Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Caution: Footnotes Multiply To-Do Lists
I've long since realized that paying attention to footnotes can provide further reading for someone seeking a richer tapestry concerning their ancestors. Having gone cover to cover on a book, A Faithful Heart, written by and about the friends, associates and neighbors of my Broyles relatives, I may have completed that reading task, but I also come away from the experience with a long to-do list of further reading. Let me catalog some of those future tasks for you here.
There were several Civil War diaries mentioned, among which is one I wish to focus on: A Rebel Came Home: The Diary of Floride Clemson, 1863-1866. Floride Clemson, daughter of Clemson university founder Thomas Green Clemson, lived a few miles from the towns in Anderson County which my Broyles relatives called home. More than that, one of my Taliaferro ancestors' relatives through marriage was instrumental in the establishment of that college, so my family has multiple ties to this woman and (hopefully) her diary.
One early footnote in the Emmala journals mentioned Louise Ayer Vandiver's Traditions and History of Anderson County. Originally published in 1928, according to the FamilySearch wiki for Anderson County, South Carolina, a copy can be had for the subscription price to either Ancestry.com or World Vital Records. However, I've found a searchable resource for this book at Google Books, and, better yet, a browsable version at HathiTrust.
Mentioned in that same footnote in Emmala's journal was reference to another book of interest. According to the footnote, as well as the bibliography, Silas E. Lucas published a book in 1978 through the Southern Historical Press entitled Early Anderson County, S.C., Newspapers, Marriages, Obituaries 1841-1881. That book was mentioned in several footnotes to Emmala's journals. As you can imagine, I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that book, but I couldn't find anything online concerning it—not at Amazon, not through a Google search (other than to provide a link to the footnote in Emmala's journal), not at WorldCat, not even while searching through the book tab at FamilySearch. How could a book so recent as that have vanished so completely? Now my to-do list has to be augmented with the "to-do" of finding the book before I can even read it.
But there are many more resources to tackle in the meantime. Among them are Richard Wright Simpson's History of Old Pendleton District. It can be found in its original 1913 edition at Internet Archive, but I also obtained a print copy of the book, having something to hold in my hand as I read being my preference. Having already obtained it, the only thing left on my to-do list here is to actually, ahem, read it.
And speaking of Richard Wright Simpson, he it is who was one of the two letter-writing Confederate soldiers whose war-years life was laid out in the book, Far, Far From Home: The Wartime Letters of Dick and Tally Simpson, 3rd South Carolina Volunteers. While not directly related to Emmala Reed, whose journals comprised the volume I just finished reading, Dick and Tally were indeed relatives of the oft-mentioned Robert Broyles in her diary. There are so many other volumes mentioned in the Reed journals footnotes and bibliography, but since that, too, is a book I already own, it's high time I begin reading. The other books can wait their turn.