John Summers letter



Here is the letter John Summers sent my aunt (Marilyn Selzer) in the 1960's. I could not remember if you have a copy of this letter. I tried to type it just as he wrote it.  

2851 Dudley Ave
Bronx, New York 10461

Dear Mrs Selzer,

I have finally got around to your form as I don't think I could be much use to you on the deaths and births of our family as you have taken on a mighty big job and I will assist as much as I possible can. As you may know, I have spent almost all of my life in these U.S.A unless the first 19 years of my life when I came to this country in July 1903 and spent 3 years then landing in Pennsylvania and then over to Streator, Illinois before your Grandmother moved to Thayer and then in January 1905 I left for Carbonhill, Alabama to see my Uncle Jack Frame and Uncle Robert Frame. They had four children James and Annie and John and Lizzie. Later before I left for Scotland a child was born named Thomas.

I arrived back in Scotland back in 1906 and after one year of courtship married my wife Jeanie Downie and that was April 19th 1907. My eldest son was born in Blantyre, Scotland April 30th 1908 and again I returned to the U.S.A. My wife would not come to America then, I returned to Scotland in late 1909 and settled down for 4 years. During these 4 years we had 2 more boys but my wife's mother died so we made up our mind to go to America but we were unfortunate to lose our second son in death over there. With my youngest son being 5 months old in 1913 we arrived in New York and settled in Thayer where your father and mother, brother Bob and Hazel resided. 


Well to begin Marilyn the early days of Scotland were like the American way, any notice of birth or death was recorded in the family bible of course by my time registration had been in practice. My Grandfathers mother was from a small town in the Highlands of Scotland and was know as Old Highland Bell and she may have had the name of Ferguson and the town was known as Balhoulis. The name Frame is traced to the country of Denmark. My Grandfathers name was Jamieson Frame and my Grandmothers name was Elisabeth Shearer and your father's Grandmother on the Brown side was her sister Isabella Shearer, they had one brother Robert Shearer. Their birth place was Stonehouse.


My grandfather worked for a  company at a mine, the company was the J.P. Coates Company Thread manufacturers. My grandfather worked there for 27 years and had to travel or walk 5 miles there and 5 miles home. When one of the Coates brothers died the mine shut down as his widow wanted her money out of the company.  My grandfather with no employment and no income went with my Grandmother to live with their youngest daughter Lizzie at Larkhall.  He took care of buildings by sweeping up. My grandfathers family were William Frame the eldest son and John Frame and the next was my mother Jean Frame then Robert and James Frame then your grandmother Isabella Frame then Mary frame who married Alex Currie and last my aunt Lizzie Frame who married a McNeil.


Marilyn I am going to give you my eldest cousins address of aunt Lizzies family. Mr. James Gillespie 15 Alisa Place, Brownhill, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland. I think he would be able  to answer to the births and deaths in the family. I also have to refer to our good cousin in Birmingham, Alabama the fourth child as the 3 elder ones are dead. Her address is Miss Elizabeth Frame, 2304 30th Ave, North Birmingham
Alabama, 35207.

When I was a small boy I remember my uncle Robert and uncle James leaving for Streator, Illinois. Uncle Jack Robert and James thought it a good idea for your grandmother and my father to come out to keep house for them and my mother would not go to the states because she was afraid of water so my father came back home.  As time went on work in the mines became less the boys began to leave and most of them both on the Brown family and the Frame family went to Carbonhill, Alabama.  

Your fathers uncle George Brown settled down there and also uncle Jack Frame. Uncle James Frame settled around Montana which I did not hear much about him. With all of these men in the states it left  your grandmother Isabella stranded and alone so that she married her cousin Alexander Brown. In Stonehouse which is in the lowlands there was no railroad so with a population of about two thousand they did marry among themselves. You had to watch out what you said because they were mostly all related; Shearers, Sorbies, Wilsons, Thomsons, Hamiltons, Curries and Summers.

So I remain your friend,

John Summers.


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