I can tell you precisely what one side of my family was doing 112 years ago on this very day. I love that.

Jan 18 Monday

Emma and Mary went to school

Pa and Elmer went up to help split out a pine tree on the hill

Anna and Ma washed

Dora chored around a little and sewed some

In the afternoon Mrs John and Dan Linck, Alma and Ellie Heyd were up to spend the afternoon

The weather was nice but awful cold and windy

Jim Moyer piled some wood. 

Elmer was my great grandfather. My mom’s dad’s father. He lived on the farm that members of my family still farm today. It just fascinates me.


I’ve been thinking a lot about a New Year’s resolution. I almost always make one, and I have never ever kept one. I should probably resolve to jog every day or start going to the gym or something, but at the moment I’m working six to seven days a week, so quite frankly it’s a miracle if I have clean underwear to leave the house in. I think we’re all hard enough on ourselves as it is, so why make a resolution that cannot be kept? Of course health is important, so I will plan to make healthy decisions when I can, and be gentle with myself when I don’t.

This brings me to my real resolution. I’m going to keep a little daily journal. Just a few lines like the ones you read above, about what I do each day and what happens and who I see. How fun to re-read when I’m 90!

Did any of you make a resolution for the New Year?



(For any family members who would still like to order a transcribed copy of the Heyler Journals they are available here. They are for sale at cost, and a full preview is available – so you can have a look before ordering!)



5 thoughts on “1904

  1. hey, Lindsey here. I love seeing the different vocabulary that was used. that’s fun. I chored around a bit on Saturday myself. and how is the weather “nice” if it’s awfully cold and windy? Perhaps it wasn’t a blizzard, so who could complain? I wish I had a treasure like you have, I would love it too. Feeling connected to someone in the past history is magical. I like your resolution.

    • I love that expression – choring around! It perfectly describes a day spent doing a bunch of little things that needed to be done. I guess if it wasn’t raining or snowing they considered it a good day. A good reminder to put things into perspective!

  2. Grandad Spanner’s Mum, Hilda, kept a diary all through her adult life, but she destroyed them all before she went into a nursing home, which was a great shame, but I can remember as a small child, she would get older ones out and tell me little bits 🙂 Her father kept one while he was serving in WW1 and that is now in the Imperial War Museum, Grandad Spanner has a copy, he might have sent you one already 🙂

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