A New (and Improved) Way to Preview Digging History Magazine

Digging History Magazine is pleased to announce a new way to preview each month’s issue of the magazine.  We now have a YouTube channel with previews of all issues published since January 2018.  These previews will continue to be published on a monthly basis with links for purchase.

Better than downloading a sample of just a few pages, you will be able to view snippets from all articles.  A link to that month’s issue is provided in the video description (below the video).  This month’s video preview can be viewed here.  Please take the time to watch, “Like” and “Share” to help us spread the word.

In addition to purchasing individual copies ($2.99) of the magazine, a more economical way is to purchase a subscription.  Each of the four budget-minded options is billed automatically until you tell me you want to cancel:

  • Month-to-Month (a small savings over single issue purchase)
  • Three-Month ($8)
  • Six-Month ($16)
  • One Year ($32)

Purchase subscriptions here with PayPal or a credit card.  Have questions or need help with purchasing a subscription?  Contact me at seh@digginghistorymag.com.

Here’s what people are saying about Digging History Magazine:

  • I have recently subscribed to Sharon Hall’s Digging History Magazine after looking at several of the free articles. I’ve just finished reading the January issue. I’ve already learned a good bit and am having a great time doing it. The articles, which are extremely well written, are a joy. I especially appreciate the use of family stories to both engage the reader and at the same time emphasize and illustrate what to look for while researching. The combination of the author’s extensive knowledge, experience, love of stories and sense of humor are a winning mix. Each of the articles has been a great read. Time and money well spent. I strongly recommend that you take a look yourself. If you are interested in family history, I suspect you will be as hooked as I am. I look forward to digging into the rest of the issues. (And yes, I just had to add that last sentence.)
  • Not only packed with good articles but many helpful hints you can use to research your own family history. Good Job Sharon!
  • Fantastic issue on the Klondike! I have just dug into the articles, and it looks great. Excellent issue, as usual.
  • I found the story about Stephen Paul in the April 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine to be very interesting. The writer intertwined her own voice with the research material in a way that is very compelling.
  • I enjoyed this issue of Digging History, especially the story about Snowball, AK. I like that the unsolved mystery and the research into it raises new questions as well as giving possible answers to old ones. The author’s writing style really drew me in as a reader.
  • What an issue! There is so much in this issue I did not know; like the predated Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Growing up in Virginia, and being an avid history buff, I know what a talented and intelligent man Thomas Jefferson was. . .  I look forward each and every month for these magazines and thoroughly enjoy them cover to cover. Thank you, Sharon, for you continued dedication to supply us “history geeks” with such historically packed issues!

See what you’re missing? 🙂

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

3 to 25

3 to 25.  Whatever does that mean?  To me it means a milestone.  Three weeks from today, October 1, marks the 25th anniversary of being a self-employed entrepreneur.  In 1993 I started my first business, The Perfect Solution.  Through the years I’ve had some fantastic clients (still do!) and I appreciate each and every one of them.

I currently operate two more businesses:  Digging History (providing ancestry research and custom family charts) and Digging History Magazine (a monthly digital publication focused on history and genealogy, available by single issue purchase or subscription).

How does one celebrate 25 years of being in business for oneself?  What does one wish for?  Business for Digging History and Digging History Magazine has been slow and sporadic this year.  My initial goal for subscribers is 50 and I’m currently at 22.  I’d like to boost that number up before year’s end to 50 (or more!).  I love what I do — I LOVE history and want to share my passion with like-minded history nuts.

Subscriptions are easy to purchase at the Magazine Store.  Here are the instructions:

  • Select a subscription option.
  • Checkout
  • Scroll down and select a payment method and provide all requested information.
  • Purchase and your subscription will begin and your first issue will be delivered post haste.

That’s it — EZ-PZ!

Want to “gift” a subscription to someone you know with a love of history.  Contact me at seh@digginghistorymag.com with your friend’s name and email address and I’ll send you an invoice (choose payment preference: credit card or PayPal) so they can begin receiving monthly issues courtesy of your generosity.

3 to 25 — care to make my day?


Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

Dying (or Lying) to Get on the Dawes Rolls (or how my ancestors were Indians one minute and the next, not so much)

This month’s issue of Digging History Magazine features the great state of Oklahoma, the Sooner State.  This issue was inspired by my great grandfather, Noah Seborn Young.  I discovered something about him and a lot about Oklahoma’s history (and a radical one at that!) as I researched and wrote this month’s issue.

However, my favorite article this month is about another ancestor and her family, my third great grandmother Elizabeth Louisa Boone Hensley Brummett Dodson.  You’ll have to buy a copy and read the story of her elongated name!  The article is a story which includes extensive information about the family’s attempts to get on the Dawes Indian Rolls in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  I found the case files totally fascinating and dripping with all kinds of information, from which I’ve gleaned a story. Were they “dying” (as in desperate) to get on the Rolls or “lying”?

I’ve cheekily entitled it “Dying (or Lying) to Get on the Dawes Rolls (or how my ancestors were Indian one minute and the next, not so much).

It’s informative with a little humor here and there — you gotta laugh sometimes at the things your ancestors did!  History isn’t boring — it’s downright fun sometimes!

The September 2018 issue is on sale in the Magazine Store or you can receive it with a subscription if purchased this month.

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

Digging History Magazine: Currently Brewing for September

In the August issue we went way up north to the Yukon and Alaska.  Next month’s issue will feature some unique stories about Oklahoma.  I have a particular interest in Oklahoma and its history since that’s where my mom was born.  My grandfather, Roosevelt “Bud” Young, was born in Indian Territory in 1902.  His father, Noah Seborn Young, was born in Alabama and migrated to Indian Territory with his family.

Awhile back I was working on that part of my family tree, and while conducting a little newspaper research at The Gateway to Oklahoma History (which, I might add, is an excellent place to research your Oklahoma ancestors — and free!), I ran across an interesting political advertisement.  You might ask, “what good is a political advertisement for genealogical research?”  Good question.  This one provided a startling tidbit which set me on a course to discover more about an intriguing piece of radical Oklahoma history.  Why was it so startling?

Noah Young at one time worked as a Deputy Clerk for the United States Court of the Northern District of Indian Territory.  He signed his name “N.S. Young” and that was how he was referred to in newspapers and legal documents. Interestingly, as Deputy Clerk he signed his own marriage license in 1898 when he married my great grandmother Talitha Pugh (who died in 1904).  I believe this 1910 political ad in The Weleetka American was my great grandfather’s because 1910 census records indicate he and his family lived in the county, and as far as I can tell there was no one else enumerated with this name or initials in Okfuskee County.

My great grandfather was also a farmer and Holiness lay preacher, a man of faith.  So, I was definitely interested in knowing why my farmer, Holiness-preaching great grandfather was running as a Socialist for Constable of Okfuskee County in 1910.  Today, Oklahoma is considered the reddest of “Red States”, politically speaking.  So, why was Oklahoma such a hotbed of socialist fervor (a much different and radical kind of “red”)?

It’s an intriguing story, the “onion peel” kind.  It’s what we do in every issue of Digging History Magazine … uncovering history one story at a time.

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

On This Day 122 Years Ago . . .

the Klondike Gold Rush was off and running as George Carmack, brother-in-law Skookum Jim and his nephew Dawson Charlie filed the Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek in the Canadian Yukon on August 16, 1896.  Men (and women) began flocking to the Yukon as newspapers dubbed the gold fever “Klondicitis”.  A Honolulu newspaper just knew it was a fever and it was catching:


The Disease That Threatens the Country

In California five victims of the new disease known as “Klondicitis” were being committed to the state asylum.  A preacher turned his back for good on the pulpit and headed for the North, a sure case of Klondicitis!

This month’s feature article in Digging History Magazine, “Dreamers and Drifters, Gunslingers and Grifters (Simply a Great Mad Rush)”, includes not only a poignant story about a couple of young dreamers who just knew they could strike it rich, but stories about drifters like George Carmack and grifter-extraordinaire Jefferson “Soapy” Smith.  My third cousin, thrice-removed, Wyatt Earp, caught the Alaskan gold fever a bit later — he and Josephine had a grand time (while it lasted).

And, it was good while it lasted as some came out rich beyond their wildest imaginations (“Klondike Christmas: A True Rags-to-Riches Story”) and more than a few went home discouraged and empty-handed (or, unfortunately, died trying).

This month’s issue is on sale here, or consider purchasing a month-to-month, three-month, six-month or one-year subscription here.  Easy and safe to purchase or subscribe and subscription payments are recurring until you tell me you want to cancel.  Buy a one-year subscription and apply the discount code “2OFFSPGS”  at checkout for an additional $2 off.

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

Mining Genealogical Gold: Early American “Tweetstorms” (He Said, She Said)

I just posted an article at the magazine site about an early American way for husband and wife to have it out in a public forum — what we today might call a “tweetstorm”, by exchanging jabs back and forth.

Check it out here at the Digging History Magazine blog.

Try a free issue?  Go to the blog page via the link above and on the right-hand side of the page (or bottom of any page) provide your email and subscribe to the magazine blog.  A free issue will be on its way soon!

Like Peeling an Onion: Uncovering History One Story at a Time

This month’s issue of Digging History Magazine seemed excruciatingly long to complete (it did run over my “normal” deadline of the first day of the month).  It’s out today, and even though it took a bit longer, I think it was well worth it to spend the extra time writing the lead article about the dreamers and drifters, gunslingers and grifters who caught Klondike fever.  They even had a name for it — KLONDICITIS!

The lead article features an “onion story” of sorts — one I’ve long wanted to write since stumbling across the original source material several years ago.  The more I researched (like peeling layers of an onion) the more the story developed.  Throw in some newspaper research with the original source material and something more than an article was written — more of short story about two young dreamers who married one evening and caught the next train to Seattle before hopping on a boat to Alaska and the Klondike.  Jesse and Lepha Mae (Bennett) Edgren were in love, full of hope for the future and oh so sure they could strike it rich in the Klondike.

I won’t be “spoiling” the story here, only to say it’s both a heartwarming story, yet full of pathos — perhaps more than any of the hundreds of stories which came out of the Klondike Gold Rush.  I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing it and I hope (if you’re not already a subscriber) you’ll consider purchasing a copy which includes this short story/saga of Jesse and Mae.

Pick up your copy of the August issue here or buy a subscription here.  Buy a one-year subscription and use the “2OFFSPGS” discount code at checkout for $2 off.

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

Digging History Magazine: Sharpen Your Genealogy Skills – Read an Old Newspaper (or two or ten)!

Today I was putting the finishing touches on an article for the August issue of Digging History Magazine.  The article, originally published in November 2013, is being “re-purposed” (as I like to call it these days).  In the case of this particular article it involved almost a complete re-write of the original article.  The subject, Nellie Ross Cullens-Norwood, is the same, but her story has been updated with a far more interesting story than the original.  Why’s that?

Quite simply, online newspaper research — something I didn’t have much access to back in 2013 as I was just starting the Digging History blog and beginning to assist clients with family history research.  Since then, I’ve learned the rewards (despite the subscription costs) of newspaper research.

Genealogists love combing through old newspapers to (hopefully) find an obituary — the kind that provides the vital information we all look for:  birth date, birth place, parents, children and more.  Some items, however, amount to little more than a death notice, announcing a funeral service.  Those are disappointing for sure.

Don’t despair, though!  Try a different tack and look for items which mention your ancestor before their death.  You might be surprised as to what you’ll find.

In the case of the “Dash” article for the August issue, I found the more I dug around in old newspapers the more I learned about Nellie.  What had first caught my eye back in 2013 was the fact she appeared to have moved Alaska (about 50 miles from the Arctic Circle) sometime between 1924 and 1930.  She was born in 1859 so she would have been approaching 70.

The original article had a lot of “unknowns”, but when I began digging for more this weekend, I discovered (perhaps) some reasons for why she might have struck out on her own.  For genealogists, newspaper research is vital — and not just obituaries.  If you want the real story — the person’s life “between the dash” — start digging!  While newspaper archive subscription cost can be out-of-reach for some, consider looking around for free sites like these:

There are many more to choose from these days since states are beginning to provide this valuable resource.  These are but a few of my favorites — and I use them despite the fact I spend (big) bucks to subscribe to sites like Newspapers.com, Genealogy Bank and NewspaperArchive.com.  What’s great about the free state-based sites is you might find a small hometown newspaper.

Next month’s issue will be out on August 1, and given that August is often one of the hottest months of the year, we’re going north (way north) to Alaska and the Klondike.  Dreamers, drifters, grifters and gunslingers — men (and women) caught “Klondicitis” (that was an actual term used in newspapers!).  Missing an ancestor around the turn of the twentieth century?  Have you looked north?  If not, you should.  Gold fever was everywhere!

This issue won’t just be about one of the coldest places on earth, there’s an article entitled “Eleven Days of Hellish Heat” — weather so hot people were driven insane!  Monthly issues are available for sale as well as subscriptions of varying lengths:  month-to-month, 3-month, 6-month and one-year.  Use the discount code “2OFF SPGS” at checkout for an extra $2 off a one-year subscription.  Want to try a free issue before deciding whether to sign up?  At the bottom of any page of the magazine site, provide your email and subscribe to the blog.  A free issue will soon be on its way to your inbox.

Stay cool!

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine



I’ve been thinking lately about why I take the time to write and publish Digging History Magazine every month.  Yes, I have subscribers and thus I must write!  I also want to continue writing (which entails a lot of digging and a lot of work!) because I’m finding it’s not only a good discipline, it makes me a better researcher for clients who hire me to find their ancestors.

Case in point:  The July issue included an extensively researched article about a long-forgotten event in early American history, the so-called Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  I stumbled upon this document and its premise while conducting ancestry research for a client about a year ago.  I made a mental note — that would make a great article!  Little did I know just how beneficial it would be.  While conducting a short research project for a client this past week I was studying a Revolutionary War record, a list of soldiers who were members of the North Carolina Rangers.

In addition to spotting a possible ancestor of the client’s, I observed a couple of other surnames which just might lead to clues as well.  I recognized the surnames of Davidson and Brevard, two names prominent in Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas during the Revolutionary War — not to mention a possible association with the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  Other researchers had placed my client’s ancestor farther west in Buncombe County, which by the way wasn’t organized until 1791.  Many trees on Ancestry.com have perpetuated this for so long that I now consider it a brick wall which needs to be bulldozed in order to find another path to discovering the real story.

For those who think ancestry research is easy because they can just copy from other trees on Ancestry.com (or any number of other sites), think again.  Genealogical research is not for the faint of heart and it should never rely on the “research” of others unless they have provided adequate (and credible) sources.  In the case of my client, his distant cousin seemed to be guessing at best, or had copied (and thus perpetuated) a research myth about this potential ancestor.  Based on studying the Revolutionary War record I already have alternative theories for finding the real story — theories which I have formulated based in part on researching and writing the article about Mecklenburg.

And, you know what?  I hope those who take the time to read Digging History Magazine become better researchers as well, or even just more informed about history and how our world has been influenced (good and bad) by the people and events we write about each month.  Are you a subscriber?  No?  Would you like to try an issue before deciding?

Receiving a free issue is easy.  Just go to the magazine site and scroll to the bottom of any page and find the “Subscribe to the Blog via Email” box.  Type your email and subscribe and a free issue will soon be on its way to your inbox!  Subscriptions are easy to purchase and available in varying lengths depending on your budget:  month-to-month, 3-month, 6-month and one year.  One year subscriptions are a better deal when using the discount code “2OFFSUM18” at checkout.  This discount code expires on August 31, 2018.  NOTE:  If you read this article after that date, contact us for another code — always happy to welcome more subscribers on board via special discounts!


Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine

July 4, 1876: It Was a BLAST!

July 4, 1876 – The United States was celebrating its first centennial eleven years following the end of the Civil War. In Philadelphia, soldiers from the North and South, “the Blue and the Gray”, marched together. There were lively and soul-stirring festivities held throughout the country, speeches galore, fireworks – or “Gunpowder and Glory”.  As cannons were fired and firecrackers lit, explosions and costly fires marred the festivities for some. In Philadelphia one headline read “A Salute That Cost Several Hundred Thousand Dollars.”  “A Dynamite Horror” occurred around the same time elsewhere in Philadelphia.  In Brooklyn headlines read:


DESTRUCTION:  What the Centennial Cost Brooklyn

It was America’s 100th anniversary and it was time to celebrate!  All the celebrating rattled more than a few nerves, however.  The Fourth was truly a blast (after blast, after blast)!  For more on this story, see the July issue of Digging History Magazine on sale here or celebrate the Fourth with a subscription here.

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