Another Snail Mail Package

January 9, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I did this blog post

Look what I received in the mail

It was a package that contained some letters between my paternal grandmother and out “Texas cousins’”. I go to pick up the mail today and there was another envelop with another 10 or so letters AND something I have not seen before. A poem written by my Grandfather.

A couple amazing things about this Snail Mail package. First that I received another set of letter, and the poem, but the letter was written December 29, 1949 to his younger brother for his 60th birthday. He was born 12/29/1888.

I have written about him before

Josiah Wistar Worthington, Col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496

Now, Josiah, we called “Uncle Wistar” was a P.O.W. twice but HE wrote him while using poems as his way of telling the family how he was doing.

So, I was not surprised at my Grandfather’s 8 pages, typed written poem about my grandparents visit to Uncle Wistar’s home. The title of the poem.

TO BROWNSVILLE AND BACK (11-28-‘49 TO 12-13-‘49)”

I don’t know for sure who typed it up, as it might have been my mother, but the 8 page poem told the story of the trip my grandparents made to Texas. He told of how their children took them to the train station, how they were greeted in Texas and their return home. He mentioned many of the towns that they traveled through, what they could see from the train, it was just like we were there.

No I don’t remember that they took that trip, but I would have been in school, but I do remember Wistar and his family visiting us, but now I heard of the visit to the Texas cousins.

He wrote about the Thanksgiving dinner and their ventures while in Texas.

On the 4th page, were two paragraphs that I will share here. I do so, because the 2nd link, Josiah Wistar Worthington, col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496 talked about his military service, and in this poem, for Wistar’s birthday, my grandfather wrote:

The Colonel is retired from the Army
After serving in two World Wars;
He’s been then thru the smoke and battle
And seen men die at his side.

Near four years he was starved and tortured
After his capture at Bataan by the Japs
But miracles worked in his favor,
He was saved from a horrible death.

My Grandfather and his “little” brother, The Colonel.

Worthington_HenryRussell

Worthington_JosiahWistar-1

One other “little” item in the envelop was something that I had forgotten about, but I’ll share it here. A Card that was used for the farm we lived on. More on that in another blog post.

Worthington_Orchard_Card

The trees on both sides of the drive way, we called “the lane”, the house on the right, and it’s still standing, and the “packing house” in the back. The “packing house” is where we took care of all of the fruit from the orchards, and also had a store in the front. That isn’t there anymore, it’s all housing.

Better get back to my scanning and transcribing of these letters.


QUERY: Sarah Worthington b: 1741

December 26, 2015

Good Morning! I have a Worthington ancestor who is a mystery. She is known as Sarah Worthington. She was supposedly born 1741 in Connecticut. She was the wife of Cornelius Drake (1741-1818). Sarah Worthington Drake died in Christian County Kentucky. The Drake family line is well researched and fleshed out but no one seems to know anything about Sarah Worthington. Any info you may have would be much appreciated. I really enjoyed your site!

Thanks,

Keith


Look what I received in the mail

December 22, 2015

Snail Mail ??? Yes indeed.

The long awaited mail came today. Well, long awaited for me, after all it’s not been a week.

IMAG0592

My DNA match cousin, Juana, sent me a package today. It was one of those DAH moments. For years, I have been looking for Letters from and/or to my grandfather. As many of us do, at those with brick walls, I was looking in the wrong place. It’s been said that I don’t have any brick walls, but my response has been, and now confirmed, I was looking in the wrong place.

The content of that envelop has been catalogued and I have a plan.

  • 2 Announcements
  • 3 Essays
  • 3 Newspaper Clippings
  • 2 Telegrams
  • 1 Poem
  • 4 Report Cards
  • 27 Letters, 25 of which were written by my grandfather

The DAH moment came when I realized I was not looking to people who he had written letters TO. I know there are another set of letters with my Texas cousins, but I’ll take these Colorado Cousins for now..

The time period if from 1903 to 1940 from my grandfather, with a couple of later letters following his death.

My plan is to digitize these copies, transcribe and archive them. I know they aren’t the original letters but the black and white copies are what I have. They, for the most part, with a quick glance are readable. It will certainly give me a better idea as to who he was. Yes, I knew him as I was 13 when he died, but I do remember him. I know now say for sure, what I have always thought, HE wrote letters.

My “new” cousin says she has more and I am working on a plan to visit her in the very near future.

Sorry, I have some transcribing to do.


DNA Update

December 13, 2015

I haven’t blogged about my DNA testing for a while, so I thought I would share what happened on Friday.

I created an Online Tree at Ancestry.com that was linked to my recent DNA test there. It is an AncestryDNA autosomal test. There is a lot of information about Autosomal Testing at Ancestry.com DNA.

Here is my Ethnicity estimate chart

DNA_2

It was a little surprising when I first looked at the results, but thinking about it, this is taking ALL of my DNA, not just the Y-DNA that I may have talked about before.

A couple of days ago, I was reviewing my results and saw that I had a New 2nd cousin.

DNA_1

Now, I know the first “2nd Cousin”. He is really my 2nd cousin once removed. We have chatted about the results a number of times. But this new one was of interest.

I opened up my genealogy database and THERE SHE WAS !!! I immediately sent her a private, (DNA) Message from the website, letting her know who I was and that I know how we are related. The three of us share a common, Great Grandfather (for me), and Grandfather for the gentleman at the top of the list. Two brothers and now a Sister connection. My new cousin and I are in the same generation, while the first person is a generation before us. We are, however, not that far apart in age.

Friday, of last week, I got a reply to my “hi how are you” message, asking me to call her. What a long morning waiting for me to make that call. It was like 6 am for me, and I knew where she lived, so I wasn’t going to call at Oh Dark Thirty.

What a phone call this was. We shared the excitement of talking to another about OUR RESEARCH. You don’t always get to talk to family where the other person is interested in the details of our research.

The long and the short of this conversation is that she has Letters from our common Great Grandfather and his wife, along with letters from MY Grandfather. I knew he had letters, but somewhere along the line his letters have been lost. Not only letters but pictures AND she is willing to share them with me.

She told me that she had already shared, over the years, letters that she has with the brother of the gentleman also on the DNA list. A lot of the data that I have collected was from my Texas (and Arizona) cousins. So the Texas, Colorado, and New Jersey (formerly Pennsylvania) cousins have re-connected, with DNA to prove it.

I see a “road trip” in the near future. Can’t wait for mail from her. To be able to, finally, be able to read my grandfathers letters, with the bonus to see Samuel Worthington and Sarah Catherine Reeve’s letters. I do hope she throws in a couple of pictures.

Can’t wait to get them and to be able to share them with my Aunt, who has her 96th birthday in a couple of days.


Letter addressed to Cousin Russ

March 18, 2015

Backing up a couple of days ago, but in the order in which I read this stack of letters, I finally opened this envelope.

 

Worthington_Mary-2015_03_09-Envelope

 

It may be difficult to read, but it is addressed to “Cousin Russ”.

Two things about that, 1) If you are on Google+, I am sometimes called that, but 2) that is how some of these letters are addressed, that is to “Cousin ….” Mary, Jody and family, to me, have always been known as our Texas Cousins.

Jody, Mary, and Frances do live in Texas, but the other brother, Will, lives in Arizona. Texas Cousins, none the less.

In the letter / note, Mary said “After Jody’s mother Bernice died in September 1966, I became Aunt Polly’s penpal in her place”, that important, as the letter from Anna to Mary and Jody talked about their Aunt Polly, my Grandmother may not be able to write any more letters and that Anna, my Aunt Anna, would write as she could.

My start in genealogy, now for me Family Research, started from my Texas Cousins, for which I am most grateful. Mary mentioned “There are also 2 letters from Anna and one from Eleanor. I just couldn’t bear to thrown them away.” Thank you Mary.

Now to have time to start to read the letters from Aunt Polly to Mary and Jody


Letter #2–Aunt Anna to Jody and Mary

March 16, 2015

Slowly working my way through these unexpected letters from our “Texas Cousins”. The first letter was dated 30 September 1972, where my Aunt Eleanor told of the accident that involved one of my cousins. The very next letter, in order, was dated 12 August 1970, new year earlier, from her sister Anna to Jody and Mary.

She tell of the happy arrival home, from Turkey, of the same Kenny and his wife Edie. The “U-Haul” was involved, as with the first letter, but this time it was Ken and Edie packing and moving to Omaha.

Other news including the story about Eleanor’s daughter Bernice’s wedding of 31 July 1970, and the role Anna’s children would play in that wedding.

This picture was taken in Ocean City, New Jersey, of Anna and Eleanor, so the sisters were close even back then.

Family_Worthington_Anna Worthington_Eleanor-1923

The major part of the letter was about their mother, my Grandmother. When Anna and her husband returned to West Chester, they had a phone call from their brother Bob, letting Anna know that Mother hadn’t been feeling well and “the Dr. ordered her to the hospital”. The saddest part was “Mother’s eyes are so dim so, I doubt if she will be able to write much more – if at all”.

I am sure that the rest of the letters will be the letters that my Grandmother had been sending to Jody and Mary, and Anna was letting them know that there probably wouldn’t be many more.

My Grandmother would die 3 month’s later.

She closes the letter telling the Texas Cousins that Ken and Edie had found a trailer to live in, very close to the Air Force base and that Ken has a job lined up at a Honda Shop. That job would cost him his life in 1972.


Letter #1–Aunt Eleanor to Jody & Mary

March 14, 2015

The letter was dated 30 September 1972. That date won’t make sense  today, but it may tomorrow. I have transcribed the letter from my genealogy database and a “letter notebook” that I have created.

This letter announced to our Texas Cousins, that my cousin Kenny had been killed in an accident a couple of weeks earlier. 24 years old, was just discharged from 4 years in the Air Force, not in the letter was that he was killed in an motor cycle accident as he worked at a Honda repair shop.

Kenneth Robert Highley (05 January 1948 – 13 August 1972) was Married to Edie and they had little Kenny born the year before.  In the letter “It was so sudden, so very, very sad” it a confirmation for me, that helped confirm WHY my cousin was buried where he was buried, in the plot of Edie’s parents.

It told of how Anna and her husband, Bob, would go out to Omaha to bring their belongings, in a “U-Haul” back to New Holland, PA. Anna, being Eleanor’s younger sister. Edie and the baby had to return to Omaha and Eleanor’s daughter, Bernice and her husband would fly out to drive Edie and Kenny back to Pennsylvania. You see, that Bernice’s husband Don and Edie were brother and sister.

Aunt Eleanor mentions her other daughter, Valerie as being “8 years old & just bubbles over with enthusiasm for everything she does.”

Worthington_Eleanor-1972_09_26-5Worthington_Eleanor-1972_09_26-6

All transcribed, page protected, and in a netbook with the images, with citations, the transcription, and I added a transcription with notes about who the players are in the letter.


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