It can be frustrating when a gossip column in a small-town newspaper mentions a relative and doesn’t provide clues about their life that we’d like to know. There are two things to keep in mind:

  • Newspapers were supposed to print “news.” Information that all the locals knew (but those of us 130 years later don’t) wasn’t “news” to individuals who actually received the newspaper when it was printed.
  • Those gossip columns served as the Facebook posts of their day. Do all your posts on social media include all those details about you or your family members that someone may want to know in 100 years?



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