Newspaper articles turn up surprising information on relatives. From the obituary of my great great great grandfather I have gained the opinion that when he left this life, he left his family more than a little dissatisfied. Unlike other obituaries of 1911 that lauded the generosity, kindness, intelligence and dedication to family, his began “Was Once Wealthy”.
If he had written his own obituary I highly doubt he would have broadcast to the local public his failure to leave his family in the cushiony comfort that must have been expected. For a man that had always defined himself as a farmer in every census, even after being involved in many oil producing ventures, this statement must have made him roll over in his grave. Not only did they make the statement the he was once wealthy but put a dollar amount on it if $300,000 in the body of the obituary. You can almost hear the "thanks a LOT dad" sneer. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when I wrote for a copy of his will to the local courthouse, he didn’t have one.
This tends to make a person wonder, left to the living what would your family have to say about you?