Introductory Notes

This story is the result of nearly three years of (admittedly leisurely) family history research, and is intended for my children; as such, it is addressed to them.  Furthermore, this book is a historical fiction.  Although the people and places it is based on are true, much of the story is made up of likely occurrences, but not necessarily known occurrences.

At the end of each chapter, there are usually two small sections: notes and records.  ‘Notes’ is where I make comments specific to the happenings of that chapter about their truthfulness (or lack thereof) and their adherence to the records.  ‘Records’ is where I keep track of what records were referenced in that chapter.  The records used in this story are either physical records (census records, ship manifests, things like that) or the memories of someone, usually within the family; either of those would fall under ‘records’.  If a chapter lists no notes and, more telling, no records, it is completely made up.

In general, when a full date, or a year and a month are used, that is a fact.  Sometimes, when just a year is given, that is also a fact, but sometimes the years are a ‘best guess’ approximation (like the year that Robert Brodie moved to Susanville).  Likewise, when a full name is given, that is a known name.  Just first names or just last names are typically made up, although people who are talked about without reference to a name at all are sometimes real (for example, we don’t know the names of Matilda Brodie’s two youngest siblings, but we know they were around and that at least one of them was a boy); names of locations are usually true to that instance as well.

One last thing: I am not a historian.  Usually, my questions about what was going on in a particular era, such as World War I or the Great Depression, are satisfied by a Google search or a Wikipedia article.  My accuracy in this book is directly related to the accuracy of these searches.  Although I try to get reliable sources and provide good information about the period, I cannot guarantee any of the information presented here.  Again, it is a historical fiction, and I’ve taken liberties as such.  Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it.

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