I had very little information when I started genealogy. In one line, I started with the information that perhaps there was a Palmer in PEI. With very little knowledge / experience, I went to the FHL in Salt Lake. After about 5 days, on my last day or so, feeling disappointed, I was flipping through about 90 issues of a PEI historical journal, The Island Register, when a drawing caught my eye, and I began to read the article. It was about the diary of Lucy Palmer and included a list of her wedding gifts. In that list was a gift from her sister, my great grandmother! After that, I found another article written about a second sister's diary (Lilla's). (Their diaries were in family papers kept by the archives in PEI - a place I've never been, unfortunately.) Lucy's diary unlocked a path for me, and feels like the place I really became interested in genealogy (and history, actually).
Then, about 5 years later, I was very surprised when my mother produced, from some secret place, a notebook which was the diary kept her grandmother, Mary, who was Lucy and Lilla’s sister, In the notebook, Mary writes about her life at home, with her sisters (of which she had 7 and one surviving brother). It's very sweet and enchanting. They are all very busy with one another and friends, and keeping their father’s home. She writes about her courtship and marriage at 30, and then happy little notes with her first child, and bit about her second, and so on, and eventually the notebook goes silent. In the course of her early marriage, she often writes that Henry (her husband) is at a church service, or function, or social, and she is home with the children, confined, I realized by pregnancy. Eventually, she and Henry and their children moved to Vancouver, away from her sisters.
My mother said her father told her (referring to the family into which my mother was marrying), "Don't let them make you a farm drudge". When I finished reading my great grandmother's journal, I heard his words to my mother very clearly in my mind. I think he must have found his mother's notebook in her papers when she died, and reading it, was saddened by her transformation from a sweet happy adolescent girl and new wife into the woman he knew as his mother.