LOTW 79: Auntee Martha

By: Olivia Mund

When I was reviewing documents one of our newest hires edited, I came across one letter in particular, which piqued my interest. This letter is only addressed to “Auntee.” This is clearly a term of endearment, however, there is nothing in the letter itself that points to a specific person. I had a hunch that the “Auntee” could potentially be Martha Berry and, knowing little to nothing of her family tree, I decided to look into it. I found a family tree for Martha Berry on Ancestry.com and went through the list of her sisters looking for one with a son named John Graham. According to Ancestry, Martha Berry had a younger sister named Lila who married a man named Samuel Graham. One of their children was a son named John. It is possible that this is the young man writing to “Auntee” in this letter. The use of the name “Auntee” is still a little unusual to me if this is the correct John Graham. This John was born in 1905 and would therefore be thirty-three at the time he wrote this letter. It seems like an unusual nickname to use as a grown man, however, the handwriting and tone of the rest of the letter seem more in line with that of a grown man. In the end, I am not entirely sure who this letter was written to, but it is interesting and enjoyable to research.

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