Monday, November 5, 2012

Amanuensis Monday- Letters From the Past: Part 2

 Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

 On  the 21st of June 1914 William McManus wrote a letter to his daughter Etta Daughrity . This letter is the second of  three letters that I found in the Daughrity family Bible.

The following is a transcription of the letter as written. No grammar or spelling corrections were made.

The envelope is addressed to  Mrs. M.D.Daughtriy
710 Church St,

The 2 cent stamp is still attached and it is postmarked Bishopville, SC., June 27 1914                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                        Bishopville,SC  June 21th 1914                                                                                                            
 Dear children I am writing
you theas few lines to
let you know that I
am well trusting that
they will find you
the same
I got home all ok
and found everything all
David pleas express
Janeys trunk so I can
get it next Saturday
sure send it in
Ben Shoemaks name
So if I have moved
he can get it I will
pay the express hear
be sure to send it in


Ben Shemaks name
Daived I am sure
proud of your garden
for it is sure fine
and I am glad that
you children are trying
to have sommthing and
I love to slip up on
you children for then
I can find out what
you are doing,
oh let me tell you
I had peach pie for
Breakfirst this
morning My best girl sent it to me
well Il cloas your
father  W.A. McManus

Back of pg. 2

W.A. McManus                                                                        
Bishopeville, SC
cof  Mary Shoemake


Etta 2 girls cam
to see me to day                                           
brout me enoghf
cooked to eat to last
me untell Sunday so
you see I am all o.k.
and I am sure glad that
I have got so meney
nice friends
I will send you a check
before long Well Il
cloas with love to all
your father
 W.A. McManus
Bishopville Route 2

   The first letter sent by William McManus to his daughter Etta talked of  the mysterious Janey (Jainey) as well as this second one. I have been wondering who Janey was since I first saw a picture of some McManus children and one was said to be Janey. I know she was important to the family because the others were William and Fannie McManus' grandchildren No one in the family seems to know who she is. To see the first blog post about William McManus' letters to his daughter Etta click on this link
 I have read these letters several times but it seems that I had never noticed the back of page 2 and the actual address that W.A McManus had written on it. It said in care of Mary Shoemak. The letter had said to send Janey's trunk to Ben Shoemake.  I decided to look up this family in the census. Was W.A. living with them? What I found out from the 1910 Lee County Census was that Mary was Ben's daughter and his wife's name?  Jane! Could this be the Janey I have been looking for? At this point more research needs to be done to know for sure.
 Again I have learned that transcribing any documents that you may have is worthwhile. Not only to preserve the original information, but to help look more closely and see the information in a new light. By focusing on what was written , I could see clues that I had missed before.

Letter Transcribed 5 November  2012 by Cheryl Hudson Passey
From original letter found in Daughrity family Bible
Original letter in  possession of Cheryl Hudson Passey archived in Daughrity Family File
Digital Copy of the letter also in possession of Cheryl Hudson Passey in Daughrity Family Documents Computer File 


  1. What a great set of letters. I only wish I had some letters like these of my own family from back then.

    Regards, Jim
    Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

  2. Thanks Jim,
    I feel very blessed to have found the letters.
    Thanks for reading my blog!

  3. When I started reading the third letter today, I decided I should come back to the 2nd letter to catch up. The mysterious "Janey" does seem to be a thorn in the family's side. Unless there are two "Janes" around, I'll bet your guess is correct.

    My heart goes out to this man, He is obviously old and poor, and he trusts that his respondent cares that he has enough to eat for the week. He sounds so innocent. Even when he says he wants to "slip up on" his children to see how they are doing! The voice is so exposed, and so true.