October 28, 1867 letter to Nancy Betts from Nancy Comfort

October 28, 1867 

To: Nancy Betts

From: Nancy Comfort, Clinton, Ontario, Canada

Nancy Comfort is writing her aunt and mildly chastising her for not writing back. The rest of the letter is devoted to updating her about Nancy Comfort’s brothers and sisters and news about her aunt’s sister Mary Wickersham and her long lost son, Edward.


Clinton[1] Oct 28th, 1867[2]

Dear Aunt[3]

I wrote to you sometime ago according to request but for some reason unknown to me I have received no answer. Mother[4] thinks perhaps you are married and too much engrossed with domestic affairs to attend to corresponding or it may be you have forgotten us entirely. Be that as it may I thought I would jog your memory by intruding myself once more on your notice. It is a very droll rainy day. Aunt Betsy Smith[5] is stopping with us at present. She came from home about four weeks ago, and has been visiting among her relatives and friends. She expects to return home in a week or two. Andrew[6] is living in Beamsville and practicing his profession[7]. John[8] has moved from Wardsville and intends to settle in St. Catherines. His family at present are stopping in Beamsville. Alfred[9] is at Colledge in Ann Arbor. Daniel[10] his wife[11] and child[12] are with us. Daniel back is very lame, he has not been able to do anything for a long time. I think he intends to go back to Hamilton next week. Jane[13] has been stopping with Margaret[14] a couple of weeks and is their yet. They are both well. Hannah[15] is stopping with Andrew. Her health is considerably improved since you were here. We received a letter from Aunt Mary Wickersham[16] about two weeks ago. She is well and has at last heard from her long lost son, Edward[17], who left home six years ago and grieved her very much by not writing a word until last July.

He then wrote to his sister Kate[18] wishing her to write and tell him all about his relatives and friends, his Father[19] death, and in what circumstances his Mother was placed stating also that he had several hundred dollars to dispose of and if he could add to her comfort he would think it a privilege to bestow it. It was a great satisfaction for her to know that he was alive and doing well. She did not say any thing about any of the rest of her children. Angeline Lacy[20] and her husband[21] are living in Dunville. He is peddling tin. Angeline health is very poor. She has symptoms of consumption. Mrs Wellington McAffry, is very ill at present. They have poor hopes of her recovery. Mrs Beckett came home on a visit and lost one of her little boys with diphtheria. The disease is very prevalent around us. We got word of the death of Uncle Archie Patterson[22] a short time ago. We knew nothing of his sickness till we heard of his death. They telegraphed to his brother William[23]. Aunt Betsy sends her kind regards to you says she frequently thinks and speaks of you and it would afford her much happiness to see you again. They all join with me in sending their love to you and cousins and hope to see you again in Canada. With kind wishes for your health and happiness, I remain your affectionate niece.

Nancy Comfort

[1] Clinton Township, Ontario, Canada

[2] Believe this letter was written around 1867. From Comfort Families of America, Daniel Comfort (see footnote #10 below) only had the one child, Cora Edith Comfort, who was born 3-5-1866. Further down in this letter, it mentions that Edward Wickersham (see footnote #17 below) left home six years ago, which if that was for the War, he left in 1861, making the date 1867 or thereabouts

[3] Nancy Comfort was the youngest daughter of Nancy Betts’ brother Francis Comfort

[4] Jemima (Wilcox) Comfort

[5] Don’t know what relationship, if any, she has to the family; sometimes the parents of in-laws were referred to as Aunt and Uncle

[6] William Andrew Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s brother

[7] Doctor

[8] John was Nancy Comfort’s brother

[9] Francis Alfred Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s brother

[10] Daniel was Nancy Comfort’s brother. According to Botting’s Comfort Families of America, Daniel was the only son who was not a doctor. In the 1870’s he moved to Florida where he engaged in the marble business remarking that with three brothers practicing medicine, he had to sell tombstones

[11] Mercy Louise (Corson) Comfort

[12] Cora Edith Comfort, born 03-05-1866

[13] Eliza Jane Comfort, Nancy Comfort’s sister

[14] Margaret (Comfort) Kennedy, Nancy Comfort’s sister

[15] Hannah was Nancy Comfort’s sister

[16] Mary (Comfort) Wickersham, Nancy Betts’ sister

[17] Edward Wickersham enlisted 11-25-1861 and was discharged in 1864

[18] Phoebe Catherine (Wickersham) O’Connor

[19] Jesse Wickersham, who died May 10, 1861

[20] Angelina (Wickersham) Lacey

[21] Alonzo Lacey

[22] Archibald Patterson, husband of Hannah Comfort, who was Nancy Betts’ sister, died October 27, 1864

[23] William Patterson


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: October 28, 1867 letter to Nancy Betts from Nancy Comfort – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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