_August 7 1906
"cloudy misty day we went to Collins looked at city property 75"
August 8 1906
"showery Ray commenced to fall plow it is Rays birthday he is 20 years old today 75"
August 9 1906
"clear the shocks are too wet to thrash 80"
August 10 1906
"clear Mary and Willis went home 86"
August 11 1906
"clear cool day we went to Baxter talked to Mr. Arnold about buying his farm property" [no temperature entry]
The above entries were taken from the daily farm journal of my husband's 2nd great-grandparents, Daniel and Lovina [Logsdon] Haley whose farm was just outside of Collins, Iowa. The entries were made by Lovina, and the 2 journals that my father-in-law now owns span 1 Jan 1900 through 31 Aug 1907. Like many farmers' journals of that time period, the entries include a short description of the weather, the temperature from the hottest part of the day, and what was done on the farm. However, there is personal information included at times as is evidenced above by Lovina including their son's birthday in the 8 Aug 1906 entry.
So what does this have to do with technology and genealogy? Well, it made me think about the journaling of today and who is doing it and how. Clearly Daniel and Lovina needed this information about the farm in order to reference it in later years, but Lovina included personal items in it as well. I think I like it more than if she had written detailed accounts of their days. It leaves me to dream about those small details that managed to be significant enough to her that she included them in her brief entries.
I know my old calendars are full of mundane things like,
"Take kids to BBall practice C-5:30pm R-6:30pm."
"Go to store. Don't forget T.P."
"C's birthday - take out to eat."
"R's birthday in 2 wks ~ what to get?"
I think they're mundane, but will my descendants? Will they wonder about what I didn't write? Will they care? Will they be able to decipher my handwriting?"
Then this line of thinking made me think of my iPhone and how I could be journaling there, and, of course, that led me to apps. <grin>
I found an app that looked interesting to me. Originally launched in November of 2010, the Path app was relaunched December of 2011. They've dubbed it the "Smart Journal" and it's key features are as follows:
And here's a demo of the Path App:
_I know the Smart Journal feature may sound a little creepy to you, but isn't there a reason why Lovina's and my journal entries are so short? Moms are busy, but the one thing that many people have nowadays in their pocket is a smartphone that is able to do amazing things with technology. What would have Lovina written about if she had had something like this to help her? Would she have written at all? Would it have been about more personal thoughts and feelings? It's something to think about. Additionally, while there is no automatic way to download the data from their site, you can contact them and ask for your data.
Also, I know people often say that we're too busy working going here and going there, that we should slow down and be more like our ancestors, but I've found many kinfolk who traveled here and there for their occupations. They were gone for a lot longer time periods, and how wonderful it would've been if they could've been able to keep in constant contact with their loved ones. It's something to think about, especially when you're sitting there trying to figure out where your ancestor was in 1914 and lamenting the fact they didn't leave a journal or diary behind for you.
There are more journal apps that I'll blog about later, but this one is kind of neat. It's different, and it seems so easy. Perhaps easy enough to persuade reluctant and busy family members and close friends to join and share.
I guess only time will tell the path.
Like the path that Lovina and her Haley farm journals reveal.
Journals that were written on paper in pencil over 100 years ago.
Here's the 'skinny' on the Path App: