The Ultimate Paper Trail

It is downright creepy how much personal info can be obtained from the Internet. Well, it just got a bit creepier when created the first searchable database of Census records dating from 1790 to 1930. We thought this would be a nifty way to learn more about some media folk, but it’s not as easy as it seems — you try tracing Wolf Blitzer’s line back to the 1930 Census (no really, try and let us know). Still, we were able to uncover some fun facts.

We learned Tim Russert‘s great-grandfather was born in Germany and his grandfather was an engineer. Fascinating. Russert’s paternal grandfather, Frank, also took in boarders in their home.

While Helen Thomas is a first generation American, our research indicates that Ben Bradlee’s American roots can be traced back to the early 1600s on his father’s side of the family. His maternal great-grandfather emigrated from Germany in 1860 before marrying into an already long-line of American lineage, with more than a 100 years of family living in the Boston area. Guess there is no question which side of the Civil War his lineage stands.

Maybe it’s because of the inherent difficulties in searching’s website that these fine media folks just make our lives easier by writing their autobiographies.