Tuesday, August 5, 2014

And Oh What A Gift It Is . . . (August 5, 2014)

One of the major appeals of the pursuit of genealogy is the number of really kind, thoughtful and helpful people involved in the field either as amateurs or as professionals. But then this should not be a surprise for genealogy is after all all about family and family values!

Recently I made contact with Charlene Butler of West Greenwich, Rhode Island after finding a hint to a member of my Carpenter family on one of her trees at Ancestry.com. Surprisingly -- and thrillingly -- Charlene had a photograph of my 3X great grandmother in a Christmas card  sent by her granddaughter (my 1st cousin 3X removed).  Charlene's great great grandfather, Samuel Buffum Bullock (1810 - 1889) was a younger brother of my 3X great grandmother, Nancy Mason Bullock Carpenter (1793 - 1880), pictured in the card above and immediately below.

The 1908 holiday card containing Nancy Mason Bullock Carpenter's photograph was sent to an unknown recipient by Anna Carpenter Garlin Spencer, Nancy's granddaughter.  Anna inscribed the card containing the photograph, Grandma Carpenter from A.G.S. "In her mouth was the law of kindness." [1] The small card insert states,  With Christmas greetings is memory of one who embodied the spirit of Peace and Good will.  Dec. 25th 1908 Anna Garlin Spencer. 

I have written about Anna Carpenter Garlin Spencer several times here at The Prism.  Most recently was yesterday's post immediately below this entry, but see also the post of April 17, 2013 titled, The Remarkable Anna Carpenter (Garlin) Spencer.  Seeing both a photograph of an ancestor five generations back from me and the handwritten card from Anna made the discovery of Charlene's Bullock tree a thrill and Eureka moment for me. I emailed Charlene immediately and introduced myself.  Even though Charlene was out of town she answered me within hours and we have since exchanged emails and genealogy information several times. And, it turns out that Charlene and I are distant cousins through both my mother's Carpenter line and my father's Tew line!

The thrill of discovery of a photograph of an ancestor five generations back that I had never before seen and the accompanying handwriting sample of Anna C. Garlin Spencer was intensified by also discovering a double cousin, but there was yet more to come. Ten days ago on July 26th -- in the midst of an email exchange with Charlene she absolutely floored me with her kindness and generosity when she wrote, "I will be happy to send the card and picture to you since you're a direct descendant.  Please give me your address and I'll send it along."  Nancy Mason Bullock is also Charlene's 2nd great grand aunt and so is a fairly close relative, but Charlene unhesitatingly offered it to me once we established our relationship.  I never would have presumed to ask Charlene for the original photograph and card as I was thrilled just to have an electronic copy to add to my tree (with credit given to Charlene).  

The card and photograph from Charlene arrived in the mail four days ago and it has immediately become one of my most treasured genealogical artifacts. 


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Scanned image of the card and photograph from the original generously gifted to the author by Charlene Butler in late July 2014.

[1]  The quote written by Anna appears to come from "A Fragment" at p. 279 of The Universalist and Ladies Repository: 1833/1834, Volume 2.  

" . . . She was the most comely personage that ever my eyes beheld. She was the very personification of goodness, gentleness, and compassion, mildness, generosity, benevolence, forgiveness, charity -- for these shone conspicuously in all her actions. She seemed to breath the very atmosphere of love, and to hold converse with angels. In her mouth was the law of kindness.  Kindness beamed from her eyes, and pity seemed to flow in copious effusions, upon all the sons of grief, and unto all the children of affliction. As a mother, she was tender-hearted -- as a sister she was kind and obliging -- and as a wife, the heart of her husband did safely trust in her, and his confidence was never disappointed." 

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Now that IS really exciting news!

  2. Wow! This is so wonderful John!

  3. John,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/08/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-august-8.html

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Thank you for posting this. Nancy Mason Bullock Carpenter was a direct ancestor of mine.