Last year I created family history videos based on letters written by my two grandmothers on January 7, 1968 (see Toolkit: Family History with Grandma Nina and Toolkit: Family History with Grandma Char). Both letters describe a 104th birthday party thrown for my paternal great grandmother, Georgenie Agusta Sedgwick. During production, I realized I have quite a bit of information and lore for Great Grandma Georgenie, and some interesting physical artifacts. I started thinking about a project to create a short family history “documentary” about her life.
I’m still in the early phases of researching and reviewing what I have for Great Grandma Georgenie. I thought I’d organize what I have, using the recommendations from the Library of Congress described in Personal Archiving. Somehow it seems less daunting to organize for a particular project, than to organize everything I have stored all over the house! This will give me experience for the big event. Here is an inventory of my “clumps” and their contents:
- Photo Box: MQ’s youth and Pre-marriage (in living room)
- Photo Albums (in upstairs office)
- Digital photos (computer/cloud)
- Physical items (upstairs office)
- Georgenie’s beaded purse with calling card
- Washcloths crocheted when she was almost blind
- Green and white sweater crocheted for my infant brother
- Newspaper article about Georgenie’s 104th birthday
- Letters (info in Grandma Nina’s letters)
- Georgenie’s early life
- Courtship of Georgenie and Will Sedgwick – she was 20, he was 35 (widowed twice with children)
- Migration: New York, Ohio, Kansas, then California
- Georgenie’s 104th birthday
- Stories (and story arc)
- Georgenie was a dressmaker in New York
- Her mother was a MacDonald and a violinist
- Georgenie’s courtship with Will (from wedding guest to engaged)
- Grandma Nina built several rental units in Rialto, and Georgenie lived in one
- Later Georgenie lived near the railroad tracks (across the tracks was a Hooverville type encampment; Dad would sit on top of the arbor eating grapes and watching the trains and camp activity)
- Later in Chino, Georgenie had a room (she had a green chenille bedspread and a beautiful comb and brush set)
- Grandma Nina had great devotion for her mother, and they were very close
- Her Dad, Will, was stern and called her “Girl”
- Audio Recording
- Grandma talks of her early life in Kansas, the Sedgwick Feedstore, her family, and her mother.
- Related – check my own journals for stories I jotted down during visits.
This is a family history project, but the same kind of collection and analysis would be required for any kind of collection you might be dealing with. Stay tuned for more developments!