This afternoon I needed to read ahead and complete multiple letter transcriptions. I generally type up my blog the night before and then set them to post first thing in the morning. One letter per day is relatively easy and not so time consuming. Right now, I don’t have much time. Some of you may know that I am currently enrolled in Boston University’s online Genealogy Certificate program. The first module closed yesterday and I am anxiously awaiting my grade. During the first module, I gained my first experience with writing a research report, the type of report that you would submit to a client after completing research. In the report, I had to properly cite sources and include footnotes. I have had very little experience doing this (even though I have been doing research for family & friends for over a decade). If I want to become a professional genealogist, I need to start acting like one. I decided to take this class to make that next step. I think I did pretty well on this first module. So far, nothing has been particularly surprising but I definitely feel like I am getting my money’s worth out of the experience.
Over the next few days, my grandmother’s letters will be filled with the details of day to day life in Kentland. Just the sort of thing a man far away from home would want to hear about his family and friends. He was making the sacrifice to support and defend his country so that his wife and children could enjoy the life he left behind. There are so many people from Kentland mentioned in the letters that I would love to go find them in the census records, but I just don’t have the time right now. During my BU class, we have had to look at libraries and repositories around the country to see what records are available. There is a wealth of information just like my grandparents’ letters, but they are not available over the internet. Many amateur genealogists or hobbyists just spend time tracing lineages and pouring over census records because that is what is available. My grandparents left a legacy for the town of Kentland that goes beyond what any census record can provide. Their letters give a depth to family research that cannot be found in any census record. As I was transcribing letters today, I decided that in addition to my blog I really need to provide the Newton County Historical Society with copies of the letters and their transcriptions. If my ancestors or relatives were from Kentland, and they were mentioned, even briefly, in one of my grandparents’ letters, I would want to know. Right now, these letters are mine, but I only consider myself a temporary custodian. I hope to pass them on someday so that another generation can learn about our shared history.
I received all the mail yesterday. Nothing today except an adv. Maybe tomorrow something will come. I should be getting a letter from Ruthie soon. She said your mother wants to visit them and if she does maybe they will come on over. I told Ruthie we will come if I feel like it, but the way I feel today it wouldn’t be advisable. Ruth M. wanted us to come over but that is too far from home + Lafayette. We keep pretty well occupied here at home. Had Mark weeding today and John running the sweeper. Mark didn’t get to ride yesterday but is to ride today. I told him he had to work all morning if he rode in the P.M. At present he is resting and John is washing dishes.
(page 2)Mark didn’t finish but the sun was so hot I told him he could finish this evening when it is cool again. Our rainy weather seems to have let up. It hasn’t rained for several days and is getting warm again-Oh me, if it gets hot. The weeds out on the east side by the street are so high I am going to have Mark use Link’s weed cutter this evening. It seems they have grown so much in the last week. Mark likes to swing the weed cutter so he will probably enjoy doing it.
The local papers didn’t come this morning so not having been to town since Monday or seen anyone since then I can’t give you any local news. Haven’t heard anything from Ed since Sunday so don’t know whether he has heard from his enlistment. He said he would let me know when he heard.
(page 3) I wrote you about looking up Charlie Largent but evidently you didn’t or you hadn’t rec’d the letter. Mary said she had heard from Charlie and he hadn’t seen you. However he has seen Hickey, so he must have looked him up when he got to San Francisco. Too you didn’t mention seeing Ocie so you evidently didn’t see her either.
Mr. Zell is living next door but his family won’t come for another week. He has been working around the place trying to get ahead of the weeds. He thought Harlan hadn’t mowed the lawn just before he left but Luik told him Harlan had. I remember, you were home and thought Parr was being generous in mowing the day before he left.
Mark went over to the barn and
(page 4) no one was around so he came back a little dejected. I told him to forget it for a while but you know how he is when he wants something.
This is about all the news for today