That website: FultonHistory.com; it may appear simplistic in it's layout but the power is undeniable. The site provides a straight forward search of over 26 MILLION old New York newspapers, for FREE, and you can see scanned images of the full page as well as zoom in for details. The best method for searching a person is starting with exact phrase with last name, first name or initial. For example, "Heddendorf, W" or "Heddendorf, William," though you actually do not need to worry about case sensitivity, thus, "heddendorf, W" will also work. These searches will not highlight where on the page the match was made, sadly, but the search results will list a year for each associated "find" and the link turns purple after viewing, which means you do not have to remember exactly every result that you examined. I do recommend using the website in anything but Internet Explorer since IE does not zoom well and takes a while to load.
Here is a screen shot of an exact search for "Heddendorf, W D" with the second result showing.
What we are looking for is in the bottom of the second column here, under the Obituary and In Memorium sections.
Zooming in even further, we can now clearly read Walter D. Heddendorf's obituary, who was also known as George Walter Heddendorf in the census records.
And just look at all the information we get out of this obituary:
- Location and date of death;
- Spouse's maiden name;
- Approximate year of birth from age-at-death;
- Funeral location and date;
- Social groups of which he was a member.
That knocked out two brick walls with this one record: George's date of death and his wife's maiden name in the Heddendorf family tree! All this information I can now add AND cite in my genealogy family tree software (i.e. Ancestry, FamilyTree, etc). When adding the citation, remember to cite the newspaper the information comes from (eg. newspaper title, volume/issue, page, column/section) with the repository being fultonhistory.com. If the text is not too lengthy, it is also worthwhile to transcribe the text with the digital record/citation.
Oh, and if the paper you are viewing appears fuzzy even after you zoom in, do not worry, it is probably not you. There are a couple of pages in my own search that were less than clear, making letters indistinguishable and impossible to read names. Hopefully there are more good views than poor ones for your query.
So hop to it! What will you find in your search?