Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What Can Be Proved?

"It was a bright day and the wind blew freshly from the land."
Photos by Midge Frazel and Brian Zoldak
Strange things happen when you try to transcribe and prove family documents that you inherit. Well, it was already transcribed, printed in a magazine and it is for sale in a family society gift shop. 

It is a small, typewritten book placed in my family Bible for me to find. Since the transcriber was a minister, Civil War chaplain, genealogist, cemetery transcriber and graduate of Brown University plus he authored many books of his own, who am I to nit-pick the content in this booklet?

However, the booklet and the magazine article do differ in one very big way. It is big to me anyway since in my copy, there is no date of when Rev. Frederic Denison (1819-1901) wrote down the story from the "lips of his father", Isaac Denison, Jr. (1790-1855)

I know where the "long hand" original of the document is archived. Have I ever seen it? No, I have not. Here's a collage of the frontispiece, the end paper and the first page of the booklet. My maternal grandfather, Evans Stewart (1886-1955) donated it to the Denison Society of Mystic, CT. That was the correct thing to do. No complaints from me.

Collage by Midge Frazel, 2015
But, when did Rev. Frederic Denison gather this oral history?
Who was Frances L. Denison?
Did Isaac's wife collect his pension?

These are ordinary questions that every family historian or genealogist needs answers to. Sometimes, it is an adventure, so stay tuned while I try to find out....

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