Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Engle Family Postcard Adventure

Engle Family Postcards from Ann in Ireland
Engle Family Postcards
from Ann in Ireland

It all started on November 11, 2013 – this wonderful, amazing, and exciting Engle Family Postcard Adventure. This incredible adventure is about postcards, dating from the early 1900s, that somehow ended up almost halfway around the world from where they originated. And about how these priceless postcards ended up back in America, and in the hands of a thankful relative of those who originally wrote and received these postcards. That thankful relative is me. This extraordinary adventure has also given me a new friend in Ireland named Ann. We have kept in touch since this adventure began.

The Engle Family Postcard Adventure Begins

On Monday, November 11th, I received an email from WikiTree that contained a private message from a very nice woman named Ann. She lives in Ireland and told me that she had purchased three vintage postcards from a second-hand market in Galway, Ireland. The postcards were addressed to Richard Engle and Mrs. S. A. Engle. Ann did an online search for these names and found my family tree on the WikiTree website. She saw that Richard and Sarah Engle were in my family tree and subsequently left me a message.


Ann wanted to know if any of the Engle's relations would be interested in receiving these postcards, and if so, she was willing to send them for free. She also said there were still many more Engle family postcards at the second-hand market where she had purchased these three postcards in Galway, Ireland.

To say I was thrilled upon receiving this email would be an understatement! This was simply amazing! Mrs. S. A. Engle, the addressee of these postcards, was my 2nd great-grandaunt. Her full name was
Sarah Amanda (Waterman) Engle. She was married to Richard Engle. I have done a lot of research on this family over the years. Sarah was born on March 15, 1836 in Coolville, Athens, Ohio and passed away on December 5, 1939 in South Pasadena, Los Angeles, California. She was 103 years old at the time of her death. Her husband, Richard Engle, served in the Civil War.


Sarah Amanda Waterman
Sarah Amanda (Waterman) Engle

Anyway, back to the postcards...I sent a reply to Ann informing her that I am, in fact, related to this Engle family. I asked her if she could scan the postcards and send the images in an email, which she did. It was so exciting to see the images of these postcards! I checked the names and addresses on the postcards, and was able to confirm that they were addressed to my Sarah (Waterman) Engle and her husband Richard.

I definitely wanted these postcards and offered to pay Ann for them. She insisted on sending them to me free of charge. How kind she is! I also asked her if she could give me the contact information for the seller of the Engle postcards at the second-hand market in Galway, Ireland, so I could see about buying the rest of the postcards. Ann gave me the information and I was able to contact him. His name is Thomas.


In the meantime, and before I even contacted Thomas about purchasing more of the Engle family postcards, Ann went back to Galway and purchased 16 of the remaining Engle family postcards from Thomas at the second-hand market. I hadn't asked her to do this. She is just that kind and thoughtful! And she again said she didn't want any money for the postcards. She would send them to me free of charge. She told me to just think of them as a Christmas gift from Ireland. Ann is just so sweet!

On December 16, 2013, I received a package from Ann. Not only did she send me these amazing Engle family postcards that she purchased, which are over 100 years old, she also sent me a lovely letter, a Christmas card to my husband and me, and this beautiful Christmas ornament for our tree!



Christmas Ornament from Ann
Christmas Ornament from Ann in Ireland

On November 20, 2013, I contacted Thomas, the seller of the Engle family postcards in Galway, Ireland and inquired about the remaining Engle family postcards. We were able to purchase 45 more of these precious postcards from him.

On December 20, 2013, I received the 45 Engle family postcards we purchased from Thomas.

I have put all of the Engle family postcards in a binder with acid-free photo pages to protect them.


Engle Family Postcards
Engle Family Postcards

I will be sharing these special Engle family postcards here on my blog.

I sent my new friend, Ann in Ireland, a thank-you gift before Christmas. I would also like to publicly thank her for purchasing 18 of these amazing postcards, finding me by doing an online search, contacting me, and sending me these priceless Engle family postcards. I am overwhelmed by Ann's kindness. And I can't thank her enough for all she has done.

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

22 comments:

  1. Ann's kindness is much appreciated, not just by you, Jana, but by all of us who live in hope of making such a connection. How lucky we are to live in a time when it's actually possible to locate the people who might care.

    I also think the number of cards is amazing -- even more so that they're together! I look forward to seeing each one.

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comments Wendy! Yes, I agree with you about Ann. She is so very kind and caring. And I'm so grateful to her for all she has done regarding this amazing Engle Family Postcard Adventure. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Jana, what a priceless gift you have received by Ann. How thoughtful of her to seek you out online. Wendy put it so well when she included all of us as researchers, hoping for the same. It does take a special kind of person--and the term "Pack Rat" denigrates it so much--to realize the value of saving and passing along these small treasures of micro-history, our personal heritages.

    Not only the photographs, but the messages on the reverse, will hopefully allow you a peak into the daily life of your relatives, and their connection to this small bit of Ireland. This is "Ireland Reaching Out" in a very tangible way. I can't wait to read the posts you are planning!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments Jacqi! I'd say that I've received another gift from Ann in addition to these priceless postcards. And that is her friendship. It's been wonderful talking to her by email over these last couple of months. What a treasure she is! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Jana - what a wonderful gift! This is such a great story! I hope Ann receives a similar kindness in her life. I know you'll enjoy these postcards and the genealogy/ family history stories they can tell.

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    1. Thank you Cindy! These postcards truly are a wonderful gift for our family. And I too hope Ann receives a similar kindness in her life. She's such a generous person!

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  4. This post is awesome and is sure (even at this early stage of the year) to survive the year 2014 as one of my favorites! I so wanted to use your story as a post in my "Samaritan Sunday" series, but as you will see in my mention of this post in this week's "Saturday Serendipity," I could not hope to tell the story better than you have -- and anyway it is solely a story for you and Ann to tell! ;-) This is a great post that warms the cockles of every heart -- Irish and otherwise!

    I am sure your new friend Ann now reads your blog and so I would like to sing her praises too. Good on you Ann! "May the hinges of your new friendship never grow rusty! And may brooks and trees and singing hills join in the chorus too, and every gentle wind that blows send happiness to you!"

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    1. Oh thank you John for your wonderful comment! It's simply beautiful. And I love your wish for Ann. She is simply a treasure and I'm thankful for our new friendship.

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  5. I love this post! What a wonderful kindness from Ann. I look forward to seeing the postcards in future posts.

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    1. Thank you Diana! This truly was so very kind of Ann to do this for our family! And I simply can't thank her enough for her generosity. Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. Wow, how fantastic to have all of those postcards back in the family. And to have met such a wonderful new friend! Now, if you could only figure out how the postcards came to be in Galway... Great post - so heartwarming!

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    1. Thank you Karen! You raise an interesting question. I do wonder how these postcards ended up in Galway. It's a real mystery. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. This is so exciting! What a kind thing for Ann to do and I'm so happy she has reunited the post cards with their family. I hope one day I'm able to do something as thoughtful for someone.

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    1. Thank you Debi! This really was a wonderfully kind thing that Ann did for our family. And we are so happy to have these precious postcards here with us. They and Ann are truly treasures!

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  8. It doesn't get any better than that! Look forward to future correspondence with you an Ann. That was a lot and a big chunk of letter writing. Love those old cards. Tree Ornament is special!

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    1. Thank you True! I'm grateful for my new friendship with Ann. She's just so sweet! Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. This is amazing. How kind of her to not only buy them but search the net for anyone being emotionally involved. I hope you 2 stay in contact and that this would be the start of a great relationship.

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    1. Thank you Barbara! It really has been an amazing and wonderful adventure. And Ann is such a sweet and generous person. I'm thankful for our new friendship. She's a treasure!

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  10. What a wonderful gift for your family history. I had the same experience with my Grandmother's lost relatives in Poland after WW1. My grandmother enjoyed seeing postcards and family pics that her parents ( the immigrant) reminisce on for years .

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    1. Thank you! Ann truly has given our family a wonderful gift! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Greetings from Ireland, Just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone for all of your very kind and generous words. It has been such a wonderful and exciting journey and I am very proud to be part of the great adventure that is the Engle Family Postcard story.Little did I think when I came across the Postcards that they would lead to such an interesting and fun experience and I am delighted that they have winged their way back across the Atlantic to where they truly belong. Also , what can I say about Jana..... I am so impressed with her dedication to family history but above all, she is a real lady. I reckon these postcards were meant to find her so she can give us all an insight into REAL history in bringing past generations back to life. I am already amazed at her first blog on the ' Rosebud ' postcard, and the vast amount of information one card can give us, ( with Jana's help ). Again, I wish you all good fortune and some Irish luck in all you do. All the best. Ann.

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    1. Hi Ann,

      Thank you for your beautiful comments! And I want to thank you again for your kindness and generosity and all you've done to reunite these precious postcards with our family. You are truly a treasure and I'm so glad to have gotten to know you because of our Engle Family Postcard Adventure.

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