William John Irvine – 60 Years of Diaries

What prompts a person to write in a diary for sixty years?

According to Wikipedi,

“A diary is a record (originally in written book format) with discreet entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period.”

The word “journal” may be sometimes used for “diary,” but generally one writes daily in a diary, whereas journal-writing can be less frequent.

My grandfather did both.  For sixty years my grandfather William John Irvine documented his life as a young Irish immigrant and homesteader to Canada.

Why did he do this?  Perhaps he was lonely.  Perhaps he wanted a record to share with the folks back home.  For whatever reason he decided to faithfully record his life for so many years, his family is eternally grateful.

My name is Joan Miller and I am the eldest granddaughter of William John Irvine.   I’m one of two genealogists in this branch of our family.  The other one is my Uncle Bob, the eldest son of William Irvine. Bob has transcribed much of these diaries over the years.

On these pages we intend to share with you Grandpa Irvine’s remarkable story from his 60 years of diaries.