We learned that around 1912/3, the Boston Evening Transcript had a Genealogy Department which published genealogy queries contributed by the public. The Transcript's Genealogical section also posted answers sent in by the public as well as announcements of society meetings and family reunions.
Someone with initials S. B. S. posted 12 questions in the Genealogical Section of the Boston Evening Transcript on July 17, 1912. We suspect the poster was Samuel Burnham Shackford (1871-1934)) who we believe was a member of the New England Historical Genealogical Society.
Here's some of Samuel's questions:
7. Shackford, Richard. Who were the parents of Elizabeth Shackford, married David Richards at Boston, Oct. 22, 1826?
8. Sisbey, Shackford. Who were the parents and children of Oliver E. Silsbey and Frances Jane Shackford, married at Portland, April 18, 1838?
9. Martin. Susanna Shackford, daughter of Paul, of Alfred, Me. married - Martin. What was the full name of her husband? John Christopher? Alexander? What were the names of her children? Was she the Susanna Martin, who died at Wells, 1840, aged ninety-six?
10. Martin. Mary, sister of above Susanna, married - Martin. What was his full name? What were the names of his children?
11. Shackford, Day, Hatch, Littlefield John Shackford, brother of above Susanna and Mary, married, first - Day; second, Hannah Hatch; third Abigail Littlefield. What wer the dates and places of birth and death of John's wives and what were the names of their parents?
12 Shackford, Harris. Betsy, sister of above John, Susanna and Mary, married - Harris. What was his full name, and the names of their children?
We may have not yet found all of Samuel's genealogical questions which certainly look like the type of postings that appear in listserves today. We do not yet know if anyone answered all of Samuel's questions, some of which are still puzzles today.
Note: To find these genealogy articles in the Boston Evening Transcript, we searched Google WEB for "Shackford" "Boston Evening Transcript" after learning from Kenneth Marks at The Ancestor Hunt that newspaper searches in Google news no longer work.
"Genealogical," Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts), 17 July 1912; digital images, Google News (http://neww.google.com : accessed 4 January 2014).
Copyright 2014 Joanne Shackford Parkes