I'm a big proponent of the FAN club principle in genealogy. I believe this term was coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills, a legend in the genealogy community. FAN stands for Friends, Associates and Neighbors. The lesson here is that you often need to expand your research to those people who surround your ancestor to find information about your ancestor.
I've been on a mission to prove who the parents of my 3rd great grandmother are. So I expanded my search to include extended family. I kept coming forward in the generations hoping an obituary would give some family history. I saw the name of a child transcribed on a census record as Morinda. I scratched my head on that one and pulled up the record to look at the image myself. It looked like Norinda to me - not much better than Morinda. I had to find out what her real name was so I did more searching. (I love Ancestry.com!) I found another census with her name listed as Normandine. Could that be the correct name? I had to find out. I finally hit pay dirt with a marriage record and had to chuckle. Her name was Norma Dean. I'd seen Dean used as a middle name for several people in this family. I didn't get any closer to discovering my distant ancestors, but I did feel a sense of satisfaction at finding our who Morinda truly was.
While I was working on this extended family group, I realized that their small town did have newspapers transcribed and online at MyHeritage.com. I love when this happens. Small town newspapers are great for documenting every movement of our ancestors. Contemporaries in those small towns may have a different view. My dad used to say that if you passed wind (not his actual words), everybody knew it. So I spent several hours looking up important dates hoping that I'd find obituaries. I found several. One that really touched me was about a 1 year and 19-day old girl who died of double pneumonia. It talked about her sunny disposition and how greatly she'd be missed. The story touched me. But what also impacted me was if I hadn't been scouring through these papers, I would never have known about little Joyce Ann Fallon from Appanoose County, Iowa. She died between census years. Yet again, I'm no closer to finding those elusive great grandparents, but I did find out about a little girl who died way too young and now you know about her too.