Minnie Welch autograph_book


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Autograph of Minnie Welch Kelly. From Connecticut to Nebraska

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Minnie Welch autograph_book

  1. 1. Minnie Welch’s Autograph Book
  2. 2. The Autograph Book of Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch Scanned and transcribed by Susan M. Petersen Great-granddaughter of Minnie Welch Kelly
  3. 3. Mary Janice Welch Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch was born February 24, 1865 in Waterbury, Connecticut. She was one of seven children born to Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally, both of whom were born in Ireland. Minnie’s siblings were Edward (b. about 1860), Mark William (b. about 1861), Nellie (b. about 1863), Annie (b. about 1864), Marcella (b. about 1869), and Agnes (b. about. 1872). There were also three half-sisters born to Mark Welch and his first wife, Bridget: Sarah (b. about 1851), Catherine (b. about 1855), Jane (b. about 1857). As more information becomes known about this family, this book will be updated. As a young woman in her early twenties, Minnie traveled from Connecticut to Nebraska, eventually residing in Greenwood, a small pioneer community located between Lincoln and Omaha in Cass County. It was there she met and married Daniel Kelly who had come to the area with his parents, William D. Kelly and Mary Casey, both of whom were born in Ireland. The Kelly family moved from Elgin, Illinois to St. Paul, Minnesota to Omaha, Nebraska to Council Bluffs, Iowa before settling in Greenwood and the northeastern section of Lancaster County, Nebraska. Minnie Welch and Dan Kelly were married December 27, 1888. Sources differ on the location of the marriage, but for now, I will go along with the source that says they married in St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwood, Nebraska. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on December 27, 1938. Dan Kelly died two years later on February 6, 1940, with Minnie’s death coming on August 13, 1942 at the age of 77 years. Her life spanned from the Civil War to World War II. The couple raised three sons: Francis John (1889 – 1941), William Leroy (1892 – 1968) and Paul Daniel (“D.R.”) (1897 – 1946).
  4. 4. About Minnie’s Autograph Book As with many families, photographs and mementoes are saved, put away in boxes and attics. Many are long forgotten or thrown away by those with no interest in preserving family history. Many of the memorabilia from the Kelly family passed on to my mother upon the death of her father, William Leroy Kelly, in 1968. I was fascinated with the sepia toned family photographs from my childhood, wondering who were these interesting looking people from whom I came. At some point in my twenties I discovered, among the various family items, two autograph books. One had belonged to Minnie Welch. The other had belonged to her sister, Nellie Welch. As I read through the writings and signatures, I found that the two books provided me with the first documentation that weaved together the names of the members of this family. It immediately became clear that the two autograph books chronicled the two young women’s journey from their home in Connecticut to their new western home in Nebraska. The pages chronicle many of Minnie’s friends and family between 1883 and 1888. There are people from Goshen, Litchfield and Waterbury, Connecticut; Rochester, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Dover, New Hampshire; Seneca Falls, New York; and finally, Greenwood, Nebraska. The Greenwood entries appear to be written in January 1888 and are the last chronological entries in the book. Minnie became the wife of Daniel Kelly in December of that year. The time frame makes me wonder where and how they met, what was their courtship like? How did a young lady from the east fall in love with a hard-working Nebraska farmer whose family had travelled by covered wagon from St. Paul, Minnesota? The answers to those questions may never be known, but what these pages show is that Minnie had a wealth of loving friends and family who undoubtedly contributed to the woman, wife and mother she became. Some of the writings on the pages have long since faded away, with little hope of being able to read their messages with the naked eye. Other pages have been neatly excised from the book, which makes me
  5. 5. wonder what stories and secrets were once between the burgundy wine colored fabric covers of Minnie’s book. I am still piecing together the pieces of the family history puzzle. As I continue my research on my family, I will continue to update their story here. I have included an index of names of people who signed Minnie’s book, in the hope of helping other genealogists and family historians whose ancestors crossed paths with my great-grandmother. If you discover any of your family members among these pages, please write to me (sumaree@inebraska.com) and let me know. I would also like to know if you can assist me with some of the missing words of the transcriptions. As I again read through these pages, the message written by one of Minnie’s friends gave a wish which became Minnie’s reality: May you live in bliss from sorrow away, Having plenty laid up for a rainy day And when you are ready to settle in life, May you find a good husband, and make a good wife. Is the wish of your friend Mrs. G. T. Oviatt Torrington, Conn. Susan M. Petersen Lincoln, Nebraska June 2009
  6. 6. The Kelly Family of Greenwood, Nebraska, several years after Minnie Welch travelled west from Connecticut to settle in Nebraska and marry Dan Kelly. Known family members are : Francis Kelly, eldest son of Dan and Minnie Kelly, far left, front row; Dan Kelly, front row center; and Minnie Kelly, front row, far right. Standing between Dan and Minnie is likely their youngest son, Paul Daniel. Standing on the far left is Dan and Minnie’s middle son, William Leroy, my grandfather. Can you help me identify the other family members?
  7. 7. Minnie Welch’s Autograph Book
  8. 8. To Miss Welch, May life’s pathway be illuminated by your shining virtues. Yours very sincerely, Maria C. Jones Waterbury, Jan ‘83
  9. 9. Be you to others kind and true, As you would have them be to you Neither do nor say to them Whatever you would not take again. Your affectionate Uncle Luke Conneally Greenwood, Nebr 1888
  10. 10. To Minnie may you always be happy and never grow old. May your path through this life be brighter than gold Yours Respectfully T. J. Foley Hartford, Conn
  11. 11. To Minnie, (help needed with transcription)
  12. 12. The young ladies exclaim: At twenty; Oh Which shall it be. At thirty, Always ready to say (Yes. And at forty (alhtough very few ever reach that age) Oh where is he. Fondly yours Luman R Long Waterbury, CT 5-5-83
  13. 13. When far away In distant climes Remember the Girl That wrote these lines H. A. Braxton L. S. C. Colla-- Rochester, N.Y
  14. 14. To Miss Minnie Oh what a Tangled web we Weave when first We practice to deceive S. M. Hoye Mount Carmel, Conn Sep 14 1884
  15. 15. May your path through life Be bright with flowers Sweet as the perfumes from Eastern bowers, Smooth as the crystal lakes of Heaven Where to you an Immortal crown may be given. Your Sincere friend, Mrs. D. A. Mag--- Waterbury, Mar 4th 1883
  16. 16. To Minnie, “Kindness makes friends” Every Your loving Brother Edward G. Welch Litchfield, Conn 8-4-82
  17. 17. What write in this album For the Critic to spy For the Learned to laugh at Ha. Ha. Not I F. L. Christman Philadelphia Pa.
  18. 18. “To Minnie” “These few lines to you are tendered By a friend sincere and true; Hoping but to be remembered, When I’m far away from you.” Sincerely yours. Anna M. Lewis Farmington, Conn. Waterbury 4 -23-83
  19. 19. Minnie – Sincerely your friend - Mrs. Herbert F. Hunt Dover, N.H. Waterbury, Conn May 13th 1883
  20. 20. “God bless us” Most Respectfully Yours H. F. Hunt A.D. 1883 5th 13th , Dover, N.H.
  21. 21. To Minnie You asked me for something Original But I know not where to begin; There is nothing original in me, Except Original Sin. Your friend Susie E. Elliott Torrington, CT Mar 19 1886
  22. 22. To Minnie When the golden sun is setting, And your heart from care is free, When of absent friends your thinking Will you sometimes think of me. Sincerely yours, Etta Meaher City of Elms Feb 10/84
  23. 23. 4-10-87 Easter Sunday Hattie L. Newcomb Townsend, N. Y. R. C. H. _____
  24. 24. To Minnie, There are times whn visions flash Before the mind of earthly joy; Oh! Rememember it’s but a dash That leaves a network to decoy. Rev. J. J. Shea St. Joseph May 16th , 87
  25. 25. Dear Minnie Vera amicizia serumpertina est ?? Yours very muchly Emma C. Norris Springfield, N.Y. 4-8-87?
  26. 26. Dear Minnie – May celestial happiness be there After many years on earth. Prosperity The wish of your --- and affectionate cousin in Ill (?). S.B.S Sept 4th /83
  27. 27. To Minnie With best wishes of a friend Grace Brewster Farmington N.Y. Apr 8th 1887
  28. 28. Apr 26. ‘87 Dear friend: - When you are in your Western home With new friends on the wing Remember your R. C. H. Friend – L. Louise King Seneca Falls, N.Y.
  29. 29. --- earth is sometimes bright and fair And sometimes dark and lonely. Let us forget it’s pain and cary And mark the bright hours only. Your friend Minnie Dumply Dec 10 1884
  30. 30. Kiss is a noun, Both common and open, Not very singular, And agrees with you and me. Your friend Mary A. Lucas, Goshen Connecticut Sept 8. 1885
  31. 31. To Minnie Your Sincere Friend Mrs. T. A. Elliott Torrington. Apr 23rd 1887
  32. 32. To my dear Minnie: - May you live in bliss from sorrow away, Having plenty laid up for a rainy day And when you are ready to settle in life, May you find a good husband, and make a good wife. Is the wish of your friend Mrs. G. T. Oviatt Torrington, Conn. 10 – 24 - 1885
  33. 33. Every joy that Heaven can send, Wealth and every kind of treasure, Health and love to thee my friend, And happiness without measure. May your days in joy be passed With friends to bless and cheer. And each year exceed the last In all that earth holds dear. Yours in friendship, George T. Oviatt Torrington, Oct 24, 1885
  34. 34. John Ryan Nebraska January 8th 1888
  35. 35. To Minnie, Remember the happy Days gone by Which passed between you and I Ever Your Loving Cousin John R. Welch Eagle Hall, Goshen, CT June 8/85
  36. 36. Age 14 years “Dear Minnie” Remember thy Creator In the days of thy youth. Ever Your loving Sister. Marcella – Welch Litchfield, Conn. 5-5-85 (transcription note: uncertain of date)
  37. 37. Your Sincere Friend Addie W. Lucas Goshen, Conn Sept 8th 1885
  38. 38. More about the friends who wrote in Minnie’s book [this page is being updated as information is discovered.] Luke Conneally – Minnie’s uncle, brother of Sarah Conneally Welch. Born in Ireland, immigrated to the United States. Lived in Greenwood, Nebraska for a brief period, then settled in Wallace, Nebraska in Lincoln County. Maria C. Jones – Maria was born in Connecticut about 1858, a single, white teacher living with her mother, Margaret A., in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut in 1880 (source: 1880 United States Federal Census). She would have been about age 25 when she wrote in Minnie’s book. T. J. Foley – Luman R. Long – Luman was born about 1855 in Connecticut, son of Joseph C. and Sarah Long. In 1880, he was a single, white bookkeeper, living with his parents and grandmother, Sarah Long, in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He was about 28 years of age when he wrote in Minnie’s book. He continued to reside in Waterbury at least through 1920, when he was aged 65. Census records indicated he may have never married. Edward G. Welch – Minnie’s brother, born in Connecticut, about 1860, the son of Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally. He was about 22 years of age when he signed Minnie’s book.
  39. 39. INDEX OF INDIVIDUALS The Welch Family Mark Welch Sarah Conneally Welch Their children: Agnes Welch Annie Welch Catherine Welch Edward Welch Jane Welch Marcella Welch Mark William Welch Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch Nellie Welch Sarah Welch The Kelly Family Daniel Kelly Mary Janice “Minnie” Welch Their children: Francis John Kelly William Leroy Kelly Paul Daniel “D.R.” Kelly
  40. 40. INDEX OF INDIVIDUALS Those who wrote in Minnie’s book Grace Brewster – Farmington, New York – April 1887 F. L. Christman – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania L.S.C. Colla --, Rochester, N.Y. Luke Conneally (Uncle) – Greenwood, Nebraska – 1888 Minnie Dumply – December 1884 Susie E. Elliott – Torrington, Connecticut – May 1886 Mrs. T. A. Elliott – Torrington, Connecticut – April 1887 T. J. Foley – Hartford, Connecticut S. M. Hoye – Mount Carmel, Connecticut – September 1884 Mrs. Herbert F. Hunt – Dover, New Hampshire – written in Waterbury May 1883 H. F. Hunt – Dover, New Hampshire – May 1883 Maria C. Jones – Waterbury, Connecticut – January 1883 L. Louise King – Seneca Falls, New York – April 1887 Anna M. Lewis – Farmington, Connecticut, written in Waterbury April 1883 Luman R. Long – Waterbury, Connecticut – May 1883 Addie W. Lucas – Goshen, Connecticut – September 1885 Mary A. Lucas – Goshen, Connecticut – September 1885 Mrs. D. A. Mag---, Waterbury – March 1883 Etta Meaher – City of Elms – February 1884 Hattie L. Newcomb – Townsend, New York – April 1887 Emma C. Norris – Springfield, New York – April 1887 George T. Oviatt – Torrington, Connecticut – October 1885 Mrs. G. T. Oviatt – Torrington, Connecticut – October 1885 John Ryan – Nebraska – January 1888 S. B. S. (Cousin) - September 1883 Rev. J. J. Shea – St. Joseph, (state?) – May 1987 Edward G. Welch (Brother) – Litchfield, Connecticut – August 1882 John R. Welch (Cousin) – Eagle Hall, Goshen, Connecticut – June 1885 Marcella Welch – Litchfield, Connecticut – May 1885 R. C. H. ___________