Dear Family and Friends,
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
Today I’m taking a different approach in my presentation of Kimber Letter 17. I’m delighted that the Kimber ladies received schooling and could write. BUT in many instances, they used phonetic spelling, ‘hit and miss’ capitalization with little punctuation making their letters challenging to read.
I worry my 4th Great Grandmother and Aunts’ voices won’t be heard, and that would be a shame. So I prepared a video reading Jane Eliza Seely’s letter to you. Just click below on the You Tube video following my letter highlights. I’ve also included a transcript should you prefer that.
Jane Eliza Seely writes her parents from Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania May 25, 1856.
It’s so apparent she misses her parents back home in Minisink, New York when reading Kimber Letter 17. Jane was the youngest child of Keziah (Bennett) and Benjamin Kimber. She married Moses Seely in 1848, and they recently moved to Troy, Pennsylvania.
Sarah Bethia, a sister, also resided in Troy with her husband, William Mackney. According to Jane’s news, Sarah and William moved into a house they built. Jane and Moses hoped to build a house in the fall.
Catherine, another Kimber sister, and husband John Welda might visit in the summer. Abigail must have been skilled with a needle and thread as Jane wished her sister would sew for her.
Happenings of the Seely children, Sarah Alice, Willy Emit and Isabel, are mentioned.
Erastus Elston, the widower of Julia Ann Kimber, has married again. When Julia died in 1855, she was the mother of five young children. Jane hopes the new wife will be a good mother to her sister’s children.
Transcripts provided by the late Edna Raymond, Town of Minisink Historian
Friday, September 23, 2016
Yikes! Great Grandmother Keziah (Bennett) Kimber vividly describes her injured finger. I hope she doesn’t make you queasy.
About four months earlier, she injured her hand and hadn’t recovered the use of her forefinger. Keziah tried to cure it herself but eventually had to call for the Doctor. The Doctor said he couldn’t do anything to help. Great Gran was getting out her little knife for surgery. It’s a good thing Aunt Hannah heard about this and came right away. She mixed up a healing recipe that was just the remedy Grandmother Keziah needed.
Some family news was discussed. Keziah’s granddaughter, Emily Decker, was going to work for Erastus Elston caring for his home and children. Erastus was the widower of Julie Ann Kimber who’s appeared many times in earlier letters. Emily’s parents, Phebe (Kimber) and John Decker were moving to a new home.
Keziah welcomed two grandbabies in January. Charity, my 3rd Great Grandmother, gave birth to a baby boy, George Emmet Clark, Jan. 25, 1856. Charity’s husband, Bill Clark, got a mention in today’s letter too. Jane (Kimber) and Moses Seely’s daughter, Sarah Alice, was born January 16th in Pennsylvania.
Keziah and Benjamin Kimber were living in Vernon, Sussex Co., New Jersey when she wrote the family. Great Grandfather Benjamin made up his mind he wasn’t staying there. Grandfather must have been working for his son-in-law, Caleb Jones, in Vernon.
Helpful Hint: Try reading Keziah’s letter out loud. Much of her spelling is phonetic. Sorry, no punctuation.
February 17, 1856 Vernon ton ship
i once more will take a pen in mi cripled hand
to try to right, a few lines to you lo let you
know how i am now i am well except mi hand and
that is a gitting better but i have lost the use
of my fore finger that it is stiff and strait
i cant bend it and thear is a running hole in it
yet whear the bones is begining to crumble and
com out in pussee but o you dont know what i
have suffered with it no toung cant tell it
will be 4 month the 24 of this month sence it
begun to swell it begun to swell in the midle
joint of mi fore finger Moses was hear on
Sunday and a Monday i chearnes and don my work
and a tuesday i washed and lade my close on the
gras and a wednesday morning it rained so i
thought i would peal some sweet apples and
punken and stue them and make sum pies and
before i could git them pealled my finger heart
me so that i could not bend it and the next weak
it made me sick and it turned all black and Abbe
was to erastes and i did not no what to due and
a Satterday phebe decker came hear and she staid
with me 4 days and can everything she could due
but my hand grue worse and worse and i sent for
abbe and she came home theay polested it with
everything we could think of but nothen dident
due no good so i sent for the doctor and he sade
he could not due anney thing for it then it was
ternned black on the back that i could cut it
with mi little nife then aunt hanner ______
heard of it and she came rite down fetch a
root she colled it morteforcation root and she
pounded it and mixt it with swet milk and put
that on it that was the furst thing that dun
it anney good a tall than it began to gaether
and brake thear has bin 14 hools in it sum of
them on the back of mi hand and in side the
cords roted of and come out of mi finger and in
side of my hand thear is 2 small hools in it now
that runs some Sarah i thank you for your
pills i thought thay don me good the other i
did not git to wash it with but i feal to thank
you for the direction you sent me i hope you
will excuse mi poor riting for i hef to rite
with my thum and little finger i dont now as
you can rad it a toll but i thought i wood try
it for i could not git anny rote i have tried
abbe and john and benjamin to rite a leter for
me but i could not git anney rote so i thought i
wood try it mi self but it hearts my hand so to
rite you must al take this letter for each one
Sarah and Jane and mary and willum and moses and
my little bell abbe is up to erastus elstons
now i must inform you that Charity has got
another boy it is about 3 weaks old now and
emeley decker is to work for erastus now and
john and phebe is a going to liv in doctor
new_ hous and tak the doctor cows and gives a
hundred weat of butter to a cow and bill clark
hes hiered the tarakin stan in denten erastes
was down a friday and abbe went home with him
and is a comming home to day Sarah i heard you
was gitting real smart and i feal to rejoyed to
hear it o Jane i understand you have got a
nother deauter and you must name it for your
sister abbe weare all well at present and
hoping that these fue lines will find you all
enjoying the sam blessing o how i due want to
see you aII o gurls i for got to sent them
dride currence to you by moses when he was out
hear only long enof for me to git dinner and eat
then he was rite of i hed about 4 quarts of
cerrents and 10 of elder berres dride for you
and i could not help it o mary i was so much
disapinted in not seeing you last foll i hant
felt contented sence but mary if we never meat a
gane in the flesh i hop we shel meat whear
parting wil be no more. so fare the well my
child for this time o gerls you must rite as
soon as you can to me to let me now how you oll
are and if you rite you must rite so i can git
in in 2 week or other wise you nedent rit un
till you hear from me a gane and if you rite
pleas derect your letter to unionvill for the
cornner post offes is gon down your father
wont sta hear no longer he told caleb to rent
it out he has don so thear oll well
lucinda was hear a friday we was ol thear a
wensday and took dinner with them benjamin was
hear a thrusday nite jahn taler from black
de_____ is a comming to hear to liv so no more
at present but, remane your effectenite mother un
till death pearts us so fare the well my
children dear for this time to one and oll of my
children a farewell kiss due for this time i
must bid you ol good by for this tim
a farewell kiss
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 treasure them and am grateful to the late Edna Raymond for giving me transcriptions.
4th Great Grandparents Keziah Bennett and Benjamin Kimber
3rd Great Grandparents Charity Kimber and William Parkinson Clark
2nd Great Grandparents Jeremiah B. Clark and Harriet C. Ogden
Great Grandparents Grace Clark and Jerome W. Wilson
Grandparents Viola L. Wilson and Frank Leroy Doty