PAALLEGH-L ArchivesArchiver > PAALLEGH > 2003-07 > 1057381866
From: "Cecelia Allman" <>
Subject: Re: [ALL] Ancestry newspapers, etc.
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 01:11:06 -0400
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <006101c3428e$3ad2f940$90b1fea9@1> <email@example.com>
3 cheers for that idea--my family came to ald allegheny in 1812 -i'm quite
a distant from the "carnegie", & spend mucho on money orders for info i
----- Original Message -----
From: "Al Lenkner" <>
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 12:42 AM
Subject: Re: [ALL] Ancestry newspapers, etc.
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> Good story!! Makes the few bucks well spent, in your case. Now, if only
> someone would digitize all the Pgh papers since the Pgh Gazette was born!
> At 10:17 PM 7/4/2003, you wrote:
> >I agree that Ancestry.com's newspaper subscription isn't the most useful
> >search vehicle, especially since they don't have any Pittsburgh papers
> >But, FWIW, here's my story.
> >I already had the ancestry census and basic record subscription, so
> >the newspaper feature was comparatively low cost. Even so I hesitated,
> >my available funds for genealogy are really limited.
> >For more than 20 years I have been chasing the family story that my
> >Pittsburgh-born great great uncle, John ERDLEN, was found lying dead in a
> >field with his throat cut from ear to ear, and it was ruled a suicide.
> >ERDLEN is a very rare surname. All the ones listed in Allegheny Co. today
> >are close relatives of mine. I had exhausted census records, obituary
> >searches, visits to Allegheny Co. courthouse, cemetery searches, family
> >interviews, bulletin boards, you name it. My mother and her sister
> >that the man had been found near Somerset, PA, and even though I couldn't
> >figure out what he would have been doing there, I had run that lead to
> >ground more than once. I found a John Erdlen in Beaver Co. in 1920 -
> >age, birthplace, etc. I found a John Erdlen in Somerset Co. in 1930, but
> >none of the facts seemed to fit. It seemed that the death occurred around
> >1930 - no help from Vital Stats.
> >So, on the day I purchased my newspaper subscription, I keyed in "ERDLEN"
> >and found a few hits. Most of them were not surprises to me - there was a
> >famous photographer from Colorado, and an early newspaperman named
> >But there was one hit from the Helena, Montana newspaper in Nov. 1932. I
> >figured it was probably the photographer.
> >I don't have high speed internet access, and one thing I will say is that
> >these newspapers take forever to load via phone line. But, up it came,
> >the article headline said, "Series of Murders on Farm Suspected."
> >I realized that there must not have been too much news in Helena that
> >because this was an article that they had picked up via the AP newswire
> >Meyersdale, Penn. And there was the story! It's really much more gruesome
> >than my mother or her sister remembered, and something certainly does
> >to have been rotten in Denmark - or Meyersdale. A farm hand's dismembered
> >and decapitated body was found in a ravine on the farm Erdlen owned.
> >can't figure out why he was in Somerset Co.] Erdlen, who was 72 years
> >WAS found in a field, with his throat cut. But somehow, the coroner
> >that it was the 72 year old Erdlen who killed the farm hand and mutilated
> >the corpse; and then killed himself by slashing his own throat. The
> >housekeeper and another farmhand were missing, and instead of suspecting
> >either of them, the police were assuming that Erdlen must have killed
> >as well, and were looking for additional bodies.
> >I can't wait to get back to Somerset Co. now that I have some real data.
> >I have to think that I would NEVER have found this event without the
> >newspaper subscription.
> >So for me, even if I never find another connection with my year's
> >subscription, I'm a happy camper.
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> >Be sure to visit the Allegheny County, PA site at
> >To join Ancestry.com and access our 1.2 billion online genealogy records,
> >go to:
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