Saturday, September 27, 2014

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Week 22 - Family Letters

Shauna is back after a very busy August as the National Voluntary Coordinator of Family History Month, and a HUGE congratulations is in order for all her work and enthusiasm in making the Month bigger and better than last year.  There was an impressive number and variety of activities across the country and I'm sure a lot of people were delighted by the offerings.  Well done to everyone involved.

Shauna's Week 22 topis is family letters and she tells us that "with the widespread adoption of email , Facebook and other social media as a means of communicating with family members, letters and correspondence between people is becoming a rarity. As family historians however, we cherish finding long lost letters written by our ancestors or correspondence highlighting family events and containing information that we are not likely to find in official documents."

I have very little in the way of old family letters but did manage to save some correspondence from one of my great-uncles, who I wrote to in my teens when I first became interested in my family history.  G-Uncle Russell had a very individual style of writing and sometimes it took a bit of effort to decipher exactly what he meant, but I am so glad I saved his letters - and that they were not among the many things my father threw away without my knowledge during one of his 'cleaning up' sessions.

Like many others, I rarely handwrite letters today, finding e-mail so much faster and easier, but looking back over the few family letters I have, I must say it is a shame.  I do print out and save important e-mails, but it just isn't the same as a letter someone has taken the time to sit down and write by hand.  It may be harder to read but a handwritten letter is just more personal - but it is also a dying art.

Shauna tells us "this blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world."  Read Shauna's article on Family Letters here.

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