My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Letters on Ebay

Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, taken 2011.
A whole new world opened up to me after a friend sent me a link to an ebay site. His last name is Bishop, and this is the second time he informed me of something on ebay relating to Bishop, my mother's surname. I don't believe my friend is interested in genealogy. The item consisted of two letters, by two different people dated 12 Sept. 1837, it was 3 pages long and included an envelope to Rev. James B. Wilcox of Castile, Genesee County, New York. Best of all, the asking price was $9.50.

Since I hadn't used ebay, I had to set up an account, then the fun began. I won't bore you with the bidding war that went on for several days between novice me and two pros. I am positive that neither was after the letters written from Martha's Vineyard, and mailed from Falmouth, MA, but they were after the 1837 envelope. I want to get word to the new owner, and let them know I'd love a photocopy of the letters because I knew all the individuals mentioned, so I am hoping that this blog post will find it's way to the letter owner who paid $39.00.

The seller had quite a few other envelopes to sell, and I was very pleased that he did an abstract, with just enough information for me to know these people were mine. Mentioned were my two cousins 4x removed, Eliza Bishop and Phebe Bishop Jenkins, news that my 2nd great-grandaunt, Flora Bishop Colegrove was married and had a 1 1/2 year old daughter (died the following year), and several others were mentioned.

Several lines from the seller, "Our dear Ct relatives are few & scattered, this renders them doubly near & dear to us ...." and "We often speak of your dear family, although we have little knowledge of you. The fact that there is an Elisa Bishop among your number conveys additional interest to my mind ..." Of course I want to know who Elisa Bishop is too, I haven't a clue.

Now that I have an account, I plan on setting up alerts for letters and envelopes. There is a current offering for a letter written by J. Low in Hartford on December 15, 1828 and addressed to Mr. T. W. Gibb in Hinesburg, Vermont. The letter is sad, because it informs him of the death of a brother Ephraphrae Hull of Typhus Fever.


Michelle Goodrum said...

Keeping my fingers crossed that you are able to get copies from the new owner!

Barbara Poole said...

Michelle, thanks for the wishes. I'll let you know if I hear from the owner.

Pam Carter said...

Barbara, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog today. How funny that we both found letters recently on Ebay! I am certainly not any expert on using Ebay for genealogy items and was alerted by two other bloggers but I'd be happy to talk to you and share any knowledge I have. I was lucky that my letters were hand delivered so there were no envelopes with stamps for collectors. I didn't get into a bidding war but it was nerve-wracking. I hope you get the information from the letters.

Unknown said...

Hi..Why not send a note to the seller and tell him what your interest in them is..maybe he/she will forward your not to the buyer.
I have had MUCH good luck with nice people on Ebay.
Best wishes,

Barbara Poole said...

Pam and Cerelle, thanks for your comments. Ebay sure has gotten sophisticated, so much so, I can't figure it all out. I wasn't aware that I could contact the buyer, as I hadn't been to that site since 2005. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it.

my Heritage Happens said...

How wonderful about the heads up you received regarding these letters! Kudos to that person! Will be waiting for the follow up post! ;-)

Jacqi Stevens said...

Barbara, I just saw your post mentioned on Jana Last's blog, and I had to come over to check. I haven't gone the eBay route yet, but I have found an envelope from a family member during the Civil War--sadly lacking the contents inside--for sale online for philatelic reasons. Doing the alerts on eBay is an excellent idea. It certainly can't hurt!

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Great find, Barbara! I hope your message makes it to the new owner and you are able to get copies. Fingers crossed!!

Barbara Poole said...

Cheryl, Jacqui and Julie, I'm sorry I've been lax at responding. I really appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment. I still haven't figured out how to do the eBay alerts, and I still have hopes of hearing from the new owner of the letters.