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Bud Murphy, Canadian Trapper's Diary Entries Reimagined As A Twitter Account

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TRAPPER BUD MURPHY
A Canadian fur trapper's grandson is sharing his journal entries with the world through Twitter. | Derryl Murphy/Handout

Cyril 'Bud' Murphy may be the oldest person on Twitter.

Well, he isn't on the social media site himself, as he passed away in 2004, but thanks to his grandson, Derryl Murphy, Bud's followers are able to track a harrowing journey he took almost 85 years ago.

Using old diaries from Bud's years as a fur trapper in the Northwest Territories, Derryl has created a Twitter account for his grandfather, tweeting out entries four times a day using TweetDeck.

The journal Derryl is currently reading chronicles an 18-year-old Bud's trip with his father, Derryl's great-grandfather, beginning in Peace River, Alberta in the summer of 1929 and headed far north hunting caribou and bears.

Derryl, an author and self-admitted history buff, told the Huffington Post Canada that when he began reading the diaries in detail this year, Twitter immediately came to mind as a way to share them with his family and the public.

"They're nice, short, pithy entries," many only two or three sentences long, he said.

He said he's not surprised his grandfather's contributions are so short, considering the extreme weather conditions and physical labour the expedition involved. Bud's journal details 16-mile portages, fierce wind and rain, and canoeing in boats filled with six inches of water.

"All I can think is that he was a tough old coot, but he was 18 at the time."

He was also a man of few words.

"I think if my grandfather had written long entries, we would have questioned them. I don't think he would have written that way."

TrapperBud's account currently has 765 followers, many of them history fans, Northerners or those looking for a unique window into the lifestyle their own family members led.

Derryl, who lives in Saskatoon, says the followers come from every continent except Antarctica. He credits the global interest to a fascination with the barren, rugged North.

"It's fascinating to me. It speaks to a mystique of the Canadian north at that time that we as locals don't always think of," he said.

He also breaks the fourth wall on a regular basis, asking his followers for clarification when he can't find any information about a place name or person, and adding some context to fill out the story. A staffer at the Northwest Territories Archives follows along to help answer any geography-related questions.

Derryl doesn't know how Bud's trip turns out yet, because he isn't reading too far ahead. When he runs out of entries to tweet, there are also more journals.

He said although the attention is gratifying, the best part is hearing his grandfather's voice when reading the entries, even though Bud was only a young man at the time.

"He loved his family, loved the outdoors and had ways to show all that, but he was fairly quiet. This journal reflected all that."

You can follow Bud Murphy on Twitter at @TrapperBud, and can check out some photos of his trip in the slideshow below.

'TrapperBud': The 1929 Journey Of A Fur Trapper
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