Thursday, October 9, 2014

Primary Document Project Part 1

Identify and describe at least 4 but no more than 7 primary sources (print and/or digital) on one of the following three topics:

  1.    A single important event in your family history before 2002
  2.  How your family has changed over time
  3.   A single day in US history from 1866-2002

Good, fun historical research starts with quality, interesting documents that are full of details.

Once you have identified and collected your sources, write up a description of them for me as though they were being catalogued in some archive for people to find 100 years from now.

Not a good description:
DOCUMENT 1: My grandmother Stella is listed on the 1940 census.

Much better description:

DOCUMENT 1: The 1940 census shows my father’s mother Stella Star Liscous  lived at 1122 Baboso Drive, three houses down from where my grandfather Mack Daddy Whoa would move in 1941.
From the entry I can tell that Stella’s father Johhny Rae Liscious was a barber and his wife Pearl Liscious  “kept house.” It shows Stella Star had three sisters (Lou, Bette, Johnny Mae) that were all older than her and a brother that was younger (Johnny Yay). I think Johhny Yay died because I’ve never heard of him or seen him in any family pictures.

Not a good description:                                        DOCUMENT 5: This black and white picture from 1912 shows my grandmother as a baby.

Much better description:                                       DOCUMENT 5: This black and white picture from 1912 shows my grandmother Mary Frances Nolan  on the day she was baptized at St. Mary of Heaven church in Nookynaka, WY. She is wearing the same Irish lace baptismal gown my family has worn since 1837. This photo is 3 inches high and 2 inches across.

Not a good description: 
DOCUMENT 3: This is my father’s college yearbook.

Much better description.                                       DOCUMENT 3:This is my father’s college yearbook from 196x; he attended College of Lakes the year that Forrest Gump ran through, and there’s a picture on page 45 of my dad running next to Forrest. Since Forrest’s beard isn’t too long, I guess this was the beginning of his run.  Dad brought his yearbook to the Concert of Love and collected signatures that include Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Gloria Steinem, Robin Williams and Elvis. I’m not sure if some of these signatures are fake, but the yearbook is real.