This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Reading original documents

If you are concerned about the accuracy of history books, or information on the internet, don't worry. You don't have to rely on these sources, and you really shouldn't. The thing to do is to go and read the original documents. If you want to read about how people lived in the 19th century, go read a book that was actually printed in the 19th century. If you live anywhere in the world where you have access to an LDS family history library, there is a massive amount of information that is scanned in from the original documents going back hundreds of years. Yes, it is hard to read sometimes, and in the three hundred years since my family came here to America, some words have changed and some spellings have changed.

In the image above, it says Ebenezer Nash, son of Tymothy E Rebecca Nash. No, it's not Nafh. In 17th-century handwriting, it was common to write an "s" like that. Tymothy is Timothy. And the lower-case E was an ampersand (&). Spelling varies in a strangely casual way. I've seen "married" and "marryed" on the same page.

Oh, and by the way, there has never been an English word "ye". In 17-century handwriting, a symbol that looks like a "y" was used for a "th", as in "the" (ye), "that" (yat), etc. When the word "The", or "Thee" was set in type in a book, the "y" was never used. Take a look at a King James Bible, which was first published in 1611. Never, ever, a "ye", always a "the."
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