dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2012-12-11 20:28

A letter from her dad

My 10th cousin and I are pretty jazzed about our Chapin connection.

So now, we've started on her mother's side of the family.

I am quite taken with one of her mother's relatives - her maternal grandmother, Hilda.

In a few short hours, I have come to admire Hilda for several reasons.
We believe Hilda's maiden name was Osterberg.

She was Swedish, born on 17 Jul 1891 in Kristianistad, Skane Co., Sweden. I got that information from her passport application in 1919.

Hilda immigrated to the United States in March 1911, as a 19 year-old girl. I don't know yet if she came with relatives or by herself.

If it's the latter, I am in awe. I cannot imagine doing that myself.

Sometime between March 1911 and the 1920 census, Hilda married William C Griggs, from Plymouth Co., MA. He was 12 years her senior. They had a daughter named Ella Linnea Griggs, whom I suspect was named for both her grandmothers.

William's mother's name was Ella.
On 23 May 1919, Hilda completed a passport application so she could return home to Sweden.

Attached to the back of the application were two letters from her father. One of them made me want to cry.

Photobucket
My Dear Daughter

I will tell you that your aunt is dead. Your uncle & his daughter are in bed so that cannot be at the funeral so that I have to do the work myself as the funeral is going to be at my house. I wish Linea had been [illegible] to help me.

When can I begin to look for you home. I do not want any present only bring home a dollar bill so that I can see how your money looks.


It's that letter that makes me wonder if Ella Linnea Griggs was named for both grandmothers. She was not born until 1923, so Hilda's father could not have been talking about his granddaughter.
Passport applications are rich in information.

I love this photo of Hilda.

Photobucket

Now, I just have to brush up on Swedish naming conventions...
rainbow: a shield with a rainbow A on it and the text "autism superpowers activated!" (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2013-07-17 01:20 (UTC)(link)
What a heartbreaking letter.

I think the illegible word is "home", both because it makes sense and because the "h" matches the "h" in "help"; the "o" matches the "o" in "going", and the "e" matches many other "e"s. The "m" looks more like an "n", but that could be to fade and/or being upset when he wrote (at least, heaven knows, I miswrite the number of swoops in n,m,u,w myself fairly often if I'm tired or upset)
rainbow: a shield with a rainbow A on it and the text "autism superpowers activated!" (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2013-07-17 03:05 (UTC)(link)
You're very welcome! <3