|Debs Warren Webster|
|Rollin Waterman Webster|
Who would have thought that a simple letter of inquiry to the Athens Board of Trade in Athens County, Ohio, would result in the reuniting of my grandfather with his uncle. But it did! It's even more amazing because my grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, was living in Brazil, and his uncle, Rollin Waterman Webster was living in Chicago, Illinois at the time. Why was Debs living in Brazil? Well, actually, he was born there! He was the son of Watson Emory (Frederick) Webster, a.k.a "The Traveling Dentist." I have written about Frederick in several blog posts. So, if you have read these posts, you know why my grandfather Debs was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In September of 1951, my grandfather sent a letter to the Athens Board of Trade in hopes of finding information regarding his family there in Athens County, Ohio because his father, Frederick Webster, was born there. A kindly gentleman named Mr. Harper C. Pendry replied to my grandfather. Below is his letter of reply -
I can't imagine how excited my grandfather must have been to receive Mr. Pendry's letter! And when my grandfather received this letter from Mr. Pendry, he found his Uncle Rollin's letter to Mr. Pendry included as well. Here is Rollin's letter of reply to Mr. Pendry:
Our sweet Uncle Rollin was 81 years old at the time he wrote this letter. You can see a picture of a younger Rollin from a previous post HERE. Just in case it's difficult to read Rollin's letter, I've included a transcript below - I have included some, but not all, corrections in brackets. I used to work as a Proofreader for a major corporation many years ago, so it has taken a lot of will power to keep from correcting more. But I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible for historical value, thus, the brackets.
Mr. Harper C. Pendry
I received your letter the 26 Sept, yes you telling me about Debs Webster, His father Fred and the 3 children from
Sapaula [Sao Paulo], South Americ [South America], came here from there to 319 E. 41st St, Chicago after their visit, they went to Arkansa [Arkansas], doing Dental work, and to , and later went to Old Mexic [Old Mexico] where one of his daughters died her name was Edna. Louesana [Louisiana] Charlotte[Carlota] got married in to a Mexican She stayed there and Debs and his father went back to Mexico Sapaul [Sao Paulo], So, America [South America].
Ebenezer Parry [Perry] Carlile Webster, my father, was born in
Rollin Waterman Webster
8937 S. Paulina
P.S. If you want to you may send this letter to Debs
This letter from Uncle Rollin is just filled with genealogical treasures! For one thing, it helped to prove (in addition to Frederick's death certificate and Frederick's father's pension file) that my great-grandfather Frederick truly did change his name from Watson Emory to Frederick Emory. It also provided details about Debs' sister Edna's death and his sister Carlota's marriage in Mexico, plus other details about Rollin's siblings. I wonder if Rollin was unaware of the death of his brother Frederick because he said in his letter, "Debs' father who changed his name to Fred in early days, you say '1946 died.'" That makes it sound like he didn't know about that. How very sad!
I am so grateful to Mr. Harper C. Pendry for going above and beyond his normal duties in his job at the Athens Board of Trade in helping my grandfather find his family here in the U.S.A.
I will continue the story of "My Webster Family: Coming Full Circle–From The U.S.A. to Brazil and Back Again" in a future post. J
Thanks for reading!
Copyright © Jana Last 2012