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Today We Go Home


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How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 15

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3442

How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

Emily's diary directly influenced Sarah's decision to join the military. Imagine one of your ancestors left a diary detailing his or her experiences during an interesting time in history. What would you do with that information? What do you already know about your ancestor and the time he or she lived? How might learning more about this ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?


Posted Sep. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I would love to get my hands on a diary from one of my ancestors. It would be amazing to read about their experiences and the various challenges they faced.

I think more than anything, this information would inspire me to be even braver in my own pursuits and how I react to life's curve balls.

Just knowing that so many others came before you is a powerful reminder that you're not alone.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 175

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

This would be an exciting development that I would treasure. I recently read American Ghost, which revolves around the diary of an ancestor of the author. The connection to ancestors if difficult to establish, but a diary would be a gold mine allowing you to learn about your own past, but also the see the world of those days through the eyes of someone alive at that time. I fear most of my ancestors were struggling to survive and had little time to write in a diary. The romanticism attached to recording your thoughts and daily activities was not attractive or available to most of my predecessors.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 190

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I think I'd be fascinated. The diaries I read while researching Iowa history were some of the most interesting literature I've read. I haunted the historical library for months reading. (This was back in the olden days when there was no "online.")


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annettes

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 35

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I have read some descriptions of my mother's early life. It is amazing that she and my uncle went through many hard times (in the 1920's) and both overcame their problems and became productive citizens.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 114

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

It would be very exciting. I would love to know more about my ancestor's and their lives. What a treasure it would be to pass on to my children.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 46

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I in fact do have my grandfather's diary that he kept while in the army during WWI. It provides a fascinating look at what the soldiers went through in the trenches. He started it the day he went in and stopped writing the day he went home. I am sad that he had to go through that experience (or that anyone did), but it made me feel closer to him since it gets inside his head. I would love to have diaries of other ancestors too so that I could understand their lives better.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 189

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

What a treasure! While I do not have diaries, I do have letters that were written to my great grandmother from her beloved brother in 1907-1908, and from her son who was in WWII and died at the age of 25. I also have notes that my great grandfather wrote about the funerals of his parents in 1913 and 1919. These handwritten funeral notes included mini biographical info, circumstances around the deaths, and much more. As someone who does genealogical research, I truly treasure these letters and old photos! I feel so much closer to my family because of them. I never knew any of these letter writer. They died years before I was born, but I did know my great grandmother, the keeper of these treasures. I am so grateful to her she kept them.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 117

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

It would be very exciting. Several years ago when my grandmother passed away, I was helping my mother and aunts go through my grandmother's things. We came across a large box with tons of old letters. It was great fun reading them and putting together a timeline. Some of them were letters my grandmother kept from my mom when we lived in Germany and I had just been born. Apparently, I was a handful.


Posted Sep. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 37

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I would be keenly interested in any diary from any ancestor. I have newspaper clippings for several of my ancestors, but nothing to fill in the blanks. For instance, my grandfather was a wealthy gentleman from Georgia and owned a big home. I only know this from pictures I have. Rumor has it that he was walking home drunk one night, had a heart attack and died slumped over one of the neighbor's fences only to be found that way in the morning. I think it would be interesting to hear the story from his side instead of him being a skeleton in the family closet!


Posted Sep. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

How would it affect me....well I guess it would depend on what their experiences were. I don't have access to any personal written material but have read genealogy records from both sides of my family. It is interesting how similar you can be to relatives you've never met ot that lived long ago.


Posted Sep. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kmfox57

Join Date: 07/21/19

Posts: 7

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I would love to have some first hand accounts of my family history. While I have heard all the "legends" and know much of the geneological timeline, a diary or other personal record would make it so much more real and really give some connection. What little I have in writings and oral history has done just that.


Posted Sep. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 353

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I think it would be great to know about my ancestors. I recently went through some old photos a could barely remember the people. When I was young, I recall my grandparents and other relatives telling me stories. I remember not being very interested. I’d give anything to hear those stories now.


Posted Oct. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I have a small diary my father kept during his early years and a first hand account of my great great grandmother's life that has been handed down through the generations. My children have begged me to write my down my life experiences.


Posted Oct. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

I think that would be ideal. To hear of an ancestors life, in their own words, would be wonderful. Be it good or bad it would be the next best thing to being able to speak to the person in real life. You might not get all the answers you want, but it would be the closest to first hand you could get.


Posted Oct. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 102

RE: How might learning about an ancestor's experiences through a diary affect you?

Wow that would be something. My ancestors are English soon after the Mayflower and Italian 1900 came to America. What would they share? Did they even keep a diary. Sandra Dallas writes a wonderful book about a found diary of a woman’s journey out west.


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