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Are You My Cousin?: Friends Are Important

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!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Friends Are Important




I love this letter dated 31 Oct 1913 and written by Nannie Lee Farson to my great grandmother Esther Lee Richardson.  The young women were best friends and corresponded regularly. I learned from the traditional records that Esther's father Daniel T Richardson died in Nov 1912.  Shortly after his death, Esther's mother Hattie moved the family from Pittsylvania County, VA closer to her Elliott family in Halifax County, VA.  Nannnie and Esther continued their friendship through  letters such as the one above. Esther appears to have saved all of them!

Through their letters I have been able to learn things about my great grandmother and her friends that  no official records would ever  record. First I have learned who Esther's friends were. Knowing who an ancestor's friends and associates were is crucial when researching.

From this letter I learned that Esther enjoyed embroidering - and Nannie did NOT.   I have a feeling Nannie would not be happy if she knew people were reading about her "under ware".  Nannie referred to Lucie who was actually her sister and friend of Esther's, too.  Howard M who is referenced is another friend of theirs.  Later letters tell of the girls' sadness at his early death from the measles.

I think what I love about these letters between Esther and her friend is their chattiness.  Nannie and Esther were not trying to solve big problems.  They were simply young women growing up and recording their daily lives and their thoughts.  They were staying in touch.  They were staying connected.

Esther, Hattie Richardson, Nannie L Farson

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