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Are You My Cousin?: Esther Lee Richardson Talbott

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

I tell the stories of my ancestors’ lives. Whether they lived 20 years ago or 200 years ago, they each have a story to tell. Some ancestors tell their stories willingly. Others must have their stories carefully teased from the records. Sometimes the stories are sad. Sometimes the stories are happy. Sometimes the stories are just funny. Regardless, my ancestors’ stories shaped their lives and the lives of those that followed. Come and share in the tales!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Esther Lee Richardson Talbott




In today's post I've switched sides of the family and will introduce one of my great-grandmothers on my dad's side of the family. (I'm really not trying to confuse anyone.)


Esther Lee Richardson was born is 21 Nov 1896 in Ringgold, Pittsylvania, Virginia. She was the daughter of Daniel Thomas Richardson and Harriet Ann Elliott. Her siblings included one sister Katie and four brothers Rueben, Norman, Willie and Ellwood. She married Bossy Talbott in Nov 1915 and they had four children Crafton, Elma, Virginia Ruth, and Garnet Rueben. Esther is another one of those mystery women in our family tree. Sadly she died at the age of 26 in Jan 1923 during an influenza outbreak. She left behind her husband and 4 young children--the youngest two to succomb to influenza a year later.


While there is no one alive today who remembers Esther, her character shines through in her multiple letters and postcards she both wrote and received. Bossy saved all of her correspondence after her death. My father tells me that Bossy kept Esther's things in a trunk that was treated with a shrine-like quality. Fortunately for us, Esther was a prolific writer. I am fortunate enough to have many, many postcards and letters that she wrote. Predominantly she corresponded with her first cousins on the Richardson side of the family as well as some of her Elliott cousins. They appear to have been close and visited as often as they were able. Of course, she also corresponded with Bossy! There are even a few from admirers before Bossy came into the picture! In letters to her mother, she tells of her children and describes their life on the farm. I hope to one day transcribe all those postcards and letters--most are written in pencil.


Esther also left behind lots of pictures. A few have labels, a few family have been able to identify, but many pictures remain a mystery. Mostly I think the photos are of Richardson and Elliott cousins, though a few Talbotts have been identified. I continue to search for clues and maybe one day........




This is one of Esther's postcards to Bossy dated 27 Jan 1915 when he was living in Jeffress, VA. It reads:


Hello!

How are you enjoying this rough weather. I am in Danville and having a nice time. Guess I will stay a while.

ByBy

Esther

address

PO Box 42

Danville

I hope you've enjoyed a little of Esther's story.

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