I was recently given a copy of a letter written in 1914 concerning the Greenlee family and some associated families. This is the same family about which the book, "The Descendants of Edward Greenlee of West Virginia" is written. Much of this information isn't in the Greenlee book.
As far as I know, this has never been published and seems to be a treasure-trove of genealogical information.Here is a transcript of the original letter:
I rec'd your very kind and most highly esteemed very much appreciated letter some time ago. and was very glad indeed to hear from you. But am very sorry indeed that I have not answered your kind letter sooner.I hope that you will please parden my long delay in answering.I hope that you are well and enjoying every pleasure this lifeaffords the very best you can.
Mama has the Rheumatism very bad.She can hardly get about sometimes. Will is about as well as usual he is out at Toledo Ohio. working on the Rail Road. he has been working out there for about a month now. he was at Home Saterday after Xmas. and Stayed until Monday Morning, then Started back for Toledo againe, we got a card from Will. Friday Eve. he was as well as usual then.
Well, you wanted to know where GrandFather Greenlee came from.Mama like you has forgotten just where they came from. they went out several years ago to Indiana. But did not stay long. then came back here to W.Va. again.My great-great Grand Father. he was Uncle's Neley, William and Aunt's Mary Hill and Annie Greenlee and Grandpa Greenlee's Grand Father, his name was Alexander Greenlee.He was one of the oldest Settlers at Leon, W. Va. he use to own very near all of Leon. years ago.I heard Uncle Neley Greenlee say that his Grandfather was Alexander Greenlee and he owned the Hiatt Place years before even Bennie Birams owned it.
Grandpa Greenlee's Father's name was Samuel Greenlee.his wife was a small welch lady.her name was Hannah Hughes.She came from Kentucky. She was a Kentuckyan.She had two brothers. that went to Indiana.Uncles Jimmie & Billy Hughes, and one brother in Louisa Kentucky his name is Israel Hughes.he was at Grandpa's once on a visit. Since Mama can remember it was when she was quite a Small Girl. it was when great grand Mother fell over a high rail fence and broke her left hip. Aunt Mary (Mama's sister Mary) was just a small baby then.I guess that was the last time he was here to W.Va. to see his sister and Nieces and Nephews. But one of his daughters was here once on a visit. that was after Mama and Uncle Samuel were Grown. her name was Charity Hughes.I heard Grandma talk about her so much.Grandma thought a great deal of her. She was Such a nice young Lady and was a good Christian. they al liked her Splendid.The Greenlee's were Irish, German Nationality.The Hughes were welch.So I am Irish German and Welch. Nationality.My father's father was Irish and German.My mother was full blooded Irish. her Parents were Born and raised in Ireland and were Married in Ireland then came to America and settled down at Washington County, Pennsylvania.Mother was born in Washington County, Pa. her name was Elizabeth Murkland.Boles is and Irish name. Grandpa Boles'es Father was a full blooded Irishman. grand Pa's Mother was a full blooded German woman and were Pennsylvanians. they lived in Washington Co. Pa. Grand Pa Boles was born there. My father was also born there. they were all Pennsylvanians.Grandma Greenlee was Irish Nationality. She was born in Mercer Co. Pa. her name was Angelina McCasland Booth her father's name was William Booth. his Mother was born and raised at Dublin Ireland, her Maiden name Name was Angelina Harvey. She was married in Ireland and was a widow before She Started on her way for America.She was a widow with 3 children. 2 boys and 1 Girl. Grandma's father was the Oldest he was just 15 years old then. his sister was next to him his brother the Baby. Grandma has told me so much about her people but I have forgotten a great deal of it. She told me when my Great Great Grand Mother was comeing Over in the Ship there was a great Storm at Sea. and the vessel was So heavily loaded that it was about to sink so they threw very near all of their load over board. they had a load of barrels of water and Spirits of turpentine. Besides a lot of other things. they threw all of the Barrels over Board except one Barrel of Spirits of turpentine they had intended to just save one barrel of water for their use but in their Haste they made a Mistake and threw over all the water and saved a barrel of Spirits of turpentine instead, they very Near all come near Perishing from thirst and Sea Sickness.My Great Great Grand Mother was taken very Bad Sick and Died and was Buried at Sea.They put the Children to Bed and threw her Over Board.they were brought to America where they were met by one of their Uncles their Father's brother. they had another Uncle on this side of the Sea. Uncles James and Andy Booth, Great Great Grand Father's Brothers, my Great Grandfather Booth, GrandmaGreenlee's Fathers Home was in Mercer, Pa. where GrandMa Greenlee was born. her Mother's name was Sarah Seewright.I do not know what Nationality She was but I suppose that she was Irish.He married her in America, he was just a boy of 15 when he came to America.Grandma was just 9 years old when he died. her Mother died not long after her father did. She was left an orphan. She had six sisters and two brothers Mrs. Annie Snider, Mrs. Mariah Lord, Mrs. Cintha Jones, Mrs. Mary Dickson of St. Louis and Sarah Booth, the baby.She too is married now. And Harriet who died when she was just a small child. and William Jackson Booth and Great Uncle Robert Harvey Booth. they are all Dead Now but Great Aunt Sarah that we know of but Great Aunt Mariah Lord moved away off some where and her where abouts are unknown. they do not know whether she is Dead or alive.Grandma's come to W.Va. ..................."
Unfortunately, after 17 hand-written pages, the last page or pages of this letter are missing and I do not know the author although I suppose it might be possible to take the Greenlee book and try to work it out.Based on this letter, it appears that her maiden name might have been Boles. I do not have a copy of the Greenlee book so, if anyone figures out the author of this letter or has any other information to share, I would really appreciate an e-mail.
This letter seems to clear up for once and for all that Alexander rather than Edward was the ancestor of the W.Va. Greenlees.It's too bad the author of the Greenlee book didn't have access to it.
Mrs. Ollie Raines was a long-time Leon, W.Va. resident who used to write local columns for the Pt. Pleasant Register.She was a teacher and was considered rather eccentric because she had some unusual habits such as wearing canning jar rings over her "oveshoes" to hold them on.My cousin liked to talk to her as a small child and listen to Mrs. Raines's stories about Leon in the old days.Mrs. Raines gave her this letter and she has kept it all these years.
I hope the information in this letter will provide some helpful research clues.