Maybe you weren’t one of the lucky ones, you know, one of those genealogists you are envious of because their ancestor left them a diary. Well, if your ancestor is from the Ontario area, then you may be able to peek into the lives of your their neighbours.
This morning I spent some time on The Rural Diary Archive, a new website and initiate by The University of Guelph, here in Ontario, Canada.
If you have an ancestor from the Ontario area then this is a project you will not want to miss.
But even if your ancestors did not pass through Ontario, you'll love reading the stories and taking a step back into the past.
About the Project
The website will archive over 10 Ontario diarists from 1800 to 1960. You can read transcribed pages, a great way to see how your ancestors and their neighbours lived. You can search through the diaries if you're looking for a reference for something specific. Diarist are organized in a nice chart by time period, county, town, ethnicity, religion, and occupation. You can search using filters of county, occupation, ethnicity and religion.
This is a fabulous resource not only for your family history research but for social history and local history to help you write your family history stories.
If you want to help transcribe, no experience is necessary, and plenty of directions are found on the website to get you started.
Here is a list of diaries currently being transcribed that need your help.
The short video below gives you an idea of what you'll find in the Rural Diary Archive. This is quickly becoming one of my new favourites websites.