The short answer, yes it certainly can! The March 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine features a series of articles, related in one way or another, beginning with a family history mystery. The first article, “Searching for that EUREKA! Moment: Who Were You Roy Simpleman?” began with one of the first Tombstone Tuesday articles I wrote when I started the Digging History blog in October 2013.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of a tragic coal mine explosion in Dawson, New Mexico I wrote an article about the immigrant miners — some who just weeks earlier had stepped foot in America for the first time — killed in the explosion. It was a truly moving article to write. That was October 2013. Fast forward to July 2015 when I received a comment on the article and a request.
As an editor, this “adventure” ironically began with a misspelled name. In writing the article I had quoted from a newspaper article about statements made by one of the survivors, “Roy Simpion”. Doug Simpleman asked me to change the name to “Roy Simpleman”. Roy was Doug’s great-grandfather.
Little did I know the research adventure I was about to participate in. Granted, my part in the process was minuscule but having learned so much from the experience I wrote an article to enlighten (and encourage) other researchers. It was such a fun and interesting experience for me, and for Doug a Y-DNA test offered proof of his research and theories.
About those related articles . . . turns out Doug’s third great grandfather was an early German immigrant to Texas who eventually owned vast holdings of land in Texas and Mexico. He also played a part in the volatile “El Paso Salt War” which some politicians at the time feared would escalate into another war with Mexico. I had written an article about the feud one month after the Dawson article, never-in-a-million-years realizing the two stories would turn out to be linked. Such are the history adventures I trip into!
Keywords: El Paso Salt War, George B. Zimpelman, George Bernhard Zimpelman, Charles Howard, Albert Fountain, Roy Simpleman, Y-DNA, George Walter Kyle Simpleman, Dawson New Mexico, Dawson coal mine explosion 1913, Dawson New Mexico ghost town, family history mysteries, Digging History Magazine, Digging History