Uncovering History with an Address Book

. at . 4 comments

Where do you keep contact information for folks and businesses? I use a GMail Contacts list. I update this digital address book frequently. But recently I came across an old-fashioned way of keeping track of such things:my hard-backed address book that is 23 years old

And this hard-backed address book is a very different creation than my digital address book.

Reading through it is like going on a personal archeological dig. A dig is about uncovering history. As I go through the lettered tabs in my address book, I am uncovering history, too – my personal history. And like a physical dig,  I”ll observe, reflect and research to make sense of the discoveries.

As I go through each letter of the alphabet, I will record my findings. I will note if the address is current. I will indicate surprises, observations, disappointments, and action items. And I will write a letter for each address.

Besides saying “Hello, I was thinking about you,” I want to do the following.

  • I will write the letter even if I know they’ve moved. Maybe it will be forwarded.
  • If I have a personal memory of us together, I will share that.
  • If not, I will thank them for their presence in my past life and wish them well.
  • I will pray a blessing on each person or their family if the person is deceased.
  • If they are still in my life, I will make sure I have their current info.

I will post on a new (alphabet) letter on Wednesdays. And if I get any replies to the letters I’ve sent, I will be sure to note that as well.

As the alphabet letter goes live, I will hot link it (complete list after the jump).

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you have a physical address book?  Why or why not?  
  • Post a photo of your address book.
  • How about joining me in your own address book adventure? 

I like writing letters. I say this even though I am never as faithful as I want to be. I actually started this project in 2011 and somehow I didn’t get very far.

Related Posts . . . Writing a Letter to Each Person in my Address Book – This is one of the posts I wrote way back in 2011.

Uncovering History & Writing a Letter to Each Person in my Address Book

  • Introduction
  • The Letter A
  • The Letter B
  • The Letter C
  • The Letter D
  • The Letter E
  • The Letter F
  • The Letter G
  • The Letter H
  • The Letter I
  • The Letter J
  • The Letter K
  • The Letter L
  • The Letter M
  • The Letter N
  • The Letter O
  • The Letter P
  • The Letter Q
  • The Letter R
  • The Letter S
  • The Letter T
  • The Letter U
  • The Letter V
  • The Letter W
  • The Letter X
  • The Letter Y
  • The Letter Z

Entry filed under: Letter Writing, Main. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle Rusk  |  . at .

    I try to keep 3 versions of my addresses up to date. I have a physical address book, a version in my phone which died so now I also have a version with cell & email in the back of my journal, and my Christmas card spreadsheet which collects all ways to stay in contact.

    As a genealogist, I have used my Mother’s address books to learn names and locations of relatives – sometimes their birth or anniversary dates. The same with some of the calendars she kept. Snapshots of times in her life. I find the same when I look at mine.


  • […] Fruitful Words,  Susan Wright invites us on a journey back in time, to an actual address book (younger readers, […]


  • […] In my first post, I introduced a project I am doing: going through an old hard backed address book. Each Wednesday I will post what I unearth from each alphabet letter. Today is the Letter A. […]


  • […] was on discovering folks in the D’s.  Next week I will share what I uncover in the F’s. To find the landing page with all the posts, go here. It is after the jump at the bottom of the […]



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