Week 7 – Historical Documents: Which historical document in your possession are you happy to have? How did you acquire this item? What does it reveal about your ancestors?A few months after I announced to the family I was looking into its history and genealogy I received a large manila envelope in the mail. My mother-in-law had sent me everything she had on paper from her mother. Hand written notes and letters that she photocopied so I would have my own copies for research. These letters were a goldmine of information for me in piecing together something’s about her family. I have added to the five initial ones I received, as her cousin has sent me scanned in copies of ones that she has and I scanned more letters during my last visit.
Family lore vs. actual truth can be a funny thing. She knew all about the rumors, myths, and whispers of scandal in the family, but had no idea about the concrete proof. When I sat down to read the letters I put them in order, oldest to newest, and began to read. The first two were grandmothers writing to their granddaughter, whom they had last seen when she was a small child. After that a brother writes, and an uncle writes telling stories about family roots. Each one was a wonderful peek into life in Maine at the turn of the 20th century.
This one line gave me an opening I could never have dreamed in cracking Eliza Cunningham Greeley’s line.*Image: ....Tim via photopin cc