Monday, 25 August 2014

Dear Diary

When I turned 12 my grandmother bought me a diary. It came with a key that did little to keep out my brothers, until my parents laid down the law! A diary is private and sacred! I didn't write in it every day, but going through my teenage years that diary was my best friend. I was always better at writing than at talking, so I told my diary my greatest fears, my happiest moments, and my deepest secrets.  (Don't anyone go looking for it, as I burned it along with all my love letters from old flames the night before I got married.) New chapter. 

In years past settlers and voyagers wrote in diaries, journal or logs to tell of their experiences, and often mentioned the names of friends, neighbours and colleagues.  So you don't necessarily have to find a diary written by YOUR ancestors, but perhaps someone they knew or travelled with. A diary can also tell you what your ancestor may have been experiencing doing the same thing.  At Internet Archive there are many diaries from senators, earls, lords, ladies and barons. Also historical diaries of soldiers of the Revolution and other wars.

In 1908 Ernest Bosdin Leech of Manchester wrote in his diary:

"After lunch went to the bookbinders and gave him the names for the outsides of the family diaries. They look very well. I am glad to see them fixed so that on my death they will not be ruthlessly thrown away. But it is a costly hobby tidying up one's ancestors and it may all be wasted if the next generation takes no interest in such things".

Will you leave a journal or diary for your descendants to find?

Search "diaries" or "diary" or "journals" "life and times", and try with a surname, town or state name, or the words voyage or genealogy. Also check out local libraries and museums for diaries or journals of early settlers.

I have listed a few interesting finds below.

Relevant Links

The Diary of Silvester Treleaven of Moretonhampstead, Devon

The diary of Captain John Thomson: Orilla pioneer of 1832

On the north trail: the Treaty 8 diary of O.C. Edwards (Alberta)

Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains: a diary of a journey through the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories in 1859-1860

Nailer Tom's Diary, 1778-1840 (incomplete), North Kingston, Rhode Island

Diaries of court ladies of old Japan

New-Englands Memoriall - covering 1602-1668

Life in southern prisons; from the diary of Corporal Charles Smedley, of Company G, 90th regiment Penn'a volunteers, commencing a few days before the "battle of the Wilderness", in which he was taken prisoner, evening of the fifth month fifth, 1864

Early New York Diaries Originals

Alice Winifred 'Connor Professional Diaries (a few years - immigration worker in Boston)

The Diaries of three Surgeons of Patna, India 1763

Three military diaries – Grotton, Mass : Diary kept by Lieut. Dudley Bradstreet, April 1745 - Jan. 1746. Diary kept by Sergeant David Holden, Feb. 20 - Nov. 29, 1760. Diary kept by Lieut. Amos Farnsworth, April 19, 1775 - May 6, 1779

The private diaries of Empress Marie-Louise wife of Napoleon I (published 1922)

Two Unpublished Diaries, Connected with the Battle of the Boyne, 1856

Wayside Inn front door diaries (several years) - Sudbury, Mass

President Washington's Diaries, 1791-1799

New England Diaries 1602-1800: catalogue of diaries orderly books and sea journals

Journals, diaries and letters written by women on the Oregon Trail 1836-1865

Memories of a hostess: chronicle of friendships, diaries of Mrs James T Fields

Diaries of cruise with privateer from Boston, capture, ordeals in Old Mill Prison at Plymouth, England, attempted escapes, and release (handwritten)

Brisbin's stories of the plains; or, twelve years among the wild Indians : chiefly from the diaries and manuscripts of George P. Belden. Together with a biographical sketch of "Belden, the white chief..." 1881

The Holyoke Diaries, 1709-1856 (Genealogy of the Holyoke Family)

Log Books, 1895-1908, Camp Keith and Camp Ruth, Maine (Vol 1-4)

Nailer Tom's Diary, 1778-1840, Journal of Thomas B Hazard of Kingstown, RI

Diary of Anna Green Winslow: a Boston school girl of 1771

The "Lady Ramsay" Hunting diary 1884 England (filled out by unknown person)

A Journal, written by Moses Leon Hyneman (go back a couple pages for index)

Nikki Kiko Su 1915 - Japanese Diary - subject Bash Matsuo 1644-1694

American revolutionary diaries : also journals, narratives, autobiographies, reminiscences and personal memoirs catalogued and described with an index of places and events.

The Negro trail blazers of California : a compilation of records from the California archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, in Berkeley; and from the diaries, old papers, and conversations of old pioneers in the State of California.

Diary and account book of Samuel Ward, Jr., 1792 Dec. 24 - 1794 Sept.8. (US)

My Military Record: a Diary for a Soldier (1917) Blank

Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia 1884

Notes and gleanings: being leaves from a diary of a voyage to and from Australia and New Zealand in 1893

The Difficulties of my Position: The Diaries of Prison Governor John Buckley (AU)

On the Anzac Trail:  Extracts from the Diary of a New Zealand Sapper - WWI 1916

Diaries of Oregon Pioneers

Paper Trail: Guide to Overland Pioneer Names and Documents -  $$ Searchable

Writing a Diary for your Desendants

Top Free Diary Apps

Free OnLine Diary

Writing Your Memoirs for Descendants: Lorine McGinnis Shulze $

More Diaries on Internet Archive...

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