In the spring of 2005 I ran across the following:
From Geneva Advertiser 19 June 1894
(Abstracted from classified Legal Notices)
Malantha Marsh, Wallace Hall and Lyman Baker, Phelps, N. Y.
Mary Crittenden, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Charles Holman, Owasso, Mich.
Hattie Weston, Alma, Mich.
E. Burt Garlock, Jefferson City, Missouri
Cyrus Garlock, Mary C. Garlock, W. F. Garlock, Port Gibson, N. Y.
Christina Densmore and Reuhama Corbin, Albion, N. Y.
Howard Burt, Newark, N. Y.
J. Hall Burt, West Kendall, N. Y.
Harriet Briggs, Jamestown, N. Y.
Almira Sweet, Oil City, Pa.
Roswell Baker, Knowlesville, N. Y.
Alice Jeffery, Tehama, Cal.
Benjamin F. Myers, Ithaca, Mich.
Hannah Carlisle, Sioux City, Iowa
Othniel Hall, Comfort Hall, Jessie Baker, Evelyn Hibbard, Porter Grover, Caroline P. Whitney, Percy Cook, Minard Cook, John Cook, and all others, heirs at law and next of kin of LAURA CARTER, deceased.
Ann Lawson, Augusta, N. Y.
Caroline Field, Geneva, N. Y.
Mary E. Tulett, Anna W. Tulett, Laura L. Tulett and Clarence E. Tulett, all of the Town of Fayette, N. Y.,
who are interested, as creditors, next of kin, heirs at law, legatees, or otherwise, in the estate of LAURA CARTER. late of the town of Geneva, Ontario County NY.
Some kind soul had transcribed this and put it on the web for me to find. I have bolded the two names that jumped out at me, two of my great-grand-aunts, daughters of David Glover and Tamesin Hall. I had no idea who Laura Carter might be but I noticed several other Hall's and there was Roswell Baker who had been in my tree for years as an unrelated person that I knew was somehow tied to the Carlisle family.
From this small item in an old paper I was eventually able to fill in several generations of the descendants of of Capt. William Hall and Reuhama Andrews/Andros. I never would have looked at the will of Laura Carter had I not found this one small mention in an old newspaper.
Currently I have a monthly subscription to old copies of the Syracuse papers online through newspaper archive.com. For about $7 a month I can search or browse to my hearts content when it is convenient for me. To view the same papers at the library would involve a trip to Syracuse and the gas and parking would cost me more than $7 for a single day. I have added to both my husband's my trees this way.
The draw back to newspaper research is that you find out very few good things. Happy items make the paper far less often than sad times. Births merit a quick line - son born to, weddings and anniversaries get a nice write up if the family submitted the information. But mostly you find death notices, accident reports and arrests. All of these are wonderful for filling in and untangling family lines but often make me sad.
When searching old papers be sure to use every conceivable spelling of a surname and search by known addresses. In my husband's family some of the family homes were passed down through the family for 100 years.