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Diaries and Journals
Frequently diaries and journals were kept during winter months when other responsibilities and activities slowed.  A well-written diary or journal may provide very helpful data about births, marriages, deaths, family relationships, as well as human-interest stories and data on local events, concerns and activities.  The mention of a person's name in a diary or journal proved the individual lived in a certain area at a particular date and this can be crucial.  A journal kept by a store- owner may contain financial accounts as well as notes on many of people within the community.  Diaries and journals are never indexed which means an exhaustive page-by-page search for particular facts.