Alexander family letters

Correspondence of the Alexanders and related families (Boone, Shirley, Lindsay, Jones, Sanborn, Briggs, Doyle) of Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick and Blaine, Maine, 1875-1906

My family is not related to these families. I bought the letters at auction looking for some local colour. I missed out on another lot of two letters from Letitia Alexander to her sisters in Maine in 1873 and 1874, and another lot of related "Doyle" family correspondence.

The 1871 census shows the family of Joseph Alexander in Blissville, division 1, Sunbury County. Joseph is 55, widowed, born in Ireland, with five daughters and one son at home:

Maria 22
Louisa 20
Letitia Ann 18
James A. 16
Elizabeth 14
Angonetta 11

Four of the six letters are from the eldest daughter Maria to her younger sisters Lizzie and Louisa, apparently now living in Maine, while Maria remained at home in Fredericton Junction, or near home in Fredericton where she was a dressmaker. Another sister, Letitia, is referred to often in the letters. In 1875, Letitia had just got married but come home to visit.

There are two letters from cousins, Sarah Jane and Maggie L. Alis, to the two sisters, Lizzie and Louisa. Maggie writes to Lizzie C. Alexander. Maggie is quite possibly the daughter of John Alexander, whose family is two farms over in the 1871 census of Blissville. Maggie was 14 in that census; the same age as Lizzie. John Alexander's family also includes a Sarah Jane, age 21 in 1871. She wrote to Loiusa who was close in age to her at 20 in 1871. Sarah Jane refers to Uncle Joe's family (ie. that of Louisa, Lizzie, and Maria) and of Uncle Thomas's family, possibly another brother of John and Joseph Alexander. (There is a Thomas Alexander, age 49, and family in Blissville division 2).

Vital statistics records from New Brunswick newspapers (see PANB web site)
James A. Alexander, of Blaine, ME, married Matilda E. Briggs, 2 January 1891.
Nettie Alexander, dau. of Joseph Alexander and niece of Major T. L. Alexander, Fredericton Junction, married B. H. Sanborn, 15 Sept. 1892, at the residence of her father in East Blaine, Maine.
Maria Alexander and Richardson Boone, both of Fredericton, married 1 January 1894, at the residence of Mrs. B. Jones.

Sunbury County Marriages, 1766-1888 (vol. 1)
John Alexander and Sarah Jane Lindsay,13 Aug 1839, of Blissville and Burton
Joseph Alexander and Elizabeth Ann Shirley, 16 July 1846, of Blissville and Burton
Thomas Alexander and Frances L. Sherley, 25 Sep 1851, of Blissville and Burton


Summaries of the Letters

25 January 1875, Maggie L. Alis to Cousin Lizzie
You must be lonesome so far from home; I saw Maria at sabbath school said I could send a letter with hers; One of the twins, the little boy (joey?), died, took him to St. John to bury him; Mr and Mrs Macleod went; I was home Christmas time and saw Eliza Jane, did not see Uncle Thomas; Tommy took [K]ena,Carrie, and I out; Minnie back from Sussex after 4 wks; Do you see Annie Lindsay or Aunt Charlotte, is Mrs Thompson well? How are the babies? Do you like taking of care of children?

13 December 1875, Maria A. to Sister Lizzie
I got a letter from home the day before yours, they are all well; Pa is able to go out, Letitia is better; Letitia home second time since married, [L]ettie is staying with her but is going home this week to go to school; They have got new school house so they can teach in it; Charley Fendleson and Mrs Golfohywin [Goldsworthy?] married; Mary Farley was getting better, then was taken worse than ever, sent for another doctor who has given her up; I sold your socks for 22 cents and got your muff it was 1 dollar 85; I sent the collar to Charlotte; Aunt Anne

22 March 1877, Sarah Jane to Cousin Lizzie
Often we speak of Uncle Joe's family and wish we [hold] as near each other as we used to, especially since our boys and girls have been away from home; Maria has been making a visit at [Bunkerville?] and now is here; I mean to keep her as long as I can; We are all quite well also all your cousins at Junction; Largest number of cousins are away at present, pretty well scattered; Do come and visit whenever you can, Ma talks so much about you; Please write a little note if you write to Maria when Uncle Thomas comes; Tell Letitia I would come to see her baby.

30 September 1877, Maria to Sisters Lizzie and Louisa
Just got home from a funeral after Sunday School got out, Mr Nesbet was a mason, was buried by the freemasons, very large procession; I was home 3 days last week making a dress; I got Letitia's letter and was glad to hear Ethel is better; Letitia said you were going over to the Mineral spring and I hope it helps; I forgot to give James the cruet bolle and will send them up with Aunt Ma[r]y; Jimy Kimble [a James L Kimball lived in Burton] was up and said he has sold his place and would have to send for Aunt Mary to come down; The latest style of hats is called Derby; I can send them to you by Aunt Mary; Tell James to get me his picture; Grandpa home from Aunt Jane's; Did James go to Hollen, how did he make out with the potatoes, and has his picnic come off on Mars Hill yet?

20 February 1878, Maria to Sister Lizzie
Aunt Ann and I just called on a bride, Miss Broach, you know her she lived in the house with us; She married a Mr Howell the day Grandpa died [John Shirley d. 6 Feb 1878, age 81, reference- Sunbury cemeteries]; I have just got Pa's picture enlarged it is splendid just as natural as can be, I gave 2 dollars just to get it enlarged, I had the frame given me as a Christmas present; I have Mr and Miss McKenzie's picture (the great temperance man); I was glad to get Louisa's picture and would like to have James and Netta and like Letitia and then I would have the whole family; I expected to be to the Junction before then but the work keeps coming in I have three dresses to make, 2 for Mrs Glasier; Alford has got a house and it is so handy; What is James to work at now? Glad to see Mr and Mrs Tompkins; Jones Boone has sold his place and moved in the house that John lived in; John and his wife have parted; Mrs [Losin?] has moved to St John to her sisters and she put her children in the Orphan asylum, she is real miserable has not been able to sew since before Christmas; a lot of diptheria this winter Uncle Richard is not home yet they are going to move in the spring to a larger house and take in boarders; Mina and Ell have the mumps; How is Aunt Lydia and family?

6 March 1906, Maria to Sister [Lizzie?]
Louisa and [W.?] went home just as soon as she heard of poor little [Joe's] death; And poor little Harold how longer he is going to be my heartache for him; How little I thought that morning he left here that in 2 weeks he would be [buried?]; Matilda will always regret coming down; Had a card from Nettie they are all well; Louisa is stopping with James Wolfield; dressmaking and sewing; Letter from Ethel she is well; Will Gladys be having holidays soon?


The Letters

letter1_p001 (338K) letter1_p002 (335K) letter2_p001 (274K) letter2_p002 (282K) letter3_p001 (225K) letter3_p002 (244K) letter4_p001 (686K) letter4_p002 (647K) letter5_p001 (697K) letter5_p002 (674K) letter6_p001 (291K) letter6_p002 (313K) letter6_p003 (306K) letter6_p004 (292K)


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