trains, turkeys and tobacco – 1879

Letter from William Henry SUTTON to his son Frederick SUTTON – 4 April 1879

Letter from William Henry SUTTON to his son Frederick SUTTON – 4 April 1879

George St. Waterloo
4th April 1879

Dear Fred,

I have spoken to Mr Smith (head clerk in the manager’s office) respecting your leave of absence; and he promised me if you applied for it about a week before hand, he would arrange it. I forward a copy of application for your guidance, so that you have only to make a neatly written transcript, with no false spelling, and send it in due time, addressed as I have given.

I thought it better you should apply for a week’s leave at once, which of course will prevent your obtaining another week’s leave before the expiration of twelve months from the time of your getting it. We will make the best arrangements for yourself and Maggie that we can, George having Mr Saxon with him at present, and John and Mary having an old couple living with them.

The turkeys are splendid birds, especially the larger one; and if they get back in condition it will not be their fault, as they are famous gobblers. I expect one of them will be victimised when “the event” comes off (which I forgot to say is fixed for Wednesday the 23rd April), but as we shall be obliged to eat it cold, I fear we shall not have it in perfection.

There seems to have been some mistake about Mrs Cunio’s letter; Mary says she has received but one, which she has answered; and she means to rate you soundly for accusing her of neglect when she did not deserve it.

I propose forwarding your ring in a small package of tobacco by next Tuesday’s morning train – so look out for it. As you have so recently heard from your mother I suppose you know as much of the news as I can tell you. When you have obtained leave you had better let us know your intended movements.

With love to Maggie and kind regards to Mr and Mrs Cunio when you see them.

I am dear Fred,
Your affectionate father,
W H Sutton.

The Turkey Gobbler

A copy of this letter was given to me in about 2006 by Mrs Win BRANDER. Win’s late husband Robert BRANDER was a grandson of Frederick SUTTON (1851-1919), the person the letter was written to.

In 1879 Fred’s parents William Henry SUTTON and Jane Penelope WELLINGTON and his four youngest sisters were living at George Street, Waterloo – an inner suburb of Sydney, Australia. William Henry worked for the Great Southern Railway as a writing clerk in the parcels office of Central Station. His son Fred also worked for the railway and lived in southern NSW at Murrumburrah between Young and Yass.

Fred is applying for a week’s leave (the only leave he is entitled to within a twelve-month period) so he is able to attend “the event” – his sister Honor SUTTON’s marriage to Robert BUCK on 23 April 1879 at the Church of St Silas, Waterloo.

Fred’s father says; “We will make the best arrangements for yourself and Maggie that we can, George having Mr Saxon with him at present, and John and Mary having an old couple living with them.”

  • Maggie is Fred’s wife Margaret Madeline CUNIO (1862-1949).
  • George is Fred’s older brother George Wellington SUTTON (1846-1929) who was an engineer on the railways and lived in Union Street, Newtown.
  • John and Mary are John Simpson TAYLOR (1847-1927) the husband of Fred’s eldest sister Mary Jane SUTTON (1845-1928), they lived in Station Street, Newtown.
  • Mr and Mrs CUNIO are Fred’s wife’s parents, Antonio CUNIO (CUNEO) and Catherine BYE. They lived at Binalong between Murrumburrah and Yass.
  • Mr Saxon and the old couple are most likely renting rooms in the family homes.

Let us hope Fred’s ring arrived safe and sound in the tobacco pouch on Tuesday’s morning train and he enjoyed his one week leave with his family in Sydney.

The gobblers we can assume were fattened up and at least one of them graced the wedding banquet on the day.

This event would have been the last time Fred saw his father. William Henry SUTTON died less that four months later of disease of the heart and liver on 5 August 1879. He was 71 years old. You can read a little more about William Henry SUTTON in this post.

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7 thoughts on “trains, turkeys and tobacco – 1879

    • Thanks Kassie, it is a real joy when I find family records written by my ancestors.

      I love the bit about “make a neatly written transcript, with no false spelling, and send it in due time, addressed as I have given”. You can imagine the kind of parent he was, and I feel I need to re-check my posts for any bad grammar and false spelling.

  1. Sue,

    Thanks again for this. This was of course Nanna’s family so is very interesting.

    With some of the others I could not work out the connection . would you be able to put a brief note on saying how they fit in.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.

    Regards,

    Geoff Graham,.

    • Hi Geoff,
      Thanks for the feedback. Good idea, I will add a note to the bottom of some of the other articles so folks have a better idea of the connections.
      I will also be adding some family trees into the FAMILY BRANCHES menu during the holiday break.

      Best wishes to all the family for a happy and safe Christmas.

      Cheers Susan x x x

  2. Pingback: antonio cuneo – centenarian | branches of our family

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