Thoughts on Transcriptions

After being inspired by my newly-discovered cousin’s effort transcribing Georgiana’s diary, I’ve started moving forward with a long-neglected transcribing project of my own. My grandfather’s letters project is a fascinating project. His letters cover the five-year period (1908 – 1913) between the time he met my grandmother until they were married. During that period she was teaching at different…

View On WordPress

Thoughts on Transcriptions

After being inspired by my newly-discovered cousin’s effort transcribing Georgiana’s diary, I’ve started moving forward with a long-neglected transcribing project of my own. My grandfather’s letters project is a fascinating project. His letters cover the five-year period (1908 – 1913) between the time he met my grandmother until they were married. During that period she was teaching at different schools in rural Georgia. My grandfather died in 1921 so a few photos and these letters are the only personal things we have to get to know him.

Once the transcription is done, I hope to add photos and notes on the people and places mentioned in the letters. At some point I would like to publish it in hope that it will benefit other cousins.

I am using the Ulysses writing platform [Mac – $44.99 and iOS – $24.99] to manage this project. Here’s why:

  • All writing content is stored as plain text using the Markdown standard. This “future-proofs” my transcriptions. Even when technology moves forward, these files will still be readable.
  • I can export some or all of the transcribed letters into a number of “publishing” formats. Ulysses exports to PDF, HTML, ePub, Word documents and RTF and even offers export styles to make the results look great.
  • Ulysses has apps for Mac, iPad and iPhone so I can work just about anywhere.
  • Because it is a writing “platform”, I can arrange and rearrange these letters any way I want. This will be very useful to include research notes and such.
Ulysses on iPad
The letter collection is slowly growing in Ulysses

Ulysses organizes content as sheets. Sheets can then be arranged into groups. There are several sorting options within a group: manually, by title, by creation date and by modification date. In the example above I have groups for each surname that currently has stories associated with it. Did you notice the tags in the sheet list (center column)? They can be used to create filters. The “Dolph’s Letters” group in the left column isn’t really a group, but a filter that pulls in anything tagged with the “Dolph’s Letters” tag.

From the editing screen, tap the paperclip icon to display the Attachments panel. Here’s where I add tags, notes and images associated with this sheet. The icons at the top of the panel are self-explanatory except for the circles one. That is the Goals element. It can track three types of goals: About, At Least or At Most. As you can see in this example, all these elements will appear in this one panel.

While tags added in the Attachments panel appears in the sheets list under the title and preview text, a paperclip icon appears to the left of the sheet’s title when there are notes or images attached to that sheet.

This project will take a log of time and effort, but thanks to Ulysses it will be easy to keep organized and on top of all the tasks that need to be done.

The Diary of a Southern Lady

Like many of us, I’ve often found the Ancestry.com hints pointing to other family trees more irritating than informative. It’s not unusual to find the exact same content duplicated from one tree to another. Fortunately, the occasional tidbit of information makes wading through these trees worth the effort. Over Easter weekend, one of those tidbits turned into quite a whopper! Following a hint to another Barrett family tree brought me face to face with a portrait of my second great-grandmother, Frances Georgina Scott.

familytrees101.png

It didn’t stop there. I used Ancestry’s messaging service to connect to the cousin who created this tree and posted the portrait. She responded quite quickly with another precious gift – the diary Frances’s daughter, Georgiana, kept. My cousin had transcribed Georgiana’s diary, adding footnotes using her research to further describe certain entries. She used Amazon to publish it as The Diary of a Southern Lady. I bought the Kindle edition for $4.99 and it is worth every penny. When reading on the Kindle, footnotes aren’t small print at the bottom of a page. Instead, the reader taps the footnote’s reference number and the text of the footnote appears in a popup window. Read it, then tap the screen and you are right back where you left off. Wow!

DiaryofaSouthernLadycoverInstead of documenting sources, Kay used the footnote feature to present her research notes describing more detail about the person, place or event mentioned in the diary. I am barely into it and already it has answered a number of questions about this family. Finishing the book and updating my research notes will keep me busy for quite some time!

Kay’s effort is also an inspiration. We all have treasures like this tucked away in our archives. Yes, they can often be posted in online trees – each of the major genealogy archives would like nothing better. However, when scanned, transcribed and annotated into a book, they can become a true family treasure. My grandfather’s letters could become even more interesting when given more context regarding place and time. Sounds like just the project for me!

The Diary of a Southern Lady was originally published at Moultrie Creek Gazette and reprinted here with permission.

The Diary of a Southern Lady

The Diary of a Southern Lady

Like many of us, I’ve often found the Ancestry.com hints pointing to other family trees more irritating than informative. It’s not unusual to find the exact same content duplicated from one tree to another. Fortunately, the occasional tidbit of information makes wading through these trees worth the effort. Over Easter weekend, one of those tidbits turned into quite a whopper! Following a hint to…

View On WordPress

The Diary of a Southern Lady

Like many of us, I’ve often found the Ancestry.com hints pointing to other family trees more irritating than informative. It’s not unusual to find the exact same content duplicated from one tree to another. Fortunately, the occasional tidbit of information makes wading through these trees worth the effort. Over Easter weekend, one of those tidbits turned into quite a whopper! Following a hint to another Barrett family tree brought me face to face with a portrait of my second great-grandmother, Frances Georgina Scott.

FamilyTrees101

It didn’t stop there. I used Ancestry’s messaging service to connect to the cousin who created this tree and posted the portrait. She responded quite quickly with another precious gift – the diary Frances’s daughter, Georgiana, kept. My cousin had transcribed Georgiana’s diary, adding footnotes using her research to further describe certain entries. She used Amazon to publish it as The Diary of a Southern Lady. I bought the Kindle edition for $4.99 and it is worth every penny. When reading on the Kindle, footnotes aren’t small print at the bottom of a page. Instead, the reader taps the footnote’s reference number and the text of the footnote appears in a popup window. Read it, then tap the screen and you are right back where you left off. Wow!

DiaryofaSouthernLadycoverInstead of documenting sources, Kay used the footnote feature to present her research notes describing more detail about the person, place or event mentioned in the diary. I am barely into it and already it has answered a number of questions about this family. Finishing the book and updating my research notes will keep me busy for quite some time!

Kay’s effort is also an inspiration. We all have treasures like this tucked away in our archives. Yes, they can often be posted in online trees – each of the major genealogy archives would like nothing better. However, when scanned, transcribed and annotated into a book, they can become a true family treasure. My grandfather’s letters could become even more interesting when given more context regarding place and time. Sounds like just the project for me!