Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wagon Train Travel Letters

Manuscript copy of (12) riveting letters home from husband and wife, G. Nelson Allen and E. A. Allen, and daughter Lizzie H. Allen, while they were travelling through the mid and southwest, 1857-1860. It appears as if the copy, nicely penned in an unknown hand, was made circa 1890s-1910.

Letter locales: New Philadelphia, Ohio; Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Fort Des Moines, Iowa; Cass Co., Iowa; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Fort Kearny, Nebraska. A 13th letter is dated much later, 1887, from Camden, Delaware, but also mentions this trip. 35pp total, octavo and legal.

Fabulous content: Traveling to Pike's Pike; wagon trains as far as the eye can see; men heading for the mines; Sioux Indians; horse stolen; Pawnees begging for food; and more. Great local color and description.

This batch of Wagon Train Travel Letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 170287256399.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Key West Fla. Sept 5th 1862

William Hopper who was a Hospital Steward in the 90th New York Veteran Volunteers Regiment. The letter is dated Key West Fla. Sept 5th 1862. The letter reads:

My Dear Wife,

On the 1st of this month I had a slight attack of yellow fever which might have proved fatal had I not taken it in time as it is life or death very quick but by good treatment and attention I have recovered the treatment was a hot mustard bath after taken the bath I was wraped up in woolen blankets and allowed to sweat in the mean time I took a large dose of castor oil....if I had not known the symptoms I should have no doubt let it run on me until it would be too late. I am all right now unless I get another attack. I will return to duty in 3 or 4 days. I get good care here. Please let me know how much you owe Mother up to the 1st of September. Our pay is due again but I don't suppose the pay Master will come here until the fever has disappeared from the Island write soon. I got a letter from Ben saying Edward Andariese has gone to the War he says Astoria is all clearing out to the War. Your affectionate Husband Wm H Hopper.

This Civil War letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 310107115968.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Civil War letter by William Hopper

Civil War letter written by William Hopper who was a Hospital Steward in the 90th New York Veteran Volunteers Regiment. The letter is dated,"In the field in Camp near Kearns Town...April 6th 1865." This letter is dated just three days before Lee surrendered to Grant, in the letter he mentions Lee. The letter reads:

My Dear Wife

I received your letter last night I was happy to hear you and Katy was well we left Stephensson Depot on the 4th to March up the Valley it rained very fast when we started. We started about oclock P.M. the roads are very muddy we halted about 4 miles above Winchester where we remained all day yesterday and I think we will today there is an order issued for us to have two Pair of shoes. I think we will get the shoes today and start again tomorrow. I think our destination is Linchburg about 150 miles. I miss my log house very much the last two nights also today as the weather is very stormy. I have simply a shelter tent now to protect me from the storms my bed upon the ground I was very much afraid I would take cold after our march by lying on the ground but I did not I am pretty tough yet. I sent all my suplus clothing to Baltimore for storage. We belong to Genl. Hancocks Vet Army now by transfer from Sheridans. I did not go to Harpers Ferry as I expected to and I have not been able to ascertain the reasons of it but I think Col. Thaumon got wind of my movements and frustrated my designs before the order for my detail was issued. You may seal up my cheverons in a close package and forward them I will risk them coming all safe. It is thought Lee will come down the Valley if he does he will find obstacles in the way such as Hancocks Corps Carries. Portions of which has been concentrating at this place. I did not think there was so many troops in the Valley as I now see. I expect we will have some hard marching up through the Valley when we get under way which I expect will be tomorrow. Write again soon I remain as ever Yours. W.H. Hopper Address me thus W.H. Hopper Hosp...90th N.Y. Vet. Vols. 1st Brig. Dwights Div. Harpers Ferry. Va.

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 310107115760. If William Hopper is one of your ancestors you may want to place a bid.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Spring Grove, Florida, Lizzie M. Clark

1881 Spring Grove, Florida

Letter home from northerner, Lizzie M. Clark. She describes her impressions of the Spring Grove area (including Jacksonville) in eight filled pages. The letter also includes her floor plan sketch of the house -- showing piazza, hammock, etc. She mentions her "colored" washer woman, sweet potatoes for breakfast, riding in a donkey cart, gorgeous sunset, orange grove, Florida "crackers" who come to hunt deer, and more. " She appears to be living with her husband on the land of a Mr. Greenleaf.

"There are five men to work the grove - three white; and two colored - the latter are pleasant & willing and do many things for us."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Henry Jennings letter 1798

Henry Jennings letter dated 1798. Henry Jennings has written a letter from Norwich, to his mother in Preston, CT. The letter relates his trip withh the Ship Hope, a ship of 16 guns..... and signs Henry Jennings.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kiona, Benton County, Washington

Letters written in 1927 by Herman Ohms, a 37 year old WWI Veteran (ex-Marine) who is living at Kiona, Benton County, in the Yakima River Valley in the state of Washington and presently employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad. He has written these letters to a pen pal by the name of Robert Meador who lives in Goodview, Bedford County, Virginia. Olms’ two letters are described as follows:

--First letter dated 18 January 1927, is 4-pages written in ink on lined white paper. Ohms introduces himself to Meador and proceeds to write a little about his 20 years of travel throughout Western America and a lot about the Menominee Indians he grew up around in Northern Wisconsin. He describes their diet, lifestyles, living in teepees in summer & log houses in winter. He explains and draws a diagram showing how bears were caught in deadfall traps. He writes “I have had some of the older Indians tell me how they got Mr. Bear . . . the Indian would back up to a large tree one that the Bear could not reach around. Then when the Bear came to attack him, as you know that a Bear always squeezes his victim, the man would have a sharp knife so when the Bear made the squeeze he would disembowel the animal which would be the end of Mr. Bear. It must of took some nerve to do this.” He gives further interesting details of the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin.

--Second letter dated 30 March 1927, is five-pages. Ohms writes Meador that he has been working early & late loading sheep onto stock cars of the NPRR. He describes a recent arrow hunting expedition and his efforts to reproduce the Yakima Indian’s method of making tools & arrowheads. He goes on to describe present conditions of the Yakima Indians: “All that is left of this tribe is on the Reservation at Topnish, WA about 38 miles west of here and number about 500 all told and most of them are Breeds as the full blood Indians are about gone. They live on land allotted to them by the Government and do very little work usually in the fall. They pick potatoes and before 1915 [prohibition] hops, but no more hops.” Meador then describes in detail watching the Indians fish-for and hook salmon in the Yakima River.

This group of great Kiona, Benton County, Washington letters is for sale on Ebay Item number: 360110713250.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stephen Pike, Burlington, New Jersey

Handwritten letters, 1805-1825. The material centers on Stephen Pike (1786-1826) a Burlington, New Jersey teacher and merchant who married Rebecca, a daughter of the noted Rev. Thomas Scattergood. Pike is an interesting writer who frequently punctuates his letters with humor and personal musings. He was active in Quaker affairs and there are many names and commentaries. All but a few of the letters were penned by Stephen Pike and many were sent to his good friend, Thomas Kite, in Philadelphia. Other correspondents: Rebecca Pike, sister Sarah, and Miers Fisher.

Highlights include:

Three detailed travel letters home, 1819, Union, PA; Salem, Ohio; Fredonia, New York; from Pike's horseback trip to towns in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. Content on a salt mine, maple sugar camp, journey into coal mine, Lake Erie, Cattaraugus Indians, more.
Hears Elijah Hicks lecture
Dr. Physic to treat Susan Emlen's cancer
ALS Miers Fisher - death of William Redwood
Fascinating descriptive portrait of the "little Prophetess" Mary Roscoe [married name Hinsdale -- later figured prominently in Thomas Paine recant controversy]
Quaker meetings; prominent visiting ministers
Brief excerpts:

1819 [Pike enters 400 ft into PA coal mine with lighted candle] - "There are a number of passages crossing each other at right angles like the streets of a city; what represents the blocks of houses, however, are but 6, 8, or perhaps 10 feet square - through these passages a cart is drawn to the extremes where the coal is dug..."

1819 [Sandy Hill Meeting, OH] - "...the smallest meeting house I think I have ever seen...built of logs...with sliders to separate the men and women..."

1819 [Ohio salt works on Yellow Creek, north of Richmond] - "They bore the earth, mostly through solid rock...descending frequently to the depth of three hundred feet...a tube is inserted to pump up the salt water from the bottom."

1819 At Lake Erie, Pike is mortified to find himself unexpectedly on board a vessel of war while on an outing with Commodore David Deacon. "My opposition to the spirit of war was by no means lessened by this accidental visit..."

1819- [Buffalo, NY] - "I passed through the Indian Village at Cattataugus...I was much interested in seeing the uncivilized aborigines of our country in their native haunts...I saw a number of the Indians of both sexes apparently enjoying their indolent repose...I met one party of young folks on horseback. They galloped by me with smiling countenances, their faces ornamented...with streaks and spots of red paint." More.

1819 [Crosses Carthage Bridge, NY] - "Conceive of a bridge of a light, airy structure, two hundred feet above the surface of the water, the principal support being a single arch of 300 feet springing from one perpendicular precipice to another...; [seeing people on bridge from below] " appeared as if [they were] passing over a rainbow among the clouds."

1813 [Elijah Hicks] - "I had the satisfaction of hearing him, for the first, at an appointed meeting he had here...He was eloquent on his two (I almost said favourite) topics..." More.

1814 - "Dr. Physic, who is now sick in the same family is an instance of one who has attained to their every pinnacle...and is very far from being lifted above the calamities of life. He has come to relieve his afflicted friend, but he is, himself so much afflicted by disease as to be unable to perform the necessary operation."

1807 [Philadelphia Yearly Meeting] - "This being the yearly meeting week we are crowded with company and fare sumptiously...the streets are swarming with plain gowns...the doorkeeper of the women[s] meeting house was curious enough to count the number that attended it and computed it to upward of sixteen hundred women in one house."

1824 - "Sister Scattergood has had a tedious time with a felon on one of her thumbs...Her son Joseph has also been much afflicted with a swelling on his arm. Above seventy leeches were applied. Afterwards it was oppend and since that town or more pieces of bone have come from it..."

Prophet Mary Roscoe

1814, 1815 - "Mary R. rose and began an interesting and very instructive address...she appears to speak only in compliance with a higher power.."; "...there were many in the meeting as well as myself, enamoured of the beauty of her lines, and exicted strongly to desire the possession of what appears so noble, and the same time, so lovely."; "I am told she fainted several times in attempting to speak in public,"; "She resided for a time in Willet Hicks; family, and it troubled Willet & his wife not a little that they could not, by any means, induce her to sit with them at table. I suppose they considered her a sister in the highest affinity, being, spiritually a child of the same Divine Parent, a partaker of his favours....but he insisted that the kitchen was her proper place..." More.

Note: Three letters have content on Mary Roscoe -- her family background; sermons, personal nature. Although none of these letters are complete, they do contain a lengthy Roscoe portrait - about 2pp. legal total. One letter with paper loss at bottom; two lacking signature pages. [See last photo.} Mary Roscoe (later married Henry Hinsdale) played a prominent role in the Thomas Paine (1737-1819) recant controversy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Edward Brooks to sister Sarah

June 1864 letter datelined 11 US Inft 1st Brig, 2nd Div., 5th AC-We have had no fighting,... but since tow oclock this morning we have been hearing musketry in the 9th corps. they have been very rapidly cannonading for a couple of hours ...we are now within 2 miles of Petersburg, but the confederates still hold that place. ...we have been making our way here from near cold harbor, across the Chickahominy, to charles city court house and yesterday we crossed the james at windmill point some 25 or 28 miles below Richmond. the trains crossed on a pontoon bridge said to be 2100 feet long... the troops crossed in transports. the 2nd corps crossed on the 15th and the 9th corps just afterards.. the 18th corps under gen smith went by transports through white house and up the james and was the first to advance on the south side of the river.. I hear a cannon about twice a minute, it is about 10 am, and firing will probably cease soon. June 18th we moved out hospital...we took earth works and the commanding position of this whole vicinity which the rebs would not have yielded if they had intended to make a stand against us.. These heights overlook Petersburg and only a mile distant so that 3 church spires are in plain sight above the tree tops.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Georgetown, Washington 1834

A one page letter with integral address leaf from F.W. Dodge of Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, to his nephew Allen Dodge at New York. Dated Georgetown, September 2, 1834, the letter combines business with complaints of illness.

This letter is for sale on Ebay, Item number: 190263574632.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bremen, Georgia

A single hand written letter of 10 pages (6 leaves, 4 have writting on verso too, ca. 8 1/2 x 11 inches) is on Southern Fruit Growing and Colonizing Co letterhead and concerns real estate in Bremen,Georgia in 1896.
The letterhead has the names of four company officers across the very top, a depiction of a formal fruitbowl with fruit in it on the left hand side, and the company name mentioned above. Under the company name is printed information concerning the company: An Enterprise Conducted by Practical Fruit Growers for the Promotion of Fruit Growing at Bremen, Haralson County, Georgia. Situated at the Junction of the Southern, and Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railways Shipping Faclities not Equalled at any Other Fruit Growing Point in this Section.

The, letter addressed to J S G Edwards of Glen, N.Y., is a long letter containing a great deal of information. The writer attempts to sell lots from a recently organized company. He refers to a prospectus, which is not present here, but he goes on to discuss most of what is probably in it anyway: claiming the truthfulness and accuracy of its information. He mentions the grapes which are already grown in the area, the start of a canning factory, the beautiful weather, the various kinds of fruit that can be grown on this land, they own or control 8,000 acres, beside grapes, he mentions berries, blue berries, festive tomatoes, apples, peaches, cherries, plums - in fact, he states, all fruit do well. As do Irish potatoes and grasses.

He knows that the person addressed has the qualifications of a civil engineer and appeals to his background and knowledge as well. He also states that Natives like the American Indian are being rapidy pressed backward and crowded out.

Ebay Item number: 320312158192

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Warren Hobbs to William Newhall 1823

An excellent letter from Warren Hobbs to William Newhall. Three pages and well written., letter details the people of Virginia. The schools of Virginia and how they are not up to standard as northern schools. He is a northern man who has moved to Virginia to teach., and talks of the people and their kindness to him. The many grand plantations situated back from the roads., with a lot of woods between. It is a fine three page letter written and signed by Warren Hobbs.

The town markings are hand written, dated underneath., 22 March., has a rate of "25"., going to William Newhall, Leicester, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Philadelphia, 1832 J.N. Fitch

Dated Philadelphia, 1832. letter regarding Choleria in Philadelphia by J.N. Fitch - Physician. ALS, 3pp, 4to, plus integral address leaf addressed to Dr. Lewis Wolfley, Lancaster, Ohio. Nearly two pages on the cholera: visited two hospitals in Phila.; saw 25 patients; spoke with physicians about treatments; gives the recipe for a compound used in "the common premonitory stages". Fitch observes, "Bleeding is not resorted to in any case.

I found this letter for sale on Ebay, Item number: 220295322531. If you are interested just follow one of the links to Ebay on this blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

War Department 1785

Up for sale on Ebay is a original document dated 1785, War Department; where Joseph Carelton has written a letter to Major Wyllys; requesting muster rolls of discharged troops so that proper payment can be completed.

Joseph Carelton was acting Secretary of War between General Benjamin Lincoln and General Henry Knox....Acting Secretary at War, 1783 to 1785 Acting Secretary at War (while Secretary in the War Office), November 1783 to April 1785; Deputy Secretary at War, May to November 1785.

If you would like to take a peek at this document or place a bid just follow one of the links to Ebay on this blog.

Item number: 180295583850

Friday, October 03, 2008

Walter E. Lick Olcott Texas

To Lt. Walter E. Lick. Ellington Field Barracks 52, 2nd Prov. Squad, Olcott Texas. Letter From A.H. Olson. June 24, 1918. Written on writers business letterhead: "A.H. Olson D.C. Chiropractor"-------- Letter Mention In Part: I resume by this time you can do the spiral glide and loop the loop. Do you know where you are when you loop the loop? Heads up or tails up? Heads up you win - The Class A1 men are all gone here and they are going to change some of the rest to Class A1 at once - Papers says 250,000 will be changed, they have me Class 5G - I was #314, some looked like Ghosts and some looked green very few had a smile. This was in the Cleveland Court House on the 3rd floor. We went around with nothing on only trousers until we saw the MD's - Marble floor cold on bear feet - Writer mentions brothers enlistments - & More.

You can find this letter on Ebay, Item number: 330274906869.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whitesborough, New York, 1841

Letter by Laura Dexter of Whitesborough, New York, 1841, with postmarked integral address leaf to Edward North and reads in part: "McLeod's trial is the all absorbing topic of the day, our quiet, peaceible village, has been under military guardianship for many weeks, by orders of our good & careful whig Governor," William Seward, "an armed band have patrolled our streets, breaking at intervals the still watches of the night. I am thankful that thus far, the law has taken its course, & McLeod is unmolested, but I fear the result, if he be acquitted, as many curses, both loud & deep, have come forth against him, and a war with England instead of being deprecated, seems with some to be the great desirable."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Andrew J. Glover Rockingham County, New Hampshire

A 3 page letter with a red paper seal on the front., from the State of New Hampshire., Rockingham County., an order to the sheriff. A citizen is asking for the arrest of another for his crime of breaking and entering his home and stealing all sorts of items.

He used force to enter his home., he stole 50 lbs of salt pork, 20 lbs butter, 3 lbs of candles, 12 silver spoons, one silver butter knife. The letter is more detailed, has other pages of description of the thief., named Andrew J. Glover., with the autographs of the Judge and the Sheriff and the person who has filed this arrest order, Elbrdige Robinson.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kokomo Indiana Love Letters

Up for auction on Ebay is a group of 40 handwritten vintage love letters to a woman by the name of Daisy B. Smith who lived in Kokomo Indiana at the time these letters were written. The letters are written by her soon to be husband, Howard Spitzer who owns his own business in Mount Vernon Ohio called “Spitzer’s Shoe Parlors.” The earliest letter is dated March 21st, 1912 and the last letter September 1st, 1913 only 9 days before the couple gets married.

“Tampa Fla. March 21st, 1912

My Dear Friend,

…..I sure wish I lived close enough to you so we could take a moonlight ride. I am fond of them aren’t you. Well we will keep getting acquainted better every day and I am going to reveal a secret to you right here and I trust you will forgive me for not telling you sooner. Now hold your breath. Do you remember one time I wrote you and told you that I did not like the southern girls, however I was foolish enough one time to marry one and I am what some people call a grass widow. Now what do you think of that. We could not get along together so we called it quits. I know this will be quite a surprise to you and I have wanted to tell you for some time but have just put it off……I don’t believe you would be satisfied away from your people….I remain as ever, C. S. McCalister. Sunlight Mfg. Co.”

This group of letters would be a fantastic find for someone working on a Spitzer genealogy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Orleans 1846

Letter written March 22, 1846 from New Orleans by Hiram A. Goodlett to his mother, Mrs. Harriet Goodlett, in Alexandria, Benton Co. Alabama. Benton County’s name was changed to Calhoun County in 1868. The letter includes a ½-page note to his brother Alfred.

Important letter filled with fascinating observations about New Orleans, its population, fashions, etc. Hiram begins by writing that he had become uneasy, having received “Only one letter in two months.” He continues, “This is a great and growing city, and I think I shall do well here yet…There are people of all nations and kinds here…The rich and the poor are near neighbors…Poor people ought not to live in cities [because] it requires wealth to be fashionable, and if families do not follow fashion, they are out of the world…All cities are more or less filthy, and a person from the country accustomed to neatness, though poor, would be disgusted with what they could not avoid…It is a great benefit to a person, of the right turn of mind, to live awhile in a city…A farmer settled in a good country, with enough for independence, is the happiest man on earth…Most persons [in New Orleans] dress finely, and the women extravagantly…There are three theatres, circuses, galleries of paintings and numberless other places to take a man’s money.”
The note to Alfred encourages him to continue his studies: “study Book Keeping…You ought to improve your handwriting by all means.” He suggests that if Father can sell the lot “on which there is a meeting house” near Goldville (some distance from Alexandria), their father can have Hiram’s share of the proceeds.
In addition, there are descriptions of the City’s distinctive cemeteries, the Mississippi River and its steamboat traffic, ships, etc., the cost of lodging and his difficulty finding affordable accommodations, cotton seed that he is sending and wants Alfred to plant (“The seed is worth $4 per bushel here.”), “I was vaccinated two weeks ago and it took well, so I shall not fear the Small Pox”, etc., etc.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

1864 Civil War Letter Horace Holton

1864 Civil War Letter written by a Mississippi Riverboat Captain relating to work on the river with his Sidewheeler - the "Polar Star". The letter is dated December 2nd, 1864 from St. Louis, Missouri and written to Horace Holton's cousin George at Charlestown, New Hampshire.
The Letter reads in part: "Dear Coz George, /I think you owe me one but I will overlook it. I have had a gay old time since I wrote you. been 9days, most all long ones on a sand bar in the middle of the "big Muddy" only 40 miles below the City. I loaded my Polar Star for Duval Bluffs, Ak and started with an old hull in tow for Cairo on the 19th of Nov. and when 20 miles down struck a bar & snapped all my tow lines like pack thread. The boat wiggled off without difficulty & I caught the hull before she grounded & again we went on our way rejoicing. About 40 miles below at Herculaneum bar we grounded again and our hull floated 4 miles down the river & lodged on a sand bar... It took me 3 days to get the boat off and 6 days to get the hull off and then the water had fallen so much I had to leave it and 1105 sks (sacks?) of oats & sending the other boat along, come back to get another boat to tow the hull and take the oat along. Total loss by detention $4,000... This is some of the beauties of Steamboating, How would you like it when you come out West to see me, I will take you down the river, if I own a boat then, and let you see for yourself.... / Yours, (signed)H. H.".

Monday, September 08, 2008

1864 Charles N. Sake

LETTER DATED JUNE 12TH, 1864. A letter from Yonkers [New York] by Charles N. Sake? addressed to his mother.

Dear mother I am thinking it is about time to wright.....Charles tells his mother about his work, pay and friends which he wants to bring home for a few days. He also tells her “they enrolled our names last weak so we are all right for the next draft when they draft I will make track for some place unnone this world is larger bigger than New Milford mutch as two [ ? ].”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mobile Alabama 1866

Letter from Israel Putnam. Malone Books, Stationery, Fancy Goods, etc 52 Dauphin Street, Mobile Alabama. Dated Feb 19, 1866. It is a letter to G&C Merriam regarding their debt advising that they have been "pressed" and are only able to pay a portion of their balance and willingness to pay interest should they "say so". A post script advising they sold their house and lot in Eufaula and will send payment to settle off old claims once "the deed can be made out and the money paid".

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rahway, New Jersey 1872

To the mayor of Rahway, New Jersey. In full: “There died at this place on the 8th inst. Of Typhoid Fever a young man of the name of Geo. Jackson whose parents and family reside in your place as ascertained from letters found among his effects. Will you be kind enough to break this sad news to them and inform them that a letter to me will be answered giving full particulars as regards his effects &c. Respectfully, Dr. A.A. Mix, Public Administrator, Yuma Co., A.T.”

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 260281923720

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Concord, Massachusetts 1818

Document dated 1818, Concord, Massachusetts, where Peter Wilson has written to 'Friend Hamilton' of Hamilton and Wood; regarding shipping various whiskey to him....signed Peter Wilson.

This great old Concord, Massachusetts letter is for sale on ebay Item number: 350085787778. What a great find for your Wilson genealogy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

H.L. Roberts Civil War Letter

An original Civil War letter which includes the envelope which has the address of Cambridge Maryland. It is dated Load's Chester Co. Va, Dec 2 1862. The letter reads as follows:

My Dear Eliza,

I know you will think me a real good girl for replying to your long looked for letter so soon after its very welcome reception but I was so real glad to hear from you and I thought the very best way to convince you would be by letting you hear from me very soon I have very often thought of you this summer & sometimes was forced to the conclusion you had forgotten me surrounded by old friends.....I never have passed so quite a season nothing at all to relieve the monotony. Not even an occasional visit from our friends & relations in the Army. Exceptin John Potts poor fellow who was wounded as you know & home for a very little while but that was in September, July and August, were sad months of fearful suspense Sister Annie was with us during the month of August, & of course that was very plesant. The only comfort I had was in writing & receiving letter from my friends in the Army. Making things for the soldiers & keeping very busy about the house & on the Sabbath walking two miles to teach Sunday School.....I had time quietly to think of others besides myself & I hope I may have done some things which were profitable at least I have learned that life is both "real and earnest." Emma Bull came over to see me on Saturday I gave her your photograph with which she was delighted.......Our cousin Capt Heber Smith poor fellow had been sick but was quite well again how I do want to see him it seems so funny that he should be in the Army I have such a good potograph of him & like you I find my album a very great comfort......I am going to tell you next of my own dear Brother Dewees, poor fellow was sick in the Fall we were Oh so very anxious but I am thankful to say he is quite well again indeed has been in two & perhaps three quite little battles since down near Suffolk (where he is stationed) on the Black water River. He is Captain of his company now. And in West Chester at the Military Adacemy. A young Cadet to be sure so when next you see him he will have quite a military air & more than ever a beaux. He often speaks of "Miss Eliza," Our pleasant parties in Phila last winter will not be realized....None of our number will be there.....Capt Elliot you know is with Gen Pope, I've not heard from him very lately....I do wish this war over, I want so much to see my friends but I think now everything looks very dark. How do you feel in regard to the removal of Gen McClellan? I am so sorry indeed I fear it will have a very bad effect. My friends under him seem very much discouraged. However I will still hope for the best. Having great faith in Gen Burnside. Did you think of us all when the Rebels were in Penna? Everybody went to defend the state. Heber Bull took his horse and went as Cavalry indeed the excitement was intense I cannot say that I felt very much alarmed but still I suppose there was cause for fear but I have written already so long a letter you will wish you had never written me........Your Sincere friend H.L. Roberts.

This letter is on Ebay if you want to have a look.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Private P.J. Murphy 1917

Three page typewritten letter, dated November 4, 1917, from "Somewhere in France". Private P.J. Murphy, Company D, 14th Engineers AEF to his friend Syl. Great content about travel to France, organizing camp, railroad movement to the front, description of the trenches "evacuated by Fritz", dealing with snipers, problems with mail. "We were the first regiment of American troops to see active service in France within range of the German guns.

Ebay Item number: 200245325965

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1778 William Jackson

Original letter dated 1778, where William Jackson has written to a Lt. Croker, of the 28th Regiment at Truro, regarding the estate left by his Uncle, though he was left only a very small seems the Uncle did not like the any event letter is 2 pages, 8x8 with addressed outer leaf.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Berkshire, Massachusetts 1822

I found this great old letter for sale on Ebay Item number: 280253517331 It is full of great info and would be a great find for someone who is working on the Fruser family, Pitton family or Case family.

Addressed to Mr. William Whitney, Pittsfield, County of Berkshire, Massachusetts", the content relates to settlement of property taxes due for years of 1810 through 1822 on certain real estate located in Township 4, Range 18 in or around Hartford, Connecticut.

Evidently the property had been split, and while most of the new owners had paid their taxes, there remained 12 years of unpaid real property taxes due from the owner of the bulk of the property, (looks like "Dorsance").

Some of the owners of the split properties were "Abraham Fruser", "Parker Pitton", "Leonard Case", and one I simply can't make out.

The writer, Jess Kingsbury, states that Mr. Whitney will be sent the receipts upon payment of the back taxes, the amounts of which are listed, and were verified by a General Simon Perkins.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Order Of Arrest For John Steffe 1819

This order of arrest dated July 23, 1819. To the Sheriff of Baltimore County, State of Maryland, to arrest John Steffe, to answer to Adam Slyder, Administrator of estate of Philip Slyder for debt of $533.33. Signed by William Gibson, Clerk of the Court of Judge Walter Dorsey. Docketed on reverse with Sheriff's attestation.

I found this item for sale ao Ebay. If John Steffe is one of your ancestors you might want to place a bid. I have a link to Ebay on this blog if you are interested. The Item number is: 200242006784

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Salem, Massachusetts 1836

Two letters, probably written by brothers from Salem, Massachusetts, to an uncle Roswell Morgan in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1827 and 1836. The first letter shown is that of 1836, mentioning the "old Crowningshield wharf which had almost gone to pieces, and how it had been bought by enterprising young men, and the Hon. S.C. Phillips and was under repair. "He has got 3 whale ship of his own and bought another. The whaling company in this city had an arrival from a 18 1/2 month cruise in the Pacific Ocean with 2150 lbs of Sperm oil." Other text about weather, family, etc.

Second letter, the earlier one, begins with the writer's recollections about having paid a visit to the Springfield area (the mountains, the lead mines, the gun factory, the asylum for the unfortunate deaf and dumb, etc.) Then the writer mentions some Salem news, " perhaps you have read in the papers something of the postponed mill-dam. I am afraid it will be like most other projects that are started in the town their is not public spirit enough in the monied folks to carry it through." He finishes with an invitation to the uncle to "visit us (and) enjoy yourself a sail on the water (and) very pretty fishing on the sea shore.

The letters are for sale on Ebay Item number: 370062164747. If you want to place a bid just follow one of the links on this blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kate Stewart, Home Child's Letter to Brother in England 1885

Dec 11th 85 [1885]

Dear Brother Johnny,

I received your letter & was very pleased to hear from you, & hope you will write again soon & tell me any news of mother & all that you can – I hope you are doing well. I am very well – & very comfortable going to school now again regularly.

Mrs. Phillips was very sick a long time & I had to stay at home to help her. Next Wednesday is our examination at school. Our teacher is going to leave this Christmas & next year we are to have a gentleman teacher. We had a large party on 3rd November.

Mrs. Phillips niece was married here – we had about 50 guests. I had a splendid time. They were married in the evening about half past 8 o’clock. I have a good time. Mrs. Phillips is very kind to me – we have plenty of apples and all kinds of fresh fruit especially raspberries & lots of ducks, chickens, turkeys &c. I help Mrs. Phillips with all kinds of work. She wants me to grow up useful.

There is a ‘Home’ near here called the ‘Guthrie Home’; the children come from Mr. Middlemore’s home at Birmingham. One of the girls goes to school with me. I know a girl who came from Miss Ryes some years ago. Now she is grown up & gets 7 dollars
a month & is such a neat tidy girl I hope I shall be able to get such wages some time.

Can you tell me when my birthday is please?

I give my love to all & with love I am your affe sister Kate.

Notes: Kate Stewart was a home child brought over on the SS Parisian in April 1882 by Miss Rye. She was placed with Dan and Mary Phillips of Westminster, London Ontario - an elderly couple who took in other home children. Kate would have been 13 when she wrote to her brother Johnny, 17, back in England. Johnny, my great grandfather, lost touch with her and always regretted failing to maintain contact. Kate is lost to the family forever... unless someone out there knows different.

Submitter: Paul Barton

Friday, June 13, 2008

WWII Letter from Donald Malcolm Delaney of Nova Scotia

March 15, 1944
2300 hrs.
Somewhere in Italy
G 43024 G.M. D.M. Delaney1 2 C.M.R. R.C.A. C.M.F. C.A.O.

My Dear Father:

This letter will undoubtedly take some time to write as I intend to give you some idea of what we’re doing and how we’re living it etc. So I will start it now and finish it up to-morrow. It will I know be very interesting to you, but I don’t advise you to show it to Mother as she might worry more than ever.

Our gun-watch finishes at midnight, we have been in since 4 o’clock. For some weeks now we have been on the go for 18 hrs out of 24. But we should start to get a bit more sleep from now on as we are more or less better organized. There is not much action now, except for infantry, patrols and we have been doing a little but not much shelling of enemy batteries. As you know we are Med. Artillery firing 100 pound shell, and I might say at this point that I have carried quite a few of them, and they aren’t getting any lighter. This one should make you smile.

When we first moved into position none of us knew just exactly how we would re-act under shellfire and naturally we were quite tense waiting for the first one to come. We did not have long to wait. One landed, I just don’t know how close, but it was close enough, we could hear it coming and by the time it hit the ground, I was flat on my face. It was a dud however and did not go off.

But that was nothing compared with what was to come. The first few nights we laid in bed and would listen to the Gerry Shells whistling overhead and finally they would land and explode, that is about every three out of every five would explode. He certainly fires a lot of duds. Perhaps we do too for all I know, but I do know that he has a lot more duds than we do. And another thing I know is that for every shell he fires at us we fire easily ten back so it can be easily seen who has the most artillery.

I’ve picked up a German rifle all intact except that the chamber is plugged with a round that has been jammed in the barrel. When I get that out, I intend to do a bit of shooting as there are countless German rounds laying around as well as machine guns, mortar bombs, helmets, web, etc. and I might add German graves. They certainly must of put up a stiff battle here, but they lost and the Canadian Infantry certainly had a lot to do with it, much more in fact than anyone else, and everybody here knows it.

I also have picked up a couple of automatics, one is a 9 mm and the other is a .32 automatic. But it is very difficult to get that type of ammunition. They are both Italian guns. I picked them up in Bari when I was there one leave. I haven’t seen a German plane in the air since I arrived in this country, but I have seen plenty of them in the ground, as well as their famous Tiger tanks. If I only had a camera with plenty of film, I certainly could have lots of interesting pictures to bring home.

This is certainly the place to come if anybody wants to save money. I haven’t been in pay parade this year yet, nor have I been afforded the opportunity to spend any money, except for the weekly canteen and all you can buy is usually a chocolate bar and if you are lucky a bottle of beer. Despite all this I have in my person at the present moment exactly $58.00. Besides this I have those two automatics that I could sell easily for three pounds a piece. And I have in my pay book to my credit over $50.00.

Now in case you jump off your feet and say why in hell don’t I send some of the money or all of it that I have in my person, home, the fact is I can’t. I cannot give money to the Paymaster to send home I can only send the money that’s in my book. Around the middle of Feb. I sent $40 home. Mom should have received it by now. Now I am taking a chance and sending a $10.00 bill that I have bought off one of the boys and am enclosing it in this letter. I’ll also enclose a 50 lire note as a souvenir. It is not Italian Currency but is put out by the Allied Govt and is the money that we use. One lire is valued at one cent. So 100 lire is one dollar and a pound is valued at $4.00.

The soldiers’ best friend in this country is his slit trench and his gun. To date I haven’t had to make a dive for one. But believe me if the time comes that I think I should I won’t hesitate. And I haven’t had to use my rifle except to shoot at targets and I don’t expect that I’ll ever have to. While I’m on the subject of shooting, yesterday I borrowed a tommy gun with the intention of having a spot of fun. I had it alright. I fired a few rounds and I chanced to take a glance at the barrel after feeling something splash me in the face. Apparently the first few rounds got out the barrel but the last two didn’t. One apparently was an oversize round and it jammed at the muzzle, the one that came up the barrel after it practically came out the side, that was when I felt the something splash in my face, it was some fragments of the casing in the shell. The barrel looked like somebody went to work with a can opener and ripped it open.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I owned it and I had had permission to fire it but it belonged to someone else and I did not have permission to fire it. Only too well aware of these facts, I indeed had a lot to think about. My only hope is that they will overlook the fact that I neglected to obtain permission from my worthy superiors and treat the unfortunate affair as an unavoidable accident. Otherwise instead of boasting a sizeable credit in my paybook, the credit will swing to debit. The Captain had a talk to me about it and hardly think that they will hold me responsible as it undoubtedly was an oversize round. I hope not anyway.

I hope you are receiving the papers I am sending to you. They should be interesting. An English general popped up yesterday accompanied by the usual escorts all wearing enough red tabs to set a bull mad. And as usual everybody tried to look respectful, concerned and very interested in everything. At the least our Officers did and I guess they thought we would too.

How disillusioned they were. To start the ball rolling when he came to our gun everybody forgot to stand to attention except the Sergeant. And when the general spoke to one of our boys about the mail and how long it took to come, he unfortunately picked one who is a rather nervous person with none too clear a view on how to pay the proper respects to one with the red tabs. He had a pick in his hand when the general spoke to him and when the lad answered he didn’t stand to attention and he started to swing the axe to and fro and talking at the same time and I think he even forgot to say Sir. You should have seen the look on our Officers faces. The only person who didn’t seem to mind at all was the General himself.

So that’s the army for you. The ultimate result of this episode was a stern speech from the Sgt. Major on discipline, etc. etc. We are eating fairly good. We are very fortunate at the present to be getting bread three times a day. I know we haven’t been in the past and won’t always be so lucky. We also get lots of mutton which we can eat with a mighty effort, if we are hungry enough. That stuff I believe is more unpopular than bully beef. It’s dehydrated and frankly it’s awful. For breakfast we get porridge, bacon or egg powder, sausage meat, bread, jam and coffee. For dinner we usually get canned stew, sometimes lately a bit more often, fresh meat or mutton or bully beef (Camouflaged, that is covered up in the form of a fire. Potatoes, carrots. For dessert we have usually, rice or prunes. Supper is the same. We have no other means of getting food like in England, that is what we have to live on. Sometimes the cooks get really energetic and cook doughnuts or some kind of cake but not often.

I know my chances of getting home for awhile at least, are very slim, but I do hope that I can return to England soon and never, never return to this part of the world again. England indeed is a wonderful place and it is even more appreciated when you are sent to a dirty rotten country like this. During the heavy rains that we have had we were issued rubber boots, coat and pants which keep us reasonably dry if we were handy enough to grab them when the rain started. We certainly had a lot of mud. It was always for a long while over our ankles and in some places to our knees. One time we had to move our gun out of our pit, it took us from six o’clock at night until about ten o’clock the next morning to move it from the position to the road which was a distance of roughly 200 yards. And it took two of our diesels to do it and about thirty men pulling on drag ropes. The gun weighs six tons the trucks weight about ten ton each.

Please don’t worry over me, I am quite safe. Always remember to remind Mom that I am if she shows any signs of worrying over me. If she doesn’t hear from me regular the mail sometimes is held up and lots of times I won’t have time or perhaps I won’t have the material to write with. As you know Med. Arty is well behind the lines and our only danger is shelling or bombing, and I haven’t seen or heard a German plane since I have come here and we have only been shelled once and that was very little. We were in our dug out at the time and one landed that was a dud and we could see the red hot shell sizzling in the mud. As long as a fellow digs in and uses his head he’s quite safe.

We’re off duty now and it is time for bed. March 16, 2000 hrs. We have just got our tea ration for the night and we are preparing our evening snack. To-day I received a box of chocolates from Mother which were certainly welcomed, a lot of the boys received parcels as well. It has been another quiet day to-day with a little firing but not much on both sides. This morning I had a shower, the first in a month and I certainly needed it. To-morrow if I am lucky I might get the chance to go to a show. Well, Dad I reckon I’ve said enough for now.

Best of Luck Your Son .

Submitter: Julie (Robinson) Small

Notes: This letter was written during WWII by Donald Malcolm Delaney, eldest son of Harold Vernon Delaney of Digby, NS who served in WWI. Donald died in Oct 2002. He left no known heirs. However, as his loving neice I would like you to know that Uncle Donald lived an eventful life even though he never returned to Medical school. He always championed higher education and encouraged his nieces and nephews and "adopted son" Timothy to seek an education. Donald's niece, Julie -

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

American Expeditionary Forces 1919 Memo


American Expeditionary Forces Signal Corps Replacement Depot Office of the Zone Major A.P.O. 925
January 25, 1919

FROM: Edward J. Early, Captain Ordinance, H. R. & C Zone Major.

TO: Major Philips, Personnel, R. R. & C., Tours.

SUBJECT: R. R. & C Work in Cour Cheverny.

1. The Field Signal Battalions in this area are being concentrated in the local town, leaving the twelve towns in the zone free of troops.

2. Previous to the embarking of the men from the different towns, we held meetings with the mayors and billet owners and had all owners of billets sign short forms giving the outgoing troops clearance of all and any damage to the property, and in the majority of cases where claims were presented, we had an adjustment made between the property owners and the battalion officers, paid by battalion funds. The enclosed form from the town of Cellettes will give you a fair idea of the way the claims were sent in and how adjusted, leaving but one claim open.

3. I have a squad of men who go into each town after the troops leave, repairing all stone walls, fences, broken plaster and damage to the woodwork in the area, and, in several cases, doing repair work on the roads, etc. I found it necessary in a few cases to call in the representative of the Franco-American mission in Orleans.

4. There will be several claims which it is impossible to adjust other than by R. R. & C. funds, which will be forwarded shortly to the Claims Department.

5. The continual shifting of battalions since my arrival at this station has kept me so busy that it prevented my writing you at an earlier date. Will endeavor sometime in the coming week to get into Tours on a few special cases.

E. J. Early EJE/FRT


Edward James Early was born in September 20, 1888 in Green bay, Wisconsin and graduated with a civil engineering degree from Marquette University around 1907. One of his sisters became a nun and the other, a missionary nurse living in China, surviving a grueling four years in a Japanese prison during the Second World War. In 1918 he was serving in France as a captain in army ordnance during the opening phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that ended the “Great War” when, while mounted on his horse, his pistol discharged sending a bullet thru his shin causing him to be returned to the states for medical treatment. Reunited with his family at war’s end and anticipating economic opportunities in the bourgeoning automobile Mecca of southeast Michigan, he moved his young family from Green bay to Detroit. There he founded the Michigan Drilling Company, an engineering firm that drilled and analyzed core soil samples to determine foundation strengths for the skyscrapers being built during the boom years of the roaring twenties. He developed a friendship with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison and did the soil testing for Ford’s River Rouge plant. His rigorous work ethic built wealth for his family and his savvy investment sense spared him the great economic losses visited on so many other families during the depression.

Submitter: John Early Andrews

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lt. Walter E. Lick

Letter from Soldier-Pilot W. Lick.
To Lt. Walter E. Lick. Ellington Field Barracks 52, 2nd Prov. Squad, Olcott Texas. Letters From His Wife Glady which does mention his flying. North East Pennsylvania. Oct1, 1918, Oct 20, 1918 & Nov. 26, 1918 Letters Mention In Part: Our future babies name - The Moon is getting so bright now and I wonder if you have started in Primary night Flying yet. I look at the sky every night Lover and think of the big search light the planes and night Flyers and wish them the very best of luck. I hope that your Bomber will get them with you - I have the little picture of the gunnery range standing here on my desk - Do you have any reading matter about the Marlin Aircraft gun, I enjoy reading about things you are working with - The large Army plane which flew over here [North East] surely caused some excitement, recognized it as the Dougley - So glad of the pictures you sent, the Hospital ships, gunnery range & shields for the wing flares - I'm sure that the bombing course is getting so interesting and I hope that you will continue to like it and have a good Bomber wished on you. That joyride must have been a real one I'm glad that it didn't make you sick for the Pilot probably was trying you out, Must be some Ship too. Wish they were all as good must have seemed strange not to have the Wires Sing as you slide down - Surly sorry to hear of so many Crashes - You explained to me about the course and distance indicator. Really Lover all of those marks 91 and 93 etc. - Boarding in Erie - Her pregnancy & Doctor - Be careful when you get to flying - The Flu [Spanish Influenza] is worse both at home and in Erie and they have close up everything again. Geraldine Hayward died of it last week - Victor Frank was killed in action. This week there is a picture of Geo Merrill labeled North East Ace.

Monday, June 09, 2008

William Blake Letter of 1847, Upper Canada

William Blake Letter of 1847 With Notations

Mrs. Mary Richards (1)
In Care Of Captain William Richards (2)
Perth (3), Upper Canada

Ballin????? (4)
April 30th 1847

Dear Mrs. Richards

I am shure you will be very sorry to hear that your uncle, Cuthbert Blake
(5), is dead and it is with feelings of the deepest sorrow that I write
the same to you for he was my father, poor man.

Often have I heard him speak of you with feelings of fond remembrance.
Poor man, he had no support but my days wages out of the charitable
works. I have his wife (6) to support and a troublesome bargain she is.
We the rest of your friends are well. Your uncle Joseph (7) is in good
health and so is uncle Robert (8). All well to do and comfortable.
It is all most beyond belief the distress that at present exists in
Ireland on account of the failure of the potatoes (9). Famine and strange
disorders (10) of all sorts have carried off thousands of the poor
people. I think there has more died inside the last six months than there
has for years. The markets are very high; oat meal is three shillings per
stone, yellow meal 2-6 per stone, flower is 3-8 per stone, ????? half a
crown and in fact every thing is so high that it is hard to say what the
wourld will come to.
I hope you will write and give a particular account. There is vast
multitudes (11) of people leaving Ireland for America this season.
I remain your humble servant
William Blake (12)

(1) Mary Richards Mary Richardson-Richards (c1791-1861) married sea
Captain William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. She was
the daughter of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828) by her
first marriage. After being widowed (probably in the 1798 rebellion) her
mother married John Greenley (1775-1854) in about 1801.

(2) Captain William Richards Captain William Richards (c1790-1854).
Born in Wexford County, Ireland. Seems to have gone to sea around age 12,
served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic and American wars, and
later became a merchant ship captain. He married Mary Richardson in about
1815 in Ireland. They moved to Nova Scotia Canada in about 1817 and to
New Brunswick about 1818. From the east coast of Canada he sailed a
schooner in the West Indies trade and later built and commanded his own
brig, the “William & Mary”, in the same trade until the brig and her
cargo were lost in a storm. He and wife Mary moved to Perth, Ontario
sometime prior to 1832. William built and commanded the Tay & Rideau
Canal steamer “Enterprise” from 1833 to 1836 and the steamer “George
Buchanan” on Chats Lake for a year or two thereafter.

(3) Perth Military Settlement of Perth, founded in the summer of 1816.
Captain William Richards & wife Mary moved to Perth sometime prior to
1832 and purchased or built a house on 14 acres of Concession-3/Lot-1,
Drummond Township. The Concession-3/Lot-1 property was settled/owned by
John Greenley (1775-1854) and Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-
1828), Mary Richardson-Richards’ mother. Dorothea and her second husband
John Greenley had arrived at Perth in 1816.

(4) Ballin???? Unreadable. Probably Ballinglen Townland, home area of
the Blake family in Preban Parish, County Wicklow.

(5) Cuthbert Blake Cuthbert Blake, who has just died, is brother to
Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828), wife of John Greenley
(1775-1854) and thus Mary’s uncle. The Blake family, parents unknown,
included Cuthbert, John, Joseph, Robert, Dorothea and Ann. All seem to
have been born at the Townland of Ballinglen, Preban Parish, County
Wicklow, Ireland.

(6) His Wife Although letter writer William Blake refers to Cuthbert
Blake as his father, apparently Cuthbert Blake’s wife, at the time of his
death, was not William Blake’s mother but likely a second wife.

(7) Joseph Joseph Blake, brother of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley
(????-1828), wife of John Greenley (1775-1854).

(8) Robert Robert Blake, brother of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley
(????-1828), wife of John Greenley (1775-1854).

(9) Potato Crop Failure Potatoes are not native to Europe and arrived
from South America in the early 1500s, being introduced to Ireland about
1590. By the 1800s the potato was the staple crop in the poorest areas
and more than 3,000,000 Irish subsisted solely on the potato. The famine
began in September 1845 when the plants were infected by an airborne
fungus (phytophthora infestans). The potato plants turned black, curled
and then rotted. An estimated 1,500,000 Irish died of starvation and
disease associated with the successive failure of the potato crop from
1845 through 1850.

(10) Strange Disorders This is a reference to the outbreak of epidemic
diseases associated with the famine (and widespread proverty) such as
typhus and dysentery. Most of the “famine deaths” (see # 9 above) were
not from hunger, but from these outbreaks of disease attacking bodies
weakened by hunger.

(11) Multitudes The potato famine and its aftermath led to the emigration
of more than 1,000,000 Irish, mostly to North America. In 1847 alone (the
year this letter was written) at least 100,000 Irish left their homeland.

(12) William Blake Son of Cuthbert Blake, therefore a nephew to Dorothea
Blake-Richardson-Greenley (c1765-1828), wife of John Greenley (1775-1854)
and cousin to Mary Richardson-Richards (c1791-1861). This may be the
William Blake (c1810-1882) who erected a stone in Preben Parish Cemetery
memorializing his wife Jane Wallace (c1813-1878) and their children
Robert (d.1875) Charlotte Barbara (c1826-1873), Elizabeth (c1848-1874)
and Hendrin George (c1851-1881). A nearby stone memorializes a Sarah
Blake (c1820-1856).

Note: Despite the very difficult times being experienced in Ireland at
the time this letter was written (1847) it seems that the Blake family,
or least some branches of it, were reasonably “well to do and

Submitter: Ron W. Shaw

Saturday, June 07, 2008

World War I Letter to Edward James Early of Wisconsin 1918

February 3, 1918

My Dear Captain:-

It is indeed a pleasure to receive such a letter as you write and your
cheering words deserve a much more speedy reply than I am sending.
However, as you may easily realize we are intensely active about now and
personal pleasures such as writing have to be cast aside.

Since I last wrote several real things have occurred to me up until
recently. I have been doing work on all kinds of trench warfare materiel.
One interesting thing was a visit to a British Trench Mortar school. At
this school I had an opportunity to study not only British guns but also
the various types that make up the British forces. My hat is off to the
Australians and our cousin the Canadians.

But this experience, interesting and exciting as it was, has been put
very far in the background by a more recent trip of mine. As I say I had
been handling trench warfare material in general but it seems that a
letter was received by the General that gave away my past history as an
“expert” on pyrotechnics and now, among other things, I am in full charge
of this interesting phase of the work. As a result when a call was made
for some one to go to the front lines to look into the subject, I was
hurried away and in a few hours stood gazing across “No man’s land” into
the German lines and beyond to their communications trenches. God, man,
it was fascinating and I shall never forget that first glimpse of what we
have all read about for nearly four years. Machine guns and rifles were
spitting away and now and then the big guns would boom. We left the car
in a certain spot in a certain town one day and the next day when we
returned that spot was a big shell hole. The dear little message arrived
during the night. As my work was of a special character and as the place
was not particularly healthy we did not stay long. We just got back to a
safer area when the artillery duel started up.

I learned a good bit about fireworks which I expect to supplement next
week with a visit to a large French factory. In regard to the Rifle Light
fired from the V. B. Tromblon the blank cartridges ought to be attached
to the light by a wire on something with about two extra cartridges to a
box of say thirty lights. The Very Pistol of the ten gauge variety is, I
am afraid, too small for signal, which when the air is full of dust and
smoke. The 25 mm or 1” of the French is better unless the light of your
pistol is more powerful. I would advise trying it out by comparison if
you have the French material. If not get Ragsdale to either wire for some
or send over some pistols and lights right away and I will do it. I wish
you would send me a list of markings on the boxes the different pieces
are packed in and also the markings on the pieces themselves. In regard
to the 35 mm Pistol of which I have cabled several times, it is
absolutely necessary for aviation as the other is too small. Only
yesterday I received your cable on that subject and made arrangements for
all information to be sent to you. It ought to arrive soon after this

See if you can get the real dope on the rifle grenade situation. What I
want to know is whether or not a really exhaustive test was tried to
determine the effect of the firing on the U. S. Rifle. We have had a lot
of trouble with the stocks breaking.

From time to time I may be able to give you information that will aid you
in developing the pyrotechnic game. I wish I might come over for a short
trip but I would want to be sure of returning. Lieutenant Shaw just
arrived. Best to all and write again.


American Expeditionary Forces
Signal Corps Replacement Depot
Office of the Zone Major
A.P.O. 925
January 25, 1919
FROM: Edward J. Early, Captain Ordinance, H. R. & C Zone Major.
TO: Major Philips, Personnel, R. R. & C., Tours.
SUBJECT: R. R. & C Work in Cour Cheverny.

1. The Field Signal Battalions in this area are being concentrated in the
local town, leaving the twelve towns in the zone free of troops.

2. Previous to the embarking of the men from the different towns, we held
meetings with the mayors and billet owners and had all owners of billets
sign short forms giving the outgoing troops clearance of all and any
damage to the property, and in the majority of cases where claims were
presented, we had an adjustment made between the property owners and the
battalion officers, paid by battalion funds. The enclosed form from the
town of Cellettes will give you a fair idea of the way the claims were
sent in and how adjusted, leaving but one claim open.

3. I have a squad of men who go into each town after the troops leave,
repairing all stone walls, fences, broken plaster and damage to the
woodwork in the area, and, in several cases, doing repair work on the
roads, etc. I found it necessary in a few cases to call in the
representative of the Franco-American mission in Orleans.

4. There will be several claims which it is impossible to adjust other
than by R. R. & C. funds, which will be forwarded shortly to the Claims

5. The continual shifting of battalions since my arrival at this station
has kept me so busy that it prevented my writing you at an earlier date.
Will endeavor sometime in the coming week to get into Tours on a few
special cases.
E. J. Early

Notes: After receiving his engineering degree from
Marquette University, Edward James Early of Green Bay, Wisconsin entered
the Army as a Captain was was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in
Maryland before being sent to France. While in France, his pistol
discharged while he was mounted on a horse, the bullet penetrating his
leg, and after only several days in France, he was sent back to the
states. He and his wife had wanted to move to France just after World War
I to wonk on reconstruction but his son Ted came down with Chicken pox
and instead they moved from Green Bay to Detroit where he started
Michigan Drilling Company.

Submitter: John Early Andrews

Thursday, June 05, 2008

1919 Letter re Sparling Family Tree

March 28, 1919

Dear Minnie:

In answer to your letter to Margaret, & as far as I can recollect, my
grandfather, Philip Sparling, lived near Naina. His place was called Faha
House. There were 15 boys & 2 girls in the family. I believe my father
was the eldest of the boys. His name was Augustus Sparling; another
brother was Percival Sparling; then Edwin Sparling, who was in the
English army, & lived & died in the East Indies. He had a large family,
being married 4 times. I believe his family lives in the East Indies.
Most all of his boys are in the British Services, then there was
Christopher Sparling, Sophia Sparling, Philip Sparling of Derry House,
John Sparling of Adaire, Lofta S. Sparling, & that is all I can call to
mind of the 15 boys. Then came John Sparling of Broome Lodge House. He
lived about 10 mi. east of Limerick; he had quite a large family. I think
they were boys, with the exception of 1 girl. There was John Sparling, &
Julius Sparling, who went to St. Louis & settled there. I think Julius
died. There was also Henry Sparling & George Sparling. I do not remember
the other names in his family. Then there was my aunt Louisa, who married
a Ligare. They went to Canada, & although very old at the present time, I
believe they are still alive. My uncle Christopher Sparling went to
Toronto, Canada. Around the Fifties, I believe he had to escape in the
middle of the night with his family on account of the Catholic uprising
at that time, he being a very strong Orange-man. He had quite a family.
His oldest son is Charles Sparling; he is in the printing business, I
believe, in Toronto, Canada. He had several sons. I believe 2 are in the
Church of England, & one a doctor. Then there was another John Sparling,
of Scaroff, County Claire, where I was born. He was in the dry goods
business; he also held some position in the govt. Philip Sparling of
Derry, who was my uncle, married my mother’s sister, Miss Hannah Palmer.
I believe they had a large family but all I can remember are the girls. I
believe the girls all married pretty well-to-do. Philip Sparling is
living at the present time, I think in Queens County, Ireland, on the
Kent Estate, which his wife inherited from old Mrs. Kent. Her husband was
Sir Holligan Hastings, but she never assumed the title. Possibly this
will help you to trace the family history. You know I was very young when
I left Ireland, and my father never said much about his family. I always
understood we are of Holland descent, what they call Palatine, & the 1st
Sparling that emigrated became an office, & he took commission in the
British Army Service with distinction & received land in Ireland in
recompense for services rendered. I can remember my great grandmother
very well, she was a Sparling, and was 104 years old. The last I heard of
her, she lived with Uncle John Sparling of Broome Lodge. I do know that
our family was prominent around Limerick, my own father being a prominent
man in that section, & we lived in a place called Eagle Cottage, on the
Parade Road leading straight from O’Connel Monument in the city of

I cannot tell you very much more. I remain Your loving borther-in-law
Philip R. F. Sparling

Notes: I am not sure who Minnie or Philip are, but recognize some of the older names; this letter was given to my grandmother, June Sparling, by her father's cousin Shirley Sparling.

Submitter: Celia Emmelhainz

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Letter re Sparling Genealogy, Washington 1905

Sumas, Washington
April 19, 1905
Minnie L. Sparling
Everson, Whatcom Co.

Dear Mrs. Sparling

The Sparlings were originally German, Southern Germany & after the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, they had to flee for their lives, some
to England & some to Ireland. My family settled in the South of Ireland,
Limerick. I was born in the city of Limerick, 1825, on the 13th May, so
you will perceive I will be 80 years of age next month on the 13th. My
family came to Canada in 1830; it consisted of 3 boys and 3 daughters,
all of whom are dead. I am the last survivor. My own family consists of 4
daughters and 1 son, Dr. George A.M. Sparling of Lancaster, King Co. One
daughter lives in Boston, the rest in Seattle, Wash. I am in the U.S.
service here in Sumas; will try and call upon you. I knew all the
Sparlings in Ontario. My people are all Church of England people. Rev. W.
H Sparling of Rapid City, S. Dakota and Rev. Christopher Sparling of
Guelph, Ontario. I have family pedigree from Brooks Peerage; my immediate
family figured prominently in the army of Queen Anne, also William III,
Prince of Orange, & were knighted by Queen Anne for distinguished

I have kept track of the Sparlings right along and am pleased to find a lady interested in one of the first and thorough Protestant families in Ireland. I have never yet seen or heard of a Papist being called by our name, and I hope I never shall.

I am very sincerely your relation,

Fred W. Sparling, M.D.

Notes: I am not sure who Fred or Minnie are; this letter was given to my grandmother, June Sparling, by her father's cousin, Shirley Sparling.

Submitter: Celia Emmelhainz

Sunday, June 01, 2008

1942 Family Tree Letter to Martha Hansen, British Columbia to Missouri

Letter: Fort Hammond, B.C.
Feb. 17, 1942
Mrs. Martha S. Hansen
402 Pierce Street
Kirksville, Mo.
Dear Cousin Martha
Let me say 1st that it is a matter of history (& you may know it) that a
group of 50 families left Saxony, Germany, something over 300 years ago &
were settled by the British Govt. in the South of Ireland, which was
almost entirely Roman Catholic. These 50 families were so persecuted by
the Hun of that day that they were forced to flee for their lives as the
Jew is today. I will just mention 3 families: Sparling . . Ruckle . .
Heck . . (I am not sure of the spelling). A Miss Sparling married a
Ruckle & their daughter married a Mr. Heck - - who emigrated to America
in or about 1760. This Barbara Heck, according to the Methodist Church
history, was the founder of Methodism on this continent.
My father informed me that John Wesley preached to this Protestant group
& organized a Methodist Church, & that it was under the Ministry of Jno.
Wesley that this group left the Episopal Church to become Methodists.
In 1842 Jno. Sparling & his wife Mary Williams left Ireland with 3
children: Ann, 7 yrs. old; my father, James W., 4 yrs.; and Robert W.
about 2 yrs. old. Jno. William, when he was about 1 yrs. old (still
living in Ireland) was left in the care of the nursemaid, & through some
neglect the child fell off the nurse’s knee, sustaining injury which
proved fatal. The father settled in the township of Blanchard, taking up
a homestead which is today the site of the city of St. Mary’s, Ont. He
was Magistrate for this town for many years.
Joseph Walter was the 1st male child born in this township - - You will
understand from this that the country was really just a forest & they
were among the 1st settlers.

A few facts about the 1st 9 – I understand that Ann, Mary Jane, and
Elizabeth never married. Margaret married a Mr. Latimer, & died in
confinement. Her daughter Susie was raised by relatives, & married a
Methodist Minister by the name of Arthur Coone. They had 3 children. The
oldest died at 8 or 10, the remaining 2, a boy and girl, live in
Vancoouver, B.C. Miriam is a Registered Nurse, & Adrian works in the P.O
in the city. Mr. and Mrs. Coone are buried in Vancouver.

Now for the male side. - - Jno. William lived 1 yr. James Wyndham married
in October 1858 and was the father of 9 children. His wife was Margaret
Gilpin, who left Ireland when she was 25. She was 6 yrs. older than
father & lived about 20 yrs. after his death. My father died on Nov. 11,

These 9 children were raised & they all married & had families. Robert
William married my mother’s sister, & they had 10 of a family. They all
married but the oldest boy, who was a graduate of Toronto University and
died of appendicitis at the age of 30.
Joseph Walter married Susanna Kerr and from the union there were 4

William Henry married & had but 1 child. Joseph & William (bishop in M.E.
church in Canada) were Methodist ministers and great preachers of their

When I was in Los Angeles, Calif., some 30 years ago, spending the
winter, I met your Uncle Harvey Hutton and had lunch with him. I
understand his family live in that city today. ----

Do you ever come to Canada? It is out of the question for a Canadian to
get a chance to travel south unless you have good reasons—but we honor
your dollar by allowing you 1.10 for every dollar. That should be quite
an inducement for the American to travel. Of course, British Columbia is
the finest of the 9 provinces of the dominion--Should you take the trip
this summer, make it Vancouver. You need not be afraid of the Jap. We can
fix him as well as Hitler.

I trust you are in good health. I am Yours very sincerely,
W.J. Sparling

Notes: Not sure who Martha or W.J. are; this letter was given to my grandmother, June Sparling, by her father's cousin Shirley Sparling. I think my grandmother's family is from the Chillicothe, Missouri area.

Submitter: Celia Emmelhainz

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Delware Letter re Joel Jenks, Gold Rush, California 1850

First Record of letter of the Miner 49er Joel Jenks. Joel went to Rough and Ready, California. And wrote letters to his Father Ahab and his wife Minerva. Ahab kept the letters which were then passed down through Sarah (Ahab’s grand-daughter) to the family.

Letter 1 of 5 of the Ahab Jenks letter collection.

Delaware, Jany. 30 1850 (no corrections to the original text-transcribed as seen)

Mr. Joel Jinks (Jenks)

Sir, I am making preparations to go to California in the spring with a company that is going there from here. They intend to go over land route. I can take a hand with me and if you wish to go along you can have the privelage, furnishing your own clothes, which in the outfit is estimated at fifty dollars.

The conditions of the outfit of those two hand that I now have there is-- after furnishing there entyer outfit cloths and all--- which amounted to some two hundred dollars a pese. They are to give me on half of all they make for two years.

Now, if you can furnish your clothes which is one fourth of the whole outfit for one man an give me one half of all nete prosedes for eighteen months from the time we start from here. I should like to have you go along with me. I make you the first offer for there has been at least one half dozen applied to me all ready for the chanse to go. Perhaps you can arrange with your wife’s brothers to keep your wife untill youcould send something home for her support which you can do before the end of the first year. Come over or let me know immediately.

J. Storm
(Storm was married to Joel Jenks Sister.

Joel went with this outfit. Apparently his first wife had passed away
and he had remarried Minerva.Joel Jenks was married a second time to Minerva Hoover who is the stepmother of Sarah Jinks (Lake).The Post Mark on the letter (the back of the Page reads:
Mrs. Minerva Jinks
Licking county Ohio
There is no stamp on the letter.
(Written with a quill pen with great flourish)

I found J Jenks in a Book of Wagon Train Manefests from Independence.The book was in the Apple Valley, CA Library. The Mormon Geneologist showed me the book and helped me find the record of the trip.

This is the travel record (by letters written) of one Joel Jenks who went to the gold fields of California, and died in Rough and Ready, California.

Submitter: Donald "Spencer" Deal

Friday, May 30, 2008

Captain William Richards Letter 1817 Upper Canada

Captain William Richards Letter of 1817 With Notations

Mrs. Mary Richards (1)
London (2)
Bach Street
January the 30th 1817

To The Care Of ???? Allen (3)
???? Street, Wexford, Ireland (4)

Mary my dear loving wife.

This goes from me with my dearest respect to you hoping to find you in good health as it leaves me at present. Thank God for ??????? after ?????? a very heavy ???? of sickenings in ???? but thank God I have received it and was never better in health in all my life anymore than the loss of your company creates a great deal of uneasiness in my mind for fear that things do not go on to your satisfaction which would break my heart. I am not fit to be out of your sight more than a day my dear.

Day and night you are in my mind. All the world I would give to have my little darling with me this night. Mary my dear I am going to ????? the ????? And I hope that it will not be long before that I will be home again to have a happy meeting with my dear little wife.

My dear Mary I am ?????? ????? and for ever ????? I hope that you heard from your uncle (5). Hoping they are all well and my dear give my love & best respects to them. Hoping that we will meet and have a pleasant week together.

I am bound to Lisbon (6) and will be home in the first of April. ???? God to carry ??? more passengers. Write to me the day you get this letter and do not mind the expense for I would pledge my shirt to ???? your loving letter. Give my love to my mother (7) and sister (8). Hoping they are all well and wishing you may all live in peace is the only wish from your loving husband.

My dear I hope that you will ???? Nesbit Butteright (9). W. Allen (10) will tell you where to direct it to Mr. Joseph Williams (11), Puding Lane, No. 24. ??? yourself with every necessary and do not want for anything while I am able to earn a shilling. You will have your loving husband that adores you above all the world. Remember me to my uncles and aunt (12).

I have no more to say at present but will wait impationate for your answer. No more at present from your loving husband Wm. Richards (13). Til death do us part.

Mathew Walsh (14) desires to be remembered to his wife and family and he is well as all the crew (15) . Oh Mary my dear, but had I one sight of you this night I would be happy.


(1) Mary Richards Mary Richardson-Richards (c1791-1861) married sea Captain William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. She was the daughter of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828) by her first marriage. After being widowed her mother Dorothea married John Greenley (1775-1854) in about 1801, at Ferns, Wexford County, Ireland. Although unproven, a candidate for Mary’s father might be the William Richardson listed among the “Protestant Inhabitants Of The Parish Of Ferns” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin) – Richardson, William, parish clerk and schoolmaster of Ferns, killed at Enniscorthy, 28th May (1798), widow and five children left. If so, the other two children have not been identified.

(2) London London, England. Captain William Richards seems to be in London, between sea voyages, at the time he wrote this letter.

(3) Allen Unknown. Probably the W. Allen noted in #10 below.

(4) Wexford, Ireland Mary Richards was born somewhere in Wexford County, Ireland … Wexford also being the origin of the Richards and Greenley families. The address suggests Mary Richards was living in the city of Wexford in 1817.

(5) Uncle Uncertain. This could be a reference to any of Dorothea Blake- Richardson-Greenley’s brothers; Cuthbert, John, Joseph or Robert. All were born at/near the Townland of Balligen, Preban Parish, County Wicklow and later moved to the Townland of tomdarragh, Derrylosary Parish, County Wicklow.

(6) Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal. In 1817 letter writer William Richards is believed to have been the master of a merchant sailing vessel trading between London, Lisbon and the West Indies. (See H.R. Moran, “The First Tay Canal”, Ontario Historical Society, Vol. 29, 1933).

(7) Mother Captain William Richards’ mother, name unknown. This passage indicates that the H.R. Moran paper (see # 6 above), recounting that Captain Richards was an orphan due to the murder of both his parents during the 1798 Irish Rebellion is, at least as far as his mother’s death is concerned, untrue. Captain Richards’ mother was apparently alive in 1817.

(8) Sister Possibly Elizabeth Ann Richards-Busher (c1794-1875), author of the 1837 letter to Captain Richards (see notated 1837 letter). William Richards could well have had more than one sister, but in the letter he uses the singular suggesting only one sister. (9) Nesbit Butteright Unknown. Handwriting difficult to decipher, but it looks like Nesbit Butteright. (10) W. Allen Unknown. Probably the Allen, living in Wexford City, Ireland, through whom the letter was addressed.

(11) Joseph Williams Unknown, but the man through whom Captain Richards received mail in London so possibly a ship broker, owner or trader associated with the Lisbon & West Indies trade.

(12) Uncles & Aunt Probably Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley’s siblings; Cuthbert, John, Joseph, Robert and Ann.

(13) William Richards Captain William Richards (c1790-1854). Born in Wexford County, Ireland. Seems to have gone to sea around age 12, served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic and American wars, and later became a merchant ship captain. He married Mary Richardson in about 1815. They moved to Nova Scotia Canada in about 1817 and to New Brunswick about 1818. From the east coast of Canada he sailed a schooner in the West Indies trade and later built and commanded his own brig, the “William & Mary”, in the same trade until the brig and her cargo were lost in a storm. He and wife Mary moved to Perth, Ontario sometime prior to 1832. William built and commanded the Tay & Rideau Canal steamer “Enterprise” until 1836 and then another steamer on Chats Lake for a year or two.

(14) Mathew Walsh Unidentified. Apparently a crewman on Captain Richards’ ship with a wife and family living in Wexford, Ireland. (15) Crew This reference to “the crew” tends to confirm that Captain William Richards was the master of a sailing vessel

Submitter: Ron W. Shaw

Dorothea Greenley Letter 1818 Perth Military Settlement Upper Canada

Letter: Dorothea Greenley Letter of 1818 With Notations
2N8 Mrs. Richards & Captain
Care Of Mr. Peter Morris(?)
29 Duke Street
Nova Scotia
(Readdressed to St. Johns, New Brunswick)
May 1, 1818

Perth (1), on the River Taiy

My Dear Mary (2): I am thankful to heir that you and William (3) are well as I have never heird from you since you left me. I would rote to you before now but I have had a sore finger that prevented me. I got my health better than I formerly have done. We have met with heavy aflictions since we came hear(4). I thank the Almighty we are all in good helth. The children (5) grow surprising big. John (6) is very licke you. He constantly speaks of you. William Staycey (7) remains with us still, he intends to settle in this village (8) and is bilding a house for himself. He had become very clever at bilding and has behaved very well to us.

We have got a great dail of ground cleared, so much as 30 acres. Your sister Ann (9) and John Wilby (10) is settled 40 miles from this on the Kinston Road (11) and is doing very well as I have haird. Had a letter from John Blake (12) which lets me know(?) that they are all well. Mary Blake (13) has been very sickly this(?) winter. John (14) & Joseph (15) buried 2 sons(?). Cuthbert’s(?) (16) wife (17) is the same way. Your sister Besy(?) (18) is very desireis to come out and I rote for her to come if she choosed. I desired her to go half a year to a miliner as it mite serve her.

There is a grant (19) from Government that brings out wives and children free. John Greenly (20) has obtained it for her if not to late as she mite be redy earlyer in the spring. If you receive this letter, rite to me and let me have how you are getting on as I wish very much to heir from you and William (21). Let me now what kind of a place & situation you are in, this settlement is supposed(?) to be the best in Ameraca.

John Shaw (22) is formally of Clonganny (23) has come out and is settled 30 miles from us. Ned (24) came out 1 year before them and we have never heird from him. Dick (25) came to see us and desired that when I should rite to you I would let you now of Ned (26) expecting that William (27) might heir something from him.

John Greenly (28), William Steacy (29) and all the children (30) join me in sending there love to you and William I remain impeatient till you rite to me. I hair that your Uncle and Ant Edge (31) is gone to Tomdarragh (32) to live and Johnny (33) is gone to his Uncle John (34).

I remain your Affectionet Mother until death
Doth D. Gr (35)

(1) Perth Military Settlement of Perth, founded in the summer of 1816 and where John & Dorothea Greenley settled on Conc-3/Lot-1, Drummond Township, in the same year.

(2) Mary Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage) Mary Richardson (c1791-1861) who married Captain William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. In 1818 Mary and William Richards were living on the east coast of Canada. Dorothea apparently thought they were in Nova Scotia when she posted the letter to a Halifax address but the markings on the letter indicate it was forwarded to St. Johns, New Brunswick.

(3) William Captain William Richards (c1790-1854), husband of Mary Richardson (c1791-1861), Dorothea Greenley’s daughter (by her prior marriage). He went to sea about age 12, served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic and American wars, and later became a merchant ship captain. In time he invested in his own vessel but it was wrecked and he and wife Mary moved to the Perth settlement some time in the 1820s. In 1833 William Richards built and became master of the Tay & Rideau Canal steamer “Enterprise” operating between Perth, Bytown (Ottawa) and Kingston.

(4) Heavy afflictions This may be a reference to the very difficult winter & spring of 1816/1817 when the “year without summer” of 1816 left the settlers with little or no food on which to survive until the crop of 1818.

(5) Children The children of John and Dorothea Greenley who came to Canada with them in 1816; Elizabeth Ann Richardson (c1794-1875), John Greenley (1801-1850), Robert Greenley (1806-1889), Charlotte Greenley (1808-1828), James Greenley (1810-1893) and Jane Greenley (1813-1844).

(6) John John Greenley (1801-1850) son of John and Dorothea Greenley. Married Charlotte Brown in 1840.

(7) William Stacey The passenger list for the 1816 voyage of the ship Betty & Mary (via which John & Dorthea Greenley arrived in Canada) records passenger William Stacy who was granted a location ticket for Conc-5/Lot-6(SW) of Beckwith Township on 30 Nov 1816. This letter would suggest, however, that this William Stacy was living with John and Dorothea in 1818 (and had been for some time). Also, as his name does not appear on the 1820 census for Beckwith Township, it may be that he never settled on his grant. According to this letter William Stacy is engaged in building a house for himself and Jean S. McGill records in her “Pioneer History of Lanark County” that in early 1818 Rev William Bell purchased a house in Perth (at a cost of 30 pounds) constructed by William Stacey and George Graham … an indication that Stacy was indeed a “clever builder” as Dorothea notes. Although the land grant recorded William Stacy/Steacy as being of Scots extraction, it is almost certainly in error. The Steacys appear to have resided in the Townland of Tomgarrow, Wexford County, just a few kilometers north of Peppardscastle. It seems very likely the Stacy and Greenley families were acquaintances/friends in Ireland (in addition to William Stacy being a fellow passenger of the Betty & Mary). The connection could again be that William Stacy’s father and John Greenley were “brothers in arms”. Two men named Stacy were killed at Vinegar Hill in 1798, a George Stacy, a wheelwright from Enniscorthy, left a widow and six children and a Benjamin Stacey of Templeshannon, left a widow and four children (perhaps one of those children was William). William Stacy is believed to have married a woman named Barbara and had at least one son, George, who moved to Ogdensburg, New York, USA.

(8) This Village Perth, see #1 above

(9) Ann Ann Richardson (c1792-1872), Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage) who married John Willoughby (????-c1830) in Ireland in about 1815. John and Ann Willoughby arrived in Canada via the ship “Atlantic” in 1817, the year following John and Dorothea Greenley, and settled on land on Con-2/Lot-21 of Landowne Township in Leeds County. When John Willoughby died in about 1830 Ann was remarried to William Biggar (????- 1862/63).

(10) John Wilby John Willoughby (????-c1830), husband of Ann Richardson (c1792-1872), see # 8 above.

(11) Kinston Road As Dorothea’s daughter and son-in-law, John and Ann Willoughby, had settled in 1817 on Con-2/Lot-21 of Landowne Township in Leeds County they were very close to what was then the Kingston Road, a track joining the older settlements along to the St. Lawrence River and leading to Kingston at the foot of Lake Ontario. Modern day Ontario Highway # 2 generally follows the route of the old Kingston Road.

(12) John Blake Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley’s brother, born at/near the Townland of Balliglen, Preban Parish, County Wicklow, Ireland and later moved to Townland of Tomdarragh, Derrylosary Parish, County Wicklow. Dorothy had at least four brothers and a sister; John, Joseph, Robert, Cuthbert and Ann. (Their parents are unknown). A William Blake (c1810-1882), possibly the son of Dorothea’s nephew Cuthbert, erected a stone in Preben Parish Cemetery memorializing his wife Jane Wallace (c1813-1878) and their children Robert (d.1875) Charlotte Barbara (c1826- 1873), Elizabeth (c1848-1874) and Hendrin George (c1851-1881). A nearby stone memorializes a Sarah Blake (c1820-1856).

(13) Mary Blake Unidentified. Possibly wife or daughter of John Blake (#11 above). Whether in Ireland or Canada is unclear.

(14) John Likely Dorothea’s brother John in Ireland. There may be a surname in the letter but the edge of the page is cut off making it impossible to decipher.

(15) Joseph Likely Dorothea’s brother Joseph in Ireland. There may be a surname in the letter but the edge of the page is cut off making it impossible to decipher.

(16) Cuthbert(?) Most likely a reference to Cuthbert Blake, Dorothea’s brother. (Difficult to decipher, could be Cottsworth, Cottiforth or Coatsworth).

(17) Wife Unidentified wife of Cuthbert Blake # 15 above

(18) Besy Elizabeth Ann Richardson (c1794-1875), Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage), who came to Canada with John and Dorothea Greenley in 1816. Elizabeth Ann (Besy) married James Braiden (????-1865) of Conc- 1/Lot-5 Lanark Township in 1823.

(19) Government Grant Under the terms of the Edinburgh Proclamation of 1815 (see transcript) all those taking passage to Canada were offered free land and rations for a period of six months, but had to make a deposit against travel costs which was reimbursable to those settlers who stayed on their land for two years. This may be the free passage Dorothea refers to … John Greenley (see # 19 below) having “obtained it for her” by paying the deposit.

(20) John Greenly John Greenley (1775-1854), husband of letter writer Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828). Born in Wexford County, Ireland he married Dorothea at Ferns, Wexford County, in 1801. John was the first Greenley immigrant to Canada, arriving in 1816 via the ship “Betty & Mary”, with his family of seven and settling on Con-3/Lot-1(SW) of Drummond Township. (21) William Captain William Richards, see # 3 above (22) John Shaw Unidentified. From Clonganny, Wexford County, where Greenley family lived before emigration. May be a relative of the James Shaw who was killed, together with John Greenley’s presumed brother George Greenley, during their return journey from having escorted a Sgt. Stanley to Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. On the list of “Protestants Massacred in the Diocese of Ferns – Rebellion of 1798” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin) a John Shaw is listed as “piked on Gorey-Hill of Clough” and two unnamed Shaws are listed as “shot 27 May, of Kiltrish”.

(23) Clonganny Clonganny Townland, place of origin of John Shaw # 22 above. Also where John Greenley lived according to 1811map of Peppardscastle area. Clonganny House, Kiltrish Parish, near Peppardscastle, Wexford, Ireland, was a property of Hawtry White who commanded the Ballaghkeen Yeomanry Dragoons in which John Greenley served (together with George Greenley and James Shaw) during the 1798 Irish Rebellion and on which land John Greenley and the Blake family were tenants in Ireland.

(24) Ned Unidentified. Edward/Ned Shaw (?). May be relative of John Shaw # 21

(25) Dick Unidentified. Richard Shaw (?). May be relative of John Shaw # 21

(26) Ned Unidentified. Presumed to be same as # 23 above.

(27) William Probably Captain William Richards # 3 above.

(28) John Greenly John Greenley (1775-1854) see # 19 above.

(29) William Steacy William Stacy see # 6 above. This greeting on behalf of William Stacy may suggest that Mary Richardson-Richards (and perhaps the Greenley and Blake families) knew this man from Ireland.

(30) The Children Children of John and Dorothea Greenley, see # 4 above

(31) Uncle/Aunt Edge George Edge and Ann Blake-Edge (Dorothea’s sister Ann). They were married in the Diocese of Ferns in 1798. George Edge leased a parcel of land on the north side of the Peppardscastle manor house. Dorothea was born in Preben Parish, Wexford County, and, although of no proven connection, a stone in Preben Parish Cemetery, placed by one John Edge, Incumbent of Calary, memorializes his father Isiah Edge (c1780-1866), of Askakee in Preban, the son of John & Sarah Edge of Preban and grandson of David and Margaret Edge of Cullentragh Parish, Rathdrum.

(32) Tomdarragh Tomdarragh is a Townland in the Parish of Derrylossary, Baronly of Ballinacor North, Wicklow County.

(33) Johnny Unidentified. Son of one of Dorothea’s siblings.

(34) Uncle John Probably Dorothea’s brother John Blake or brother-in-law John Edge. Living in Ireland.

(35) Doth D. Gr Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (c1765-1828), wife of John Greenley (1775-1854). She was born to unidentified parents, at or near the Townland of Ballinglen in Parish of Preben, Barony of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, Ireland. Before her marriage to John Greenley, Dorothea was married to a man named Richardson and had at least three daughters by him. A possible (but unproven) candidate for Dorothea’s first husband is listed among the “Protestants Massacred In The Diocese Of Ferns” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin); William Richardson, parish clerk and schoolmaster of Ferns, killed at Enniscorthy, 28th May, widow and five children left”. If this is Dorothea’s first husband, the additional two children have not been identified.

Submitter: Ron W. Shaw

Thursday, May 29, 2008

William Harrison Letter, Meadville Pennsylvania 1867

Meadville [PA] April 8 /67 [1867]

Dear Children, Mase and Arvilla

Your welcome and kind letter dated March the 25th was rec'd yesterday.
Thank you very much for that. Hope you will favor me with another when
convienient. I have entirely given up hearing directly from Mase or your
Uncle Charles or any others from that section of the country. Nothing
could have been more welcome or acceptable than your letter informing me
how you have all getting along. Making your passage ( and by the way,
most of us are compeled to take a deck passage and that on what the
mariner calls Hurricane Deck) [in] this truthfully called this dark and
unfriendly world. Arvilla I often feel as Alexander Selkirk express
himself "I am out [of] humanity's reach I must finish my journey alone
etc. etc.”

We have all had a glorious this winter Maria, Charley and little Lura the
hired girl and myself all sick in the house together. A very interesting
time I assure you. We are all improving in health and poverty I think.
I am still with Hull & Whitney in the music store at a salary a little
less than $50 per month. If my expenses are not awful I might lay up a
little something.

I wish I could see that sweet little Emma and little Wille. Kiss each of
them a dozen times for me. If I can get away from the store long enough
to slip down and see you all one of these days perhaps I may.

I sent Samuel Nuntty a book of Sabath School songs. Has he rec’d them if
so, please say to him I would like him to acknowledge it by letter. All
business in this section of country is dull to quiet. My kind regards to
Mase, to your Uncle Charles and family also our friends up on the hill
and others who may take the trouble to enquire about me. Tell little
Emma for me that she must be good girl and learn rapidly and in a few
years after your nice house is built and properly furnished and her
Father will furnish a part of the money that Grandpa will do something
towards procureing for a splendid piano. I can get them at first cost
any one of the best and most popular makes of pianos.

I would really like to send a good No. 3 Florence Sewing Machine to
Ellicottville and sell it to Aunt Em’s next door neighbor with a tip top
operator with it. Compare the stitching and work of each together and
she would not want a Grover & Baker as a gift could she see them tested
by competent operators. But it is all right as it is. Goodbye to all.
Write me again when convenient.

As ever your affectionate Father,

W. E. Harrison [William E. Harrison]

A letter from William E. HARRISON (b.1817 d.?) to his daughter Arvilla ALLEN(b.1842 d.1932) and her family then living in Ellicottville, NY. The spelling is the original. "Mase" is Mason Hicks ALLEN (b.1833 d.1905), Arvilla's husband.

"Uncle Charles" is Charles GALLOWAY who resided with the ALLEN family and was related to William and Arvilla.

"Alexander Selkirk" was the real-life model to Defoe's book, ROBINSON CRUSOE.

"Maria" is William's second wife. (William's first wife and Arvilla's mother Lydia Fish died in 1858.)

"Charley and Lura" are probably William's and Maria's children.

"Emma" (Emma I. ALLEN b.1860 d.1934) and "Willie" (William C. ALLEN b.1866 d.1892) are Arvilla's and Mason's children.

Submitter: David A. WOOLLEY

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