Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Genealogy History In Ancestors Handwritten Notes

Reading the old genealogy booklet that belonged to my 2nd great grandmotherman_writing_a_letter revealed some of her personality.  Many of the entries were made at the same time.  The writing style and intensity is identical for those entries.  The remainder of the entries were obviously made at or near the time of the event they recorded.

Her handwriting witnessed that some of the entries were made quickly when she had time and the fact crossed her mind.  Some entries were in pencil, others in ink.  My favorites are those that were written when she had time.  The shape of her letters is full and polished.  If she was really happy about a name or event, she left an emphatic period at the end of the entry.  If she wasn't as pleased, her writing tilted back a little more than normal entries.

I can use the entries she made about her own children, parents and siblings as primary sources because they were made on the day or within a day of the event happening.  The remaining entries only rate secondary value because I don't know when they were recorded in relation to the event or even if her spelling  matched the spelling given by the parents of the child.

All of the entries are very valuable to me as a genealogist.  In several cases, her entry is the only written record I've found for several events in the lives of her family.
As important as the entries are, they aren't as precious to me as the booklet itself.  It was hers.  She touched it.  She wrote it.  She emoted in it at times usually with symbol ticks but once or twice with the wrinkle circle of a tear splash.

I have an old photo of her that tells part of her story, but that representation of her life isn't as rich as her handwriting.   I'm delighted to have both'  I cherish the booklet a little more than her photo.

Are we leaving parts of ourselves like handwritten letters, booklets and stories for our descendants?   Will the digital images and facts that they find about us tell as much of our story as they'd find in several lengthy letters or meaningful documents?