HYDE HEIRLOOMS – TWO CENTURIES- TWO SILVER SPOONS

Sturbridge, Massachusetts 1837 John Waner Barber. Historical Collections, being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c. relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in MA, with Geographical Desc. (Worcester: Warren Lazzell 1844), 608; digital images, (www.archive.org: accessed 07 Jan 2016)

Sturbridge, Massachusetts 1837 Image courtesy of Internet Archives.

HYDE HEIRLOOMS – TWO CENTURIES- TWO SILVER SPOONS

Heirlooms are the tangible evidence of an ancestor’s existence. It is something you can grasp and picture them using.  For nearly 200 years the descendants of Joshua and Sally Hyde preserved two silver spoons, passing them from one Hyde descendant to the next for six generations.

Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Silversmith Everhard Benjamin.

Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Silversmith Everhard Benjamin.

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua and Sally Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Joshua and Sally Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

As a family historian, you might have an affinity for a particular line. For me, it started with the HYDE family, my mother’s maiden name. When my grandparents, John, and Anna Jane Hyde, visited us once a year in Colorado from Nebraska it seemed like Christmas no matter the calendar month. I anxiously awaited their annual visit. The crunch of the tires on the gravel driveway as their dark Cadillac came to a stop always made my heart beat with anticipation. When Grams exited from the passenger seat,  all five of us siblings clamored for her attention.  Warmth and love always radiated in her smile and a twinkle in her vivid sapphire blue eyes. While I adored my grandmother, my mother favored her grandfather, Dr. John Fay Hyde. He was fondly called “Doc” by friends and family.  Mother’s stories about him are warm with love like honey as it spreads over a piece of freshly buttered toast.  Did Doc hear stories about his grandparents, or even his great-grandparents, Joshua, and Sally (Fay) Hyde?

Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde descendants

Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde descendants

The Letter

In January 1927, my great-grandfather Dr. John Fay Hyde opened a letter from his first cousin, Nina L. Gleason, explaining why she sent a silver spoon. He was the last male “Hyde” in their family line and she felt he deserved to have the family heirloom.

Nina Gleason letter

Letter from Nina L. Gleason to her cousin John Fay Hyde, dated 1927.

Letter from Nina L. Gleason to her cousin John Fay Hyde, dated 1927.

Dear cousin John,

Under separate cover I am sending the Hyde spoon which I feel is right for you to have. The JSH is for Joshua, Sally Hyde, your great grandparents. I did not have the dents smoothed, for I feel the spoon is all the more valuable with them. Probably some youngster tried out some newly cut teeth, or at any rate the spoons shows use. Probably Aunt Florence keeps you posted in regard to grandma. Hers is a most pitiful case, to say the least.

With Best Wishes,   Nina L. Gleason

Marblehead Mass.

Jan 25, 1927[1]

(Note: Florence refers to Doc’s mother, Florence Ellen Follett Hyde and “grandma” refers to Doc and Nina’s grandmother, Sarah Mathewson Hyde).

The Silver Spoons

Inscribed with “JSH”, for “Joshua” and “Sally” “Hyde”, the  silver spoons are a small part of the 87 items noted on Joshua’s estate inventory. The detailed list evokes images of an industrious farm. It includes how much land he owned, how many cows, horses, and pigs, how many bushels of oats and grains, and sundry household goods[2].  I anxiously scanned the inventory hoping to find the spoons.  Finally, near the end of the list, I spied them, “6 Silver Tea Spoons 4 other pewter spoons.”[3]  All ten spoons were valued at $2.00 in 1838. Today they would be worth $54.00. It’s not a great sum of money but the heirloom value they hold is irreplaceable.

Joshua Hyde inventory 1838, Sturbridge Massachusetts, Image courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde inventory 1838, Sturbridge Massachusetts, Image courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde

A description of Joshua Hyde is noted in  A Historical Sketch of Sturbridge and Southbridge, “He left for his widow and children, a very handsome estate, which was the fruit of his own industry and perseverance.”[4] Joshua was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He worked hard to achieve success and his family benefited from his diligence. The silver spoons he possessed represented status. According to the internet site Collectors Weekly, “From the fourth decade of the 17th Century when the first examples were hammered out, to the middle of the 19th Century when mechanized production caused the last silversmiths to lay down their tools, silver spoons were part of a young woman’s dowry. The quantity, of course, depended on the length of the parental purse, but it was a poverty-stricken household that could not find funds for at least six teaspoons and a tablespoon or two.”[5]  The two silver spoons that remain from Joshua and Sally Hyde bear the mark of the silversmith who made them, E.Benjamin & CO, which helps date the spoons. Everhard Benjamin established his business in 1830 in New Haven, Connecticut.[6]  The spoons could not have been purchased before 1830 nor after 1838 since Joshua died at that time. Perhaps the spoons were a gift or purchase for their 35th wedding anniversary in 1836?

Silver mark for silversmith Everhard Benjamin from New Haven CT, image courtesy of www.archive.org.

Silver mark for silversmith Everhard Benjamin from New Haven CT, image courtesy of www.archive.org.

Following the Trail

Tracing the spoons through the generations is a matter of speculation, but I’ve established what I think is most likely. Joshua and Sally Hyde were lifetime residents of Sturbridge, Massachusetts and passed away in 1838 and 1850 respectively. They had nine children and 12 grandchildren whom I can trace. Two sons, John Fay and Fitz Henry, served as executors for Joshua’s will.

And lastly I do constitute & ordain my two said sons Fitz Henry & John excutors of this my last will & Testament hereby directing them to pay all my just debts & legicies[sic] not otherwise provided for in this will.”[7]

Joshua Hyde 1838 probate records, courtesy of familysearch.org.

Joshua Hyde 1838 probate records, courtesy of familysearch.org.

 

Joshua stipulated  that John and Fitz Henry provide for their mother’s comfort. After her death they would retain the property.

“I also give & bequeath to my two sons Fitz Henry Hyde & John F. Hyde all the residue & remainder of my estate both real and personal of every description & wherever situated – hereby directing my said two sons, Fitz Henry & John, to provide ever thing necessary for the support, comfort & convenience of my beloved wife, & to provide her whenever she wishes a suitable mode of conveyance to go to meeting & whereever she may wish to go and to do all things in health & sickness, she may desire for her comfort & convenience as my beloved wife her desires I should make provision for her support in this way. Should any said sons Fitz Henry & John neglect to provide for their mother as I have pointed out, I hereby give her the use & improvement of all the real estate I give to them as aforesaid during her natural life.”[8]

Joshua Hyde probate records 1838, courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde probate records 1838, courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

In 1849 John Fay Hyde married his second wife, Sarah Ann Mathewson They  lived in Sturbridge, Massachusetts near his mother. Their first child, Sarah Elizabeth (Hyde) Gleason, was born there  April 1850.

Sarah Elizabeth Hyde Gleason ca. 1875, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sarah Elizabeth Hyde Gleason ca. 1875, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sarah Ann Mathewson Hyde Austin, Providence, R.I. date unknown

Sarah Ann Mathewson Hyde Austin, Providence, R.I. date unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is more than likely that John senior  acquired a portion of the personal estate bequeathed in his father’s will after his mother died in 1850, including the silver spoons. A year after her death, John and Sarah Hyde welcomed their second child, Frederick Albert Hyde, born February 1851 in Sturbridge.

By July 1856, there was trouble in the Hyde marriage and they each filed for divorce and separated. John married two more times and in 1871 and at age 56 he moved from Massachusetts to Buda, Illinois. His son Frederick Albert Hyde relocated from New York to  Cambridge, Illinois in 1881. Cambridge is only 30 miles away from Buda and the father and son maintained contact. According to a local newspaper, the Geneseo Republic, in April 1881 “Prof. Hyde and Miss Longenecker have gone to Buda to spend their vacation.”   Additional articles mention Professor Hyde visited his father in Buda over Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1881.   Miss Longenecker soon had competition from another young attractive teacher, Florence Ellen Follett.   Frederick and Florence  married in May 1883.  The next year the newlyweds moved to Newton, Iowa almost 200 miles away from Buda where Frederick served as principal. Their first child arrived in January 1885 and was named after his paternal grandfather, John Fay Hyde. Distance probably limited frequent contact between the two Hyde families. John Fay Hyde senior died in 1889 when his grandson was only four years old. Did Frederick share family stories with his son?

Frederick Albert Hyde ca 1882, Cambridge, Illinois

Frederick Albert Hyde ca 1882, Cambridge, Illinois

John Fay Hyde ca. 1880 Buda, Illinois

John Fay Hyde ca. 1880 Buda, Illinois

Meanwhile back in Massachusetts, John Fay Hyde’s daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, married Francis Herbert Gleason and had four children, including Nina Leonore Gleason (1866-1951), the author of the letter written in 1927.  John senior likely gave the spoons to Sarah before he moved from Sturbridge to Illinois.  Prior to her death in 1890 Sarah turned the spoons over to Nina a public school teacher who remained single. Although she had three siblings and seven nieces and nephews at age 61 Nina mailed the spoons to her 32-year-old cousin John Fay Hyde.  He was the only male adult Hyde remaining in the family whom she knew. Another reason to give the spoons to John may have been he had a male heir, John Frederick Hyde, born October 1911.

John Fay Hyde 1910, Omaha, Nebraska

John Fay Hyde 1910, Omaha, Nebraska

John Frederick Hyde 1934, Omaha, Nebraska.

John Frederick Hyde 1934, Omaha, Nebraska.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

I think it is very likely that Doc heard about his ancestors, both maternal and paternal. His mother, Florence Ellen Follett Hyde, compiled a family history preserved for five generations. She avidly researched and recorded family stories. Florence passed this journal to her daughter Hazel Hyde Kiesslebach, a younger sister of Docs, who carried on the family tradition of genealogy. In 2010, I moved from Berlin to Washington D.C. and attended my first Hyde family reunion.  I met Hazel’s daughter, Helen Kiesselbach Greene, the family matriarch and historian.  When Helen mailed me Florence’s journal to peruse and copy, I eagerly read each page.  Soon after I planned my first research trip to the National Archives to obtain the Revolutionary War pension records for Joshua Hyde. It is an unrelenting quest to find one more document and just one more clue. Sometimes it takes years to find enough of the pieces to create a story, as in the case of the  Hyde silver spoons. My grandmother first told me about them over 20 years ago. The seed of interest took time to germinate. After I read the Revolutionary War pension records my interest blossomed. Over the last 10 years I’ve visited Sturbridge where Joshua lived, collected more records, and peeked through the window of time into his life.

This heirloom blog covers just one item from Joshua’s inventory. The intriguing part follows in the next posting about the remainder of his estate and what it reveals about Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde and Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Follow along to learn why there is a library in Sturbridge, Massachusetts named after Joshua Hyde.

HYDE_Joshua_Library_Strubridge_MA.jpg (3)

Joshua Hyde Library Sturbridge, Massachusetts

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© 2016 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Joshua Hyde 1762-1838
Parents: Benjamin Hyde 1723-1797 and
Dorcas Dyer 1726-1787
Spouse: Sarah “Sally” Fay Hyde 1775-1850
Children:

  1. Augusta Hyde, b. 31 Oct 1795, Sturbridge, MA, d. 17 Sep 1872, Sturbridge, MA.
  2. Betsy Hastings Hyde, b. 28 Mar 1798, d. 1880, Sturbridge, MA.
  3. Charlotte Hyde, b. 26 Sep 1800, Sturbridge, MA, d. 16 Mar 1870, Brookfield, MA
  4. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 2 Nov 1869, Sturbridge, MA
  5. Emory Hyde, b. 21 Feb 1805, Sturbridge, MA, d. 31 Oct 1830, Sturbridge, MA
  6. Frederick Baxter Hyde, b. 15 Jul 1808, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Feb 1852, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio
  7. George Baxter Hyde, b. 20 Mar 1811, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Jul 1889, Boston, MA
  8. Fitz Henry Hyde, b. 2 Jun 1814, Sturbridge, MA, d. 23 Oct 1833, Sturbridge, MA
  9. John Fay Hyde, b. 5, Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sep 1889, Buda, Bureau, IL

Relationship to Kendra: 4th great-grandfather

  1. Joshua Hyde 1762-1838
  2. John Fay Hyde 1817-1889
  3. Frederick Albert Hyde 1851-1926
  4. John Fay Hyde 1885-1950
  5. John Frederick Hyde 1911-1980
  6. Jean Hyde Hopp Eichorn
  7. Kendra Hopp Schmidt

*****GENEALOGY OF JOSHUA AND SARAH (SALLY FAY) HYDE*****

Benjamin HYDE was born possibly in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, 11 April 1723, parents unknown. He died at Sturbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, 28 November 1797. He married at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 21 November 1745 DORCAS DYER. She was born at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 17 June 1726, parents unknown. She died at Sturbridge, 23 October 1798.   Benjamin Hyde served in the Revolutionary War, as well as his sons, John, Othniel, Abijah, Lemuel, and Joshua.

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Children of Benjamin and Dorcas (Dyer) Hyde:

  • 1. Benjamin Hyde, b. 16 Aug 1746, Sturbridge, MA
  • 2. Dyer Hyde, b. 24 Dec 1747, Sturbridge, MA
  • 3. Christopher Hyde, b. 3 Jul 1749, d. 12 Jul 1750 Sturbridge, MA
  • 4. John Hyde, b. 12 Jul 1750, d. 10 Apr 1808, Pomfret, Windham, CT
  • 5. Othniel Hyde, b. 12 Jul 1752, Sturbridge, MA
  • 6. Abijah Hyde, b. 8 Jun 1754, Sturbridge, MA, d. Abt 1788 in Canada, smallpox, while serving in the Revolutionary War.
  • 7. Lemuel Hyde, b. 12 Apr 1757, Sturbridge, MA
  • 8. Josiah Hyde, b. 25 Dec 1759, Sturbridge, MA
  • 9. Joshua Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Sep 1838, Sturbridge, MA
  • 10. Dorcas Hyde, b. 23 Feb 1764, Sturbridge, MA
  • 11. Thankfull Hyde, b. 13 Jun 1771, d. 21 Apr 1834, Hampshire, MA

Joshua Hyde, son of Benjamin and Dorcas (Dyer) Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Sept 1838, Sturbridge, MA. He married on 11 Dec 1794 in Brookfield, MA, Sarah (Sally) Fay, b. 12 Feb 1775, Westborough, Worcester, MA, d. 15 Jun 1850, Sturbridge, MA.

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Children of Joshua Hyde and Sarah “Sally” (Fay) Hyde:

  • 1. Augusta Hyde, b. 31 Oct 1795, Sturbridge, MA, d. 17 Sep 1872, Sturbridge, MA.
  • 2. Betsy Hastings Hyde, b. 28 Mar 1798, d. 1880, Sturbridge, MA.
  • 3. Charlotte Hyde, b. 26 Sep 1800, Sturbridge, MA, d. 16 Mar 1870, Brookfield, MA
  • 4. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 2 Nov 1869, Sturbridge, MA
  • 5. Emory Hyde, b. 21 Feb 1805, Sturbridge, MA, d. 31 Oct 1830, Sturbridge, MA
  • 6. Frederick Baxter Hyde, b. 15 Jul 1808, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Feb 1852, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio
  • 7. George Baxter Hyde, b. 20 Mar 1811, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Jul 1889, Boston, MA
  • 8. Fitz Henry Hyde, b. 2 Jun 1814, Sturbridge, MA, d. 23 Oct 1833, Sturbridge, MA
  • 9. John Fay Hyde, b. 5, Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sep 1889, Buda, Bureau, IL

John Fay Hyde, son of Joshua & Sally (Fay) Hyde, b. 5 Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sept 1889, Buda, IL. He m1) Sarah Cogswell Eldridge b. abt 1822, MA, d. 29 Nov 1846, West Springfield, MA. He m2) Sarah Ann Mathewson b. 3 May 1830 Chepachet, Providence.RI, d. 3 May 1927, Providence, Providence, RI. Sarah m2) Joseph Stevens Austin, b. 12 Jan 1840, Newport, RI, d. 20 Oct 1930, Providence, RI. John Fay Hyde m3) Mary P Reed, b. 1820, Worcester, MA, d. 21 Jan 1899, New Bedford, MA. He m4) Harriet Alvira Howard, b. 24, Jan 1837, Staffordville, CT, d. 17 Dec 1910 Stafford, CT.——

Children of John Fay and Sarah Ann (Mathewson) Hyde:

  • 1. Sarah Elizabeth Hyde, b. 5 Apr 1850, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 May 1890 Providence, RI. She m. Francis Herbert Gleason, b. 20 Jan 1845, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Sept 1897, Brookfield, MA.
  • 2. Frederick Albert Hyde b. 14 Feb 1851, Sturbridge, MA, d. 24 Jun 1926, Prescott, Yavapai, AZ. He m. Florence Ellen Follett, b. 19 Oct. 1860, Cornwall, Henry, IL, d. 13 Oct 1940, Lincoln, NE.

Frederick Albert Hyde,  son of John Fay Hyde and Sarah Ann (Mathewson) Hyde, b. 14 Feb 1851, Sturbridge, MA, d. 24 Jun 1926, Prescott, Yavapai, AZ. He m. on 31 May 1883 in Cambridge, IL Florence Ellen Follett, b. 19 Oct. 1860, Cornwall, Henry, IL, d. 13 Oct 1940, Lincoln, NE.

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Children of Frederick Albert and Florence Ellen (Follett) Hyde

  • 1.John Fay Hyde b. 26 January 1885, Newton, IA, d. 23 March 1950, Omaha, NE. He m. Mabel Elvina Nichols, b. 31 March 1888 Sioux City, NE, d. 16 November 1954, Omaha, NE.
  • 2. Hazel Hortense Hyde b. 19 August 1886, d. 9 December 1975, Lincoln, NE.
  • 3. Sarah Elizabeth Hyde b. 17 December 1891, d. 26 December 1955, Santa Fe, NM.

John Fay Hyde, son of Frederick Albert Hyde and Florence Ellen (Follett) Hyde, b. 26 January 1885, Newton, IA, d. 23 March 1950, Omaha, NE. He married on 8 May 1909 in Omaha, NE. Mabel Elvina Nichols, b. 31 March 1888 Sioux City, NE, d. 16 November 1954, Omaha, NE.

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Children of John Fay Hyde and Mabel Elvina (Nichols) Hyde

  • 1. John Frederick Hyde b. 13 October 1911, Omaha, NE, d. 13 September 1980, Omaha, NE. He married on 25 June 1935 in Omaha, NE Anna Jane Beaton, b.21 June 1907, Omaha, NE, d. 28 March 1998, Tucson, AZ.
  • 2. Joan Hyde b. 26 September 1921 Omaha, NE d. 26 September 1921, Omaha, NE

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[1] Nina L. Gleason, Marblehead Massachusetts to “John” John Fay Hyde, letter, January 25, 1927, privately held by Kendra Hopp Schmidt, Vienna, Austria, 2015.
[2] “Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925,” digital images, Family search, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-46816-23886-0?cc=2102083 : accessed 18 December 2015), Worcester; Case no 32638-32724, Joshua Hyde, 1731-1881; image 902 of 1184; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.
[3] Ibid
[4] George Davis, A Historical Sketch of Sturbridge and Southbridge (Brookfield, Massachusetts: O.S. Cooke & Co.,1858), page 95. ; digital images, Internet Archive Books,( http://archive.org: accessed 15 December 2015)
[5] Richond Huntley,”Flashback: Silver Spoons,” Collectors Weekly, (https:www.collectorsweekly.co/articles/silver-spoons/ : accessed 5 December 2015.
[6] Stephen G.C. Ensko. American Silversmiths and Their Marks III. New York: (Privately printed Robert Ensko Inc., 1948) p171. Internet Archives. (www.internetarchive.org : accessed 6 December 2015)
[7] “Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925,” digital images, Family search, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-46816-23886-0?cc=2102083 : accessed 18 December 2015), Worcester; Case no 32638-32724, Joshua Hyde, 1731-1881; image 902 of 1184; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.
[8] Ibid

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HEIRLOOM POSTS shared by other bloggers:

Thanks to Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story for suggesting doing posts on heirlooms and to Cathy Meder-Dempsey  of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for including a list of  Heirloom bloggers and their links.

True Lewis at Notes to Myself

Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story

Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees

Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree.

Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Please visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to posts in the comments.

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About treeklimber

An interest in history and travel lends itself to a passion for genealogy. The more I research, the more I realize there is to discover. It is a never-ending puzzle.
This entry was posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to HYDE HEIRLOOMS – TWO CENTURIES- TWO SILVER SPOONS

  1. Fantastic post Kendra. You really worked those records. So is there no longer a male Hyde to pass them on to?

    Like

    • treeklimber says:

      Thanks Cathy – I find the research the most interesting. Organization and writing are more work but the wrting helps me organize and analyse.
      No there are no more male Hydes whom I know. It’s interesting when a line dwindles out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim Stansberry says:

    Very interesting history Kendra. I did not know grandpa Hyde’s ancestors had larger families. The history of the spoons is quite warming and interesting because who would have thought about spoon could reveal so much. Your research shows you have spent hours, days, and commitment that is truly fascinating. Thank you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    • treeklimber says:

      Thanks Kim- until I started doing the writing portion of genealogy I had no idea how much you can learn. Each project reveals new information.
      Thanks again for reading and sharing feedback with me. Hugs

      Like

  3. Luanne @ TFK says:

    So interesting and thorough. You’ve inspired me to go through my drawers!

    Like

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