Seymour Manufacturing Company
Scythe Snaths, Grain Cradles
Post Hole Diggers, Etc.
March 21, 1940.
Mrs. Sarah Johnson,
1506 Y Ave.,
Dear Mrs. Johnson:
I received your letter of March 10th some time ago and have been intending to answer it more promptly. Answering some of your questions, my father’s name was Julius and his grandfather and your grandfather were brothers. His grandfather was one of the younger children in the family. Someone in the Oklahoma branch of the family wrote that they thought their family was largely Irish, meaning that the Birges had married people f Irish descent. This is true of our family as my mother’s name was Mary Patrick. In my own family I have five children and six grandchildren.
I notice that your grandmother wrote the family a letter in 1875. There seems to be some little confusion as to the name of your grandfather Elijah’s wife, possibly because he married twice. I am trying to clear up this part of the record but it is rather hard to do as no one seems to have a written record of early dates or names. I am wondering if someone in your family had records such as might be in an old family Bible. The trouble seems to be that both your family and mine were pioneers and in moving about such records were lost.
Some time before long I am going to try and get over to Centralia, Ill, as I go near there quite frequent, and see if I can locate any early records of the family while I am there. I will be glad to have the record of your family and their children at any time that you can give them to me.
You ask about my being able to read your writing. I can do very well in reading it and think for a person of your age that you have quite a firm, legible handwriting. I do have some difficulty when it comes to names as it is a little more diffcutlt to make out some particular name whereas words are easy to read, depending on the word that comes before or after them. I am
S.J. -2- 3/21/40
Not nearly as old as you are, yet my wife tells me that she cannot always read my letters and I sometimes have to pass up some words in hers.
Do you happen to know where I could locate any of Manuel’s family, who was one of your youger half brothers, or where I could locate the family of your brother, William? I note that he lived in Centralia, Ill.
I note what you write about pictures of Mrs. Birge and me. We do not have nay real photographs but I have some Kodak pictures that I am going to have printed as soon as I can find the films and will be very much pleased to send these to you.
Ernest N. Birge