Why did I bother to purchase this very old item once owned by someone who may not even be an ancestor? Here's why:
- Mary Weber lived in Lowville, New York when the diary was completed. I consider Lowville my ancestral hometown since my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin was born there in 1896 and his ancestors settled there around 1840.
- Given the commonality of ancestral locations, chances are pretty good that I have some relationship either with Mary Weber or perhaps someone in her diary.
- At the very least, the entries - once transcribed - would give me a better idea of what life was like back in 1869.
- And finally, how could I pass up a chance for such an artifact? While I did have to outbid others, my presumption is that all of us would have wanted to somehow tell Mary Weber's story.
- Transcribing will be very difficult - entries are hard to read, in small print and in pencil. My best bet might be to scan the diary and then use photo editing software to make a negative image and enhance the results.
- The next step is to type the text up probably in Microsoft Word.
- Then I need to select a platform in which to present the text to the rest of the world on the Internet. One option is to use Blogger or WordPress and create a new blog (just what I need, right?) using a diary format, with a post for each day. Perhaps if I start this on January 1, 2010 I can have the posts follow sequentially for 1869.
- Another option is to use one of the newer platforms such Tumblr or Posterous. I like this idea since it would get me to learn a new platform.
- Finally, I could somehow incorporate it into my Lowville Long Ago wiki which is currently offline. One of my genealogy New Year's resolutions is to revive the wiki and make it more robust.
Oh, and by the way, this was just the first Lowville-related item I scored on ebay last week. Next Treasure Chest Thursday I'll post about the 1879 Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of Lewis County, NY booklet I purchased!
© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee