Editorial Courtesies (Cough)

Blogging has been light lately because I am in the middle of a real live Genealogy Study Course™, which means (in the words of one of my beloved children) that I “never get up from that desk chair anymore.”

I also have been writing papers in a somewhat more formal vein than has been the case on this blog, scholarly as it is. (No, really! Who else is going to fill you guys in on the historical roots of slumgullion?) Anyway, this writing has been good for my soul, settling me down and focusing my thoughts in a productive way.

But … there is still an unruly voice in my head sometimes, arguing vociferously with the polite phrasing that must be used by a polished professional to describe documents, no matter what state those documents are in.

To relieve my feelings, I offer these heavily edited (and entirely fictional) outtakes:

… The handwriting on the entry is a freakin’ trainwreck somewhat challenging to interpret. However, after three beers careful examination, it is apparent that John Thorne did unload deed this wasteland to his son-in-law in return for one dollar (a complete ripoff), probably in retaliation as a wedding gift. The marriage between Thorne’s daughter Eliza and Gabriel Ashforth had taken place three weeks before the transaction, and six months before all hell broke loose the birth of their first child.

… The entries in this particular baptismal register are positively Dadaist somewhat erratically recorded.

… The census taker that year a Tammany hack, let’s face it, possibly inexperienced, unfortunately omitted the house numbers for the entire block of this Greenpoint avenue assuming he actually knocked on the doors in the first place.

… The entry for the McManus family is puzzling, given data in previous censuses compiled by enumerators who had a clue. Possibly the informant was Mickey Mouse a neighbor, which could account for the booze-addled fantasies inconsistencies.

There, I feel better now. Back to work.


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