A year ago, I posted a letter dated 1914 from who I thought was "I.T. Ives." (You can read the by clicking here.) I was just getting started in my genealogy research and blogging, slowly learning the "tricks of the trade." At the time, I also hoped that another letter from the same individual would pop up with more clues.
Today, it did.
A letter dated January 24 1938 to Mr. and Mrs. Pinborough from not I.T. Ives, but J.T. Ives. It's incredible how a little practice at reading old handwriting improves your ability to do so. It was almost too easy to find the family in the 1911 Census using clues in the letter. Thankfully they had not moved between 1911 and 1938 so the address was the first verification, then the birth years, number of children, matching the handwriting and a few other details that made it explicitly clear I had the right family.
Did you know that the 1911 UK Census was the first census that the homeowner filled in themselves? I learned that at RootsTech.
JT Ives is John Thomas Ives born in Wenden Essex in July 1869. His wife was Elizabeth Charlotte and they had two girls Ethel & Ruby. According to the 1911 Census, John was a coachmaker, his wife worked general grocery and 14 year old Ethel was a jewelry/clothing apprentice.
I love that though its been 24 years between this and the last letter I found from the family, he still uses no punctuation, all except for a comma or two.
104 Bride Street
London N. 7
Dear Mr & Mrs. Pinborough
Just a few lines trusting this will find you all well as I am glad to say this leaves us all at present I cannot tell you how pleased I was to hear from you after all these years as you say the years slip by I shall be 70 next July and Mrs. Ives 67 this month my two Daughters are both married the eldest one has a Daughter 15 and the other one is expecting in April she has been married 7 years so had not been so bad they are both married happily one is in business for himself and the other is in the Port of London, Dear Alice I was sorry to hear all your Brothers & Sisters were dead, I finished work at 65 when they chuck us on the scrap heap but I was not sorry after over 42 years in the same job for with the introduction of mass production its Hell not other word for it sorry I did not know you were over in 1926 would have liked to have seen you but if ever you come to London again should very glad to see you Dear Alice do you know if Cousin Emma is still alive the one that married your Brother Walter, like you we have had a mild Winter plenty of Rain and Fog very thick on Xmas day but we very seldom get those old Peasoupers that we used to have, so now Dear Alice I must conclude with kindest love to you all believe me ever to remain your Sincere Friend, JT Ives.
P.S. We both wish you long life and Happiness. JT & E Ives
It always makes me happy when people reference their age in a letter to help confirm their birth year as the census can be unreliable on ages and birth dates.
- Cousin Emma - is reference to Emma Richardson who was married to Walter Pinborough. So it seems that J.T. is related to Alice's brother's wife, and not Alice directly.
- Ethel Ives - had a daughter in 1923
- Ruby Ives - was expecting in April 1938.
I have found no photos that are clearly marked to be of the Ives' family, and can't find a direct blood line connecting us at this time. So for now, I'll just post this letter for future reference and hope that perhaps one of the Ives' descendants finds it useful.
Until next time, Happy Genealogy Hunting!