In writing this blog so far, I have consulted and presented many kinds of documents: photographs, census records, newspaper articles and advertisements, printed catalogs,
maps, postcards, government reports–whatever I have been able to find that seemed useful.
Much of the time, a document ties down some fact or answers some question. Not infrequently, however, it can be opaque, misleading, tantalizing but unyielding, frustrating in its incompleteness. It can raise more questions than it answers.
This is a brief account of a single document sent to me recently by a member of the Whisnant family, and my effort to understand what it says (or does not) and what questions it answers (or does not).
Here is the document. Click to enlarge it, and take a look: Continue reading