My Grandmother’s Letters

Pearl Reed (later Cleage) about 1904.

During the past month I have been working on the forty letters I recently found written from 1903 to 1905 by my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage to her friend Homer Jarrett. Homer was a cousin of her sister Minnie’s husband, James Mullins.

After reading through the letters, I transcribed them. It wasn’t always easy because her hand writting seems hurried and is hard to read. There were a few words I couldn’t make out at first but after going back, I have figured out most of them.

Next, I looked in newspapers of the day to find out about the temperatures when she said it was hot or cold. I looked for announcements about concerts, church events and people that she mentioned. I googled the books she wrote about.  I looked for how much money a black laboring man made during those years. It wasn’t much. I’ve wondered about their Christmas and Thanksgiving menus.

Now I am trying to reconstruct the house she lived in with her older brothers and mother. I found the house in the Sanborn and Bast Atlas maps. At first I was happy with that, then I wanted to know what the house looked like. For several days I’ve been looking at pictures online of historic houses in Indianapolis, Indiana and at drawings of possible layouts. Now I’m wondering about furniture.

The letters themselves gave me a window into the life my grandmother was living back in the early 1900s. The other information helps me to light up the rooms I’m looking into. Eventually I will be ready to put it all together.

An Award Free Blog

If anybody wants to use this, feel free. No need to link back either.
If anybody wants to use this, feel free. No need to link back either.

After reading To Award Or Not to Award on the blog Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~Finding Family about giving and receiving blogging awards.  I was sorry to learn that people are falling out over this. I had no idea it was such a loaded topic. I have decided that Catherine is right. It is only fair if bloggers, like me, who never fulfill the requirements of passing on the awards to other bloggers, let people know so that when awards are being given out, they go to people who will do all that is required.  I googled and found quite a few “Award Free Blog” badges but I decided to design my own and post it in my sidebar.  This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the awards I’ve received or that I am judgmental about who gets or gives awards.  I do and I’m not.

Thank You and Some Thoughts About Blog Awards

There has been a flurry of blog awarding going on recently and I have received a few.  I love knowing that people read my blog and I’m overjoyed when they like it.  I must admit though that I have always been uneasy about the passing the award along part and even the posting and writing about it part.  It took as long for me to write this post about awards as it does to write a regular blog post.

Awards I received during the award frenzy of 2009-2010.
Awards I received during the award frenzy of 2009-2010.

I remember the blogging award frenzy of 2009 -2010. It finally reached the point where there was nobody left to receive the awards because everybody had been nominated at least once. It hasn’t gotten quite that far this time but it’s heading there. This post – Blogging Genealogy: Blog Awards and SEO and the discussion now happening on Pauleen’s blog here – Blog of the Year 2012 Award Updates raise some interesting questions and concerns about blog awards in general.

Instead of fulfilling the requirements for the awards, I would like to thank everybody who has given me an award and those who have read my blog and commented either here or on facebook or Google + or Follow Friday me on Twitter, and also those who read and think about what I post without commenting.  Instead of passing on the awards I am going to continue visiting blogs I enjoy, commenting when I have something to say and I’m going to set up a list of blogs that I read regularly and enjoy so that my readers can check them out for themselves if they want to.

Now the awards and Thank yous.

Because of the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award” I discovered how to see the number of comments every reader ever made on my blog since moving to this site.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  Sheryle of  A Hundred Years Ago was my most prolific commentator with 74 comments.

THANK YOU Liv, Catherine, Pauleen, Julie, Kathy, Shelley and Andrea for the following awards

award-wonderful-team-member-readership-awardLiv of  Claiming Kin

Catherine of Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~Finding Family

Shelly of My Genealogical Journey/Danish West Indian Family History

Andrea Kelleher of How did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey.

Yvette Porter Moore of Root Digger Genealogy

Wendy of  Oregon gifts of Comfort and Joy

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg


Pauleen of Family History Across the Seas

Julie of Anglers Rest




Kathy of Abbie and Evaline selected me for the Liebster Blog Award – “liebster” meaning “dearest” in German.