Thursday, August 27, 2015
Treasure Chest Thursday : That Old Red Notebook
Never judge a book by its cover, even if it is just an old Blue Horse Class Notebook with a 25 cent price printed on it. Recently, I was loaned the notebook pictured above. It was a remnant of the contents from the home of a deceased relative. Somehow it was one of those things left behind, something no one seemed to want, and I had the chance to browse through it.
The first few pages of the notebook were blank, but then it was like opening a treasure box. That red spiral notebook turned out to be a handwritten book of basic Whittemore family information. Ancestors. Children's names. Marriages. Birth and death dates. All stuff worth noting and checking to see that it was recorded in my copy of Family Tree Maker. I even looked through Evidence Explained as I tried to construct a source citation for the notebook.
The real surprise was seeing that parts of the notebook were written in first person, "my Grandmother Parthenia", "my Mother and Father". My favorite note was the statement that "if they [relatives living elsewhere] are still there, I am going to get in touch with them". Several times the writer seemed to add information at a later date, evidenced by a change in ink color, arrows, or relationship notes. And like any notebook, there were things written on the back of a page or on a scrap of paper placed between pages.
The notebook also mentioned a long-standing brick wall concerning a Whittemore brother who apparently left home in the mid-1800s, and the family "never heard of him any more after he left". All of this has given me a real connection with the writer, my husband's Great Aunt, about whom I had previously only heard of her sweet, gentle nature. Now I feel she was a kindred genealogy spirit.
The information in the notebook appears to have been the foundation for a family tree drawn years ago by two of the writer's sons. My photocopy of the notebook will now share the folder with my copy of that family tree. Because of the notebook, we now have an idea as to how the information in the family tree may have been gathered. I'm just glad that old red notebook wasn't tossed into a trash can, and that it can continue to share family information.