I am Marie Gale, and for decades I have been collecting material about my family and have been designated the “Family Historian” — which really means that everyone tends to give me the old stuff they don’t want to take care of any more.
I am very blessed that both my grandmothers (and their mothers as well) were interested in family history. Not only did they compile and keep information on their heritage, they also kept many of their original documents. So I have boxes of journals, pictures, baby books, poems, stories, artwork and letters.
Over the years I have had simple yet grand goals of what to do with all this marvelous information: digitize, archive … publish. On paper. I still feel that even with this digital age upon us, the best way to ensure that the information survives through the generations is by having it digital — and also in published books that can be handed down.
I’ve made significant inroads into the digitizing and archiving parts, but the publishing has eluded me. There always seems to be more information, better documentation, additional stories, and deeper research to be incorporated.
Having already realized that one one giant tome covering everything and everybody is unlikely, my end goal has shifted to smaller books covering specific subjects.
Reality Sets In
Truth is, it takes a long time to get from the raw data (i.e. the photographs or the transcribed pages) to getting something actually into a format that can be published. If I compiled the materials for two 150 page books per year, it will take me around 15 years to get though the materials I have on hand!
While I’d like to say that I could accomplish the feat, I don’t think it wise to have that as the only option for sharing the data.
A new plan was needed.
Looking Up The Dust
This website has been created as a way to publish materials as I am able to transcribe and prepare them. Since I have the details in electronic (transcribed or scanned format) it’s not so hard to take the next step of sharing it on this website so it can be enjoyed by a wider audience.
The title of this website came from a book that my grandmother, Sibyl Mary (Croly) (Hanchett) Schneller, compiled sometime around the 1960’s. She had (and I have now) a series of letters written by her mother, aunts & uncles and cousins from the 1860 – 1880 time period. Sibyl painstakingly transcribed all of the letters … and then ANSWERED each one. The title of her finished work (which was never published) was Looking up the Dust.