Well, they have done it again! Intrepid researchers and writers Jim and Bonnie Garmon of Cocoa have published a new book entitled Early Brevard County Newspapers, which is based on their research in the archives at the Central Brevard Library in Cocoa. To use their own words, "Brevard County historians and genealogists are lucky - while doing research on the history of the area and the people who lived here they are greatly aided by having microfilm of many of the early newspapers of the area." In addition to the microfilm, many of the original papers have also survived and are housed at the Central Brevard Library. As the Garmons point out, we are indeed lucky to have these papers as there are large holes in some of the other records for our county, which the information contained in these papers can often fill. As an example, few of the Brevard's cities have saved their early building permits which makes researching historic structures difficult. However, the newspapers often carried mentions of these permits and frequently elaborated on the structure planned. Local vital records are often incomplete but mentions of marriages and deaths are common in the papers.
Although we are indeed lucky, the Garmons discovered that using these newspapers can sometimes be a confusing prospect. Not unlike other areas, Brevard's newspapers were subject to frequent name changes and changes in ownership and editorship. In order to hash this all out the Garmons used the microfilm and other sources to document these changes. Thankfully, in most cases the editors of days gone by did a good job of noting the changes in the various editions of their own papers, but this could only be documented by going through each paper and noting the changes mentioned. Since some of these papers go back to the 1870's that was no easy feat. As a result we now have a book that is divided into chapters which outline the history of each paper. The book also includes a helpful index!
For anyone doing newspaper research in Brevard County this book is a must! It is available in paperback from lulu.com for $9.95.