Monday, June 4, 2012

1865 Dear Auntie

San Francisco, Jan. 22th, 1865

Dear Auntie,

I have got your letter,
you told me to tell you what I got on
Christmas, I got a doll, it was dressed like
redriding hood, a little wash tub and board,
a pair of gloves, a basket, and a pair of
gold sleeve buttons.  Mama has had a fire
ever since she has been here.  Mama has
a blue silk, with tails way down to the
bottom of her dress.  Mrs. Chase sent us
some pictures of our house.  On Saturday
I went to the circus.  We go to ride almost
every day.  I go to school.  I love some
friends boarding here.  Give my love
to Lydia, Jhon, Tom and Willie.

            Good bye from Annie B. Aldrich

This letter is especially poignant because it is January and nine year old Annie writes that her mother, who has recently removed from Hawaii to San Francisco “has had a fire ever since she has been here.”  This isn’t just because her mother was chilly after the move from warm Hawaii.  Her mother must have been ill, because she was dead by October of the same year.

Annie's letter is to her Aunt Mary (Jones) Dominis, sister to my 3rd great grandmother Catherine Plummer (Jones) Younger, and sister to Annie's mother, Ann Marie (Jones) Holt.  She states that Mary wanted to know about her Christmas presents.  This is a lovely detail, because Mary is famous for bringing Christmas traditions to Honolulu from Boston.  She was known as the first person to have a Christmas tree in Hawaii.  You can read about that story at this link: 

Little Annie spells her cousin John’s name incorrectly “Jhon” just like in the last letter I transcribed.  You can read Annie’s other letter at this link:     John’s wife, Lydia, is the future Queen Lili’uokalani.

Annie’s lineage:

Generation 1: Owen Jones, born about 1735 in Wales, died 28 February 1798 in Aberstwyth, Wales, married Anne Unknown.  Two children, Owen and Anne Jones, born 17 Feb 1769 in Boston, Massachusetts  and died 18 February 1791 in Aberstwyth.   My 6x great grandparents.

Generation 2: Owen Jones, born about 1768 in Wales, died 22 Apri 1850 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; married on 11 May 1793 at the 2nd Baptist Church, Boston to Elizabeth Lambert.  She was born about 1775 in Boston, died 6 February 1834 in Boston.  My 5x great grandparents.  Eight children.

Generation 3.  Ann Marie Jones, born about 1811, died on 15 August 1832 in Boston; married on 7 October 1829 in Boston to Robert William Holt.  He was born about 1792 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England and died 6 July 1862 in  Honolulu, Hawaii.   My 4x great uncle and aunt.  They had two daughters.

Generation 4:  Elizabeth M. Holt, born about 1830 in Boston, died 27 October 1865 in Piedmont, California; married on 25 December 1854 at Washington Place, in Honolulu to William Arnold Aldrich, born 27 March 1824 at Westmoreland, New Hampshire, died 3 March 1892.  Elizabeth is my first cousin 5 generations removed. Four children.

Generation 5:  Anne B. Aldrich, born about 1856 in Hawaii; married Willard T. Barton. Two children born in San Francisco.  Annie is the author of the letter, and my 2nd cousin 4 generations removed.

Hawaii State Archives, Queen Lili'uokalani Collections,
M-93, Box 11, Folder 93
Letter from Annie Aldrich to Mary Dominis, 22 January 1865


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "1865 Dear Auntie", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 4, 2012, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. How sweet a letter! So sorry to hear about this young girl's mother, however. I remember writing detailed letters after Christmas to my greatgrandmother who lived kitty-corner all the way across the continent from me! ...telling her what I Christmas present I got from her (that my mom bought with GrGrmo's $$), what I was doing at school, or for fun, etc. Fun memories.

  2. Sweet and sad at the same time. That we have access to these cherished items from time past. Priceless.