Sunday, May 1, 2016

Birth 1897 Style

My great-grandmother, Carrie Terry Warner, wrote letters over the course of 30 years mainly to her sister Ella Terry Billard.  (See Carrie’s Letters and blog posts for other excerpts).  This letter from 1897 details the birth of her 4th child…yet another boy.  I can feel the disappointment. 

7 may 1897 7 may 1897 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             B. H. (Baiting Hollow)                                                                                                                                                                     May 7, ‘97

Dear Sister,           
          It is over at last, all in good shape, except that the two teams are completed. Another boy (Hollis Victor Warner) but a black one (black hair) from all appearance. Just the least encouraging to have a little change. I sent John after the nurse who was about half a mile north of R. H. (Riverhead) village before I had a single pain, but the baby got here before he got back. The quickest and easiest time I ever had. Came within a few minutes of being all alone. Alice and Ella came just in time. Am feeling very well yet though tis only about an hour and a half ago. I was going to write to mama but Terry is very anxious to tell Wesley first and I am sorter tired so will wait. If you have a chance let mama know. Terry can not write this morning because he must go to school.          

          Write to me if possible to cheer the monotony of getting up. Terry is going.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hastily,

John is Carrie’s husband.  Alice, I believe, is John’s brother Gene’s wife (Alice Hammond Warner) and Ella, I believe, is John’s brother Charles’ wife (Ella Etta Terry Warner).  Thank goodness family lived close by and here she is writing only an hour and a half after the birth of her child!  Terry is Carrie and John’s oldest son who was 9 year’s old at the time.  Wesley is Carrie and John’s 2nd son who was 7 years old and must have been staying with Carrie’s parents in Peconic, NY at the time. 

I am very fortunate to have these letters. They provide such an amazing glimpse into everyday life from 1880-1910 in rural America. 

If you have any additions or stories to share I would appreciate hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,


  1. How fortunate are we to be so loved!!
    Debby, thank you for the wonderful blog,
    and I will be looking for ways to keep it strong.

  2. Thank-you Hollie! Carrie's letters give us such great insight into our ancestor's lives.