My Favorite Genealogy Story: Grandfather receives letter after 52 years

10-17-2014 8-33-23 PM

I’m a genealogist and loving it.  This is one of my favorite stories.

 

The following story is from the MyGenShare.com Archives of the Everton Genealogical Helper as told by Mrs. Margaret Holmes Johnson in May 1999.

One night in 1921 the people of Olivia, Texas were gathered in the schoolhouse for a program. The postmaster brought a letter addressed to Benjamin Holmes, my grandfather. The return address was to Ed Holmes of Downieville, California. Grandfather said he did not know Ed Holmes, however, he did open the letter and, to his surprise, he found it was from his older brother he knew as Quincy and who he presumed was dead.

Grandfather was the youngest of eleven children born to Burrel and Mary (Deloach) Holmes of Yell County, Arkansas. In 1896 grandfather moved to Texas. He remembered seeing his brother, Quincy, leave home riding on a mule, headed for the gold fields of California in the year 1869.

After fifty-two years, Quincy (or Ed, as he was now known), started to search for his family. He wrote letters to where he had lived in Arkansas and most of them were returned. One letter found its way to a cousin who sent Ed the address of Benjamin in Olivia, Texas.

The whole community rejoiced with grandfather, and my father in turn made a trip to California. It was a wonderful letter that united the two brothers, the only ones left of the family.

Margaret Holmes Johnson 246 County Road 304 W Port Lavaca, TX 77979
Description:   Episode #2, entitled Grandfather Receives Letter After 52 years of the Series Relatively Speaking.  The following story is from the MyGenShare.com Archives of the Everton Genealogical Helper as told by Mrs. Margaret Holmes Johnson in May 1999 about the California gold rush of 1921.