One of the pleasures of spending time at the Historical Foundation is handling actual letters once held by someone of a different era, voicing the concerns and stresses of the long gone writer. (Given the popularity of electronic communication, this may be an experience that future historical societies will not be able to offer.)
While filing away mystery documents at the Historical Foundation, we recently came across the following:
Dec 5, Marmora
in ancer to your letter i am sorry to have you wating so long to tell you the plane reson. i have een sick and my husban has been out of job and i expet money this week and i will send it soon. i have nothing to sell nothing, but the haush(?)
i am willing to pay and will pay you for wating. the ded mans words was to me that the essence of time did not matter as long as he was sure of it, but i hope you will be kind enuf to wate for a little while and I will send it to you. I remain yours truly, Mrs. Thrall
So who was this Mrs. Thrall who seemed to have hit hard times?
Well, after a little research, the only Mrs. Thrall we found in our area was Diana Houghton, (daughter of William Houghton and Lucinda McMurray), who married Harlan Page Thrall in Marmora on April 19, 1886. He was a contractor, born in 1841, the son of Simon Thrall and Lydia, who had emigrated from the U.S. He died in Marmora in 1902.
Diana Houghton (also spelled Haughton) and Harlan Page had a daughter, Lydia Thrall born in 1887 in Marmora, who married Matthew Drummond, a sailor on the Great Lakes. It was a short marriage though, as sadly, Matthew died at the age of 28, in 1909, of consumption, in the house of his mother-in-law, Diana Houghton Thrall, who by then was living on Peterborough Street, in Norwood.
Was Matthew Drummond related to our modern Drummonds in Marmora? Probably not. Matthew's parents came from Ireland. The Drummonds of "Drummonds Building Supplies in Marmora originated in Scotland. But that's another story!
Back to the drawing board to find more answers. In the meantime, though, if you need to know more, you can click below for family trees.