Finding Facts for Philip

Headlines after Philip Troutfetter was arrested in 1902

Like any genealogical source, newspapers can contain information that is correct, incorrect, and in varying shades of veracity in between. These 1902 references to Philip Troutfetter after his arrest in Boston make the point.

Troutfetter knew the then infamous Rathbone, but the reference to them as “friends” seems to suggest Troutfetter was involved in Rathbone’s stamp fraud activities in Cuba around the turn of the 20th century–he was not–and that Troutfetter knew Rathbone better than the investigation eventually revealed. Troutfetter was a traveler, but the newspaper headline shown here in the only known “reference” to him being in Mexico.

Troutfetter was an editor of a Kansas newspaper and was wanted on embezzlement charges in Colorado. He was from Colby, Kansas, as the one headline states. Other details in the writeups are confirmed from other records, but a few are not. Some tend to be repeated from one newspaper to another.

That’s an additional reminder that just because something is printed over and over does not mean that it is correct. Confirm what you read in old newspapers and use the information they contain as a springboard to searching in other records.