Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Blogging Looked Like A Hundred Years Ago

This is one of the ways I spend my spare time.
I have collected every single article written by Sarah Agnes Darling, and am currently in the process of transcribing them.
Why?
Because, dry as they are, they provide a glimpse into the life of my family, and their extended relatives, some of whom I never knew were related until I started collecting this stuff.
There are articles like this for every little town in that area, none of which have been indexed or put into a searchable format. If you want them, you have to go through all the microfilm and photo-copy the pages you need. That's why its taken me 4 years to get it all (Thanks Mom!) (She's faster than I am at getting them, though it still takes her years to read a census page, but I am grateful, nonetheless.)

It occurred to me today, as I was working on the year 1911, that this is the precursor to blogs. They were written mostly by women and had to do with their kids, life around them, and the social scene, such as it was. OK, so they didn't have all the bells, whistles, and gadgets we have to spruce up a page; some of them, like Ag, are downright terse, but take a look - its uncannily like a blog page in content.

A Couple of Early Bloggers? Nah, but we can pretend they are! (Elizabeth Snyder and daughter?)


Kaneville, January 13th, 1908
(Reported by Sarah Agnes Darling)

We are having beautiful winter weather for this time of year.
Mr. and Mrs. J.V. Toy, of Oil City, spent Sunday with the latter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Gahring.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Gahring will soon move to this place and live in the house Mrs. Sara Moyer recently vacated.
Mrs. Maud Kirkwood, Donald McKissick, and Baby Harper are on the sick list. Charles McKissick and J.E. Cunningham were quite ill during the past week, but are both able to be around again
Mrs. Catherine Thompson spent last Friday afternoon with Mrs. Jacob Toy.
Floyd Darling entertained five of his young friends on Friday evening. The games were Donkey and Flinch.
Carl Kirkwood, Ethel and Lester Toy have the chickenpox.
Miss Becca Cherry called on Mrs. S.A. Darling Saturday afternoon.

Kaneville, January 21st, 1908
(Reported by Sarah Agnes Darling)

Rev. Swanson, of Diamond, held services in the U.B. church on Sunday morning at 11 o’clock.
Mrs. S.A. Moyar and Mrs. A.J. Kirkwood spent last Sunday here and attended preaching at Cherrytree on Sunday evening.
Mrs. William Toy and Mrs. S.A. Darling spent Sunday at Dempseytown with Mr. and Mrs. William Hill.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Neely were called to Breedtown on Friday by the death of the latter’s father, Edward Hancox.
About seventeen friends spent a very pleasant time on Monday evening at the home of Mrs. William Toy. They were gathered to celebrate the 16th anniversary of John A. Toy’s birthday. At 11 o’clock a dainty lunch was served and the games were Pedro and Flinch.

Kaneville, January 28th, 1908
(Reported by Sarah Agnes Darling)

Quite a number around here are sick with the grippe.
About sixty-five members and visitors attended the Kaneville Aid Society meeting at Mrs. Mary Kirkwood’s last Thursday. The money taken in amounted to 8.50. The Aid Society will take dinner with Mrs. Susan Thompson on Feb. 6th. All are cordially invited to attend.
Mrs. Barbara Long, of Oil City, spent Sunday with her sister, Mrs. William Toy.
Mrs. S.A. Darling and son, Floyd, spent Sunday in Rouseville with Mr. and Mrs. William Darling and Grandma Darling. Grandma is 89 years old and quite lively for her age.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hunter, of Rouseville, spent a day recently with the latter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Neely.
Mrs. Sara Cunningham and Miss May Kirkwood spent Saturday with Mrs. Jennie Cunningham, of Oil City.

6 comments:

FairiesNest said...

I wonder how one plays "Donkey and Flinch"? The latter sounds a bit risky...

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Fascinating! And I hate to think what "the grippe" could be (though I have my suspicions). What an amazing look into the past.

we_be_toys said...

Flinch is a card game, introduced in 1905, so says the Google.
Pedro is also a card game for 4 people.Developed in the US in the 19th c. as a variant Pitch.
Donkey? I don't know...a game where you kick some ass? Or maybe its Pin The Tail On The Donkey. Either way, these guys know how to rock (not so much)!!

flutter said...

how bad would it SUCK to have to wear those hats?

liv said...

this reminds me of how glad i am that my grandmother transcribed her grandfather's journey into Texas in the 1800s. v. interesting.

Sarah is Ok said...

I linked from Putabulous b/c I liked your comment there today. I love this kind of stuff and think your project sounds great.