Research like a pro

You have found or inherited a diary or bungle of letters. Good for you!

  • Jan. 6, 2016 2:00 p.m.

by Bob Maynard

The Pipestone Flyer

 

You have found or inherited a diary or bungle of letters.  Good for you!

First of all, sort them out and hope you have dates and names because that is crucial.  Are the letters dated clearly? Do you know where and to who the letters were sent?

Do not give the envelopes away as they are dated and the name of the town is on them and that can tell a lot about your ancestors, like where they lived and for how long.

Some of the letters may have more than one page so go through them with great care.  It is vital to preserve their sequence and any other information such as cards and newspaper clippings that will have great research gems.

Now the diary will also let you see what happened daily or weekly. Who came to visit, who went where and sometimes, when a friend was born, married and died and to whom.

Do not be taken back by the writing unfamiliar as it may be.  It may take you awhile to decipher words, so persist.  An abbreviation may be a reference to someone or something, but their initials may remain obscure until you have read further and then know what or who it is.  These are all important.

I will carry on this next month.

Bob Maynard is a local genealogy expert and is a regular contributor to The Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer.

 

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