Monday, July 30, 2012

Admiring William

The letters from William to his wife, Polly, have convinced me of one thing -- the value of leaving a written record. How else can our descendants have any idea what we truly valued. From William's letters, I know he valued his wife, his children and education.

The Value of Education

"Let me know whether my children are put to school."

"I hope you will endeavor to keep the children to school and expect that before I return I shall see a letter of Thomas own writing."

"I am glad likewise that Nancy Jane is improving in her schooling."

" I would be glad if you could spare Mary Ann so that she could go to school, but these things I shall leave to your own good management."

Love for His Children

In addition to his concern for the education of his children, William expressed other concerns:

"I am happy to hear that you are doing so well as what you are and likewise that Thomas is able to help you a little. I hope he will be a good boy."

"I am very sorry to hear that William got his hand burnt, but I hope it is not injured much." 

"Remember me to my dear children Thomas H., Nancy Jane, Mary Ann and Wm. H. Probert and accept the same from your Husband."

Love and Respect for His Wife

"I embrace this opportunity of writing to you and send you my most sincere respects."

"I hope you will try to enjoy yourself as well as possible and render yourself comfortable . . ."

"Dear Wife, this day I received you letter dated 18th December which has give me more pleasure than anything in this world."

". . .  these things I shall leave to your own good management."

"I must conclude by wishing that you may enjoy all the comforts of this world and the best wishes of a sincere and affectionate husband until death."

He has shown me who he is -- and I believe him. 


  1. Sweet. Very sweet. (romantic sigh...)

  2. It is so wonderful to have an ancestor that you like and admire. Sadly, they are not all that way so revel in this one. He sounds fabulous

  3. What an amazing discovery. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. This is so wonderful, Kathy. To have these letters from 1836.

  5. Oh how these bring tears to my eyes. I feel it in my heart. Maya hits the nail on the head and he has certainly shown who he is. I like how he names his children as if he is speaking their names so as not to be forgotten.

  6. What a wonderful treasure to have these letters from your family's past. It is a dream of mine to make similar discoveries in my own research. Great blog!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I count these among my best genealogical discoveries/treasures.


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