Historic American Newspapers Website Bug

Last weekend, I became aware of the fact that the Library of Congress Historic American Newspapers website had recently added more than one million digitized American newspapers to its collection. I spent the bulk of my free time the next four days running searches and doing data entry in my genealogy database.

Main page of the Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers website

In the course of this activity, I noticed a “bug” in the display of filtered search results when using the Advanced Search form. By default, search results on this site are ordered in terms of Relevance, or how many times your search terms appear on the page. Since I typically prefer to see my results ordered by date, I change the Sort by parameter by using the drop down arrow. However, when this option is selected, search results limited by state are no longer retained. The upshot is that my “hits” balloon and include states that I did not select at the outset.

Chronicling America Advanced Search form 

My search for Thomas Mulkey initially yielded 8 results from Missouri and Oregon newspapers

Changing the default sort order to Date causes my hits to increase, and includes states that I did not select in my original search 

This problem does not occur when using the search box on the main page and changing the sort order of the results, but you cannot limit your search to newspapers from only two states if you use this form. For now, my advice would be to search a single state at a time if you want to sort your results by date.

I tweeted this issue yesterday, and reported the bug to the Library of Congress via their website comment form. Hopefully it will be an easy fix for them. I will report here when there is a response.


In case you are interested, John Thomas Mulkey is my third-great-grandfather, a son of the noted preacher, Philip Mulkey. Many from the extended Mulkey family were early pioneers who relocated from Missouri to Oregon via the Oregon Trail to stake Oregon Donation Land Claims.

Bingaman-Rice Family Photo: Postscript

Five oldest sons of Josephus BingamanFive oldest sons of Josephus Bingaman (L to R): Henry, Frank, Oliver, Rice and Fred.

About the time I finished writing my last post, correcting the record regarding the identification of several individuals included in a studio photograph of the Josephus Bingaman and Mary Rice family, I located this brief newspaper article. Emphasis mine.

  At the residence of E. T. Bingaman on King street in Ottawa, last Sunday, occurred a reunion of the five oldest sons of J. Bingaman. Those present were E. T. Bingaman of Ottawa, F. L. Bingaman of Hickory street, R. W. Bingaman and family of LeLoup, C. H. Bingaman and family of Chippewa and O. M. Bingaman of Rice county. The latter having spent most of the time for the past five years in the west, returned to spend New Years with his parents in Garnett and visit other relatives. He expects to return the latter part of the week to Rice county wher[e] he is employed as a foreman on a ranch. 1

If the information in this newspaper is taken at face value, Oliver M. Bingaman had been away from the family working in another part of the state. If Oliver was indeed reunited with his family for a visit after five years, it suggests that the studio photograph would necessarily have to have been taken prior to his removal. This lends credence to the assertion that the family photograph was taken circa 1900-1901. Also shown in the table in the last post, Oliver was recorded still living at home in his father’s household at the time of the 1900 census (April 1900). This information, coupled with the dark clothing of those in the photo suggests the photograph may have been taken in the Fall of 1900 or over the Winter months of early 1901.

It should be noted that the identification of E. T. Bingaman, should be E. F. Bingaman. There is no one in the family with the initials of E. T. “Fred” Bingaman is the author’s great-grandfather.

1 “Chippewa”, The Ottawa Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 18 Jan 1906, p. 6, col. 4. Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 28 Dec 2014).


This post and associated image first appeared on AncestorRoundup.com on 29 Dec 2014. The image of the original photograph was edited by Dawn Bingaman. © 2014. All rights reserved.

1894 Death of Jane (Mozingo) Rice

In anticipation of my upcoming research trip to Virginia, I offer these transcriptions of the death notice and the newspaper obituary of Jane E. (Mozingo) Rice, born in Westmoreland Co., Virginia in 1826. I obtained  copies of the newspaper items when I first visited Kansas in 1992, and the graves of Cornelius Rice, his wife, Jane, and several other relatives on a glorious fall day. The Baldwin Ledger is, alas, not one of the digitized newspapers online on the Chronicling America website.

Baldwin Ledger 12 Oct 1894

“The citizens of Baldwin and vicinity are very sorry to learn of the demise of Mrs. C. B. Rice. The funeral services took place yesterday from the M. E. Church in Baldwni. [sic] Rev. J. M. Sulliven officiating. The I.O.O.F. of Baldwin and many friends attended the funeral. The sorrowing friends have have [sic] the deepest sympathy of this entire community. A full obituary will be given next week.” [1]



Jane Elizabeth Rice was born in West Moreland county, Va., June 6, 1826, and died Oct. 8, 1894. She was raised a Baptist but at the age of 16 joined the Methodist church, and continued a worthy member until her death. She was married to C. B. Rice in Georgetown, D. C., on the 3rd of Feb., 1846. She was the mother of eleven children, nine of whom, with her husband, survive her. With her husband she moved to Kansas in 1857 and settled in Palmyra township, where she lived until her death. She became a Rebecca in Mechanics Lodge, No. 18, of Georgetown, D. C. in 1853. The funeral services took place Aug. 11, at 10 a.m., from the Methodist church in Baldwin. The sermon was preached by J. M. Sullivan. The remains were laid to rest in Ashland cemetery. A good mother, a kind neighbor and friend, one who has lived through the early history of Kansas, has gone beyond. Shd [sic] lived her life well and has gone to her reward.


WHEREAS, Almighty God has deemed best to call home the loving wife of our beloved brother, C. B. Rice; therefore, be it

Resolved, That we, the members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, tender our heartfelt sympathy to our bereaved brother and family; and,

Resolved That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the Baldwin LEDGER for publication and also be spread on the minutes of the lodge.

Committee. [2]

Notes and comments:
If Jane died 08 Oct 1894, she could not have been buried 11 Aug 1894 as stated. That should probably read “services took place Oct. 11….”

The cemetery where her remains lie is now known as Oakwood Cemetery, marked with a red star on the map.


Sources and credits:

Image credit: Baldwin City, Douglas Co. [Kansas, atlas map], (Philadelphia: L. H. Evert, 1887) p. 24; digital image, David Rumsey Historical Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com : accessed 04 May 2014). Used via a Creative Commons license.

[1]  “Here and There.”, Baldwin Ledger (Baldwin, Kansas), 12 Oct 1894, p. 5, death notice for Jane (Mozingo) Rice.

[2]  “Obituary.”, Baldwin Ledger (Baldwin, Kansas), 19 Oct 1894, p. 3, Jane (Mozingo) Rice obituary.