Harold Van Wye visits Roy and Jesse in Indiana

The letter transcribed below was written by Dr. Harold C. Van Wye to his cousin Adaline Van Wye Skinner. His date does not include the year but it was probably around 1962 based on the ages of Roy and Jesse Van Wye. Harold Van Wye (1895-1976, son of John E. Van Wye) lived in Ohio. Roy Van Wye (full name Vernon Roy Van Wye; born 1899, son of Joseph F. Van Wye), his son Roy Jr. (born about 1934), and Jesse Charles Van Wye (1881-1969, son of William Van Wye and his cousin Olive Hunter) all lived in Indiana. Transcribed by Julie Kelts in 2014:

“Oct. 3
“Dear Addie: I never seem to have time to write when I’m home and since I may be able to dash off a letter, I’ll give it a try.
“Ralph [Harold’s brother] & I drove over to Columbus Ind. last Friday and had a very pleasant trip. We met Roy sr. who is a retired contractor & who drove us around to four or five cemetaries. It was a beautiful day and most interesting. I don’t know how informed you are about the family tree but what I know goes back to Arthur, our Grandfather’s Great Grand Father. Ralph had met Roy & Roy jr. not too long ago and Roy sr. had written that just within the last month or so, he had found the grave of Mary James. He said his grandfather had always insisted that the latter’s grandmother was buried there so Roy finally went over the place with a fine-tooth comb. The tombstone was in two sections and face down on the grave but it reads Mary James VanWye Wife of Arthur jr. They had no information about Arthur & assumed Mary had come on to live with relations in Ind after he died. To straighten you out so far. Mary James Van Wye is the mother of Abram and, of course, our great-great-Grandmother.
“When we came back from the cemetaries, we met Jesse C. Van Wye—80 years old who owns a family bible which jibed with mine. I got mine from Almira who evidently got it from Uncle Enoch who was Grandpas uncle [I think he meant cousin, the one who wrote the 1902 history] and a great one to look up all his relatives when he’d come to their area from his home in Missouri.
“Well, anyway, they have Arthur jr. and his sons & daughters in the Bible record so one of these days we’ll give it a good look-see.
“Roy is 63, skinny as a rail and not what you’d expect a Van Wye to look like but Jesse is rather tall and well built and looks like—guess who! Uncle Homer.
“I have all my names diagrammed on a chart which is OK if you spread it on the floor but no good in a windy cemetary. So I’m starting to arrange the names after the system in the Carlton book and if I ever get that done, we’ll try to fill in the dates Ralph copied from the tombstones and the Bible. It’s fun but it sure takes time.
“I might do a little better with this if I had your letter to refer to but—as usual—its at home.
“Incidentally, what do you know about our Gr. Grandfather Abram? He’s buried in the Union Cemetary in Niles but all I know about him was that his home was somewhere near the river in what in my day was John W’s farm. And, when they laid the corner church [sic] of the ME Church in Niles, the papers from the old church stated it was started by Abram Van Wye & Thomas Anderson—my Gr Grandparents. Of course I knew Abe & Bill & John W., but what of their father, uncle Charles? I used to call on young Charley when Id go back to Niles (and when he was bedfast) but I never thought to ask him about his Grandfather, or for that matter, his father Charles jr.
[The rest is family gossip which I will not include here.–JK] “Time for lunch. Say Hello to Gene

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