While looking for something TOTALLY different, I came across a diary transcription – complete with annotations, online.
Jane Hicks, born Brown, began this diary soon after the birth of her first child, a son named Dale. Its first entry takes place on March 18, 1843. This archive (see also, Christchurch History Society) has entitled the diary,
The Journal of Mrs. Jane Hicks, of Muccleshell, Holdenhurst, Parish of Christchurch, County of Southamptonshire, March 1843 – October 1844.
Jane Brown married Richard Hicks, 31 May 1842. Jane was born in 1814 and lived until 1896! The accompanying website, the “Jane Hicks’s Journal Gallery,” with information on people and places, has a photograph of Jane and her son Dale. Some rather disconcerting entries, where little Dale is concerned, especially one that states, “Let the baby fall…” (Sept 4)
Check out the double-page image of Jane’s diary in order to see her handwriting!
“Muccleshell” is now part of Throop – in the area of present-day BOURNEMOUTH (Dorsetshire) and called “Bourne” in the diary. The “Gallery” has several maps to help you locate the villages. Nice photos, too.
The information is quite densely packed with text; the journal itself is nicely differentiated, entry and annotation (text in italics). There is a family tree and much information about the Hicks family. Of great interest is the “history” of the diary itself:
“Jane took her diary with her to Australia, and it was her descendants there who preserved it as a family heirloom. Two of these have since written privately-printed family-history books covering Richard and Jane’s life there, one by Val Hicks, and one by Maureen Mannion. It was Maureen who in 1986 sent a photocopy of the diary to Mary Baldwin, a Hampshire genealogist, for further research. This was the basis of an article in the Bournemouth Echo 15 April 1993, and a March 1994 feature by Mary in Dorset Life magazine, “Mrs Dale Hicks Diary.” Mary also sent a copy of the handwritten journal to Michael Stead of Bournemouth Borough Council, who in December 1999 typed it out and began adding annotations to clarify its cryptic entries. Michael’s typed transcript of the handwritten diary text, along with the revised and expanded annotations reproduced above in italics, was published online in the run-up to the town’s 2010 bicentenary, with new and amended info published online on an ongoing basis [the current edition is dated 2016]. Jane Hicks’s journal remains of interest as one of the few local first-hand accounts known for this early period of the town’s history, when it was still known as ‘Bourne.'”
A highly-recommended daily diary of a wife and mother, a marriage, a village, in 1840s Britain.