Monday Musings: Searching For That EUREKA! Moment (Who Were You Roy Simpleman?)

eurekaI am the newsletter editor for my local genealogical society (South Plains Genealogical Society [SPGS]) and recently introduced a column entitled “Adventures in Research:  Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Digging”.  In the November issue I shared the story below, intending also to share it soon with readers here at Digging History since that’s where it originated back in October 2013.  The research I wrote about was not mine but it’s such a fascinating story I think you will find it interesting and informative.

Who Were You Roy Simpleman?

On July 5, 2015 I received a comment from a reader at Digging History on one of the very first articles I wrote in October of 2013.  After learning about the Dawson, New Mexico coal mine disaster one hundred years previous, I decided to write a Tombstone Tuesday article entitled “The Immigrant Miners of Dawson, New Mexico“.

I usually write those articles focusing on a single person, or perhaps a husband and wife.  Instead, for that article I wrote about the tragic deaths of immigrant miners, some who had literally just gotten off the boat days earlier.  Over two hundred and fifty men perished that day.

One of the survivors was a miner whose name was reported by newspapers as Roy Simpion.  As it turns out, that was either a misprint or misspelling of his name.  The email I received in July was from Roy’s great grandson Doug Simpleman.

NOTE:  This article is being re-purposed and enhanced, complete with footnotes and sources, and will be featured in the March 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  Purchase your copy at the magazine store (Monthly Issues) or purchase a subscription.


  1. A great brick wall story!

    • It sure was … so glad I had a small part in it.


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