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Chapter by Chapter: Adventures in Family History Investigation is Revealing.. to say the least

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While writing my book about my grandmother, I want to tell the truest story of her life without her actual narrative of things because she died in June 2016.  I know some of her story, but not as much as I need. I started my ancestry . com quest to find out if: they could read and write post slavery?  For every last one of them, the answer, according to the the earliest census records I can find, is yes. Most went to school 6-8 years, and some only 4.  Which only makes me wonder if they were reading as slaves.  Maybe I'll find that out someday.
But I'm always shocked with additional findings in the endless public documents about my grandmother's 10+  siblings, live-in cousins, her laborer parents and their laborer parents and their parents, her in-laws, her siblings who died in their youth, as well as her own baby Bobby Jane who lived only 9 days in 1940.  Mama's story doesn't lack documentation, just formal interpretation. I'm trying to piece it altogether to…