|Marie Larsdatter and Jens Jorgensen who
became Mary and James Johnson
(enhanced from tintype belonging
But now, now I have finally added the 1855 Danish census with its further evidence of their conversion to Mormonism and the startling revelation that Jens' sister Maren was also a Mormon. I had tediously updated all 118 endnotes and then turned to another history in the book.
|1855 census from Torup Sogn, Frederiksborg, Denmark
But it was too late. My mind was already picking up nuances and I had to search again on the internet to try to find answers to a question that hadn't ever been answered to my satisfaction. Nezbet? I had never spelled the mysteriously elusive pioneer company that way before. I just had to google the new spelling. It would only take a moment, I told myself. But then . . . Voila! I scanned the page. Nothing more about the phantom pioneer company, but I was looking at a very interesting website that had only been posted last summer. Someone else was researching and writing about my dear Jens and Marie. And she had access to resources handed down through her branch of the family that I had never seen or heard of. A citizenship document. Letters from Denmark. A new version of the miraculous stampeding buffalo story!
|Sometimes I feel like I'm in a buffalo stampede.
I read quickly and excitedly. I faced facts. I had another cousin to contact. I had another rewrite to do. All the illustrations would have to be re-arranged and I wasn't ready to go on to the next chapter yet.
I know this. Everything I write must be reviewed, revised and re-written. Every time I undertake the process, the writing improves. And this fact too. I'm not making this stuff up. I'm writing about real people who are hungry and excited to have their lives known and understood. They help me and for some reason, they are not in the same hurry I'm in to be finished. Jens and Marie and all those on "the other side" seem to have a more eternal perspective. I think I need to learn from that piece of the story too.