Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Letters from Caroline (52 Ancestors - #9)

Growing up I was always writing letters. Letters to my Aunt Ann in Pubnico, some to Cousin Cathy in Yarmouth and even one to the President of the United States asking him to not raise the price of a candy bar to .25 cents!!! After stumbling across my paternal grandmother's letters, I see where I get my enjoyment for writing. Family shared with me some of her letters, one letter I found at the National Archives and I've even had to the enjoyment of reviewing her diaries. One distinct difference about Caroline's letters is that they have neat tidbits of history tucked into them!

Caroline (O'Meara) Nickerson - 1937
On a warm June day in 1903 Caroline (O'Meara) Nickerson was born to Richard and Sophia (Farrenkopf) O'Meara. On another blog I'll write more about Caroline's life. Today I'd like to highlight some of her letters. The first letter was one that Aunt Doris had stored away dated August 8, 1927. This letter was from Caroline to her younger brother, Joe O'Meara. We are not sure where Joe was, but wherever he was, my grandfather Charles S. Nickerson, Sr. was with him. This letter was like a window into the past. Birth certificates went for just $.50 and that was a lot of money because my grandmother said "Joe first show it to them try and keep it as it cost 50 cents to get it."

To my surprise my grandparents were living together with Caroline's parents in Milton, MA. Prior to doing family research I just assumed everyone lived in their own homes, not together.  However, most likely for monetary reasons they lived together. Genealogy means some guessing involved, so I also wonder if Sophia, my great grandmother might have been sickly in the last few years of her life because she died just 2 years later.

After reading this short letter I discovered that Caroline's brother, my grand uncle Gene, was a police officer during the Sacco and Vanzetti murder trials. Boston must have been in quite a state because Caroline told Joe that "officers are to stay at their station houses and just allowed home for their meals and report right back again." She also said that "The people had quite a time over the Vanzetti & Sacco yesterday on the commons there was 4 arrests and one man slapped an officer in the face."

In 2012 while rummaging through Richard O'Meara's pension file (which was exciting in and of itself) another letter from Caroline brought me to the discovery that my great grandfather Richard O'Meara and Speaker of the House, John W. McCormack were "close friends."  Living near Boston and working in Boston brought me in and out of the McCormack Building and now when I go in and out of there I think of the person who was friends with my great grandfather.
Caroline continued to write.  She wrote two diaries full of interesting information.  In fact a childhood friend and I discovered that our ancestors were neighbors in Dorchester because Caroline had mentioned the street address and my friend's great grandfather upon his passing.  Caroline wrote to the Canadian Government looking first for her husband's WWII Canadian military pension and then she wrote to them again to discover that my grandfather did not have a birth certificate. 

Thank you to Caroline for all the writing she did - it makes me appreciate the letters I've written and I wonder if some day my granddaughter or great granddaughter will look through my letters and diaries!

No comments:

Post a Comment