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Letters


Letters
Introduction
Style
Summary
The Letters:
  1844-1846
  1847-1848
  1849-1851
  1852-1856
  1878-1892
  1913-1922
  Notes

Introduction


The letters fall into three categories: letters written by family members between Canada and England in the 1840s and 1850s, letters written by family members in Manitoba in the 1870s and 1880s and published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor, and miscellaneous letters written by family members in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After Henry2 York emigrated to Canada in 1844, he wrote letters back home.  These letters are the source of many of the family traditions about the family in England and their early days in Canada.  Family members in England also wrote to him.

Some of the letters survived and in about 1944 many of them were in the hands of Alice4 (Ivens) Sanders in England.  She sent them to George Dallas4 York.

In the early 1980's Alton Meldon4 York visited Jacob Prentice5 York, son of George Dallas York, and borrowed the original letters from him.  Alton made a handwritten copy and then a typed copy of the letters and then returned them to Jacob Prentice5 York who very kindly shared the originals with me.

Other letters have survived in the collections of Geraldine5 (Garnett) Savage and Robert Alton5 York.  Gerry's letters were among the papers of her mother, Alice Garnett, and many of them probably were originally among the belongings of Elizabeth (Prentice) York and passed along to her daughter Lydia Maud Stevenson who was the last child living near by.  Also, Lydia went to Iowa to visit and may have brought some of the letters back with her.

Photocopies of these original letters from Gerry Savage and Bob York were kindly shared with me.  These letters are so noted.  In most cases, the letter has been proofed with the original, rather than a photocopy.

Not all of the originals of the letters to England were actually written by Henry.  It was common practice for family members in England to make handwritten copies to share with family members who lived at a distance.  Some of the original letters appear to be such copies and are so noted.

Henry did not use envelopes when mailing his letters.(Photo)  Instead, he folded the pages, sealed them shut, probably with wax, and addressed the outside, to his father, and later to his brother-in-law, George Kinch, with whom his mother lived.  These addresses help to identify those letters which were written by Henry and also help to identify dates, from the postmarks.

Reading the original letters and correctly interpreting them is a challenge.  All of the correspondents wrote in a stream, without any paragraphs and usually with no punctuation to show the end of a thought.  Although others did better and copies of his letters corrected his spelling, Henry's spelling is very creative, apparently primarily phonetic.

When this compiler compared Alton's typed copies to originals of the available handwritten letters, it was apparent that Alton did not try to make an exact copy.  For example, some phrases were left out, words were inserted to make sentences grammatically more appropriate and spelling errors were corrected. 

Therefore, a decision was made to transcribe a new set of copies, working from the originals or photocopies of originals whenever possible.  In these new copies, the spelling is retained whenever the word is legible enough to do so.

Alton's typed copies were very helpful in understanding some of the words that were nearly illegible.  In some cases the present transcription has a different interpretation of a word, particularly a name.  This is largely due to a greater familiarity with other records in both Long Buckby and St. Vincent that were not available to Alton.

An additional source of letters has been the newspapers of the time.

The letters are shown in chronological sequence regardless of author.

Style


Unless otherwise indicated, all letters were transcribed from the original by Shirley6 York Anderson.  To facilitate reading, punctuation, capitalization, and paragraph breaks have been added.  Any other additions or comments and some clarifying words or letters are shown in brackets.

A question mark in brackets attached to a word indicates that the word typed is unclear.  ... represents missing portions of the page.

Summary


1844 4 Jul From Henry2 York.
1844 25 Dec From Henry2 York.
This letter is unusual in that both the original written by Henry and a handwritten copy have survived, providing a clear example of the editing that occurred in the copies.
1845 21 May From Henry2 York.
Original of a handwritten copy.
1846 29 Dec From Henry2 York.
Original of a handwritten copy.
1847 6 Feb From Henry2 York.
Alton originally treated this as two separate letters, one written in February 1846 but missing the latter pages, and one written in March 1847 but missing the early pages.  An inspection of the originals suggests that they were all one letter written in 1847, and are treated that way here.
1847 7 Nov From Henry2 York.
1848 16 Feb From Henry2 York.
Original of a handwritten copy.
1848 10 Jul From Henry2 York.
1848 25 Sep From Henry2 York.
Original of a handwritten copy.
1848 10 Dec From Henry2 York.
1849 13 Mar From Mary1 (Dickens) York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1849 Mar From Alice2 (York) Kinch.
Robert Alton5 York has the original.
1849 26 Jul From Thomas2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1849 9 Dec From Henry2 York.
Original of a handwritten copy.
1850 22 Jan From Henry2 York.
1850 19 Sep From Alice2 (York) Kinch to Henry 2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1850 15 Nov From Henry2 York.
1851 3 Mar From Henry2 York.
1851 1 May From Henry2 York.
1851 28 Aug From Mary1 (Dickens) York.
Robert Alton5 York has the original.
1852 27 Jan From Henry2 York.
1852 14 Apr From Mary1 (Dickens) York.
1852 3 Oct From Frederick3 York (Henry2)
1852 4 Oct From Henry2 York
1853 13 Mar From Mary3 (York) Laycock.
1853 10 Aug From Mary1 (Dickens) York.
From a photocopy of the original sent by Geraldine5 (Garnett) Savage.  An original was received from Jacob Prentice5 York.  However, it is missing most of the text from the middle of the third page to the end, and has a last page that is quite different.  The beginning of the missing text is quite obvious as it occurs in the middle of a sentence.  Both texts have been transcribed.
1854 20 Aug From Henry2 York.
1854 28 Nov From Thomas2 York to his brother Henry2 York.  Also included is a note from Thomas's daughter, Alice3 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1854 11 Dec From Henry2 York.
Alton York dated this letter 1859.
1855 7 Mar From Thomas2 York to his brother Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1856 22 Jul From Henry2 York.
1878 17 Apr From Louise Mallory, daughter of Catherine Williams and Wilson Mallory, to Mary Ann (Minnie)3 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1878 21 Oct From Selena4 York to Mary Ann (Minnie)3 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1879 30 Mar From Louise Mallory to Lydia Maud3 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1879 26 Sep From Henry4 Laycock.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1880 30 Jan An unsigned letter, later attributed to John Vail.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1880 5 Mar From Levi3 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1880 23 Apr From Henry4 Laycock.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1882 24 Mar From Henry2 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1882 13 Oct From Henry2 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1886 22 Jan From Henry2 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1887 30 Jan From Ann, wife of Thomas2 York to Lydia Maud3 (York) Stevenson.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1887 3 May From Henry2 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1888 22 Sep From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1889 5 Apr From Nathan Albert3 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1889 5 Apr From Mary Ann (Minnie)3 York to Lydia Maud3 (York) Stevenson.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1889 6 Apr From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1889 17 May From N.A.3 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1889 21 Sep From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1889 4 Oct From N.A.3 York.
Published in the Meaford (ON) Monitor.
1890 15 May From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1891 28 Jan From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1891 5 Dec From Thomas2 York to Henry2 York.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1892 13 Feb From Thomas2 York to Lydia Maud3 (York) Stevenson.
Geraldine5 Savage has the original.
1913 25 Apr From Louise Alice Maude4 (York) Quigley to her "Uncle" John (actually her brother, John Henry Wilford4 York) and Aunt Mary.
Shirley6 York Anderson has the original.
1913-1922 Unless otherwise noted, these letters are from Maria3 York to George Dallas4 York, and Jacob Prentice5 York has the originals.
During World War I From Frederick3 York (Samuel2 York)
1939-1940 From Alice4 (Ivens) Sanders to George Dallas4 York.
Written before her marriage.
1941-1946 From Alice4 (Ivens) Sanders to George Dallas4 York.
Written after her marriage.


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