There was this old wooden sea chest in my mom’s house that had been used as a night stand for as long as I can remember and had always been referred to as “The Captain’s Sea Chest”. On one of my return visits home, something got into me, and I cleared it off and cracked it open.
It turned out to be the Pandora’s box of my maternal ancestry. It was full of not only innumerable photos, letters, and newspaper clippings, but also diaries and even pressed clothing.
From this sea chest, I’ve started a couple of long-term projects, with possibly many more to come:
“One Day Less to Live”: Images, transcriptions, and historical notes on the 1927-1931 diaries of my 2nd great grandmother, Annie Florence Macdonald (born Annie Florence Morris).
“The Siberian Coal Mine Mystery“: Family legend turned unsolved mystery by the discovery of newspaper articles both supporting and disputing the story of Captain Joseph W. Morris’ imprisonment, chained to a corpse in an underground Siberian coal mine for three years.
Here on Gnarly Roots, I’m going to keep track of these endeavors over the coming months, whenever time permits.