Friday, January 1, 2016

Carrie’s Letters Christmas 1896

I’ve often wondered during the craziness of the Christmas Season, the decorating and cards, the buying of the perfect gifts, the time with family and all the commitments we make with friends….what was it like about a 100 years ago for our great-grandparents and grandparents??
About 6 years ago I started the task of making my great-grandmother’s letters more accessible for others, including myself, to read.  The letters were still folded in their original envelopes in a shoe box.  There was no rhyme or reason to the way the letters were organized in the shoebox that had been given to my father over 30 years ago.  I knew that several family members over the years had read them.  The first task was to open and scan each letter and return it to it’s original envelope.  My father and I then began to scan each individual letter.  Some letters consisted of a page or two and some had up to 6 pages, many of the pages were unnumbered.  Later we opened and placed each letter in an achival sleeve with it’s corresponding envelope.  Once in sleeves it was much easier to place the letters into chronological order.  Then came the task of transcribing each letter.
As I transcribe my great-grandmother’s letters I frequently look for the similarities in the lives we lead. 
In this letter dated Jan, 3, ‘97 Carrie and John Warner had 3 sons; Terry Warner (aged 8 years old), John Wesley Warner (aged 6 years old) and Gerald Warner (aged 2 years old).  They lived in Baiting Hollow (Riverhead), Suffolk County, New York.  About 60 miles East of New York City on Long Island.  Carrie was 4 months pregnant with their 4th child.  John was a farmer and Carrie took care of the household, her husband, 3 sons and John’s 81 year old ailing uncle, Goldsmith Warner, who lived with them.

“The holidays are past, at last, with all the extra trouble.  We made little trouble but had to make a little Christmas for the boys.  Had no X-mas dinner and no one here and went no where.” 
While this Christmas I feel the tremendous loss of my husband, David Anderson,  I am still so grateful for the time I shared with my family and friends at the Holidays and for getting a glimpse in to the life of my great-grandparents who I never had the priviledge of knowing.
If you had family that lived in Baiting Hollow, Suffolk County, New York or are related to the Warner Family I would enjoy hearing stories or information you may have to share.
Enjoy the journey, Debby


  1. What a treasure those letters are. A peek into time past. I too often wonder what it was like "back then."

  2. Debby,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Jana, What an honor! Thank-you for listing my blog on your Fab Finds!!