I started researching my grandfather, Cloyce Joseph Tippett, for a biography twenty years ago. I used libraries, magazines, US Government military and civilian archives, museums, personal connections… every “old school” research method I could find. As the Internet became available, I used it too.
With my Dad’s help, I ordered a copy of my grandfather’s military record – which was a treasure trove of dates and facts. The sheer volume of paperwork that the US Military can produce is amazing.
In the last three years, researching my grandfather’s biography became an entirely new thing. For one thing, it became FUN! The evolution of both search engine function and more sources to search from resulted in an astonishing difference between researching now and researching ten years ago.
One example, out of hundreds: Jefferson Caffery was the US Ambassador to Brazil during the time my grandfather, Cloyce Joseph Tippett, was establishing civil aviation in Brazil. My grandmother, Louise, attended several evening functions with the Ambassador and had salty opinions of the “going-ons”… This story is supported by a few documents in Tip’s letter archive, but voila! The University of Louisiana, Lafayette, in the Edith Garland Dupre Library Special Collections and Archives has the Jefferson Caffery Collection, and double voila, in box 48-f, under the “T-U-V” correspondence list, is Tippett, Cloyce J.: American Embassy, Rio.
For me, this is external confirmation of an interaction between Tip and Ambassador Caffery – which is important in supporting the story with facts. I think of it as provenance. It’s just so cool. Almost as cool as partying with Ambassador Caffery on Ipanema Beach in 1943.
The book is getting closer and closer to being ready… let me know if you want to be on the release announcement list!