Friday, January 3, 2014

My New Year Has Started With A Genealogical Treasure

Happy New Year!
I have not posted since Christmas Eve, busy working and family time.

We had a great Christmas, Christmas Eve was at my husband's brother
I always love trying to get a picture of my MIL with her new 
Great Grandchildren, she had 3 there this year running around.
Looking forward to celebrating her 90th birthday this year.

I find these types of pictures so important.
It ties the generations together. Someday baby Wes may want to know about his
Great Grandparents and his family history.

That leads me to my family.......
If you know me you know I love history and genealogy.
I have spent many a hour researching my Mitchell side with my cousin and author
David Bowles. Sometimes when he was writing we would discuss issues, what did we think happened, who, what, when?
Many times we guessed and then later we would find the proof.
This has happened several someone was leading David and I down a path of discovery.
The links to his books are on my sidebar.

A couple of years ago I was contacted from a Professor at the University of Georgia about a document that Adam Mitchell had written to free a slave in 1825, unheard of at that time, in Tennessee. The letter gave our family great pride.
Adam is my 3rd Great Uncle.
The Professor wanted to know who the slave was, I was able to discover the story.

I have not bought anything on Ebay in several years.
Why did I decided to look at Ebay that day?
I found this
A letter written by Adam from my hometown of Charleston where he had moved
 to his hometown of Washington Co TN.
I could not believe it and was so glad there was a "buy it now" price!

Luckily they had scanned it and I could begin reading it.
I recognized the same handwriting as the letter to petition to free the slave.
It answered some questions and opened up more.
He was trying to settle the estate of his nephew James, who went back to Washington Co to visit a son who was in College. He died on the visit in 1834. I can not imagine traveling in the 1830's from IL to TN for a visit.

Davids last book wrote about the town Dr., Dr Chester. Well David was right he was our family MD. It is there in the letter.

He also mentions the recent death of my 3rd Great Grandfather John.
But also opens up some other questions my cousins and I will spend time researching.

It helps to see in writing the correct dates, the correct circumstances of events.

I think it is wonderful to hold the letter in my hand
written by my ancestor some 169 years ago.
I welcomed it back home to Charleston.


Sally Annie Magundy said...

Oh Ann! That makes me all giddy and smiley for you. What treasure and so exciting and heart tugging. WOW.
And it never occurred to me look on EBay for documents, thanks so much for sharing the idea with us too.
I'm hoping to get back to working on my family tree this year and this is a great encouragement and inspiration.

Happy happy 2014 to you!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

That is amazing that you found a 169 year old letter with so much of your family's information on EBay. My friend and I call it "a one of those" when we have unexpected coincidences that turn out to be amazing. Obviously, you were "supposed" to discover the letter that day and all things seemed "arranged" for you to have done that.

Lottie said...

Yes, Ann, that letter is amazing! What a wonderful find!

GardenOfDaisies said...

What a sweet picture. You are right, these pictures are important. You and my mom would get along great, You both share a love of researching about family ancestors and history.

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Pat said...

Amazing discovery, dear friend!!!
Your Mother~in~law is beautiful...and I would not have guessed she is ready to celebrate her 90th Birthday!!!
Happy "hunting" down the details in your letter!!!
P.S. Belated HaPpY NeW YeAr!!!

Donna said...

That letter is an amazing find, Ann! And I never would guess that your MIL is almost 90! She looks terrific!!

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Ann, that is just incredible! Some esp or something drew you to look on eBay. I have never looked for anything like that, what a great idea. How interesting your story is. Good luck with uncovering even more history.

PixieVintage said...

That is awesome that you found the letter! And also amazing that you were able to find out all the history that went with it. I can't believe that your MIL is 90...she looks so much younger! :)

ann said...

Your MIL does not look her age. What an eBay find. I guess you can find most anything on ebay. Family history is so amazing and today with electronics so much it will not be preserved. You should write your one book. Happy New Year.

Decor To Adore said...

My grandmother Mary studied our family genealogy for over 25 years. Over the summer Sweet Guy and I worked on the genealogy Boy Scout merit badge. Such fun!

Ann B. Kennedy said...

A wonderful photo of your MIL with that precious, precious baby! And what an incredible letter. Thanks for sharing it here.