Transcriptions of letters two of the 350 letters in the John Close papers (LSU Archives, Baton Rouge, LA).
Letter dated October 8th (probably 1827) see August 7, 1828 letter
referring to bible & other articles
Springfield Washington County Kentucky
I have not heard from you since I received your kind presents of tea coffee & sugar for which I am extremely obliged to you. In return I sent you by Mr. Joseph Walker who was at our college and lives about 20 miles from you a Catholic Bible in English & Cobbets reformation so much admired in Europe. I think I could be very happy in your family & cannot tell whether this establishment will not soon go to the Ohio.However you would do well to make what offer you choose and I will send it to R Rev B FENWICK to see if he would let you have two Dominicans to form a beginning of an establishment with you. & then if he gives you his consent & obtains leave from your Bishop R Rev Porthier [?] or Rosati [?] you might perhaps succeed. I hope to hear from you as soon as you can & be so kind as to help me to a little money directed to Dr.Gaither at Springfield as (above). I am in good health thank God & send my love to Sister and compliments to Mrs Smith and all friends as named
Your most affectionate Sister
Also if you can send me any money or other things Mr. Hayzeltyne the Procurator of the Catholic Seminary at Bardstown will soon be at New Orleans & also Mr. James Cuningham & H. or A. McElroy from our Springfield any of them will oblige me & bring it safe.
Mr. John Close
Parish of St. Landry
Transcription of Letter from Elisabeth (Betsy) Wells to her brother, John Close
Letter dated November 1, 1845
November 1st, Feast of all Saints "45
I take the opportunity afforded me by a visit of a young gentleman of my acquaintance Mr. Edward Fenwick to your neighborhood, to write you a few lines with the hope that they will safely reach you by this means. I have written some half dozen or more letters to you within the last 3 or 4 year. to none of which did I receive any answers, and I must consistently wish my affection for you and your formerly known love for me. Suppose that they never reached you. I cannot believe that a Br. who had uniformly manifested so deep an interest and such an affectionate concern for my welfare and happiness could neglect to gratify me in this particular. I hope you will not fail to answer this letter as soon as you receive it. give me a full account of yourself and family. I am most anscious [sp] to hear from you and them.I had the satisfaction of hearing about a year ago from a gentleman of your neighhood [sp]. Mr. Thomas Quirch [Quirck] that you were still living but he could not give me much information about you and your family. --
As for myself I enjoy pretty good health. As good as could be expected by one of my age. I am now as I suppose you know fast approaching my 70th year and consequently subject to the infirmaries incident to that period of life. I had however not - withstanding my advanced determined on paying you a visit last fall and taking my Chrismass [sp] dinner, with you and family, and enjoy your happy society; but having heard of so many accidents and the loss of so many lives, occasioned by the bursting of the steam boats, that I was entirely discouraged from attempting the journey, and have consequently given up all expectationsof seeing any more either yourself or any of your family, unless you or they could make it convenient to come and see. I would be most happy to have the pleasure of seeing any of you. -- I have not I believe any news that would be interesting to you. We have a good sickness in our county this fall. Bilious and congestive fevers but of mild and treatable natures. Very few deaths from them. In conclusion I beg in the first place to give my love and affection to your amiable family and [__] to Mr. Quirch [Quirk] my old acquaintance. I must repeat to you again my request that you will answer this letter as soon as you receive it and I shall in the mean time pray God to bestow on yourself and family every temporal and spiritual blessing.
Your Affectionate Sister
P.S. Direct your letter to Springfield, Washington Kentucky to the Care of time Rev. James V. Bullock of Sr. Rose.
Springfield Ky Nov 16
To Mr. John Close
Parish of St. Landry
Ten'd by Mr. Fenwick
John CLOSE of Nelson County, KY was My gggg grandfather. John CLOSE was an Army Contractor's Agent doing business as a young man in New Orleans, LA by 1802 and by 1805 he was in St. Landry Parish, LA. (He married Euphrosine Barré Feb 27, 1810 in St. Landry Parish, LA).Three generations later some of the descendants of John CLOSE (my line) began using the surname CLAUSE.
Marriage and Baptism Records in St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, LA (written in French) show the parents of John CLOSE to be Jacob CLOSE of North Carolina and Joanna/Jeanne FARRA/FARRAR of Virginia.
Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Louisiana became a state in 1812.
We have copies of the original marriage and baptism Records and the name of the mother of John Close is difficult to decipher. It seemes to be written Joanna/Juanna on some and Jeanne on others. The surname appears to be FARRA and at times FARRAR (however after researing the letters from Elisabeth WELLS to John CLOSE, I added FARROW to the possibilities). It is my understanding the FARRAR and the FARROW surnames are often confused.
Jacob CLOSE and Joanna/Joanne/Jeanne FARRA/FARRAR [FARROW?]
John CLOSE and Euphrosine BARRÉ
Alexandre CLOSE and Josephine STELLY
Alexandre CLOSE/CLAUSE and Marie Evelina RIVETTE
Nicholls CLAUSE and Marie Cecile WEBRE/WEBB
In researching information on my GGGG Grandfather, John CLOSE and his parents, I came across and am investigating the following names:
John CLOSE (KY>LA)
Jacob CLOSE (NC>KY)
Joanna FARRA/FARRAR (probably Joanna FARROW -see below) (VA>KY)
Joanna FARROW (VA>KY)
William Farrow (father of Ann Farrow, grandfather of Joanna Farrow) (VA) (died 1754 VA)
Samuel Wells (b. 1734 - d. 1781) (PA>VA>KY) (maybe not in that order)
Ann Farrow (Wife of Samuel) (VA)
Polly Mills (KY) (married James Hendrix -1787)
James Hendrix (KY) (married Polly Mills - 1787)
James Jennings (and Spouse???) (VA?>KY)
James Jennings, Sr (VA?>KY)
Sister Hendrix/Hendricks/Henrix who died in July 1806 (Polly Mills perhaps??) - mentioned in letters from Elisabeth WELLS to John CLOSE
Nelson County Tithes 1785-1791, Nelson Co., KY
Close George & son 2 56 Philip Philips 1790
Close George and son; Christopher Nesley 3 21 Robt Hodgen 1791
Close George; Patrick Brown; 2 negros 3 2 Rbt Hodgen 1787
Close George 1 19 Andw Hines 1788
Close Jacob 1 46 Tho. Helm 1785
Nelson County census:
Severens Valley and Hardin Settlement 1787 Census:
John HELM (Mentions in Letters from Elisabeth WELLS to John CLOSE)
Fredrich GEIGER/GIGER [Frederich/Frederick GEIGER/GIGER was the father of Mary GEIGER/GIGER, who was 2nd wife of William WELLS and was, later, wife of Robert TURNER. Mary is mentioned as "brother William's widow" in letter from Elisabeth WELLS to John CLOSE]
VANMETRE [VAN METER/VANMETER]
June 2, 1787 Jacob CLOSE/CLOSSE signed as surety the marriage bond of Polly MILLS and James HENDRIX in Nelson County, KY. (copy of this document available)
Nelson County Tithe:
Delinquent return, Jacob Close - by William Hynes, 1789
In 1793 Joanna CLOSE was shown where Jacob CLOSE's name would have been listed (this was either on the Nelson County census or Tax Tithe. I believe it was the Tax Tithe).
Nelson County Marriage Bonds:
John HELM to marry Sally Brown, surety Andrew Hynes with W. Bazill Brown giving his consent.
William DOWDEF [DOWDEL?] to marry Mary Sarah BROWN, Surety John P. BROWN - Oct 15, 1796
Alexander DOWDAL/DOWDLE to marry Joanna CLOSE, surety John P BROWN
The godfather of Ziphirin CLOSE (Son of John CLOSE) born 26 Aug 1817 , baptised 12 Feb 1825 in St. Landry Parish, LA was William MOORE.
I am seeking a James JENNINGS connection to John CLOSE.
Among the approximately 350 letters and documents in the "The JOHN CLOSE Papers, 1802-1872, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana" [LSU Library Archives]is a letter from Samuel CRAWFORD, Jun. to John CLOSE.Below are excerpts from a transcription:
"Breckinridge County Kentucky September 4, 1804
After every kind of respect to you informing you that I am well. I feel anxious to inform you that my Brother Mason and my self have contemplated to start about Christmas next on a trading Voyage to New Orleans. ...."
...."I had the pleasure of seeing an epistle from your hand to your sister and brother James JENNINGS which gave me great satisfaction to hear of making out well in that country and also to think that you are in the handsome business of making money. I have therefore thought proper to introduce myself to you as a friend and wish to join in partnership so as to carry on business to perfection for I think it best to always have a friend in a strange country"...
Samuel Crawford, Jun. adds:
"NB I saw your sister a few days since and she and family are all well Mr. JENNINGS and family is well and all your friends severally well Brother Mason desires to be remembered to you and wishes you to send him a small epistle by the first opportunity".
Breckinridge County Ky
September 5, 1804
Mr. John CLOSE
Samuel CRAWFORD, Jun. was the son of Samuel CRAWFORD, Sr and Jennett MASON/MEASON of Virginia. Eleanor CRAWFORD (a sister of Samuel CRAWFORD, Jr.) married a James JENNINGS in 1799. Indications are that this James JENINGS/JENINGS may have been the son of a James JENNINGS/JENINGS (just to add to the confusion). Eleanor CRAWFORD JENNINGS was deceased by August 19, 1817.
"Brother Mason" (mentioned in the Samuel CRAWFORD, Jun. Letter) was Mason CRAWFORD, brother of Samuel CRAWFORD, Jun.
BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY 1850 CENSUS:
Sam CRAWFORD, Jun.
James JENNINGS, Sr.
Read on about JENNINGS:
A friend went to the Library and looked up James JENNINGS in Breckinridge County, KY records and wrote:
"In Breckinridge records the James JENNINGS showed up so many times that I didn't even try to write all of them down. He was appointed to appraise, witness, etc. and bought and sold land.
Settlements of Accounts of Edmund JENNINGS, Adm of James JENNINGS, Dec's 21 Mar 1814.
Edmund JENNINGS moved to Henderson Co., KY 1 Negro, 3 hourses tax
Bill of Sale James JENNINGS 4 negro slaves Winney, Peg, Anna, Let purchased from my father James JENNINGS, Sr. 17 July 1809.
Dec 6 1806 Thomas Kincheloe, high sheriff of Breckinridge County of Adam Bear Writ of firi facias dated March 4 1806 commanding in regarding estate of John PATE, collector of county levy for the year 1804 and Samuel CRAWFORD, Jr. and James JENNINGS, his secuities, directing the sheriff to collect sum of $275.90 which Martin Wale recovered against them for debt, also $2.50 costs, to sell lots in town of Hardinsburg, lots #28 and 32, in the size of 1/2 acre each sold to Adam Bear, the highest bidder.
Saw name as Eleanor [CRAWFORD] JENNINGS from 1806 thru May 1811 where it has: John PATE and Jane his wife, James JENNINGS and Eleanor his wife, George Jackson and Sally his wife (which said Jane, Eleanor and Sally are daughters of Samuel CRAWFORD, Sr. and Jane [Jennett Mason] his wife), appoints Joseph ALLEN as their attorney in fact to demand and receive their part of the estate of James MASON dec'd, late of Betetourt Co., Virginia. Wit: John P. OLDHAM, Richard STEVENS, and John MILLER.
Another one says they apoint Samuel CRAWFORD, Jr. their attorney-in-fact to demand, ask and receive from the estate of James MASON ---
Marriage of James JENNINGS & Elenor CRAWFORD, Surety John PATE. Samuel CRAWFORD, father, gave consent. Witness: John PATE, Edward PATE by J. DODGE 9-12-1799 (Nelson Co., KY).
Jan 1822 James JENNINGS is apointed guardian of Jefferson JENNINGS, James JENNINGS, Jr. allen JENNINGS, Samuel C. JENNINGS, Henry JENNINGS and Margaret JENNINGS and with Robert STEPHENS and James H. L. MOORMAN his securities entered into bond in the penalty of $1500.00."
ELISABETH "BETSY" WELLS
Information from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth:
" Betsy Wells (Elizabeth), was one of the first two members of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. With Teresa Carrico, she presented herself to Father David as a candidate for the Sisterhood which he wished to establish; the date of their acceptance, 12/1/1812, is regarded as the foundation date of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
She was selected as Procuratrix [received and paid any bills] June 1813 at St. Thomas Seminary [a bit south of Bardstown], KY [The community flourished at St. Thomas' until 1822 when we moved to the present site on the north side of Bardstown.]
After leaving the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (12/1/1814), she devoted herself to works of charity as a laywoman and then entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine of Siena near Springfield, KY [established in 1822].She died there 6/6/1851 in the 76th year of her age.She was a convert to Catholicism.
The Catholic Directory for 1852, p. 250, carried the following obituary:
June 6, 1851At St. Rose, near Springfield, KY, Sister Betsy Wells, of the order of St. Dominic, at the advanced age of 76 years.
The deceased was a sister to General [Samuel] Wells of Jefferson County, KY, and of the brave Captain [William] Wells who was murdered in Chicago by the Indians in the last war with England.She was 16 years old before she ever saw a Catholic priest, when the venerable Fr. Stephen Badin, met her on one of his missionary excursions, and as she had been endowed by nature with a pure and noble soul, in a short time, after due preparation, to her great happiness she was received by him into the Catholic Church, of which she ever remained a most steadfast and religious member.After her conversion, she devoted her whole life to the service of religion, the first years of which were spent at St. Mary's on the Rolling Fork in the capacity of a housekeeper to the Rev. Mr. Fourniere, where by her industry and economy, she contributed largely towards the purchase of the tract of land for the use of the church, and on which now flourishes the Academy of Calvary, conducted by the Sisters of Loretto.[Sister of Charity of Nazareth Dec. 1812 to Dec. 1814.]
In the John CLOSE papers are about 350 documents which belonged to John CLOSE. Most were letters mailed to John CLOSE in Louisiana. Among those documents were letters from Elisabeth WELLS. These letters were dated from 1805 to 1845 (40 years). Each letter began "Dear Brother" and were full of the advice and concern a sister would show toward a brother. She even threatens to tumble him down a hill if he did not write more frequently.
Elisabeth (Betsy) WELLS was the daughter of (Capt.) Samuel WELLS (b. abt 1734 Stafford Co, VA - died 1781 in KY)
Jefferson County, KY - Page 13 - Administration of the estate of Samuel WELLS, dec', granted his son Samuel WELLS, he entering bond for 30,000 pour with John FLOYD and William POPE, Gentlemen, his suretie recorded December 3, 1781.
Ann FARROW/FARRAR WELLS, wife of Samuel WELLS was the daughter of William FARROW
WILL OF WILLIAM FARROW
The following is quoted from Prince William County, Virginia, LAND CAUSES 1793-1811 - page 245:
The following is a copy of the will referred to (in) the foregoing bill, to wit:
The last will and Testament of William Farrow, dec’d.
Item I desire that I may be decently intered at the discretion of my executors hereafter named.Item my will and desire is that all my lands be sold by my Executors and after my debts are paid that the remainder of the money be equally divided amongst my Daughters and Granddaughter, Joanna Farrow and my Loving wife Ann Farrow. Item my Desire is that all my Negroes and other moveable Estate be equally Divided amongst my children and grandchild namely my sons Alexander, William, Joseph, Thornton and my Daughters and Granddaughter:
Ann, Lidia, Roday, Joanna [Joanna is the granddaughter], and my Loving wife Ann Farrow.
Lastly I appoint my Loving wife Ann Farrow, my son Alexander Farrow and my friend John Graham Executors of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made Dated this 29th day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and fifty four.
William Farrow (SEAL)
Signed Declared and Published
in the presence of us:
At a court held for Prince William county the 25th day of March 1754 This will was presented in Court by Ann Farrow, John Graham and Alexander Farrow, executors therein named who made oath thereto and the same being proved by the oaths of Elizabeth Graham, Lewis Woodyard and Mary Junkison, three of the witnesses was admitted to record and the said executors having performed what the Law requires certificate is granted for obtaining a probate , thereof in due form the said Ann Farrow the widow having renounced all benefit which she might claim by the said will.
P/ John Graham Cl:cur:
William FARROW was the son of Abraham FARROW. Abraham FARROW was a sherrif of Stafford Co., VA 1729.
Abraham FARROW was married to Margaret FRENCH. She may have been his second wife. (Still being researched)
Children of ABRAHAM FARROW and ? wife:
ROSE FARROW, m. HENRY FILKINS.
ABRAHAM ABRAM FARROW, b. 1690; d. Bef. February 27, 1742/43, Hamilton
Parish, Prince William Co., VA.
WILLIAM FARROW, b. 1720; d. Abt. 1754, Prince William Co., VA.
Children known to be ABRAHAM FARROW and MARGARET FRENCH are:
i. JOHN FARROW, d. 1735, Prince William Co., VA; m. JANE.
ii. MARY [Hanna?] FARROW, m. JOSEPH DAVIS.
William FARROW married ANN. It is disputed as to if her name was ALEXANDER OR THORNTON
Notes for WILLIAM FARROW:
His will names granddaughter, Joanna, [according to some researchers Joanna was the daughter of William's son, John]. Will was probated in Prince WM. Co. BA 25 Mar, 1754. It was also filed in Montgomery Co., KY, in 1848.
Page 14 - At court held December 3, 1782, the following persons were entitled by an Act of Assembly passed May last to 400 acres land each, and it was ordered that the county surveyer lay off them according: Among the manye listed were Joanna FARROW and also John HELM (a neighbor of Jacob CLOSE) (John HELM is mentioned in one of Elisbeth WELLS letters to John CLOSE).
A grandaughter of Ann FARROW (wife of Samuel WELLS) was named Ann FARRAR WELLS. [The documents in Louisiana are in French and show Joanna's surname as FARRA and FARRAR]. It is my understanding the FARRAR and the FARROW surnames are often confused.
William FARROW, in his will, named his children and he also named his granddaughter, Joanna FARROW. [Succession dated Prince William county, VA the 25th day of March 1754]
Joseph BEELER, Gent. reported Samuel WELLS and Joanna FARROW for beating/abusing Ann, wife of Samuel WELLS:
March 1778 Yohogania County Court Records
Upon the information of Joseph BEELER, Gent. that a certain Samuel WELLS and Joanna FARROW doth at this time and has for some time past beat wounded and evilly treated Ann the wife of the aforesaid Samuel. Ordered that the Clerk issue a Subpona to call the said Samuel WELLS and Joanna FARROW before the next court to be held for this county to answer to the above charge and that Joseph DAVIS and Hannah [Mary Farrow??] his wife, John CRAWFORD and Effee his wife, John MINTER, Moses WHITE, and Edmond LINDSEY be subponed as witnesses.
Minutes were signed by William CRAWFORD
March 28, 1780 Yohogania County Court Records
Ordered that Samuel WELLS be summoned to appear before the next court to answer the petition of Ann WELLS his wife and that attachment issue that he give security to appear and abide the order of court and that he be of the peace toward the said Ann and all other good subjects of this commonwealth.
The King vs Joanna PHAROAH. Assault and Battery on Agnes [Ann] WELLS. True Bill. Proceeds Awarded. Issued.
Someone wrote that Ann FARROW WELLS, wife of Samuel WELLS was awarded 5,0000L damages but it was received by Zachariah COLLINS (a neighbor). Source for this information was not cited.
Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations From the Revolution Through the Civil War
Section 6, Tayloe, John (1687-1747), Letters, 1723-1737
This section consists of two items, letters written to John Tayloe
([1687-1747] of Richmond County, Virginia) by Edmund JENINGS
([1659-1727] concerning acts of the Virginia General Assembly and [first name unknown] Bassett) and Thomas Waring ([d. 1754] concerning land in Essex County, Virginia).
Section 10, Deeds, 1722-1724, Stafford County, Virginia
This section consists of three items, deeds for land in Stafford County, Virginia, owned by Edmund JENINGS, Francis Lightfoot, Edward Rouzee, and John Tayloe I (witnessed by Harry Beverley, Joseph George, Samuel Godwin, William Gordon, John Holloway, Thomas Lee, John Nance, and Sir John Randolph; and bears seals of Edmund JENINGS, FrancisLightfoot, and Edward Rouzee).
Section 13, FARROW, Abraham (d. 1743), Lease, 1734
This section consists of one item, a lease, 1734 April 22, of Abraham FARROW and William FARROW to John Tayloe I, for land in Prince William County, Virginia. The lease is witnessed by John Champe, John Diskin, Burr Harrison, and Thomas Osborne and bears seals of Abraham FARROW and William FARROW.
Section 22, Various Persons, Correspondence, 1842-1900
This section consists of fifty-one items, letters, 1842-1900, written by or addressed to various persons. Correspondents include among others JENNINGS Family Association.
MORE ABOUT ELISABETH (BETSY) WELLS
In a Letter dated October 25, 1806 from Elisabeth WELLS to her brother, John CLOSE, Elisabeth WELLS writes from Kentucky, Washington County:
..."I have the lamentable news, to tell you of the death of our sister Mary Hendricks in July last, leaving seven poor motherless children, the youngest of which only 8 months old. Shedied of a short illness. Her dying request was that I should take her infant to raise & Educate. I have had two trips down the Ohio for her children & have brought four of them away, the youngest of which I mean thro (sp) Devine assistance to raise as well as my poor Humble situation in life will enable me although I find difficulty enough to support myself, the others are among my sisters Anna & Peggy [Margaret], who I suppose will do the best they can for them"....
She ends this letter with, "I remain, Dear Brother, your affectionate sister.
and she adds
"P.S. Mr. John Helm presents his compts [sic] to you. E. W."
In a Letter dated August 21, 1820 from Elisabeth WELLS to her brother, John CLOSE:
"Your sister, Polly "Hendrix" daughter Mary Ann has become a nun, and Polly has married and has one child. I shall also inform you that I keep house for the Rev. Mr. Gaither, a catholic priest, here there is a small school commencing where they take children to be educated and it would be the greatest happiness of life for me if you would send one of your boys; for I should take as much care of him as if he was my own child".
In a Letter dated January 7, 1833 from Elisabeth WELLS to her brother, John CLOSE:
This letter was sent from St. Rose, Jan 7th 1833, Near Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky
..."Our Dear Niece, Mary Ann Hendrix, is well and still a most valuable sister at the Monastery of Bethania. I am still at St. Rose. Tell me if I ought to try to engage some of our Dominicans for Opelousas & with what prospect & be so good as to send me your address and at what place I had better land. How I had best travel on to you"....
ELISABETH WELLS' LETTERS TO JOHN CLOSE DATE FROM 1805 TO 1845 (40 YEARS)
Elisabeth (Betsy) WELLS died June 6, 1851.
Information from Loretto Motherhouse regarding Mary Ann HENDRICK/HENDRICKS
(Sister HUMBELINE would have been her religious name).
HENDRICK, HUMBELINE (Mary Ann)
Reception: Mar. 25, 1819 (age 19)
Final Profession: Mar. 25, 1820
Death: Aug. 18, 1836 - Loretto Motherhouse, KY
No date of birth is listed. (This is very common with the early Sisters.)
The correspondent at the Loretto Motherhouse adds the following:
"However, we can guess that she was born sometime in 1799 or 1800 since the card indicates that she was 19 years of age when she was received into our sisters of Loretto.
Since she died in 1836 at the Loretto Motherhouse which is here at Nerinx, Kentucky, we might think she was living and working here at the time."