Friday, February 18, 2011

100 Happy Days 12

I am very happy that it is day 12...that means I only have 88 more days to go. Does that count for today's entry?

I wanted to tell you a very nice story with a bit of a mystery.

I have interacted over the years with very kind and truly wonderful people while doing Genealogical research. This last August I received a message through Ancestry from a lady who lives in Devon. I have no idea how she tracked me down but obviously she was a very good researcher and she had a mission.

She contacted me because on one of my trees there is an Ursula Roberts. Now Ursula is a  distant relative of my husband's second cousin. I have the second's cousins tree on Ancestry because he and I worked together about 5 years ago researching a mutual family line.

The lady in Devon is a collector of old letters and had bought a pack of letters that she thought might interest me. She really wanted to send these letters to me because she felt very strongly that they should be with some one associated with Ursala's family.  Here is some of what she wrote to me.............

........."Returning things to the family, reminded me of my Father, he owned a jewellery shop and in the last war a soldier brought in a model of a car, quite large, he asked dad if he could solder the bumper back on. dad did but the soldier never returned, dad had only his name, and tried all ways to trace his family, if the internet had been up and running who knows and he often said" this car should be returned to the family!"

I got all teary when I read that. What would you do?...........of course I took the letters!

I received four's a peek at the envelopes and one of the letters.

Ursula Roberts was born July 18, 1884 in Stoke Newington, Middlesex, England. The letters that I received where very touching and wonderful. The dates range from 1893 to 1907.

1) To Ursala at school from her sister Evelyn (no date or envelope)
2) From Ursala at school to her mother (1893)
3) To Ursula from her cousin Helen (1903)
4) From Ursula at school to her mother (1901)

I tried to contact my husband's second cousin......who if he is still alive would be 81......but, I received no return response.  I did some preliminary research but so far not much has turned up about any further family of Ursula.

I did find out  that she was a Morman, that she married a John Drill in 1915, emigrated to the USA in 1935 and died in Devon in 1972 at the age of 88. I couldn't find any children.

If Ursula died in 1972, who had these letters all these years and why were they being sold now and not kept? A mystery eh?

In Genealogical research the next obvious step is to get a copy of Ursula's death certificate to see who signed as as witness to her death. It is most often a family member.

But, before I go to that expense I think I'm going to put a request on Rootschat to see if anything more can be discovered. If anyone is interested I will let you know what happens via this blog.

Take care:)


  1. how wonderful and actually pretty amazing to finally have the old letters....

  2. Yes...Ursula's penmanship is really wonderful too:)

  3. Hi, thanks for visiting me again. What a great story that is and what a find getting those letters its the sort of thing i dream of finding. Have you tried Your Family tree forum for help, there are some great folk on there.


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