April 12, 2016

Don't Miss Past Voices: Letters Home

Have you been to Past Voices: Letters Home? Past Voices gives our ancestors a voice - and these voices from the past come alive in their letters. 

Letter writing has long been an important mode of interpersonal and official communication. As long ago as 3500 BC, Sumerians sent "letters" written on cuneiform tablets in clay "envelopes". 

Letter writing flourished in the seventeenth century in Europe and it was an extremely important form of communication. As public postal services were established letter-writing increased even more dramatically.

Many letters on Past Voices are from soldiers far from home. Nothing tells the true reality of war more than the simple writings of the common soldier. These poignant letters from lonely men to their mothers, wives or sweethearts will touch your heart. Some letters will leave you bewildered by their unemotional telling of horrors almost beyond our comprehension. 

In February 1864 Lucius Bidwell wrote to his mother
"Our Heavenly Father has again saved your son Lucius safely through another battle ..." 
"The water was very cold--it makes a fellow’s feet and legs ache, I tell you!"
"James Ingles was hit on the leg, and a man named Winks in our camp, and another German, was shot through the head (named Stinall) and another tent-mate of mine was hurt in the ankle. Our Major was slightly wounded in the leg. Capt. John Broaht, I hear, had his finger shot off, but I have not seen him yet."

Past Voices also contains letters and memoirs from ordinary individuals going about their everyday lives. These letters provide us with a sense of history, of being there and experiencing life with the people who write about the times they live in. 
"When women get to running boundary lines it will take several generations for them to right the mistakes of their forefathers. The women of Reno show their appreciation of being emancipated from the wash tub by making their social calls on Monday morning..." Caroline Churchill, California 1870s
On Past Voices you can find your roots and hear your ancestors' words across the generations. Add branches to your family tree as you find your genealogy.

You can also learn how to find and preserve old documents, family treasures and heirlooms.

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