Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good Night, Sleep Tight

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of May 12, 1857:

The Bedbugs.—A man named Aaron Bedbug of Montgomery county, Ky., intends petitioning the Legislature to change his name. He says that his sweetheart, whose name is Oliva, is unwilling that he should be called A. Bedbug, she O. Bedbug, and the little ones little Bedbugs.
Ever wonder if these old news stories were manufactured out of whole cloth? FamilySearch fails to turn up a single individual named "Bedbug," there's nothing in WorldConnect, and neither of the "Aarons" I find living in Montgomery County, Kentucky, in 1860 was a Bedbug or married to a woman named "Oliva."


It must have been something that went out to a lot of newspapers, because the same article shows up in the 13 May 1857 New Hampshire Patriot and the 18 May 1857 Ohio Statesman. (This from Early American Newspapers database)


The Pittsfield Sun as well! (14 May 1857) It's the same exact article. Did they have the AP Newswire back then?


It is amazing how these stories got around--even before there were telegraph wires. Apparently the editors weren't worried about copyright, since the articles were often reprinted word-for-word and without attribution.

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