Monday, March 27, 2017

Mailbox Monday~Letters From Mattie-Part 5

Mattie Baker with grandson John
About 1947

This series of letters are transcribed from those written by my great great grandmother, Martha "Mattie" Victoria (Bradford) Baker (1862-1947) in 1925. The letters were sent to her daughter Kathryn "Kate" Louise (Baker) Ryan (1898-1987) while she was living in North Carolina.
Transcription is as written with no correction of spelling or grammatical errors.

Sun pm                                                       
Mattie Baker Letter pg.1
©Cheri Hudson Passey

 well here come a few
lines from your old Maw
to thank you for the
beautiful dress and card
and words fail to tell
just how much I appreci
ate them and love the
ones that sent them and
best of all is just to know
that you all was thinking
of old Mother at home on
that day you don't know
how good it made me feel
although it brought tears
to my eyes. well I must 
tell you what all I got first


Mattie Baker Letter pg. 2
©Cheri Hudson Passey

your Pa gave me a ten
dollar bill Annie n[?}ery
vest and stockings Ruth
sent me a pretty voil 
dress Geo a sent a pair
of silk stockings and Bess
sent me a nice hand bag
and 2 dollar and a half
gold piece I hope I will
soon have another birthday
Geo a is still at Ruth's I
wrote and told her to send
him home but he has not
got here yet I want to see
him so bad if she don't
think I will have to go up there




why don't I know that he is                                    
Mattie Baker Letter pg. 3
©Cheri Hudson Passey

taken good care of I want
him home, we had another
death in the family Frid-
day poor old Man Nunnery
passed out the old fellow
was bad off for nearly 3 
weeks. Bess and Tom was
home last Sun. and Ellie
looks better than she has
in a long time how is Didy
and Thelma love them
both for me don't you think
it is about time you all was
coming home lI think so
well  as I don't know any news
I will bring this scratching to
a close as I want to write Bess
Ruth and Geo A so you all
be good by by with a heart full

Mattie Baker Letter pg. 4
©Cheri Hudson Passey

of love from Mother

I have not tried on my 
dress get but I know it will
fit. my chickens and garden
is getting on better since
it rained for it has been
so hot and dry down here
as ever Mother

Mattie's birthday was June 11, so this letter was written after that date, thanking her children for the birthday presents she recieved from them. She references an "Old Man Nunnery" dying.
Sometime after 1920, the Baker family were involved with the county poorhouse. Arthur Baker was recorded on the 1930 census as being the superintendent.
A search of death certificates for a Nunnery in 1925 in Sumter County reveals a Joe Nunnery who was a pauper and died 12 June 1925. This may be the man she was speaking of. 

Once again, Mattie writes to her daughter Kate about her week, the love she feels for her family and her desire to have them together. She also shares as she has in previous letters the feeling of family they shared with those they served in the poorhouse.

Mentioned in this letter~
Paw-Arthur Wellington Baker (1857-1940)
Annie-Annie Dargan (Baker) Parish (1895-1929)
Bess- also called Ellie in the letter-Ella Fair (Baker) Wells (1889-1971) and her husband Tom-John Thomas Wells (1891-1955)
Ruth-Emma Ruth (Baker) Early -(1901-1993)
Geo A- George Albertus Baker, Sr.(1880-1940)
Geo A-George Alburtus Baker, Jr. (1910-1949)
Thelma Marian (Baker) Hendry (1907-1936)

Didy-unknown who she is referring to by that name in her letters.

Mattie's letters to daughter Kate
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Did you miss reading Mattie's other letters? You can find them by clicking on these links:
Letter 1
Letter 2
Letter 3
Letter 4

Letters from our ancestors can tell us so much about them and their lives. We learn their personalities and learn about good times and bad.
Do you have letters from your ancestors? I would love to hear about them!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Helping you climb your family tree, 


  1. I sure enjoyed this post! I love to read old letters.

    While I don't have the hard copies, I have digital copies that a cousin shared with me of a letter that my Papa wrote to my uncle (his oldest son) who was in the US Army. My Uncle Bobby Joe came home in a box after an accident in Germany. My papa kept the letter in a special box along with the letter from Uncle Bobby's commanding officer about his death along with another government form relating to his death.

    What is the chance that "Didy" could mean Dee Dee or something like that? Do you have an aunt named Dee Dee or something that could be along those lines?

    Thank you for sharing these great letters with us. Have a blessed evening.

    Your sis in Christ, Suz (another Carolina girl!)

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post! You are lucky to at least have a digital copy of the letter your Papa wrote. What a treasure! As far as the name Didy, your suggestion is a good one, however there is no one with a name similar in the family. Hopefully, the mystery of who she is referring to will be solved! Glad to meet another Carolina girl!!

  2. I really enjoyed reading these letters "from your old Maw" from all those years ago. I like the way she started this letter in particular. Very sweet.

    My family has some old letters that were written by and written to my ancestors. Such a treasure. A few letters from England in 1887, some letters by my great great grandmother in 1893, and some more recent letters as well. They reveal so much information about what was going on back then. A very exciting find recently for me was a "Dear John" letter written to my great great grandfather in 1893. How that survived is a mystery, but it was an amazing find.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Wow! A Dear John! You have some fabulous treasures! Thanks for your comment!