I just started the module for my Boston University coursework which discusses evidence and how to evaluate it. Part of the unit will also provide a foundation for making and creating citations. To be a legitimate genealogist, one must use professional standards. This includes citing sources. I have long been frustrated with the amateur family researcher who posts their family tree on Ancestry and then neglects to document their sources. I usually have to take a deep breath and remember that everyone starts somewhere. My frustration rarely leaves my own house or keyboard and I quietly move on to more credible information. Professionals do not wake up one morning and suddenly become so. Genealogy, like so many other fields, is a process. Everyone brings their own unique skill set to the table, whether one is a novice or a well-educated master. A truly professional genealogist recognizes this. Instead of getting frustrated or rude and berating a newcomer, a professional would help and assist the beginner to better their skills and gently suggest better ways of doing things. But I digress. I wanted to talk about indirect evidence.
Through the letters, I am reading about several of my father’s childhood friends and classmates. Donald E. Funk was born a few weeks before my father. They were members of the same high school graduating class. Today’s letter mentions the birth of a baby girl, the daughter of John Sullivan. This girl was born at Watseka Hospital. There were two hospitals that were “close” to Kentland, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana, and Watseka Hospital in Watseka, Illinois. My grandfather sent his patients to both hospitals. Watseka was slightly closer. It was directly west from Kentland, along the present day route US 24.
Now, I have no direct evidence (so far) as to who this baby girl Sullivan was. I do know that she was born during September 1942 which would make her the same relative age as my father. I don’t have access to the 1950 census nor to school records or yearbooks. What I do have is the program from the A.J. Kent High School Class of 1960 Baccalaureate Service. There were 25 students in the class of 1960. One was my father, another was Donald Funk. Among the class list is one Eleanor Darlene Sullivan. So I would submit, based on this piece of indirect evidence, that the baby girl Sullivan born in September 1942 was most likely Eleanor Sullivan.
Well I am downstairs today-the first time in two weeks. I think I’ll be able to stay up now until I go to St. E. (I hope). The shots must be helping me. I am a little tired from moving around but I think I’ll gain strength right along.
Mother rec’d a letter from Dolores this morning. She didn’t get to move to Maryland but is in a new office location that overlooks the Potomac. I hadn’t written her all summer so I wrote her a long letter this morning. This is about
[page2] all I feel like doing.
I had a card from Arleen yesterday. She is coming home tomorrow and says she is feeling good. Bobby & Jimmy are out playing together this morning in front of Statons. The little Zell girl doesn’t play with them. Her mother keeps her home.
I sent your mother a belated birthday gift and card yesterday. I wrote her last week but haven’t heard from her this week yet. I hope she gets her package today.
I rec’d a notice for the auto ins. So will have to pay it tomorrow-and I hate that – 42⁰⁰
[page 3] now that I am up again I want to send out some statements-seems everyone has just forgotten all about what they owe us.
It is still raining almost every day and the grass is still having to be cut every week. It certainly has been a “bugaboo” for the boys. I think this time last year they had quit mowing. My flowers are still blooming profusely. The petunias around the evergreens in front of the house have spread all over the ground. It is about time for this tree in front to be replaced. They may not come around but I am going to mind them. They have to replace two for Link, and the one in Foulkes front yard too. That large blue spruce Bill had put in looks like
[page 4]it won’t make it either.
I see in the paper the John Sullivans have a baby girl-at the Watseka hospital. I looked through the paper for other news items but didn’t see anything that would interest you.
Had a card from Dorothy Parr. Said Harlan is in school from 8 till 4:30. He will be in Indpls until Christmas, then she doesn’t know where he will be.
Christmas-Mark is beginning to plan for gifts now. He is wondering what he will get and give. I told him to wait a while. He is beginning to campaign for a bike. I suppose I’ll get him one if I can.
I feel a little drowsy from all my correspondence, so will try to take a little nap.