Hidden gems of family information
Amongst the 700 or so family documents and photographs handed down to me, there is a large ledger, belonging to my grandfather Edward Fernley. I’m not sure what it’s original purpose was, but Edward used it to record all manner of information.
Although many of the pages are empty, Edward used it to record the hours he worked at various jobs from the 1940’s until 1961, how much he earned, household expenditure, snippets of local history, and addresses of friends and family.
Although I’ve browsed through the book many times, I’m only just beginning to realise how useful the information might be. Official information, like birth certificates and census details only tell part of the story of our ancestor’s lives. I’m hoping that Edward’s ledger will provide some more clues to our family history. I’m particularly excited about the addresses, as they might help me track down some ancestors.
It just goes to show that no information, however trivial it might seem, is wasted. Edward’s ledger seems to have served as his personal notebook, although a very large one. And its size might be one of the reasons it survived. It measures sixteen inches by ten, and a smaller notebook might have been thrown away when Edward died.
No doubt I’ll be spending more time reading through the pages of the ledger, and I’ll publish anything interesting I find on this blog.