During this A to Z Challenge I will, as usual, be focusing on family history. I want to do two things. First, I want to show that finding one document can lead you to other information in ways you never expected. Second, I want to follow some of those leads to bring more humanity to the formerly enslaved Cleages of Athens, McMinn County Tennessee, and their community.
During the past year I have completed two long running investigations where I posted daily, for 42 days each. In the first I used letters written by my grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage, to her friend, Homer, from 1903 to 1905. In the second I used testimony from Katie Cleage’s Widow’s Pension File to tell her story in the words of those involved.
While doing them I learned the value of a good title. I hope that this knowledge will stand me in good stead during this year’s challenge and give me a little more leeway in presenting the posts in both alphabetical and time order.