Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sepia Saturday 132–June 30, 2012: The Rose Bowl–A Vintage Postcard

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Sepia Saturday 132 June 30, 2012

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt had me stumped for a while.  I struggled a bit to find the perfect photo to fit with the sports theme.

Well, I have to give a big thank you to my Grandpa Debs Webster on this one.  I found this awesome vintage postcard of The Rose Bowl from his scrapbook.  It’s part of his collection of vintage postcards that look to be from the 1950’s.  It may be one he and his family collected while on their way to Southern California after immigrating to the U.S. in 1952.

If you’re new to their story of immigration, you can check out the latest post here.  (You will find more vintage postcards in my previous posts about their immigration story too.)

Here’s The Rose Bowl Vintage Postcard -

Just a few interesting historical facts about The Rose Bowl:
  • January 1, 1923 – The stadium is named “The Rose Bowl” and is dedicated at the first New Year’s Day college football game held there.  USC beat Penn State 14-3.  The game was delayed more than an hour because Penn State’s team was stuck in traffic.
  • 1932 – The Summer Olympics is held in Los Angeles with the cycling events taking place at The Rose Bowl.
  • 1962 – The Rose Bowl game is the first college football game broadcast nationally in color.
  • 1969 – Aluminum benches replace wooden benches.
  • 2012 – In keeping with the “Tournament of Roses” tradition of not holding the game or Rose Parade on Sunday, the parade and game are held on Monday, January 2.

The following websites  Rose Bowl History and Rose Bowl Stadium History were the sources for the previous interesting facts.

To view other Sepia Saturday participant's posts, click here.

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday–Fab Finds June 29, 2012

My Fabulous Finds for this week are (in no particular order) -

  1. The White Glove Myth by Rag Linen
  2. Fifty Questions for Family History Interviews by Kimberly Powell at Genealogy
  3. Structuring Your Family History Blog to Book - The Video by The Armchair Genealogist
  4. Workday Wednesday: Who's minding the store? by Jollett etc.
  5. Tombstone Tuesday:  One Last Look Around  and Wordless Wednesday:  Sears Modern Homes by Tangled Trees
  6. Don't Post Your Vacation Status on Facebook or Other Sites by Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
  7. Wisdom Wednesday: Indian Princesses and Self-Delusion by Finding Forgotten Stories
  8. In Which I Answer Your Email. Yes, Yours. by Clue Wagon
  9. 4 Weird Ways to Get Started Writing and Great Writers Serve Their Readers by Jeff Goins
  10. Scan while you still can by Dear Myrtle
  11. From the Inbox: Finding Jim & Carrie of Roots: The Next Generations by Taneya Koonce
  12. Sepia Saturday 131 by Travels Through My Past
  13. 8 Websites Where You Can Find Your Mexican Ancestors by Mexican Genealogy
  14. Serendipity in Embroidery by The Ancestry Insider
  15. Thank You Bernice! by How Did I Get Here?  My Amazing Genealogy Journey
  16. FamilySearch Posts 5 New States: 1940 Census Index Report—June 28, 2012 by FamilySearch Blog

New Blog Discoveries

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday–Goodbye Rio, Hello Trinidad - My Webster Family: Coming Full Circle - From The U.S.A. to Brazil and Back Again - Part 5

When we last left Debs Webster and his family, they had just boarded the S.S. Brazil in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Today’s post finds my Webster family sailing from Santos, Brazil to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, with a port of call in Rio de Janiero.

(If you'd like to catch up to the rest of us, you can view the previous post here.   Oh, and for those of you who enjoy vintage postcards, there's one of those in the previous post too.)

I have prepared a photo and vintage postcard travelogue of this part of their adventure.  So there will just be a few words of explanation scattered throughout.

(Note:  To enlarge the photos and postcards, just click on the images.)

Enjoy the journey!

The map below shows the S.S. Brazil’s ports of call on their way from Santos to New York City.

S.S. Brazil Route to New York Ports of Call
S.S. Brazil's Ports of Call from Santos, Brazil
to New York City July 1952

Goodbye Rio!   If you look closely at the top of the photograph, you can see my Grandfather Debs’ writing in pencil saying goodbye to Rio.

Goodbye Rio on Board the S.S. Brazil July 1952
Goodbye Rio

My mom told me that her stepmomother watched her kids like a hawk on the ship.  Here are my uncles playing in the pool.  In a previous post I shared a couple photos of some kids playing games and enjoying fun activities on board the S.S. Brazil.

My uncles on the S.S. Brazil – July 1952

Lifeboat drill time!

Lifeboat Drill on board the S.S. Brazil July 1952
Lifeboat Drills on the S.S. Brazil – July 1952

The S.S. Brazil held a “Line-Crossing Ceremony” marking the time they crossed the equator. My mom remembers the ceremony was by the pool and the crew members were dressed in costume. According to this website, in the 1940’s this was referred to as King Neptune's Celebration. I’m assuming it was called the same thing in 1952 as well.

CBurnett at WikiMedia Commons

Time to disembark!  Destination?  Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Webster Family in Trinidad July 1952
(I don’t know who the man to the left is)

Trinidad July 1952
Trinidad July 1952

Trinidad July 1952
Trinidad July 1952

Trinidad July 1952
Trinidad July 1952

My Mom and her family at Trinidad July 1952
(I don't know who the other people are)

Trinidad July 1952
Trinidad July 1952

Some postcards from Trinidad -

Watermelons for Sale - Trinidad. B.W.I. pg. 1

Watermelons for Sale - Trinidad. B.W.I. pg. 2

Indian Priest - Trinidad. B.W.I. pg. 1

Indian Priest - Trinidad. B.W.I. pg. 2

Hope you've enjoyed this photograph and vintage postcard travelogue of my Grandpa Debs Webster's family.

Next stop...New York City.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Military Monday–War of 1812 Veteran: Asher Waterman

Asher Waterman
Asher Waterman 1791-1875 signature from pension file 78 years of age
Signature from Pension File
at 78 years of age

Asher Waterman, my 3rd great-grandfather, was a veteran of the War of 1812.  His pension file states that he was in Captain Gregory’s Company, Safford’s Regiment, Tupper’s Brigade of the Ohio Militia from October 1, 1812 until February 9, 1813.


Declaration of Soldier Pension pg. 1
Asher Waterman Declaration of Soldier for Pension

Declaration of Soldier Pension Cropped Section
Cropped Portion of Asher Waterman's
Declaration of Soldier for Pension

Transcription of cropped portion:

Asher Waterman who volunteered in Captain Jehiel Gregory’s company, Safford’s regiment, Tupper’s brigade, at Athens in said Athens County, on the 15th day of October 1812, and was honorably discharged at Fort Meigs on the 9th day of February, 1813; that he went from Athens immediately on his enlistment to join his said company near Urbana, Ohio and marched then to Solomon town, where remained on duty near one month, then to Fort McArthur where he remained with said company on duty until February 1813, where he marched to Fort Meigs and was discharged as aforesaid.  That his certificate of discharge was filed with his application for a search warrant about 1853 or 1854 and was never returned.  No. of application 143.282.

Asher Waterman War of 1812 Military History Map with arrows and names

Asher left his home in Athens County, Ohio and was honorably discharged at Fort Meigs, Ohio.  This map shows us the approximate locations and routes traveled as Asher served in the War of 1812.

While doing research for this post I came across these two interesting websites:

Historical Marker Database

Fort Meigs - Ohio's War of 1812 Battlefield

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sepia Saturday 131–Children's Games on board The S.S. Brazil

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Kid's Games on the S.S. Brazil July 1952
The S.S. Brazil - July 1952

Edwin and Sydney Webster at Kid's Activity on board the S.S. Brazil July 1952
On Board the S.S. Brazil July 1952

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme suggests amusement or fun.

So I thought I’d share these photos of children having fun on board the S.S. Brazil.  I don’t know if this was someone’s birthday party or just one of the activities planned for the kids on board the ship.

I imagine a two-weeks or so voyage in the confines of an ocean liner would require a certain degree of creativity on the part of the ship’s employees as they tried to keep the kids entertained and happy.  This is 1952 after all.  There were no hand-held video games, ipods, ipads, laptops, wii or X-box game systems.  Simpler times, right?

These photos are part of a collection of vintage postcards and photographs belonging to my grandfather, Debs Webster.  If you've been following along with my Webster family's story, you may remember that this branch of the Webster family tree came from America to Brazil and then returned to America again.

In my previous installment of this story we found my Grandpa Debs and his family boarding the ship the S.S. Brazil bound for New York City.  Also in this previous post I included a vintage postcard of the S.S. Brazil.  You can read the post here.

For more Sepia Saturday posts click here.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday–The S.S. Brazil - My Webster Family: Coming Full Circle - From The U.S.A. to Brazil and Back Again - Part 4

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

S.S. Brazil Vintage Postcard

S.S. Brazil VIntage Postcard

This is the ship that carried Debs Webster and his family to a new life, a new country, a new language, a new culture.  They packed their trunks, said their goodbyes to their family, friends and homeland and set off on their new adventure.

What would life be like in America?  There were many things to think about:  new friends, new schools, new employment, new language.  And how quickly would they master this new language?  Debs could speak English.  Actually, he could speak three languages – Portuguese, Spanish and English.  Just one of the perks of being the son of the The Traveling Dentist.  The rest of the family hadn’t set foot outside of Brazil, so Portuguese was what they knew.  Ultimately, the children were able to master the English language, but it was more of a struggle for Debs’ wife and mother-in-law.

I remember my grandmother being able to understand English, but she was more comfortable speaking Portuguese.  So guess what?  I grew up hearing Portuguese spoken around me when we visited with my grandparents.  It was great!  Did I ever learn it?  No.  I really wish I had.

Were these emigrants scared, nervous, apprehensive or excited about their new adventure?  Perhaps it was a mixture of all of these emotions.

Whether scared or not, the decision was made and they were on their way.

So, on July 7, 1952, Debs and Willis Webster and their three children (my mom included) boarded the ship The S.S. Brazil at the port in Santos, Brazil.  Also joining them on their adventure was Willis’ 66-year old mother Helena.  She decided to emigrate with them.

The Webster Family on Board the S.S. Brazil July 1952
The Webster Family on Board The S.S. Brazil July 1952

The S.S. Brazil made two ports of call on it’s way to New York – Rio and Trinidad.  This brochure from 1949 shows the S.S. Brazil's travel route.

In the next installment of this story, I will be sharing more vintage postcards and fun photos from these ports of call.

What about you?  Have you ever moved far away?  How did you feel?  Were you scared, nervous, excited?

Bonus Info:

While doing research for this blog post I found some very interesting information about the S.S. Brazil.  Did you know that in 1942 the S.S. Brazil became a United States Army Transport Ship (USAT)?  After the war, it returned to “civilian life.”  You can read about that and other facts here.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wedding Wednesday–Debs Warren Webster Finds Happiness Again

At the age of 28, my maternal grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, became a widower with a small child (my mom) to care for.  In a previous post I recounted the tragic death of his first wife Sarah Vasques Madeira.

Happily, Debs found love again.  He met a wonderful woman named Willis Quillin.  They were married on March 16, 1944 in Dobrada, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In my mom's photo album, Willis is referred to as her “second mother."  I remember her as a loving grandmother.

Willis Quillin was born on July 22, 1921 in Dobrada, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  She was the daughter of Max Quillin and Helena Rubinger Rohwedder.  Willis passed away on March 31, 1991 in St. Helena, Napa, California.

Willis Quillin Webster
Willis Quillin

Debs and Willis Webster November 25, 1943
Willis Quillin and Debs Webster - November 25, 1943

Debs and Willis were the parents of one son.  They then adopted a young boy while still living in Brazil.

The family continued living in Brazil until 1952, when they immigrated to the United States.

In previous posts I have begun to share the story of how this branch of the Webster family came full circle from the U.S.A. to Brazil and then back again to the U.S.A.  The next installment of this story will find Debs and his family on The S.S. Brazil heading to America.  I have many vintage postcards from Debs' scrapbook that were purchased along the way, which I'm excited to share with you.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amanuensis Monday–A Brazilian Death Record: Sarah Vasques Madeira Webster

Amanuensis Monday – An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.  Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

Sarah Vasques Madeira

Sarah Vasques Madeira was my maternal grandmother.  She was born on February 23, 1900 in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  She married my grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, on April 4, 1936 in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Sadly, Sarah passed away on July 15, 1942, just a short six years after they were married.

My mom, Sarah’s daughter, remembers the day Sarah died, even though my mom was a very small child.  I asked my mom about this day:
Sarah was going to be the matron of honor for her niece and was at home getting ready for the wedding when she fainted on the sofa. Sarah had suffered from fainting spells in the past.  My grandfather tried to revive her.  The doctor was called and Sarah was taken to the hospital, where she died.  My mom’s last recollection of Sarah was seeing her collapsed on the sofa that day.  It turned out that Sarah suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
Below is Sarah’s death certificate:

Basic translation of Sarah’s death certificate:

I certify that in number 22988, page 161, in book 65C  contains the assertion of death of Sarah Madeira Webster which occurred on 15 July 1942 at 2:30 in this district, in Paulista Institute.

sex - female, color - white, originally from Rio Grande, State of Rio Grande do Sul, 42 years of age, married, resident and living at rua Almeida, no 12, in this city.

Daughter of Alvaro Borges Madeira and Rosalia Vasques Madeira. She was married to Debs Webster, in this city - free, married for 6 years, in this marriage was born a daughter by the name of (removed for privacy reasons), minor of age. Left goods, no probate.

The certificate was made by Dr. Cicero M. de Barros, who gave as cause of death cerebral hemorrhage.

The burial was made in the Municipal Cemetery of Araca.

The informant was Jose Simoes de Oliveira.
Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sepia Saturday 130–Two Love Birds

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.
Sepia Saturday June 16, 2012
Whether saying hello or saying goodbye, it looks like love was in the air in today's Sepia Saturday photo prompt.  Likewise, the two love birds pictured in the photo below were very much in love as well.  In fact, they were so much in love, they got married.

This is a photo of my maternal grandparents, Debs Warren Webster and Sarah Vasques Madeira.  They were married in 1936 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Sadly, Sarah passed away July 14, 1942, just a short six years after they were married.

For more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday–Rootstech: 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #24 - Genealogy Events

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers posed the following challenge for this week’s 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy blog prompt: “When it comes to genealogy events, our cup runneth over lately. There are so many fabulous family history events being held across the globe. For which one are you most grateful? Is it an annual event or a one-time thrill? Who runs the event? Why is it special?”

While I haven’t actually attended any genealogy conferences in person yet, I did attend
Rootstech 2012 via the Internet earlier this year.  I watched some of their virtual classes online and it was great!  I learned a lot and found it very worthwhile.

One of the classes I watched was Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by
Lisa Louise Cooke.  I was one of those genealogists who had never heard of Genealogy Blogs before.  I'm so glad that through this class I discovered the genealogy blogosphere!  I know there are more genealogists out there who are unaware of genealogy blogs.  I found this out firsthand.  I was speaking to our local genealogical society the other night (my topic was Indexing) and I brought up genealogy blogs.  I asked how many of them had heard of genealogy blogs and it was crickets!  I saw one lady nod her head.  So, what did I do?  Why, I took the opportunity to spread the word about genealogy blogs!  In fact, in my handouts I included a couple pages of links to various genealogy blogs, webinars and podcasts (no, mine wasn't on the list, ha ha!  I listed some of the "heavy hitters" in the genealogy blogosphere).  I've also started including the topic of webinars, podcasts and genealogy blogs in my Family History Class that I teach at my church.

So, why am I most grateful for Rootstech?  It was because of Rootstech that I discovered genealogy blogs and webinars, which have helped me to expand my knowledge of various genealogy topics.  And now I've even started my own genealogy blog, which I never thought I would do.  But it's been a fun experience so far, if not a bit intimidating.  I mean hey, I'm not a writer or genealogist by profession, so the self-doubt can start creeping in (what can I say that hasn't been said before, what if it's not good enough or well-written enough, etc.). But hey, my mom and brothers appreciate my little family history blog, so it's all good! And maybe someday my husband and kids will become regular readers too.  (One can dream, right?)

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday’s Child x 2–Lewis Asher and Frederick G. Engle

I feel for my maternal 2nd great-grand aunt Sarah Amanda Waterman.  Two of her children died at a very young age:
    • Lewis Asher Engle – Born 10 February 1861, Died 7 February 1862.
    • Frederick G. Engle – Born 20 February 1876, Died the same day.
I can’t even imagine how painful this must have been for her.  She and her husband, Richard Engle, were the parents of seven children, all of whom were born in Ohio:
  1. Ella Eliza Engle (16 Jun 1858 – 10 December 1951)
  2. Lewis Asher Engle (10 February 1861 – 7 February 1862)
  3. Charles Albert Engle (20 June 1864 – 20 September 1946)
  4. Mary Albertina Engle ( 20 June 1864 – 13 January 1885)
  5. William Barker Engle (23 September 1867 – 1 Jun 1950)
  6. Edwin Caleb Engle (8 November 1869 – 18 May 1943)
  7. Frederick G. Engle (20 February 1876 – 20 February 1876)
Richard Engle served in the U.S. Civil War.  I have his pension file (I love pension files, by the way!  They are amazing genealogical resources.)  Here's a page from Richard’s pension file listing his children.  Surprisingly I found a child from a previous marriage that I didn’t know anything about.

Richard Engle Pension Claim 4

I was also unaware of Richard's first marriage.  His first wife, Eliza Dunbar, and daughter, Morandia Jane Engle, both died in November of 1855 within days of each other.  So very sad!

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sepia Saturday 129–Dining Alfresco

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Sepia Saturday June 9, 2012

Webster Family in or on way to Illinois
Click to Enlarge
This isn’t a group of people having tea, but they are having a meal together.  And while this is a rustic setting in contrast with the refined and elegant style in the photo prompt for this week’s Sepia Saturday challenge, it is nonetheless a compelling photo when you discover the story behind this scene.

This is a photo of my mom (the young girl standing on the left) with her brothers, stepmother, and grandma.  I’m assuming my grandpa, Debs Webster, was taking the picture, since he’s not in the photo.

Now imagine that you have just left the country where you were born, boarded a ship, and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.  You have left most of your family behind in Brazil.  Thankfully someone in your family speaks English, but the rest of you do not, or are not fluent in the language.  The year is 1952.  You buy a car after you arrive and some sleeping bags and camping equipment to help you on your journey.  This is what my mom and her family did.  They emigrated from Brazil to the United States of America and subsequently became citizens of this great nation.  This is a photo of one of their stops while they were traveling across the United States by car from New York City, where they arrived in the U.S., to their final destination of Southern California. 

In previous posts I have explained how my grandfather Debs, while still living in Brazil, was able to make contact with his uncle Rollin Webster, who lived in Chicago, Illinois.  And if you’ve read about Debs’ father, Watson Emory (Frederick) Webster, a.k.a. The Traveling Dentist, then you understand how this branch of the Webster tree ended up in Brazil.

I will be continuing the story of my Webster family coming full circle from the U.S.A. to Brazil and back again in future posts.  I’m looking forward to sharing with you some early ‘50s postcards that were purchased along the way as my mom and her family traveled across the United States.

What about your family?  Do you have any emigration/immigration stories you would like to share?

For more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Follow Friday–Fab Finds for June 8, 2012

My Fabulous Finds for this week (in no particular order) -
  1. Fold3 opens ALL Digitized War of 1812 records in June by DearMyrtle
  2. An Editorial Calendar for Purposeful Genealogy Blogging by Blogging Genealogy
  3. Elizabeth Shown Mills Ten-point Study Blueprint by Adventures in Genealogy Education
  4. Mastering the Habits of Great Writers – 15 Habits of Great Writers by Jeff Goins
  5. No Big Deal by Genealogy’s Star
  6. How Eight Children Ending Up Living Alone in 1930 by Finding Forgotten Stories (a.k.a. Sticky Notes' Ask Ancestry Anne)
  7. Open Thread Thursday: What a Potential Sale of Means for Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers
  8. Geography in Genealogy and Photography: Dealing with Albums & Glass by Ancestral Breezes
  9. 3 Side Benefits of Being a Genealogist by Marian’s Roots & Rambles
  10. How To Train Yourself To Be A Great Blogger by Stanford at Pushing Social
 A new (to me) genealogy blog discovered and added to my Google Reader:
Mission Impossible – Making Genealogy Fun for my Teen.  I love this concept and will be interested in following this blog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Uncle Rollin's Letter: My Webster Family: Coming Full Circle - From The U.S.A. to Brazil and Back Again - Part 3

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

Rollin Waterman Webster-1952
Rollin Waterman Webster

This sweet gentleman is Rollin Waterman Webster.  The photo was taken in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois.  He would be about 81 or 82 years old at this time.

Rollin wrote to my Grandfather Debs Warren Webster after Mr. Harper C. Pendry's help in reuniting them.  Here's Rollin's letter:

Rollin Letter to Debs pg 1
Rollin Letter to Debs pg 2
Rollin Letter to Debs pg 3
Rollin Letter to Debs pg 4

Rollin's Letter:

Dear Nephue Debbs, I received your nice letter and I am very glad that you got my address we have been here since 1947.  We bought this 6 room house, a large attic and basement, and a 1 car garage.  I keep my bicycle out there, I shop a lot on my cycle, I have no car but my Son Francis J. next door has a car, he is a 6 ft 2 in tall and a Cook Co, sheriff he use to be a Fireman on the R. Road for 7 years, he is also a very good piano player.  I started him taken lessons when he was about six years old he playes around quite a bit, my oldest daughter is married and has two children a girl 15 and a boy 6.  Her name is Marge Gill, I lost a boy in 1912 Raymond Daniel 7 years.

Now Genevieve Anthony my youngest daughter about born in 1910, 41 years she has two children Carol 16 and Billie 10 years, they live with us, we payed $10,500.00 in 1947 for our house.  I am retired from the Railroad I worked 31 years as Stationary fireman and Engineer on car repairer. I started in Denver, Col, in 1890 then worked for the I.C. R.R. 10 years and the Santa Fe 21 years.  Now I get a Pension $118.00 per month.  I also get social security old age Pension.  I am feeling very good lots of people think I am in the 60ies.  I play my violin banjo guitar and piano most evry day my violin cost $105.00 in 1901 banjo 25.00 guitar 15 and piano $500.00 small 44 inches latest style.  My son Frank has a good piano, his mother died in 1915. I married her sister Ellen in 1916.  She has a brother and sister left her brother is in Ireland.  Ellen is about 6 years old never had any children.
Debbs the picture of yourself and wife is a very nice.  I hope you will come here and locate.  I think you would like Chicago Illinois.  We have over 3,000 population now.  I think you could get plenty of practice.  I have two sets of false teeth they cost me $195.00 in 1936 their very good yet.  Our brother Frank Webster died in 1932 he was 5 years older than me, sister Lura died in 1942 she was 9 years older than me, your father Watson Emery Fred Webster was 7 years older than me.  My sister Lura Dell Burket died around 1898 she was 46 when she died.  I am the only Webster left in our family.  We are all well and hope to see you folks soon.  I suppose you would have to become American citizens in order to stay here.  The last time I seen your father, two sisters and yourself was when came here from S. Americ to Chicago then I seen you again in Loueasanna soon after you left Chicago.

Debbs your oldest sister that you left in old Mexico that married a Mexican who got to be a dentist, do you hear from her or is she dead  I forget her name your youngest sister died, but I forget their names, if you no your sister address, I wish you would tell me.  I also forget the town that you left when you went back to So America, in Louisana.

So good luck and goodby our best wishes and write soon

My thoughts on Rollin’s sweet letter to my grandfather -

This letter is chock-full of genealogical gold as well as interesting tidbits of information.  I highlighted in bold the pertinent genealogical gold nuggets.  Rollin talks about his siblings, his children, who he married, where he worked and when, and even information about Debs and his family visiting him in Chicago, etc.  Priceless!  Thanks Uncle Rollin!
Another interesting bit of information is the population of Chicago at the time this letter was written.  Rollin put the population at 3,000 people.  I don’t have the exact date of this letter, but I think it’s safe to say it’s sometime between January 1952 and July 1952, because the latter date is when my grandfather and his family immigrated to the United States from Brazil.
Also, I find it cute that Rollin listed the prices he paid for things in his letter:
  • $10,500 – house in 1947
  • $105 – violin in 1901
  • $25 – banjo
  • $15 – guitar
  • $500 – piano
  • $195 – two sets of false teeth in 1936
Uncle Rollin’s letter is truly a treasure in our family!  Do you have any old letters tucked away somewhere that could hold genealogical gold?
The next installment of my Webster family’s journey back to the United States will find them on the ship The S.S. Brazil headed to New York City. 
I'm also looking forward to sharing with you some early 50’s postcards that I recently found in my grandfather Debs Webster’s scrapbook.  Some in this collection look like they were purchased on their road trip from New York City to their final destination in Southern California.

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012



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