If Aunt Elsie on Dad's side revealed nothing of herself in her diary,  and Uncle Walter on Mum's side revealed  at times what the texters of the current era would call "TMI" - Too Much Information, it may be because journals and diaries have quite different purposes.  I think I hadn't grasped that when I pictured the continuum of least to most revealed.  Here's what Cecilia Mavrow says in her book, Journal Writing, Ruksak Books, Victoria, Canada, 1992.  "Journal writing is all about making marks, landmarks, hammering heiroglyphics on rocks in order to give life significance, to survive death or to testify to the passage of a sensitive life in a world so large that whole civilizations can disappear.  You may write in a journal thinking you will want to look back and see where you have been so you don't keep rotating in circles.  Or maybe by leaving behind this written trail, you are letting the other bears know you are in the woods."

This and other passages in Mavrow's book have brought me to rethink my desire to see the person in Aunt Elsie's diary, and my wish for greater reticence in Uncle Walter's journal.  Aunt Elsie's diary was not INTENDED to say anything about her;  it was a record of rural life, kept not only for herself but also for the other people living that life.  Uncle Walter's journal was not intended for reading by anyone else - it was his personal musing about his place in the scheme of things.  I know Uncle Walter the better for reading his journal.  I yearn to know Aunt Elsie that way and know I cannot. Uncle Walter reflected on his life;  Aunt Elsie wrote of the events in her life, without reflection.  They had different purposes and offered different opportunities for character reading by the later reader.

In any case I must be content with what is before me;  there will be no more from the original sources.