Wouldn’t you love to research Romanus Ortlip?
While looking for something else, I found the best name ever in the Reading Eagle. Reading, the county seat of Berks Co., Pennsylvania supported quite a few newspapers in their time. Because Reading was the county seat and the economic center of the area, the Reading Eagle had subscribers in many of the smaller outlying towns, villages and borroughs. This is great for genealogical and historical research as newspapers from larger town are more likely to have been preserved, microfilmed, and digitized.
In the 16 December 1885 issue, the Boyertown stringer submitted eight news items, sentences, snippets of news, twenty lines of type including:
- an upcoming 101st birthday anniversary
- two local bank elections
- three illnesses
- a church function
- an out of town marriage of locals
Reading and Boyertown
Boyertown is about 20 miles from Reading, the county seat. In 1857 Boyertown had its own newspaper, the Berks County Democrat. Currently, the Boyertown Area Times handles local news. Boyertown is one of many towns surrounding Reading in Berks Co. within the general distribution or circulation area of the Reading Eagle.
So what caught my eye?
Romanus Ortlip, the groom’s name, stood out and screamed easy research. Leander Montgomery King and his older brother David Orestes King have great first names, standard English surname, in the top hundred surnames in America. The surname Henritze is often paired with standard given names of Thomas, Peter, William, Walter and Charles. In Tennessee, it is not uncommon to have Andrew Jackson or sometimes Andrew Johnson as namesakes, just as in Pennsylvania it is not uncommon to have Benjamin Franklin as a namesake. It doesn’t mean they are relatives. In Berks, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, the name de Benneville is often a middle name, not just in the Bertolet family. But Romanus Ortlip!! Uncommon given name, uncommon surname.
Ben, a common nickname for Benjamin, is also a diminutive or nickname for Bennett, Benson, De Benneville, Bennis, Bengst, Benton and Benedict in addition to Corben, Ebenezer and Reuben.