The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Lloyd Bockstruck.
Family papers such as diaries and letters are important genealogical sources. Not many family historians have such treasure troves among their possessions. Illiterate ancestors could not generate such records. A record that exists in a single copy has a precarious lifespan, so many such records did not survive. Migrating families also faced the reality of discarding non-essential personal property on their removals.
Simply because you do not discover personal papers of your ancestors does not mean, however, that they do not appear in the diaries and correspondence of others.
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