Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kimber Letter 13: I have dried you both some currants if you will come and get them

The Kimber Letters are writings exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their mother, Keziah (Bennett) Kimber. The letters found their way to the sister’s descendants. I’m grateful to the late Edna Raymond for giving me transcriptions.

Today I’ll tell you the highlights of 4th Great Grandmother Keziah’s letter to her daughters, Jane Seely and Sarah Mackney, in Troy, Pennsylvania.

She was thinking of her grandchildren when she penned this letter. Mary was the 1st to get a gentle reminder to write Grandma. No doubt this was Mary Holly who lived with Aunt Sarah and Uncle William Mackney. While not a blood relative, its clear Great Grandmother thought of  Mary as a granddaughter.

John, Julie and Benjamin Jones, children of Aunt Susan Kimber and Caleb Jones, are mentioned in Keziah’s letter. Aunt Susan died in 1847 and Caleb remarried a lady named Lucinda. Caleb and Lucinda remained close to the Kimber family. As a matter of fact, 4th Great Grandfather Benjamin Kimber worked for Caleb during the summer months earning $39 and 5 shillings.

Susan Isabel, Aunt Jane and Moses Seely’s daughter, received an encouraging message from Keziah.

In earlier correspondence Granddaughter Emily Decker speculated that her cousin Phebe Jane (Clark) Doty might marry their Uncle by marriage, Erastus Elston. Erastus was the widower of their Aunt Julia Ann Kimber. Great Grandmother Keziah says it wasn’t so! Phebe Jane was a widow herself and helped care for the Elston children along with Aunt Abby. Emily was the daughter of Aunt Phebe L. Kimber and John Decker. My 3rd Great Grandparents Charity Kimber and William P. Clark were Phebe Jane (Clark) Doty’s parents.

Aunt Abby, the only unmarried daughter at home, might be the subject of these words:
   “Jane you wanted to know about Mr. B.  Yes, he comes yet but I ges the match grose very slow  tant redey for firing yet  I will write to you oll when it gits ready to put fire to it if I should live to see it”

Aunt Abby didn’t marry Mr. B. or anybody else.

Minisink, New York was home to my 4th Great Grandparents. It was where they were born, married and raised their children. As I read Keziah’s writings, I recognized the seriousness of Grandmother’s words when she asked her children if there was a place for them in Troy. Life must have gotten tough for them in Minisink. Keziah and Benjamin were also getting older--Grandmother was 62 years old and Grandfather 64 years of age. Perhaps they needed a helping hand. The Kimber story will continue ....


Letter 13.

26th August 1855

Dear Children

it is through the mercy of God that I have been
spared to talk to you through the use of a pen
and ink and seeing I cant see you to comfort me
in old age    o my children while i right the
ters fill mine eyes but I feel as if soon my
sorrows whold have an end to meet my dear
children whear parting will bee no more and now
I must say to you that we ar oll well at presen
and hoping these fue lines may find you oll in
joying the same blessing    i receved you kind
letter the 2 day of august and was verry much
plesed to hear form you oll    but mary whear was
mary theat she has forgot her grandmother    mary
you right to John and Juley but I never see none
from you    Jane youn must tell Susan isabell
that her grandma is verry much plesed to think
that she is lerning so fast and shel look for
that letter one of these days when she can rite
   o how i due want to see her    o my little
children I feel so lonsom without seeing anney
of my children    phebe i have not seen nor herd
from her since i was to your hous in december
Jane you wanted to know a bout Mr. B    yes he
comes yet but I ges the match grose very slow
tant redey for firing yet     I will right to you
oll when it gits redey to put fire to it if i
live to see it    our old cow com in the 10 of
August but the calf was a cripel a gane jest as
it was last year    he was a going to sell her to
the rale rod folks but he hed to kill the calf
and now i dont now if he can or not becos she
had no calf with her    theay ben to look at her
but did not take her yet and nether we can sell
her or not    i dont know    our potatoes is verry
good    we have a nice buch of them if theay dont
rot    i have dried you both som currents if you
will com and git them    I hope you will com out
this fall for we shalI look for to see you oll
and as for erastus coming out this fall i dont
no about it    if he coms he will be out the
furst of next month    father hes got his hay
he hes worked for caleb    it comes to 39 dollars
and 5 shilling this summer    he hes hed such
offul bile on his seet    in haying he could not
work nor set but he hed to lay a bed    he could
not ware his pants    he had to war a petticot
when he was up for a week or nore    but he is
well now a gane    fore weeks ago to day I went
to meeting to hear Mr. Grinley and last Sabath i
went to Mr ones to hear Mr timalow preach    I
dont now as you can read this letter for my hed
eaks and my hand trembles so that i cant half
right and spilt my ink on my paper and blotted
it so bad (end of first side of letter)
and now i will go on with my letter a gane
Caleb family came    in stopt me for i cant rite
when theay was oll a talking so i quit    now it
is 28 day of _______     i will tell you father
sold hys cow to day for 28 dollars to ________
_______   abbe talks of ging to see phebe the 8 of
september if nothen happen    Sarah you that
emely decker sade that thear was talk of phebe
Jane becoming a mother to Juley anna children
but it tant so and further that he wanted her to
com out west with him that not so nether    he
asked her if he went out west to liv if she wold
go and keap hous for him thear and she told him
no she wood not    he sade he wanted her and
abbe both to go with him if he went so he asked
abby if she would go if he went    she told him
she went whear father and mother went    if theay
would go she wold too    phebe jane sas she cant
stay only till the furst of october and i dont
no what he will due but I fele as if the Lord
wold provide for them poor little mother less
children     erastes apeared to think oll of his
children    abby sase that phebe jane dos well
thear     erastes came down the 10 of July and abby
went home with him and stade 2 weeks then he
fetch her home and if she comes out west abby has
promised to go and stay with phebe and the
children while he is gone    but dont say to him
what i have rote to you    now my children i am a
going to ask you a question and i want, you to
answear me jest as you feel a bout it    that is
whether thear is anney place out thear for us or
not and whether you would like to hav us thear
or not    or whether we can due anney better
thear now    i want you to rite to me what, your
thoughts and felings is about it    now rite and
speak plane if you think i wold be anny disgrace
to anney of you    say so plane    spek as you fel
about it    thear shel be no hardnes with mee a
bout it    now i want you oll to com and see us as
soon as you can and right what time you will com
   i hers this after noon that erastes thought of
not comming out thear    he hes given it up now
for som cos    i now not what    i have not seen
him mi self   benjamin jons seen him to
unionvill and he told him he thought he should
not go out now    i must draw to a close for it
is a gitting tee time    now mary a few words to
you    your grandma has not forgotten you    if
you have her mary    i dont blame you for
forgitting such a poor old unworthy woman as i
am    when you are doing so well thar     Sarah and
Jane and mary and bell    my lov to you shell
never end   so fare well me childern    oll for
this time

Keziah Kimber--letter to her children.

‘Grandmother’ painted by
Albert Anker (1831-1910)


  1. How wonderful to have transcriptions of these letters! Letters let us peek inside our ancestor's life like nothing else.

    1. I enjoy learning the family news from the Kimber ladies.T hank you for visiting my blog.