~ Discovering Your Family's Past To Shape Your Future ~
there were no capital letters. no seriously, there weren’t; at least not like we have them today. There also wasn’t regular punctuation, and sometimes not even spaces! This can make reading old documents very difficult. Are they decorative? Yes! Are they easily legible? No!
But, since I’m a fan of going cross-eyed and losing my vision, I rejoice in the head-splitting task of deciphering them online or in a musty old archive. These locations are equally enjoyable (unless there’s mold). It’s enjoyable because I get to find dead people… not corpses mind you, but people who have previously passed on, aka ancestors. Having a terminal case of curiosity, I want to know who they were, who their parents were, who their children were, what they did for a living, how much money they made, and what social issues were hot and trending then. I don’t really care what’s trending now, just what was trending then. (My sister says my wardrobe reflects this… I must respectfully disagree.)
Genealogy is in my blood (HA!). I inherited it from my mother, and she inherited it from her great aunt. Of course, being hip and modern (take that Lisa!) I have many more resources at my disposal than just one hundred-year-old letter. In fact, I had a great time taking a fragment of a letter from 1843 addressed to E. L. Bates and identifying not only him but the author of the letter and his family. Why? Because my terminal case of curiosity takes me down all sorts of paths that might lead to identification, not just the standard ones. I’m a thrill seeker, just a documentation-based one.