Monday, July 25, 2011

Amanuensis Monday ~ Happy 4th Birthday in 1911

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. I look forward to transcribing many unique items in my collection. As I was working on Occupations of my Ancestors about Percy Earle Hunter, I came across the following letter that I wanted to share.

My grandmother, Helen Lysle Hunter, turned four years old on Wednesday, February 1, 1911. It looks like her father, Percy Earle Hunter was out of town (on business?) at the time of her birthday. In my collection, I have a letter and a photograph that he sent her.

I love that the envelope has been saved after all these years! You can even see the postmark of Feb. 6 1911 (7 - PM)

The address reads:
Miss Helen Lysle Hunter
3740 Perrysville
N.S. [North Side] Pitts[burgh]

I transcribe the letter below:

 Monday Morning
My dear Helen sweet,
   I forgot entirely about
last Wednesday being your birthday
and I am very sorry I forgot it but
will try to remember the next one.
   My, what a big girl you
must be - F-o-u-r Y-e-a-r-s
O-l-d - soon be as old as
mother. Are you able to touch
the chandelier?
   I will be so glad to see
you again and it will not be
long now.
   I wonder if you know whose
picture this is, it is all for you.
   Give Mother one of those
bear hugs of yours for me and
tell her how I love her.
   Hoping you will see
many more birthdays. I am
with much love for you
                Your own
                        Old Daddy.

The postcard photo was included in the envelope. It's interesting to contrast the seriousness of the man in the photo with the obvious sense of humor and love for his family that comes through in the letter.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. The return address is also interesting. Whew, Reno Nevada is a long way from Pittsburgh. I wonder how long it took Percy to get out there. And, it is interesting how the return address included a statement that said, "Free Coach to All Trains." Apparently in those days it helped increase a hotel's business if they provided a free shuttle between the hotel and the train station.(It's just like hotel shuttles to the airport today.)

  2. Sheryl, Thank you for reading. I'm thrilled that someone thought to keep the envelope, as it enhances the story!