Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deal with it: the 20th century is history

One way to make sure you have blog fodder is to transcribe and annotate a diary or series of letters. That's being done quite a bit, and I just learned of a quintessentially Midwestern version being done by Sherry Jones of Michigan. "Leaves on the Trudgian Tree" follows the diaries oft her 20th-century relative Lillian Trudgian of rural Galena, Jo Daviess County, in the extreme upper-left-hand corner of Illinois. In recent episodes the family cans catsup by the quart, spends an entire morning doing laundry, goes shopping in Dubuque, and picks up "crabs" at a neighbor's. (Crabapples, that is.) Lillian's 1913-1931 diaries require more annotation than you might think!

It's fun to read the entries, but there's also a genealogical reason to do so, unless your farm people from a century or so ago also kept extensive diaries. You'll want to bookmark this as a reference for your "context file" when writing the family history.

BTW, the surname is from Cornwall.

1 comment:

Sheryl Trudgian Jones said...

Thanks for your comments about Lillian's Diaries. In today's post the harvest continues. And I am going to post a pic of a farm machine that Lillian's father designed and patent. It is at the Galena Historical Museum along with some other items from the Trudgian House.