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Nelson Family Letters


The following is my transcription (Rebecca Reid) - if this connects with you email me! - does anyone know what the "cupplin pole" was?

Transcriptions of photocopies of Nelson letters sent to me by fellow Nelson descendant, Karen Teesdale. Any comments of ours are in enclosed by (), my guesses on hard to read words were enclosed by []and {} indicate parenthesis that were in the original letters.

Letter #1

My Grandfather Nelson is Lem Nelson. His sons are Robert Nelson, John C. Nelson {my father} James Madison, Thomas Jefferson {twins nicknamed Poney and Moss}, girls: Polley, Carrie, Mahalie, Rebecca. My fathers children by first wife Lucendy Gates are William Arthur Nelson, Zollie Croffer Nelson, Sidney Johnson N., Adolfus Hues Nelson and daughter, Lula Mae Nelson. After his wife died he married Martha Ann Reid. I am theire child. I believe that Polly Nelson married Theadore Reid. The Nelsons and Reids entered land close togather on Little Bear Creek. My father was the first white child borned on this land they entered what later was Grand Pa Reid’s place. I think my great Uncle Ben Nelson owned this land first. This Willie T. Nelson is Robert Nelson’s son.(Robert Sparks Nelson, son of John Lemuel Nelson) He was 73 or 74 years old when he wrote this history that I am inclosing. He hoped to get some more but never did. The others I am inclosing is just about my father but there might be something would help you.

(The above appeared to be written on notebook ruled paper. Presumably the author is Claudia Nelson, only child of John Calhoun Nelson by his second wife, Martha Ann Reid. The Willie T. Nelson mentioned in this letter wrote the two pages of family history that were attached to this letter. They were written on stationary from the Hughes & Hughes practice of Physicians & Surgeons. W.P. Hughes and T.M. Hughes, partners with an office over [Crescent]? Drug Store in Russellville, Ala.)

See Nelson family tree - click here

Bear Creek

Letter #2 - page 1

A history of the Nelson family. Feby 12 - 1918
Cusin Claud our [Pa’s] great Grandfather Robt. Nelson came [out] at an early date from Scotland to South Carolina in the days of the Collines before free America was established. [Our] Grandfather was in the Whig & Tory War. [He] finely owned slaves and real estate. Don’t know to what extent. Our Grandmother Nelson from Scotland was [a] Physician & Surgon [in] Scotland. All so in South Carolina. [She] went 50 miles to see patients in those early days. Our Great grand Father Nelson & Mother & Grand Father Nelson Lem Nelson & Family young & old Father was [?] years old and * walked most of the way to this cuntry He and Aunt Polley Reid being the oldest children walked [lo..?] and scotched the old [..pole?] waggon down the hilles. [?] rode astrid the long cupplin pole tha stuck out behind the waggon in good places in the road & across the [?]. The Chocktaw Indians were heare when they landed rite down heare on little Bear Creek at your old [ho..]. The Indians were friendly. The treaty had been made with the good Chocktaws they were getting away went over in what is now known Miss. Grand Father Nelson entered on homestead your old place. Great Grandfather homestead the farm where your Uncle Reid lived Uncle Hue Nelson the place over the creek on the old [Aberde..?.] Road(probably refers to old Hwy. 43 which runs SW from Russellville to the MS state line. Aberdeen, MS is only about 15 miles from the present state line). Grandmother Nelson was the first white [woman] to give birth to a white child in the [nation?] I am [not] shure but I think it was your Papa Capt John C. Nelson whom I loved so dearly. Grand Father named his boy babies after the great men of old South Carolina in those bygone days. J.C., J.M. & T.J. John Calhoon. James Madison. (Thomas Jefferson)

*( “ware Robert is left off” is written in between the lines directly above this point)

Letter #2 - page 2

The Sparkes I no but little. They all came to this cuntry when the Nelsons came. Very old [2 - 3 words unreadable] ones. some of them setteld on little Bear Creek and some on Duncan Creek up near heare. Goverment reckords show our Grand Mother Nelson (Rebecca Sparks Nelson, who was married to Lemuel Nelson?) to be a half brede Chocktaw Indian. I remember her wel as a little boy she [was] rather [tall]. Hair as black as a ravin & eyes as black & round as a muskadine. She was the most devoted companion Mother & Grand Mother I think I ever seene. She was intelligent, a good Christian, verry sansative. Wanted to treat all kind & lovable. But one had to keepe off her toes. Oh how I did love her when a little 5 & 6 year old boy.
Peace to her ashes.

your cousin
Willie T. Nelson
I have wrote this hurodly. Pardon errors. Am coming to your town....(the rest was cut off in the photocopy.)