From an online auction I obtained this 1874 letter to Mary Gilliland from her brother Joseph. Carmen Carter, our webmaster for Gilliland Trails, scanned copies of the letter, originally written in pencil on a folded sheet of light blue paper, as an enhanced black & white image and I furnished this transcription of the contents.
Mary and Joseph Gilliland were two of six children born to John and Lydia (Smith) Gilliland, descendants of the old Pennsylvania Gilliland lines that moved westward from Chester County to Centre and Clearfield counties. Lydia and Clara, the children mentioned in the letter, were the daughters of Joseph and his first wife Adeline Yothers, who died in 1878.
Additional information on these lines may be found among the "Historical and Biographical Sketches" and "Obituaries" collections of our library. As with other materials of this type, I would like to see this letter returned to an interested descendant who can share this bit of their history with future generations.
I have transcribed this letter (which did not have the accompanying envelope, as it was probably retained for the stamp) as accurately as possible, which means I have not added nor corrected punctuation, capitalization or spellings. Any portions in doubt are indicated by brackets. Joseph abbreviated some names, including his own, which he signed "Jos".
Submitted by Kate Maynard, 2008
Click on thumb for larger image
South Oil City Sept. 18th 1874
Miss Mary Gilliland
we landed Safe and Sound and found
Your Brother Jos