Saturday, November 27, 2010

Braunhart Mania - Part 2 - Newspapers

To discover more, I began to search newspaper databases. I subscribed to and found other websites where many other newspapers had been indexed. These proved to be much more valuable in 2008 and 2009 as more newspapers from more cities were indexed but this was a start.


There are many newspaper sites now, some free, some subscription only, many indexed by name. This will provide another dimension to the information that you are gathering. Now not only will you find dates and names through marriage notices and obituaries, but now something about these people’s lives will emerge.

So let’s summarize what I know at this time. There is a Samuel Braunhart, who immigrated in 1862 at the age of 14 and ended up in Santa Barbara, and later in San Francisco. He was a “commercial traveler” - an 1800s name for a traveling salesman. He later entered politics in the 1880s and was a State Assemblyman, State Senator, Port Warden, and lastly a San Francisco City Supervisor, where he served until his death one month after the Great Earthquake and Fire in 1906. I found hundreds of newspaper articles about him as details of mostly his political life emerged.

And in his death notice in the San Francisco Call emerges the first of what I began to signify as the Braunhart “stragglers”, his nephew Jacob. More about the “stragglers” later.

And now I knew at least the name of my great great grandmother – Sara Braunhart Bernstein, Samuel’s older and only sister.

And then I found the oldest Braunhart sibling – Bernhard, who was the first Braunhart to come to America – at the age of 16 in 1857! I had found Bernhard in some census records and his marriage info in the San Francisco Call, but the confirmation of his relationship to his brother Samuel was via a newspaper account of Bernhard’s suicide, where it stated that he was Sam’s brother.

There is one more Braunhart sibling to go – but that had to wait until 2009.

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