"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."
Newspaper obituaries are often the only "window" to every day events in a person's life, other than vital records, military records, land records, probate records, etc.
My great-grandfather, Charles Auble (1849-1916) left no personal papers and my grandmother and mother didn't talk about him much, other than to say that he was a painter and a drun,k who died three months after falling down the stairs in their home.
These two newspaper articles provide some glimpses into Charlie's professional life:
1) From the San Diego Union newspaper, dated 25 March 1916, page 12 (accessed on www.GenealogyBank.com):
This article reads:
" Charles Auble, Old Time Painter, Dead
"Departed Brother Leaves Widow and Daughter to Mourn Departure -- Funeral Will Be Saturday Afternoon
"Charles Auble, an old time member of the Painter's Union, died Thursday night at his home, 767 Fourteenth street. He leaves a widow, Georgia, one daughter, Emily, to mourn his departure.
"Brother Auble has been a member of the Painter's union for many years, coming to San Diego from Chicago about five years ago, and immediately affiliating with local No. 333 in San Diego.
"Funeral services will be held at the Bradley & Woolman chapel at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon, interment being in Greenwood cemetery. All members of Painter's union and friends are requested to be present."
"Honor the Memory of Departed Brother
I learned several things from these articles - that Charlie was a member of the local Painters' Union in San Diego, that he came from Chicago to San Diego five years before his death, the address of their home in San Diego, the funeral home that managed the funeral, and the planned place of his burial. While the obituary says he was to be buried at Greenwood Cemetery, he is actually buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego, and his plot does not have a gravestone.