So I’ve been daydreaming about this “book” since I wrote my post yesterday. What would I like for it to look like? What will be the hardest part? What types of details would I like to add? It shouldn’t be about making it “book length” but rather about making it interesting and giving a picture of what life would have been like. How do I feel about making up details to illustrate typical events of the time? How am I going to find those things out?
For me, the hardest part of writing is ALWAYS getting it started. That whole “I’m looking at a blank page – now what?” panic. So I thought I would start just by thinking what type of information I’d like to add to “Elias was born in 1845 in Russell County, Kentucky.” I’d like to use this section to talk about his parents. How long had they been married? How many children did they already have? What was George’s (Elias’ father) occupation? Was that the most common profession of the area? What was the area like? How many people in the county? Can I narrow the county down to a certain town? How many people in that town or township? Can I use tax records to compare this family with other families? Who was the closest neighbor? Is it possible that the woman of that household helped Elias’ mother through childbirth? Were there other family members in the area to help?
OK, so I’m still brainstorming. Tomorrow is going to be my “nothing but genealogy” day – assuming I finish all my school lessons today (really only have 1 subject left to figure out, so should be doable). I’m hoping that by football time this afternoon, I’ll be ready to start doing some “simple stuff” like analyzing census records – which I already have – to answer some of the questions I’ve listed above. Then I can start thinking of other sources that might help me answer the remaining questions. When I go to the library, I never leave the genealogy section. Maybe it’s time to start looking outside of the genealogy department to see what other sources will help me find some historical info for the area.
I absolutely MUST have a first draft of this section finished by tomorrow afternoon. Once it’s started, I’ll be more motivated to keep expanding it. And by writing that goal on this blog, I’m holding myself accountable to get this done.