Letter written to Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, granddaughter of Hugh Dale and Catherine Clanton; daughter of Martha Hand Dale and William Carter Sansom
Oak Hill, Alabama January 5, 1937
My dear Cousin,
I claim kin with anyone, who is or was a Dale or has Dale blood in their veins, for I’m proud of my Dale ancestry. They are noble, brave, upright honorable Christian people. We are Associate Reform Presbyterians, sing Psalms in our worship. We trace our ancestry from Scotland. Because of religious persecution out people were driven from Scotland to country Antern, Ireland. Before 1760 or about that time, three brothers, John, Alexander and William came to America. John settled in County Orange, New York. Alexander went west and William, our branch, went to Long Cane, South Carolina. Our Grandfather was William (or Billie), was a grandson of William No. 1. He came to Alabama in 1831 locating in Wilcox County, 7 miles from Oak Hill. He had a family of 8 boys and 2 girls. All have passed away, the last, Uncle John Dale died 2 years ago, age 92. Our Grandmother was Mary James. Our first cousins are from New York to Alabama and Mexico. We have a fist cousin, Rev. James O. (or G.) Dale, D.D., who has been a missionary in Mexico 35 years. I think you must be a branch of the Dale family, who were left in Ireland coming over later. Grandfather had two brothers, James and Andrew, who went to Indiana. Some of our family have visited their family. Grandfather sent 5 sons to the Civil War. One, uncle James died from exposure. None of the others were harmed. My father, Andrew, was color bearer in 17 battles. Our grandfather was killed by a tree falling on him in 1875, age 68 years old.
Grandmother lived 20 years longer, dying in 1895. She was a cripple and invalid most of the time. I was her nurse for ten years, going to her at 15 years of age, when my Mother died.
There were ten of us children, 4 brothers and six sisters. Two brothers and a sister have passed away. We now have a sister sorely afflicted, she is almost blind and an invalid from other troubles. She is 56 years old, been a teacher since she finished school, till last April, her sight left her in the last months. I wish we knew more of our Dale kin, hope you will succeed in getting more data.
Wish I might see you and tell you what noble Christian people the Dales I know are. I’m sure your line is the same. Wishing you joy, peace, happiness, and prosperity this New Year.
Iva J. Dale
P.S. I failed to say of we ten children only 2 have married, one brother and one sister, 2 sisters trained nurses, one a teacher, my brother, Clarke, a cousin and I live together, none ever married.