Sunday, August 16, 2015

Old Diaries

I'm confident that all genealogists would love to get their hands on old diaries and journals of their ancestors'. My mother loaned me the diaries of my grandmother, Elizabeth Menke Panther from 1975, 1976 and 1980. I just looked through the one from 1975 and discovered several entries that help fill in a few blanks in my genealogy database.

Her brother, Joseph Menke died at 1:30pm on February 23, 1975
It was Norbert and Donna Krogmeier's anniversary on February 8. Norbert was her first cousin, once removed.
Dr. (Frederick H.) Poepsel died on April 3, 1975. I previously didn't have the exact date. Fred Poepsel was her first cousin.

Just an interesting note that they drove by the house she lived in 70-75 years before. Not exactly sure where the house was but I'm thinking it was in Houghton, Iowa.

Joe Rippenkroeger died on August 6, 1975. She wasn't related to him but he is in my database due to all the families intermarrying.

The trick is actually tracking down the old diaries and journals but once you do, really dig in and extract all the genealogical information you can find. You can also see just how busy they were in their day-to-day life. The number of entries are innumerable for her canning or freezing fruits and vegetables, baking cookies, cakes and pies, watching the grandkids, going to church and praying for recently lost loved ones. There are only a few where she mentions "No company". or "Same old stuff". They'll let you really get to know your ancestor as a person.

I didn't post the pages of these diaries to public links because they contain information about people still living but if you are related, let me know and I'll send you the link.


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