Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From Timelining to Calendaring: 100th Post

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you work on your family history that when you go to put the facts together, it just seems like something's missing? Do you ever feel like the facts are far and few between? Have you ever considered that perhaps THAT is where the story lies...between the dates?

Last year I was having some trouble getting the myriad of facts and dates in order, so I began with constructing a timeline. At that point, I had selected my husband's grandfather, Hezekiah Carter, whom he had never met, as the focal point of the timeline. Hezekiah Carter's Family Timeline covered the dates 1874-1922: the former date being the year of Hezekiah's birth, and the latter date the year of Hezekiah's oldest child's marriage.

Since that time I have decided that the story actually begins with Hezekiah's father, Isaac Carter, since Hezekiah's noted success is seen as a reaction to his father's impoverished upbringing and legacy. Now the timeline begins with the year 1839, the year of Isaac's birth as the fourth child born to parents who died early in life. The second date in the timeline is September 1853, the date of the Sheriff's order for the four orphaned children of Isaac and Rhoda Carter to appear at the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions with their grandparents, Kelsor and Sarah Braddock.

But what happened between the years of 1839 and 1853? 
Besides two census records (1840 & 1850), 
no recorded details remain.

Until the time of Isaac's release from his apprenticeship bond to William Temple, dates remain approximately five or six years apart. Suddenly, they begin to fall annually...and then, when Isaac applies for his Civil War Pension File, the dates become regular within a two year span.

My question became:
How do I track the dates in REAL TIME so that I might gain a feeling for what it was like to wait for the response from a letter...
I was actually in church when the revelation came upon me. Noted Bible Study leader Beth Moore had stated in a DVD that the Gabriel was not only the angel of announcements, but he was also the calendar keeper. That resonated well with me. The Calendar Keeper!

After church this past Sunday, I made a trip to my favorite office supply store and purchases three 14-month desk pad calendars similar to this one, and some small white multi-use labels. When I got home that evening, I started the task of affixing the labels over the numbers of each day on the first calendar.

I then went online and Googled "1864 Calendar." The site < timeanddate.com > offered exactly what I was looking for! This site also shows me the cycles of the moon and on what days holiday observances fall. Other calculators are included for:

  • Duration between two dates
  • Date calculator
  • Birthday calculator
  • Seasons calculator, etc.

Now to copy the dates onto my calendar. 
I am anticipating that there will be a more defined space between dates that might help me imagine all the ordinary daily occurrences that took place which made the time seem to drag on. After noting dates directly connected with Isaac and his family, I will add dates of local historical account. And THAT, I believe, will help me to SEE & FEEL just a portion of the passage of time in the life of Isaac Carter.






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