Friday Funnies: More Death in Pennsylvania

Visits Office To Prove That He Is Not Dead


“I’m not dead, honest I’m not.”

This statement by J. Franklin Wells 29, and of rather quiet disposition caused a general sensation in The Genius office today.

In his hand he held a newspaper In which his death, due to peritonitis was chronicled.

“That isn’t true,” he remarked as he pointed to the “J. Franklin Wells” obituary notice.

Mr. Wells convinced the editor that he was still alive. To strengthen his argument he said he had been to the Minerd undertaking parlors to view the “corpse.”

Mr. Minerd was as much surprised as “J. Franklin.” He knew nothing of any such death and started an investigation to determine the instigator of the hoax.

The “death” notice gave correctly the names of Mr. Wells’ parents and other family connections. The age was given as 27 and it was incorrectly asserted that he was a Uniontown high school graduate.

Mr. Wells had been ill for the last few days of grip but has entirely recovered. Recently he was employed in the repair shop of Bob Miller in Iowa street.

The Morning Herald, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 20 April 1938, page 9, column 1.


“The Genius” is short for “The Genius of Liberty,” another local paper in the Uniontown area.


Friday Funnies — Death in Pennsylvania

One does need to check the dateline of this story. Additional corroboration would also be helpful.

Nearly Buried Alive.

Aged Mr. Cole Came to Life in his Coffin, but the Shock Killed Him.

Bethlehem, April 1. – Eli Cole, of Kalellen, near here, aged eighty-one years, apparently died last Tuesday, but when the undertaker put the supposed corpse in the coffin it uttered a groan, and it was found that it was a case of suspended animation. Cole vividly described his gruesome feelings while being prepared for burial. He lingered three days and died yesterday from prostration produced by brooding over his horrible experience.


The North American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 April 1892, page 1, column 1 (below the fold)

Is Genealogy Romancing the Bloodlines?


This piece comes with a semi-humorous bent, so be forewarned. 🙂

I read an article a while ago about Icelandic dating. While that article had a different idea in mind, it sparked some interesting questions for me. Where does interest in genealogy come from? What does romance have to do with genealogy in the first place?

Well, thinking about genealogy in terms of ancestry, family history, and genealogy research, I’d rank genealogy as the romance level, ancestry research at the puppy love level, and family history research at the infatuation level.

I looked at some statistics from Google, and of the three terms, family history had the highest-ranking spot, ancestry was in second place, and genealogy third place. If family history research is the most common, it must be socializing, ancestry casual dating, and genealogy serious romance. Ancestry research is the information gathering necessary to get a good start on genealogy. Genealogy research is heavy-duty work compared to the simple practice of name collecting.

Name collectors are just name dropping their ancestry, like some folks who claim they are descended from Jesus. People engaged in family history research are building relationships where they have more than just names, and are getting to know the stories behind their ancestors. Ancestry researchers have a stronger interest and decide whether they have the stamina to build strong relationships. Genealogists, on the other hand, become wed to the subject and explore everything they can get their hands on.

Admission: I’m sort of in the middle group at the moment, making a stronger commitment to better genealogy.

Friday Funnies – A Mousic Obituary


The following mousic obituary is taken from the Portsmouth Evening Times:

In this city, Dec. 1st, “James D.” mouse, owned by Mr. James D. Potter, (colored) of this city, formerly of Port[l]and, at the age of 4½ years of old age and paralysis of the heart. This was a common gray mouse which Mr. Potter had trained and exhibited in many cities in this country and Canada. The mouse was forwarded to Boston by express this morning to be stuffed and when returned will be placed in the little cage which has been his home for 4 years. The mouse funeral will be held in City Hall. A special invitation has been extended to Chandler’s band and Neal Dow to be present. The mouse was insured in Chicago for one hundred dollars and Mr. Potter says he would not have taken $500 for it and will wear mourning all over his face as long as he lives. [Montreal, Chicago and Portland papers please copy.

Daily Eastern Argus, Portland, Maine, Wednesday, 6 December 1882, page 1, column 7.

Bad Internet Genealogy and Other Genea-Crap

Kerry Scott’s posts on these topics are hilarious. Read them!

Snippet found while researching someone

A Mental Family Tree
A Mental Family Tree

The following is an interesting snippet found while looking for information about someone in a newspaper. An image of the piece follows.

A Mental Family Tree

We were talking in the schoolyard about our family trees,
And Gertrude said hers could be traced to Sir Horatio Freeze;
And Rufe said he’d descended from the governor of a state;
And Louie mentioned ancestors of hers about as great.
While Reggie said his lineage embraced a lord, he knew;
And Nell from her great-great-grandsire obtained her blood so blue;
But neither of the little Smiths could say a single word;
For them to boast their ancient name of course would be absurd.
Then teacher smiling slightly said that she was much inclined
To think that there was such a thing as blue blood of the mind.
That those who studied hard (and here she beamed on Tommy Smith)
Had certainly descended from men of force and pith;
And those who loved to tend the sick and serve the weak and frail
Were morally related to Florence Nightingale.
(Here Jennie Smith blushed to the ears.) And when she saw a youth
(How bright she smiled at Johnny Smith!) who always told the truth
At school, at home, or when he was at work or having fun
She knew him for a relative of General Washington.
But Reggie doesn’t like such talk; he says it seems to throw
So much responsibility upon yourself, you know.

– E[…]wyn Wetherald, in Youth’s Companion.

As printed in the Crook County Journal, Prineville, Oregon, 6 November 1902, page 7, column 2. The author’s first name is mostly illegible. Corrections or proper attributions are appreciated.