Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Read all about William Stiver

Newspaper articles can provide much needed information on a person. In my family tree, I have 11 men named William Stiver. It is easy to get them confused but it helps to carefully read all the newspaper articles and note the details that distinguish them. None of the articles mentioned below give William’s middle name of Henry that shows on his death registration. [1]This William Stiver is a first cousin four times removed.

When searching for a death of a person in the newspaper, I am always excited to find a detailed obituary or death notice. I search for not only the announcement of the passing of the individual but I look for details on the funeral. Although William Stiver resided in the Unionville area of Markham Township, his death was made known in the Toronto World. Some years of the Toronto World have been digitized by Paper of Record. There is no charge to access this database. An article also appeared in the Markham Economist and Sun but not until after his funeral. [2] Although many of the details are the same as those that appeared in his obituary in the Toronto newspaper, the Markham newspaper gives more details about his life.

His grandfather’s name is given only as Capt. Shelts who had served in the War of 1812. This is believed to be Schutze. Various sources spell it as Shoutts, Shultze, Schutze, Shutz and Shelts. William’s parents are not named in his obituary William’s parents were John Stiver and Mary Ann Shutz. [3]

One item I found interesting was that his funeral was to be at 2 p.m. (old time). I am not sure what that means. He died in August. It is not at the time of year when clocks were changed for Day light savings time. [If anyone can explain this, I would be pleased to know.] [4] His newphews were the pall bearers. [5]

When time permits, I like to read through the newspapers to see if I can find information in the community news. This helps round out the character of the person. Scrolling through newspapers is hard on both the eyes and stomach. One article I found about William Stiver also appeared in Toronto World (found through checking matches for the name Stiver). At age 88, he helped his sons with bringing in the last of their harvest. In the morning William assisted his son Robert and in the afternoon his son Reuben. He sounds like a remarkable person. Thanks to newspapers, we get to know him better. [6]

[1] William Henry Stiver Ontario death registration #087192 (1919); Family History Library, Salt Lake City, microfilm FHL 1862969.

[2] William Stiver death and funeral information, Markham Economist and Sun, 14 August 1919 p.1

[3] “Wm. Stiver was Markham Pioneer” Toronto World 11 August 1919 p. 2; digital copy Paper of Record ( ; accessed 1 October 2008)

[4] “William Stiver death notice” Toronto World 11 August 1919 p. 7; digital copy Paper of Record ( ; accessed 1 October 2008)

[5] “William Stiver funeral account” Toronto World 12 August 1919 p. 2; digital copy Paper of Record ( ; accessed 1 October 2008)

[6] “Age no detriment to veteran farmer” Toronto World 19 August 1918, p.7; digital copy Paper of Record ( ; accessed 1 October 2008)

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