on December 2nd, 1894, during the pastorate of Rev. J. S. Ford. She was a very faithful and active member until her health failed her. By such women of love and integrity are our churches and communities maintained. She was a good neighbor and loved by all who knew her. She was happiest when surrounded by little children.

     Mrs. Carson greatly loved her home and family, always kind and thoughtful as a wife and mother, she lived in her own gentle way.

     Her passing is a great loss, not only to her family but to all who knew her. A devout christian has gone to her God.

     Mr. Carson preceded her in death on April 18, 1937.

     She is survived by the following children: Mrs. Ralph Knott of Abilene, Mrs. George Tyson of Council Grove, Roy of White City, Elmer of Herington, Mrs. Amanda Carroll of Pittsburg, Frank and Raymond Carson and Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita; thirty two grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and one great, great, grandchild.

     Mrs. Carson had been an invalid for nearly three years, spending most of her time with her daughter Mrs. Knott, who employed Mrs. Cordelia Williams to care for her. About two years ago she fell and broke her hip, and spent some time in the hospital. When it had almost healed several months ago, she had another fall and the hip was rebroken.

     Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday at 2:30 with interment in White City cemetery. Frey funeral home had charge of arrangements; Rev. O. J. McCulloh preached the sermon.

     The pall bearers were: R. R. Adam, W. H. Ashe, Howard Shepherd, C. C. Miller, George Hauserman and F. F. Girtch.

     Music was furnished by Mrs. J. F. Bacon at the piano and C. C. Miller, Howard Shepherd, Mrs. E. G. Larson, and Mrs J E Bowert, who sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Sometime We’ll Understand,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.”

     Supper was served by the Eastern Star at the Full Plate Cafe to relatives from a distance attending the funeral.

[End of transcription.]

I am a descendant of one of the eleven great-grandchildren mentioned in the above obituary. My grandmother would have been one of the unnamed 32 grandchildren, and would probably have attended the funeral of her grandmother, although I do not have any recollection of her telling me that. Our branch of the family has no photographs, letters or ephemera from the New Jersey Hopkins side of the family, and I am still working to prove her ancestry.

The clipping transcribed above is, just that, a clipping, so full publication data for a proper citation is lacking. Two facts suggest publication information: 1) the newspaper was published on a Thursday following the death and funeral of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson and, 2) the newspaper was published in Morris County, Kansas.

Consulting a perpetual calendar for 1944, I was able to determine that the likeliest publication date would have been Thursday, 21 Sep 1944, the first Thursday following her death on Saturday, 16 Sep 1944.

I was then able to narrow down the newspaper to one of two possibilities using the U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present online as part of the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress, which I have blogged about previously.

Search of the U.S. Newspaper Directory using state of Kansas, and county of Morris, plus decade from 1940-1950, as shown in yellow, above.


Only the Council Grove Republican and White City Register (indicated in red, above) are likely candidates for this newspaper clipping based on the publication information. My belief is this obituary appeared in the 21 Sep 1944 edition of the White City Register, page unknown. Determining whether this is, in fact, true has been added to my “to do” list.

Notes: The formatting shown in this post is not true to the original; it was a very long, narrow column in the original newspaper, which I have chosen not to replicate. In the original, each new section is indented, and there is no spacing between the paragraphs. I was unable to get it properly formatted in this blog post but felt that sharing the information was more important than formatting of same.

1. The children of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson all lived in towns and cities in Kansas, although that may not be clear to those unfamiliar with the area.

2. “Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita” was actually Mrs. Lillian Barley, wife of Christian Arthur Barley. They lived in at 850 Faulkner in Wichita in 1943, per Polk’s Wichita City Directory (Kansas City, Missouri: R. L. Polk & Co., 1943), p. 57, entry for Christian A. and Lillian Barley; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989”, ( : accessed 16 Mar 2014). The 1944 Wichita directory, if one exists, is not available on Ancestry currently.