Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kay's Correspondence

Ancestry recently released their list of the "40 best blogs for genealogy," which caused me to re-think the purpose of my own blog.  Does anyone really care what I think about genealogy?  Do I have unique information to share?  My blog has languished lately, as I've run out of ideas for fresh content.

The answer came to me as I was staring at the basket of my mom's genealogy correspondence under the desk (another scanning and indexing project I swear I'll get to one of these days).  My mom, Glenda Kay Robertson Stubler, became interested in her family's history in the late 1950's.  A lot of the older family members were still alive at the time, so she began a letter writing campaign to just about anyone who might have a scrap of useful family history information.  The result is a wonderful collection of hand-written family memories that I'm going to share on this blog.

One of the earliest letters in the collection is dated July 25, 1958, from Francis Pearl Gannan, my great-grandfather John William Gannan's sister.  She was born November 24, 1887, to William Alfred and Wilfreda Reece (Reese) Gannan.  I don't remember meeting Aunt Pearl, but I know she stayed in touch with my mom and grandmother, Mildred Gannan Robertson.  In fact, my grandmother gave me a ring Aunt Pearl had given her years ago, which my daughter-in-law now wears.  She died October 23, 1973, in Seminole, OK.

Unfortunately, I don't have the original of this Gannan family photo, but here's a copy of the copy my uncle, Ron Robertson, included in his family history "The Gannan Genealogy::

Back row, left to right:  Pearl, John, Wesley, Henry, Vernon, Marie.
Front row, left to right:  Alfred, Mae, Wilfreda, Ray, Ethel

The letter is dated Friday, July 25, 1958:

Friday July 25

Dear Kay
Read your letter was surprised to hear from you.  
I haven't heard from your mother since they moved and don't know what her address is hope she writes me soon.
I am just drifting along and as you ask about the Gannan family I could not help you out in any way.  Allen (Eberhart) Helen's son was asking about the family tree when Grandma Gannan was sick and Mae and Anna Thompson were there they seem to know everything.  Mae has the family Bible so I have no records of any kind.  Why not see Allen and find out how far he got with the information.
Would like for you to see me sometime but be sure and write so I will be home.  I was in Trenton for two weeks and will be gone some of the time.
All for now write again sometime.
Wishing you and yours the best of everything.
With love
Aunt Pearl

Old hand-written letters are a wonderful source of information.  This letter provided clues about the family bible (Pearl's sister Mae (Spears) had it at one point); my mom's cousin Allen Eberhart was also researching the Gannan family (and still is to this day), and the envelope provides a location in 1958 for both my mom and Aunt Pearl.

I hope Kay's correspondence will help me connect with as-yet-unknown cousins, and provide clues that will help other researchers!