I am reaching the final pages of my book & hoping they will be as interesting as the first pages. Of course, there will be a Bibliography & an Index which will be vital but not exactly intriguing.
I am scanning original documents, certificates & letters to include. Most of these items have been kept in our family for generations. Some of them are scans of originals that belong to distant cousins or were found in archives.
I especially like the letters. I am the holder of the originals. I like seeing the actual handwriting of my family, like my maternal grandfather who died long before I was born. I like holding the papers they held. [Of course, I do not handle them often. They are in archival sleeves.] The occasional misspellings and cross outs make my ancestors come alive. In one letter my grandfather switches from a pen to a pencil because the ink runs out of his pen. I would like to include all the letters but there are quite a few & although it would help to preserve them I’m not sure folks would like to read them all.
|1927. Autograph book page. Written by my maternal grandmother to her sister.|
This is still in progress. So far I am including these items:
o Daniel Mullane business card, date unknown
o 1841 Marriage record for Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney
o 1878 Marriage record for Leopold Gartner & Fannie Edelstein
o 1888 Citizenship Application for Leopold Gartner
o 1894 Citizenship papers for Michael Coyle
o 1895 Marriage certificate for Michael Coyle & Mary Mullane
o 1897 Birth Certificate for Helen ‘Nellie’ Coyle
o 1921 Marriage certificate for Nathaniel Gardner & Helen Coyle
o 1922 Letter from Nathaniel Gardner to his wife, Helen (Coyle) Gardner
o 1926 Letter from Helen (Coyle) Gardner to her husband, Nathaniel
o 1927 Duplicate Receipt for 1899 Burial Plot of Frances Coyle in St. Raymond’s cemetery
o 1927 Pages from Lillian A. Coyle’s Autograph book
o 1927 Receipt from undertaker for Burial of Mary J (Mullane) Coyle
o 1928 Letter from Timothy Mullane to Helen (Coyle) Gardner
o 1928 Certificates of birth & baptism for Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown
o 1930 Poem written by Thomas Coyle for his sister, Kathleen G. Coyle
o 1931 Marriage certificate for James J McCall & Mary Coyle
o 1934 Driver’s License & other items belonging to Nathaniel Gardner
o 1936 Letter from Nathaniel Gardner to his daughter, Alberta Joy
o 1940 Letter from Alberta Joy Gardner to her father
o 1940 Note concerning the birth of Nathaniel Gardner
o 1944 Letter written by Helen (Coyle) Gardner
o 1948 Invitation to wedding of Alberta Joy Gardner & Delbert K. Brown
I am considering including a couple recipes from my mother but I am not sure if those would belong with the documents [They are not hand written.] & I’m not sure there are enough to make a separate section. Another decision I have to make. If I include them where should they go?
What about our family 'treasures'? The cake plate used in my great grandfather's bakery, the tiny gold bracelet my great grandmother bought for my mother before she was born, the lace veil from my mother's First Communion, my grandfather's telegrapher's key,... I have photographed these items. Do the photos belong in the book? Where: in the chapters about the people they belonged to or in the Appendix or in another section altogether?
A practical consideration when considering what to include in the Appendix is the number of pages & the cost per page. At this time the book is 350+ pages. Of course, everything should be included to share with the greatest number of people but what it becomes too expensive to put into a great number of hands?
Have you added an Appendix to your books? What did you add? Have you read a book & wished something more was included? I’d love to hear your thoughts.