Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Treasure Finds Tuesday!

I started this post at the beginning of COVID shutdown 2 years ago, but never posted it. Since I'm trying to post every thing so it doesn't ever get lost,  and post more regularly I've added to it and am posting it today. 

I'm taking classes with the National Institutes of Genealogical Studies in Toronto. The online courses are the first courses I've done on-line as opposed to seminars and/or conferences... It's a little different, but even for someone who's been doing genealogy as long as I have (over forty years!),  I'm still learning things! Many of my friends are wondering why I'm taking the Certificate degree-- after all, they think I'm magic at doing research and family history... but I'm largely self taught  and attended many conferences and classes and it would be nice to have the letters after my name (OK ,OK, my ego's showing!). I hope that I can finish the whole course soon! 

The first  "Treasure Find" that is so great is a letter written by my fifth great grandfather  and his wife  (Squire/Esquire  and Mary Bowen Ide) to his widowed sister Esther Ide Bowen in 1806.  from this there are 2 important lessons:
Lesson 1:  It really pays to  blog and keep queries and posts on many sites!
Through one of them I was contacted by a distant collateral relative who possessed the letter and was willing to sell it to me!  I have added a page with the scan of the letter to the blog (see tabs above)  as well as a transcription of the letter.  Not only does it tell a little of the life of this family, it mentions the death of the son (named Squire after his father), adding years to the estimated death of Esquire Sr. by making the 1810 and 1820 censuses refer to him rather than the son!  Wow--- my ancestors are really looking for me! I loved the spelling and lack of punctuation!   Now if I could only find a letter or Bible to help with my Burton or Fairchild lines...

Lesson 2: Never believe that you have looked for all the documents available, or that no records exist.... I wonder how many people have letters or diaries in their attics and don't even know it?!

An extra bonus is that I'm now a footnote in a book, as the  details of the letter will be used in an upcoming book  of the descendants of Richard Bowen,  who was Mary Bowen Ide's ancestor!

The second treasure happened as I was unpacking the first (!) of thirty or so packing boxes that contain family memorabilia that I inherited form my parents that haven't been opened in about 15 years. They contain stuff from my paternal grandparents as well, and until we moved to Texas, I had nowhere and no time to even start sorting through them. But with COVID enforced shutdown, I had no excuse to ignore them any longer! I shudder to think of how long this will take! Here's the before picture to keep me honest on how long it takes to finish!

In that first box, I found photos and a scrapbook and souvenirs that my Dad saved from when he attended the Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington DC in 1937 when he was 14 years old.   It was so much fun to look at, that I didn't get much else done today, so this task may take a very long time!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Josuha Rhodes letter

 Well, I think I am finally down to the last few letters in the Rhodes - Sparks family.  Without these letters I'm not sure we could make any sense of the family.!   As always spelling and punctuation are or are not  as in the letters and my comments or unreadable words are in [ ]   I will post them separately as they are getting rather long!!!!

     Letter from Josuah  Rhodes to Sarah Rhodes Sparks. Photocopy received from Patsy Davies in 1990s. Transcribed by Susan Fairchild Barry July 24 2022.

                        7 Mulbery St

                        Otley Rd


              Dec 7 /72

              Dear Sister

              Your of the 7th of

September is to hand and  [this places Sarah's death after Sep 7 1872!]

am glad to say finds us all

in good health and are glad

to hear of you being well

As regards the property you

mention I looked after it ---

twenty Years since and could

make nothing out. I wrote to

Mr Hargreave [s?] of Leeds but

could get no answer to no of

my letters and for ^any Informa=

tion I can give you none

If you think you think

           [ page 2]

you can make anything 

out I shall be glad as

for myself I have very faint

hops - William & Ruth  [ I believe is Ruth Rhodes and William Chadwick?]

address I can not give

the last time I heard of

them as they were in 

      William Ruth America

New ^ Zealand that is 3

years since  since then we

have heard nothing ----

Business hear upon the

whole is very fair but every-

thing is getting dear workmen

are working shorters hours

and getting more money wich

makes every thing very dear

when you were at Bradford

coal was 6/- per ton now

they are 24/ - per ton

Beef 11/ per pound

    [page 3]

one thing we have that

is reasonable is Flour

wich is 3/ - per stone 16 lbs

Rents are very dear

houses that used to be 9 L

are now               20L

and every thing in propotion

but the worst of it is wages

are not in propertionate

Brother Frank is well

but intends writing to you

Brother Mathew dose not

enjoy good heath

Brother John and Family

are very well

Brother Charles is better than

he has been some time

sister Jane is not well

she has seen the letter you

sent but gave no answer

    [ page 4]

as to weather she would

write or no

My son John an d family

are quit well and expect an ^Enrease

My daughter Sarah &[C?]

are well but as yet

no family

  James up to the mark

and I think they are all

on the encrease except

Sarah   I have a grand

son to keep he he is 8 years

of age

I have 5 at home single

and doing well

hoping this find you

well believe my  me

Yours affectionatly

Josuah Rhodes


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Another Sparks letter

As I am reviewing my English genealogy and going through old boxes of data I received and maybe looked at years ago, in preparation to a trip to England this fall, I am still finding new letters and data. Here are  the latest letters [This post has 2 letters, the next will have 2 more] Thank goodness someone in the family kept all these!!!!!    I'll post photocopies later.

1.   Letter from Ann Sparks Holmes to her niece Elizabeth Sparks Edwards. Photocopy of letter received from Patsy Davies. Transcribed by Susan Fairchild Barry  23 Jul 2022 . As always  my comments are in [ ] and any transcription unknowns are given.  All spellings are as in the original.... 

  Burley Dec 17 1892      [   Burley in Wharfedale?]

  Dear Neice

I write these few

lines to you hoping

this letter will find

you and your family

all well. You have oft

wanted a letter from

me to know how I was

coming on. I am very well

to say at 70 years old

plenty to do to get on.

with the help of a few

good friends

         [page 2]

Dear niece I could

like to hear from

you also. and you

will oblige me

cetainly by writing

to No 6 Iron Row

Burley -In- Wharfe


Wishing you all

 a merry Christmas

and a happy new 

year when it comes

    [page 3]

so no more at

present from

your Aunt

Mrs Ann Holmes

No 6 Iron Row

Burley in Warfdale

near Otley


2. Letter from John Morell to his cousin Elizabeth Sparks Edwards . Letter photocopy received from  Patsy Davies. Transcribed by Susan Fairchild Barry 23 July 2022. As always comments and unknowns are in [ ] .

Leeds England Feb 18th 1872

Dear Cousin    

       It is a pleasure for

me to write to you hoping it 

will find you in good health as

it leaves us pretty well at present

Dear Cousin I dare say that

will not know me but I am

your Aunt Elizabeth's Son &

my name is John I am turned

18 years of age my father left us

when my grandmother Died  &

was away 8 years [& 9 ?]  months&

then they brought him home

ill & he had the Deliriums

& he recovered & was at home

about one year & he Died

but I am very happy to say

he was prepared for another

world I am the only one

         [ page 2]

my mother [has?] but [ rest illegible]

we have had our share of trouble. I say

Cousin I never got your letter before the 

11th day of February  I was over at Burley

I went over to see my Aunt Jane for she

has been very ill in the Rhuematic but

she is on the recovering side again.

She showed me your letter & I read it

& I said that I would bring it

home and read it to my mother & then

I would answer it as I thought that

it was time some of us answered.

for I think you will think that 

it is very bad behavior but I 

never knew anything about it

until I saw it at Burley.

Dear Cousin you mention my

Cousin Thomas Footer I hope that

              [page 3]

he is doing well it is such a long

period since I heard from him

do you ever see him if you do ask

him to write to us & let us know

how he is going on in America

& what he is doing. My Aunt Jane

desires me to give her kind regards

to you she cannot write herself

& when she wants a letter ^writing to us

at Leeds she has to ask other

people to write for her & they

think it too much trouble to 

write a long letter & it is no

use to write a short letter into

America. My Aunt Ann is

quite well & she is living at

Burley & for my Uncle William

I never hear anything from

    [Page 4]

him My aunt was very ill

about one year since & when

we went to see her my Mother

& me & when we came away

they said they would write to

us & let us know how she was

but they have never wrote

to us yet  I think I have said

all me & my Mother sends 

our best respects to you all hoping 

that if we cannot meet in this

world we shall meet in 

heaven at last. please to

answering this letter as soon 

as you can Believe me Dear 

Cousin to remain your ever

Affectionate Cousin John

{written up side of page 4]

PS Please to direct your letter 

to Leeds as follows.

                                  John Morell

  please to excuse             Lamberts Yard Briggate

all mistakes                       Leeds

& the writing                      Yorkshire