Monday, January 14, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Sarah's Letter

Amanuensis Monday

What's an Amanuensis, you say? It's a copyist: someone who sits like a crazy person squinting their eyes and probably ruining eyesight to read that old document hand-written so very long ago and type it out. We do because we love:)

Mom warned me that this letter we'll be looking at today and penned by my 4th great grandmother, Sarah Wooten Waggoner Yeast (dates unknown, but possibly 1808 - 1870), to my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Waggoner Whetstone (1825- 1880) on 5 Mar 1869 was hard to read. It also showed the limit of Sarah Yeast's literary skills, and I have to tell you those limitations make this whole thing more charming. Add that to the fact the she likely wrote it in the 6 months to a year before she died and you have one of our favorite finds in Mom's Archive!

This family line is really interesting with lots of stories to tell. Sarah, the mother and let's call her Sarah Mother, had Sarah Daughter on 20 Feb 1825 in Grantsville, Garrett Couty, Maryland. Garrett County is the western most county of the state and even now it's mostly farm land and woods. Back in 1825 it was really wild and life was impossibly difficult for us softies to even imagine, except if frontier history and times is your thing. Sarah Daughter lived in Frostburg, Maryland, a distance of about 19 miles. Easily travelled today but at that time, very difficult over roads that were not much more that dirt pathways through the woods and a hard day's ride by horse or wagon.

Mom and I find this letter has a poignancy all its own. Sarah Mother is all but pleading for her daughter to come for a visit. She's old, she writes, i am gitting ould. Then she goes on to give a news roundup of Sarah Daughter's step-siblings. I wonder how much Sarah Daughter was moved by this plea and did she make the visit to see her mother that spring or summer?

Sarah Daughter was the first of Sarah Mother's children and fathered by a Mr. Waggoner, who it seems is missing from the records as far as we can tell. Mom has dug in every archive in Garrett County and the mysterious Mr. Waggoner or Wagoner (given name unknown to us) has come up missing. Mom heard a rumor still afoot in Grantsville that Sarah Mother was never married to him. There are a hundred possible explanations.

Peter Yeast came along and married Sarah on 15 Mar 1841. It was his will that was transcribed last week and you can see that post here and the mention of his wife Sarah but no mention of the daughter Sarah:

Peter and Sarah had 7 children together and with Sarah Daughter that's 8 kids in all. Daughter Sarah married Joseph Edward Whetstone (1816 - 1897) and they had 13 children. Two of their daughters married the same guy, Enoch Clise and that's a whole can of worms right there and I'll save it for another day.

But while I'm sorting around this family for interesting stuff, here's a copy of an email Mom sent about Peter Yeast's brother, Daniel Yeast, and here's what she wrote.

Another Story
Here's another one for you. Daniel Yeast was born on 24 Apr 1818 in Mercer Co Ky. His parents were John Leonard Yeast and Elizabeth Peavler. John Leonard's brother was Peter Yeast who married our g.g.g. grandmother Sarah Wooten.
This is the story of Daniel Yeast who married Mary Jane Curry. Daniel was a traveling salesman and on 02 Apr 1875 on this way home he stopped at a saloon for a libation. He left the saloon and was robbed and murdered and his body was found the next morning near the river. Apparently he was 43 when this happened. He left 6 sons.
The next thing I want to know is what river was it and how far away from home was he when it happened.
Love M
PS: I think it is the Salt River as near as I can tell. Love M
PSS: Our ggg grandmother Sarah Wooten Yeast would have been Daniel's aunt. Love M
July 27 2011

Now on to the letter from Sarah Mother. I'm not the best transcriptionist and haven't had much experience, so this is my best shot... and fair warning! But the best way to learn, I've always thought, is by doing.

So here's the image of the letter and I'm disappointed in it because it's a copier version of the real deal... and why I didn't just go ahead and scan the actual letter last time I was back east to see Mom, I do not know! On the list for next time: redemption. Click on the images below to have a closer look.

March the 5 1869

Deair Sarah i take my pen to
rite to you few line to let you know
that we air owl well at this time
and I hope that when this lines I have
Seen you and some times I think
you have forgot your hare ol mother
but i have not forgot you i often
think you mite come to see mee
it is not so fair but what you
mite cum and see your mother
you must think i am gitting
ould and not abel to git souns (?)
but likel(?) and therefore you out
to come to see mee it is a giting
near Spring time and I would like
to now if you air going to move
from whair you aire this Spring
or not and if you air I wod like
to now

well Sally Sissy has moved
near accident Bill is a making it
Shook and he is duing verry well
James is living in Grantsville
Alfred is living on the hil
i often hear from Billy and Thom
tha air (?) a giling along well i will send
Billy leter(?) to you well Sally i will
tell you that magor is not well
nor sarant (?) benn all winter
I do not now if he will git beter
when warm withe cums or not
but I hope he will but we have
plenty to dyeait (?) i inted to cum
to see you this winter but it was
to cold I lold (?) not lurne out
well I delera(?) that . I save no
more to rite this time rite
to me very soon and tell
all about the children
no more at this time
but remain your Mother
til later(?)

Sarah Wooten Waggoner Yeast and Peter Yeast's children are:
William Yeast 1828 - ?
John Yeast 1830 - ?
Alfred Yeast 1834
Thomas Yeast 1836 - ?
FF Yeast 1836 - ?, died in Minnesota
Elizabeth Yeast 1840 - ?
James Michael Yeast 1842 - ?

How many does Sarah Mother mention in the letter? And who is Sally Sissy, do you think? And who are Sergeant and Major? This letter was written after the Civil War but none of the boys achieved those ranks as far as I can tell.

The URL for this post is:

No comments:

Post a Comment