Lisa Alzo, who writes The Accidental Genealogist blog, has brought back a 31-day series of blogging themes called Fearless Females, in honor of celebrating March as Women's History Month. I hope to participate in as many of these blogging prompts as possible this month.
March 8 - Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, a journal or collection of letters?
|A page from Minnie Welch's autograph book|
It was the autograph books that belonged to the teenage Welch sisters that contributed to constructing the family group sheets of the Welch family. With entries such as "From your loving brother, Mark Welch" or "Love, Aunt Winnie," I've been able to learn about the family of Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally of Waterbury, Connecticut.
|Miss Minnie Welch|
of Waterbury, Connecticut
I've scanned all of the pages in Minnie Welch's autograph book and have compiled them into a pdf book that is a work-in-progress. The pages appear as they do in the original book; I only wish I'd begun the transcription a few decades ago before the ink had not deteriorated as much as it has now. I've made an index of the people who signed Minnie's book and even started to do a little bit of research on Ancestry.com about Minnie's friends. What better way to learn more about my great-grandmother than to learn about the friends she associated with as a young woman. This part of the project is still in process.
Minnie's autograph book covers the period from 1883 - 1888, when she was 18 - 23 years of age. The autograph book takes her from her birthplace in Connecticut to the plains of Nebraska in 1888. The last entry in the book is dated January 1888. She married my great-grandfather in Greenwood, Nebraska in December of that year.
The time frame makes me wonder where and how they met. What was their courtship like? How did a young lady from the east fall in love with a hard-working Nebraska farmer whose family had traveled by covered wagon from St. Paul, Minnesota? The answers to those questions may never be known, but what these pages show is that Minnie had a wealth of loving friends and family who undoubtedly contributed to the woman, wife and mother she became.