The Date Book

In 2012 my mother discovered a date book tucked away in a desk my parents had received from my paternal grandmother. Knowing I had become the family historian of sorts, she passed it along to me, certain I'd be interested.

The first page of that little book explained it was a gift from Helen Christian to her grandmother Frances Jane Dodge-Christian, who was the daughter of Sarah Bryant-Dodge.

Frances (or Frankie as she was known) used the book to catalog a vast majority of the birth dates and death dates of her existing family, and it seems a close friend or two as well. Her daughter Mona kept up this practice for a few years after Frankie's death, adding entries of her own to the book.

I spent weeks confirming names written in the book and matching them against my database. When I came to a name I didn't recognize I jotted the information down and started my own research into that person, finding what I could about their family, spouse and parents to see if any names were familiar.

This little book has helped me begin to deconstruct a brick wall that has been troubling me for years... Who was Sarah Bryant-Dodge and why don't I know anything about her family?


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