Lesson 8 is all about searching old, historic newspapers and capitalizing by searching hyphenated words properly.
Finding your ancestors in newspaper articles is in my opinion - an art, not a science. One must be clever and resourceful to get around the limitations in old newspapers, whether they be poor original quality, copies of copies as sources for scanning, as well as the limitations of the OCR process.
Another "feature" of older newspapers is the use of the hyphen. Hyphenated words were often used because of fixed width type as well as the experience and capability of the typesetter. Hyphens are less utilized today but were heavily used years ago.
The bottom line is that if you search for a portion of your ancestor's surname (if it is multi-syllabic), rather than the entire word, you may get additional results. For example, if your ancestors name was "Jorgenson" try searching for "Jorgen." The typesetter may have split the word so that at the end of one line are the letters "Jorgen-" with the hyphen, and the next line may start with "son".
I have an ancestral line with the surname "Braunhart". Many times an article may have a line that ends with "Braun-" and the next line starts with "hart". This creates some additional challenges, just like "Williamson" may be split up as "William" and "son". The first set of letters ends up being a very common set of letters so your results may be too numerous to be of much help.
Here are a few examples that show the different uses of the hyphen. And always consider that the "break" may not always be in the logical place in the word.
- You could search for "Patter" when your target name was "Patterson"
- Even a short word like "Hardie" is split up in this example, so you would search for "Har". This may lead to too many results but is worth a try.
- Be open minded about where the split may occur. In the case of McDonald I wouldn't think that the name would be split with "McDon" and "ald", but searching for odd splits may lead to many more results.
Don't give up and let hyphens give you additional opportunities and additional searches. You will indeed find more articles this way. Be creative! Don't be bogged down by 21st century logic. The split may be different than you would think it should be.