I was impressed — and rather envious — to see the results of last week’s survey and realize that over a quarter of respondents own at least one ancestor’s original diary. That number seems to me to be quite high. Fortunately, many of our readers seem to come from families who valued their history or were, perhaps, simply packrats.
Carol R. Austin of Garden Grove, California, wrote about her research into two diaries:
I transcribed my great-grandmother’s diary of a trip from her home in Puyallup, Washington, back to her hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio, by Model T in 1926. I mapped their travels and annotated the diary to identify the family members they visited along their route, which went through Oregon, California, and Oklahoma, among other states. Later, I was asked to transcribe an 1867 diary written by an unidentified schoolgirl at the Patterson Institute in Kentucky. The diary had been found in the effects of a cousin after she died, and no one was able to read it or knew who wrote it. After I transcribed it, I was able to identify the diarist as Eliza “Nina” Boone (1848–1909), the paternal grandmother of the cousin, Nina Boone (Willmott) Tucker Gibbons. It must have been given to the younger Nina since she was named after her grandmother. Priceless!
A Recommended Website for British and Irish Researchers
In his latest Tour Talk newsletter for Great Migration Tour participants, Robert Charles Anderson, Director of the Great Migration Study Project, recommends Geograph Britain and Ireland. He writes:
On the home page, this website describes its mission as follows:
The Geograph Britain and Ireland project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.
11,338 contributors have submitted 2,897,398 images covering 265,092 grid squares, or 79.9% of the total.
The home page also includes a very small map of Great Britain and Ireland. Clicking on this map allows you to zoom in until you reach a page devoted to one of the grid squares. There you will find one or more images, almost always including the church if there is one in that grid square. Once you have had your fill of that particular grid square, there is also a little box which allows you to move to the next adjacent grid square in any direction. Or, you may return to the original map and set off in another direction.