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Joseph Throckmorton Sr. letter (1862)by Candice Buchanan on 2023-03-06T15:33:00-05:00 in Health, Civil War, Local history, Genealogy, Archives | 0 Comments
(Originally published 13 March 2019.)
On August 2, 1862, Joseph Throckmorton Sr., age 77, sat down to write a letter to his second wife, Laura (Peck) (Gilbert) Throckmorton, age 63. Laura was at home on their farm in Morrow County, Ohio, to which the envelope is addressed, while Joseph was visiting his family in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania, from where the letter was written. The envelope itself is postmarked in nearby Harvey’s, Pennsylvania, a post office in Richhill Township, Greene County, on September 7.
Unique documents such as this letter, family Bibles, diaries, and more are being scanned along with photographs for preservation and access as a part of the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania, Archives Project. Visit the Archives to view these items.
Rare documents like this letter are treasures that hold a variety of precious gems for family and local history. Most obviously, Joseph’s letter mentions the death of his niece Catherine (Throckmorton) Cole and her children, and also notes several of the adult children by the first marriages of both he and his current wife, Laura. Locally relevant, is a single line about the formation of a company preparing to leave Waynesburg for the Civil War, as well as an infestation affecting the crops. To the many descendants of Joseph, though, the most impacting aspect of this letter will no doubt be the opportunity to know his time and place, and practically hear his voice, for these few moments on August 2, 1862.
Joseph’s handwriting, word choices, grammar, subject selection, and endearments to his wife, all give us a small glimpse into his personality and mannerisms in a way that the cold vital records we so dutifully collect never can. Documents like this are uncommon finds and should be scoured for every detail they reveal. This letter has been transcribed for ease of reading, but if you do not also study the handwritten pages you will miss out. My favorite little insight is on the bottom of the last page, when Joseph is affectionately signing off and inadvertently misspells his wife’s name. He scribbles out his error to write a corrected version. This notable fix stands out among other misspellings he left alone. He was dutiful about how Laura’s name was to be written.
Before leaving you to read Joseph’s message, I will end by noting that this recent acquisition was obtained via eBay auction, fortunately seen and able to be obtained for Joseph’s descendants and is now in the custody of Glenn Toothman, Joseph’s third-great-grandson (see the Letter). Recently, an incredible photo album shared for this family was found at a flea market (see the VanCleve-Throckmorton Album). Keep an eye out for your ancestors’ priceless heirlooms, they could be anywhere waiting to be found!
Joseph’s Letter 
***Catherine Throckmorton was the daughter of James Robinson Throckmorton, Joseph’s brother. She was married to John W. Cole.
 Joseph Throckmorton, (Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania) to Laura Throckmorton, his wife (Sparta post office, Morrow County, Ohio), letter, 2 August 1862; item no. TOOG-AN001-0001-0000, Throckmorton Series, Glenn Jacob Roy Thornton Toothman III Collection, Greene Connections Archives Project (GreeneConnections.com). Glenn received the original letter intact with its envelope via eBay auction.
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