Casefile Clues

02 July 2013

That Little "Adv."

Newspapers can provide a variety of clues--not just records of vital events and "major stories." Advertisements and smaller notices can provide clues as well. The smaller the newspaper and the more rural the area where your ancestor lived, the more likely it is that there is some mention in the newspaper. A search of Clinton County, New York, newspapers located such references to Theodore Hoontes.

A 1914 reference  indicated Hoontes was working as a peddler in Plattsburg, New York, when his license changed from "peddlers license on foot" to "peddlers license with one horse."
The Plattsburgh Press, 2 July 1914, p. 3
There may or may not be city records regarding Hoontes and this license. It may very well not be worth pursuing those records--depending upon the research goals in mind with Hoontes. Hoontes was married to a daughter of an ancestor and it is unlikely that records of his license will assist in that search.

By 1923, Hoontes had apparently changed his business pursuits.


Plattsburgh Daily Press, 22 August 1923, p. 8
It's not a huge clue, but this 1923 newspaper "Notice" for T. Hoontes indicated he was starting a shoe shining business in Plattsburg, New York. The "adv" at the end of the notice indicated that the item was actually an advertisement and not a news item. It is always possible that T. Hoontes is not the same Theodore Hoontes from the earlier reference.

Of course, how big a clue any one item is depends upon other known information. This notice indicates that Hoontes was living when the notice was submitted to the paper (probably shortly before it was published) and that he probably was living in the area.