letters from her sister, Nancy PETTIBONE (Davis)
who had migrated to Michigan from Columbia
Township in Bradford County
Lavinia is shown at right at a date later
(the date/address is half cut off on my copy, and I don’t have easy access to the original, so the next line is somewhat of a guess from the bottom half of the writing)
Marion Mar. 22, 1855
Having this opportunity I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know how we are all well at present. We have had a very hard cold weather here this winter, the hardest that I did see any where I ever lived. The snow was two feet deep on the level. Charles has made a bargain for a piece of land south of where we are now and if the snow ever goes off he calculates to go and look and see what it looks. And if it suits we shall go there if spring ever comes. He has traded his Virginia warrants for it. If he likes it we will go there. We will write to you what kind of country it is. The children is both well and harty and fat as pickles. I want you to write to me as soon as you get this and write to me how the others have been and how the folks is and all the news you can find or think of for I want to hear from you all very much. I want you to sit right down just as soon as you get this. Set right down and let your work go and write to me. There is a man going from where we live to Chicago and will be gone three or four weeks and I want you to write right off and send your letter to Chicago and we may get it by way of him.
Nancy J. Davis
(No date, but since the letterhead shows a civil war union soldier, it is undoubtedly after the start of the Civil War and before Nancy Jane Pettibone Davis died in March 1863)
We received your letter this ninth with draft in it all safe and now have got the money for it. We have got seven acres chopped and Charles is arguing to make a bee and log it up day after tomorrow. We would like to have you come out here for we would like to see you and all the rest very much. I think you might come out here if you would raise spunk enough to start. If you would come out here the change of climate might help you. I think it would. It is not much (undecipherable) where there is a little. We are all as well as common. Tell Louisa not to wait til she gets time to write but to take time and write.
I wish you to come out and see us and would like to have you come out here to live so I would not be all alone. I should think you might. I get to thinking some times about you all and it makes me feel lonesome to think of you there. Send the rest of the money before long. I don’t know that I want it very bad yet. If you do I can write and you can send it or come and fetch it. I want you to come and fetch the rest. My pen is poor and I have not much time to write so I scratches a little and let it go for this time.
I want you to write as soon as you get this and tell the rest to write too. You will find some mistakes I expect in here but I was in a hurry.
Nancy J. Davis
Six Corners Ottowa Co., Mich Apr 27, 1863
Dear sister – with pleasure I received yours of the 17 of Sept last informing me of the health of our friends and wish I could say the same to you but I am under the painful necessity of informing you that Nancy Jane is no more. She departed this life on the 21 of March last. She was confined on the 14th and left a girl 7 days old. The babe is well. I have given it to one Mrs. Williams and am keeping the rest of my family together by the help of my girl. We are well. Write as soon as you receive this.
From your affectionate brother,
C. Mc. Davis
1 Since she mentions both children, this places the letter between 1855 when her second child was born and 1858 when her third one was born. So my guess on the date is 1855 from the bottom half of the writing I can read. Since Alice Davis (born 1855) was born in Illinois, I suspect this letter was written from there.
22 Apparently this was written before Ira and Betsey Pettibone died, or at least before she learned of their deaths. They died in 1855 and 1858 respectively.
3 Louisa PETTIBONE Hulslander 1812-1864, her older sister. I suspect this letter is to Lavinnia PETTIBONE Monro, but don’t know that for sure. The money referred to I suspect is from the sale of Ira and Betsey TENNY PETTIBONE estate since they died a few years earlier.
4 Lavinnia PETTIBONE Monro, sister of Nancy Jane PETTIBONE Davis, the youngest child of Ira and Betsey TENNEY PETTIBONE of Columbia Township, Bradford County, PA.
5 Jennie Rosetta Davis 1863-1924
6 Widow of Mr. Alleine Williams a neighbor of the Davis family. Later, her son takes over the farm. Jennie still lives with them in 1860 although she is listed on the census as Rosetta Jane. In 1859 the oldest Davis girl, Jane Elizabeth marries another son of Mrs. Williams, Alleine Williams Jr. and by the 1870 census have not only their own children, but have the youngest of the Davis children living with them. The Davis children are listed in that census as McDavis. This seems to go back to the confusion on Charles Mc Davis name where he is listed most places as Davis, and some as McDavis. In the roster of the 7th Michigan Cavalry during the civil war, he is listed as McDavis. I suspect that this is because his middle name is an Irish or Scotch Irish one like McDonald or McNett and is abbreviated as Mc. Instead of as M.
77 Nancy Jane Pettibone had another sister marry, Adaline,
marry a Davis – Benjamin. I do not know if Charles and Benjamin are related.
Charles is from New York, Benjamin from Canada. Benjamin and Adaline moved
to Rockport, Illinois after the deaths of Ira and Betsey Pettibone and
they show up there in the 1860 census.
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