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

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