Genealogy Serendipity, Part II: Ancestor’s Diaries Returned to Family

Seven years ago I wrote about the kindness of a genealogist from across the country that sent me the long-lost Bible and four journals of my 1st cousin, Ransom Ferdinand Smith (1864-1940), who lived in Woodstock, New Hampshire.

To learn the details of this story, about the kindness of a stranger who returned these items to me through a serendipitous chain of events, read my 2012 article: Genealogy Serendipity: Ancestor’s Bible & Journals Returned to Family

Photo: Ransom Smith’s Bible and journals
Photo: Ransom Smith’s Bible and journals. Source: Thomas Jay Kemp.

Well, it’s happened again.

Today I received two of Ransom Smith’s diaries and a small book that he received as a Christmas gift in 1879.

Photo: two of Ransom Smith’s diaries and a book he received as a Christmas present
Photo: two of Ransom Smith’s diaries and a book he received as a Christmas present. Credit: Thomas Jay Kemp.

Wow. Very kind of her to send these to us.

And look at these details, from his October 1927 diary.

Photo: Ransom Smith’s diary, showing entries from October 1927
Photo: Ransom Smith’s diary, showing entries from October 1927. Source: Thomas Jay Kemp.
  • 9 October 1927: “We sat up with Herbert at night.”
  • 10 October 1927: “Herbert seems about the same very sick.”
  • 11 October 1927: “Herbert has not much change.”

And then the news.

  • 12 October 1927: “Herbert past away 20 min after twelve to night.” [i.e., on 13 October 1927]
  • 13 October 1927: “Rainy. We are brave as possible.”
  • 14 October 1927: “Made plans for funeral.”
  • 15 October 1927: “Herbert was laid at rest, flowers were lovely. We took him to Woodstock.”

Herbert was their son, Alfred Herbert Smith (1897-1927). So, they called him Herbert.

He was buried in Woodstock Cemetery in Woodstock, New Hampshire.

But for the kindness of another, we would not have these diaries.

It’s a great day for genealogy!

One thought on “Genealogy Serendipity, Part II: Ancestor’s Diaries Returned to Family

  1. Awesome! I have seen so many family Bibles with so much information going for extremely high prices on eBay, etc. It’s a shame they aren’t going back to the families that they were from. I think it’s awesome that someone had the kindness to do this.

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