Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talented Tuesday ~ Libby was a tennis player

I recently started a subscription to GenealogyBank.com, an online newspaper archive. Among the family surnames I entered in the search box, one was Adsit to see if I could find some notice of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit (1897-1983), or her parents, Charles Chapin Adsit (1853-1931) or Mary Bowman Ashby Adsit (1863/66 - 1956) in Chicago, Ill. She had only one sibling, a brother, Charles Chapin Adsit, Jr. (1892-1944). She was known as Libby to everyone, even her grandchildren.

What I found is something I did not know about my grandmother: she and her brother were well-known talented tennis players in their younger years!

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News stories are often shared by news agencies (formerly wire services - see Wikipedia for a brief summary), so an interesting news story can be picked up and printed in newspapers all over the country. On December 21, 1912, there was a "first annual" St. Thomas tennis tournament in Pinehurst, N.C.

The next day, December 22, 1912, there was a news story about this tournament that was picked up by a couple of the newspapers that are available in the online database at GenealogyBank.com. I chose to display the one from the Philadelphia Inquirer because it gives more detail about the matches.

Great uncle Charles C. Adsit, Jr. (age 20) played in the men's doubles and lost in the semi-finals. He and his sister (my grandmother), Elizabeth Adsit (age 15 1/2), lost in the mixed doubles finals.

However, Miss Adsit won the women's finals.

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A few years later another article notes that on August 11, 1916, Elizabeth Adsit (age 19) lost in the quarter-finals women's doubles at the Western tennis championship tournament. The notice to the right is from the Seattle Daily Times of August 12, 1916.

I also found a very similar article in the August 12, 1916, Idaho Statesman. 

Knowing that GenealogyBank.com doesn't have all newspapers scanned and indexed (not by a long shot, I'm sure), I certainly wonder how many other newspapers carried these news stories about my grandmother. I will continue to look for other stories about family members that I can share in future blog posts.

Talented Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. That's incredible! I'd love find some treasures like this one day. There are two newspapers in Columbus, Ohio that I'd love to see online but I don't know when that will happen. One is the Columbus Dispatch and the other is a German newspaper from that city.

    So glad to see how sometimes we can find our ancestors in newspapers we never thought they'd be in. Super cool!

  2. I really enjoy genealogy bank. I find I get sidetracked just looking at the ads and reading the varied articles. Time gets lost when I am on that site!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  3. Thanks for sharing this information. You've taught me a lot about historic newspaper sources that I hadn't previously been aware of.