Otis B. Nesbit
Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom
Publication No. 10
Otis B. Nesbit (1871-1952) was a pioneer in Nesbitt/Nisbet studies: not only did he carry out detailed investigations of his own family history, inextricably tied up with that of the mid-West of north America, but he also engaged in a remarkably wide correspondence with Nesbitts and Nisbets all over the world. Best of all, he recorded all he found in these marvelously eclectic newsletters. Many of those involved in research in the 1930s appear here, in vivid word pictures, including Robert Nesbitt of Sutton-in-Ashfield, John Nesbitt Dowling of Birmingham, and my own great-grandfather Robert Chancellor Nesbitt. Their letters, those of many others and Otis' own writings are highly readable social history, as well as a valuable record of genealogical research.
The reader should bear in mind that, as in all genealogy, very little of the past is absolutely certain, and there are a few inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the family trees collected here. Kathryn Inman, O.B.N.'s great niece, is collating up-to-date records of the family. In addition to descendants of Otis Nesbit's 8 brothers, he is also survived by his son-in-law, the mathematician Sir Alexander Oppenheim (b. 1903), his grand-daughter Judith Oppenheim and her husband Nwobidike Nwanodi, and their four children.
This volume represents a truly international cooperation: the original mimeographed newsletters were sent from Kathryn Inman and Stuart Nisbet in America to me in England; I copied them and passed them on to Bruce Nesbit in Australia who retyped the nearly illegible originals; and the resulting volume has been printed in two continents. Otis Nesbit's descendants, Kathryn Inman, Judith Nwanodi and Tony Nwanodi kindly gave permission for this reprint, and checked over the family tree.
Mark Nesbitt, Cambridge 1995
Family Letter No. 1.
O.B. Nesbit. 444 Jackson Street,
January 1, 1935.
Another Christmas has come and is going fast. We had a very nice party for the children of Jackson Street between 4th and 5th Avenues on Monday afternoon. Thirty-one of the thirty-four were here. They all had good appetites for Christmas. We had ice-cream, cookies and cakes (Alice baked), popcorn, a half bushel popped by a neighbour boy, and candy, served in Santa Claus paper plates, cups, and Christmas paper napkins.
We served them on three tables in the basement, set up in white linen and everything done like wife Alice, and daughter Allegra, like to do such things. Allegra had one of her students in the back part of the room with his piano-accordion, which he played well. He played many carols and Allegra decided it would be fine to have the children sing some. They did, but with questionable success. The girls did one well. As a mixed chorus it was not so successful, but you should have heard them sing when he struck up a popular tune.
After finishing the food they came upstairs, and Rezia Rawley Gaunt and Allegra distributed a bag of candy and a book to each. Their ages ranged from three to fourteen years. We all had a grand time and hope they did too. This is the third year we have had them in.
Alice, Allegra and I, went to Valparaiso Christmas morning and had a turkey dinner with Ella and Cora Vincent, and Jessie Philly who lives with them. The turkey was superb and everything else was fine. Before dinner, we opened our presents around their tree. Gyp, our cat, got a matched towel and wash rag and a cake of soap. I received ties and gloves, and had received $15.67 to pay for Dr. Robert Nesbitt's "History of the Nesbitt Family". Dr. Nesbitt is 79 years old and writes the most beautiful hand, and his letters are charming. Enclosed is a mimeographed copy of one that should thrill all true-blooded Nesbets (sic). Every page of the book was as interesting to me as his letter. He has made five visits to the US and has been about all our country as well as Canada. He had an Uncle Joseph Nisbett, D.D. at Lock Haven, Pa, a Presbyterian Dominie for many years.
Many interesting pages are devoted to him. His history of his family in Ireland is delightful and contains accounts of the allied families Shannon-Thompson-Coburn-Henry-Swan-Thornton-Clarke, and others. His good wife Annie Elizabeth Coburn Nesbitt was a writer and lecturer of influence, a leader in temperance and equal suffrage in England where they have lived for half a century. A number of papers read by them at meetings on various subjects, are contained in the volume of 757 pages. He has three daughters, Margaret, M. (?.G.) Stewart, Annie Gertrude Nesbitt Shields (T.L), Madura, India, and Mary Irene Nesbitt, Principal and owner of the Gilmer School of Dancing at Nottingham, England, and one son James Victor Nesbitt, a prominent attorney who married Winifred Jan Pearson. Mr. Nesbitt's book was published in 1930, but back to Christmas presents, I received a Brown County, Ind., cheese board made of cherry and black walnut and a new-fangled cheese cutter, and some other things. It doesn't matter what the rest received. They are only interested in what the cat and I received. Ha, Ha!
We came home early as the roads were very icy. Ella came home with us. After reaching home, we had callers and after they left, we went over to the Wray's across the street to see their presents. Mrs. Wray had received a new (on the market) automatic two-slice toaster and a utility tray; so I came home and got the cheese board and a Holland apple cheese and we ate toast and cheese, salad, cake, and drank coffee with the Wrays, and other friends who came in. We ate them out of house and home. I came home to see about things and found Allegra had just come in, and callers were arriving, Rev. Swanson and his wife (Dorothy Wood). They drove from Buffalo, New York, Monday to be with her mother Mary, and Dr. Parker's family. They had been to Hobart to the Unitarian Sunday School Christmas tree. We were hungry, so I sent for the cheese board and the remaining cheese. Allegra fed them cold turkey we had brought home from Valparaiso, baked beans that Alice had prepared, cake and home-made ice-cream; and before they left, Miss Hoke, the principal at Lew Wallace School where Allegra teaches and Mr. and Mrs. Haskill came in, stopping on their trip home from Chicago. The icy cold had about wrecked them, so they must have coffee, cake and ice-cream. Wednesday brought the Robert Nesbitt book and a box of glazed fruit from the Nesbitts at Richmond, California. I read the book and ate all day, when callers were not here. Another present worth mentioning was a photograph, beautifully done and appropriately framed, of a drawing of the Nisbet Mansion in Berwickshire, Scotland, built prior to 1652 and still a show place. I had loaned Rev. John Pratt Nesbitt at Princeton, Ind., my copy of Nisbet's Heraldic Plates last September, and while they had it Mrs Nesbit had a photo taken of the mansion that her two sons, both M.Ds, her daughter Esther, and husband might have copies. I wish you could all have known this fine family. The picture is done in sepia and appropriately framed. It is very nice, resembles an etching sufficiently that I have decided upon this method of reproduction to supply the "Clan". My offering will be a little larger, probably 8" x 10", will contain the Coat of Arms in the corner and have a title. It is attractive enough to adorn a gallery. Rev. John Pratt Nesbit put out a family book on his family this year.
Wednesday night we entertained Mrs. Mary Wood, her daughters Mrs. Parker, Mrs Swanson and their husbands; her son Ralph Wood, and his wife of Springfield, Illinios, her sisters, Mrs. Conroy of Hammond and her daughter, Madelyn Conroy, Mrs. Armet and husband, of Hobart; John and Mary Parker, and Ella Vincent, for dinner at a private home that puts on special dinners. We came home from there and as the party was mostly females: we talked and talked. Allegra left at nine to catch a train to Chicago where she joined a conducted tour to Florida, to be gone until January 6: school opens on the 7th. I read Thursday and Friday and today got a typist and have been at it all day. Will put enough in this letter to last you all for another year.
Miss Zula Young, of Highland, Kansas, daughter of my sister Rachel, has been able to teach, but would not venture to come see us. She fell and fractured a hip a year ago. She writes that Dorothy Young, (Rev. L. D's wife) at Dallas, Texas, is better. She has had a severe heart attack. She is a good preacher's wife and a true helpmate to Leon. Hope she rests up long enough to recover. They visited us last summer. They had been in California. Leon preached in Sacramento during his two-month vacation there. He says I showed him the whole Century of Progress in one day. Don't disillusion him, but he did not see any of the fair. Although Dr. Blain Branson, D.C., Vinnie Young's man at 1916 Pepper Avenue, Lincoln, Nebraska, spent most of his time at the General Motor's Exhibit in 1933, he saw more than Leon did, however, L.D. is the pastor of the Abbey Presbyterian Church, and a great preacher. He has a fine church and was Vice Moderator of the North American Assembly in 1933.
We went down to see Zula last summer, and Alice about passed out. She hasn't cooled off yet. We spent one night with the Street family near Purdin, Mo. It is one of the fine old Missouri families. Big house, lots of food, bounteous hospitality. Has a large family, three girls home last summer. They are all teachers. Violet teaches here in Gary with Allegra. The boys are married and live near. Missouri was dry and burnt; it was too hot to look up some of our folks. I saw cousin Virginia Kinnett at Monroe City, Mo. She is a dear great soul, a grand daughter of Aunt America (Painter). She loaned me some pictures and I am going to get copies made so that I can return them. Her son Samuel was the most sought man in town as he was engaged in hauling water and filling cisterns. Water was scarcer than beer.
On the trip, I stopped at Chilicothe and hunted up a Mrs. Mattie Mathews, widow of Charles Mathews, a deceased son of Harvey Mathews who married Uncle Hiram's daughter, Nancy, and later Uncle John's daughter, Annie. From her (Mattie), I got cousin Annie Mathew's address. It is Belfontain, California; 1031 East Palm Street. Her son L. R. Mathews is at Encinitas, California. Have some letters from Annie and some family news. She is not well. Says she is not old.
We came home through Shelbina and drove out in the country hunting a cousin Gene Painter, son of Oscar. He was not home, but we found his wife and fine family of eleven children. All are well mentally and physically. We came on by Stoutsville and out to see Otis Emery Cartmell and his mother, cousin Lucinda. She is a dear. He is a fine man. He fixed up the burial lot on the old farm this fall, got out the stones on the place and had a wall built around the graves. Pictures show a nice job. I shared the expense with him and we hope to pass the hat some way among the descendants of Samuel and Nancy (Thomas) Nisbet, and give them a chance to help.
Zula gave me some fine old family pictures. Did not get to see Grace Young King at Robinson, Kansas as she was away fishing with their younger children. Saw her daughter Donna in Troy, where she is in a dentist's office; on our way home. Zula did not feel like riding (sic) so far, so we missed seeing George Young and his fine family at Centralia, Kansas. Say boys, that is a fine place to go.
Alice and I attended the Nisbet Family Reunion at Cynthiana, Indiana last fall. About 150 were there. W.R. Nisbet, an attorney at Sullivan, Indiana, his wife and his married daughter, Mrs. Billman of Cincinatti, Ohio with her son J.R., a dandy fine boy, attended. I had a card from him at Christmas in response to having received a booklet containing D. Nesbit's poem, "Always Christmas". He has been searching city directories for Nisbets. He noticed a story in the newspaper where someone of the clan was to be executed for murder, and was distressed by it. A few have gone wrong from time to time, but the criminal records do not contain many in my search for family data. Its membership is made up of good sturdy stock, and to stimulate the young generations to guard that its good name is upheld, is one of the objects of my work.
Recently a woman member of the family with more than one college degree was surprised to learn that the family had a long and illustrious line of ancestors and many honorable members at this time.
At the reunion we again met Mr. And Mrs. James Rash of Madisonville, Ky, and his sister Mrs. Soloman. Bud Nesbit and wife from Providence, Ky were there. These Kentucky people represent the James Nesbit family, a pioneer in Hopkins Co., Ky, from South Carolina. A large family of fine people
The James Nesbit and Rebecca Lewis families of Posey Co., Ind. were there in goodly numbers, and they are a mighty nice crowd. You should have seen cousin Will and Mary Ann Endicott. Think of it, they have lived together over 65 years. Cousin Ann is able to beat most preachers at praying. A grand old couple. The Nisbet graveyard on the old place has been cleaned up, and we hope it may be fenced and the stones reset.
A.J. Endicott and his family from Princeton were there. Arthur presided at the exercises in a manner that did honor to his progenitors. Cousin Ann Nisbet McLaughlin, 524 N. Main Street, Henderson, Ky, and her fine daughters, Mabel, who read a fine paper on family matters, and Elizabeth with her Irish wit and her good nature, good looking too, were there. Cousin Ann, past 85 and an invalid, shared equal honors with cousins Will and Mary Ann, Cynthiana, Indiana in a popularity contest for attention. The younger crowd in Posey Co. are intelligent and industrious. We visited cousin Ann and had three happy days with her. Rev. John Pratt Nesbit, his fine wife and charming daughter, Esther; came over after his morning service and he gave a good talk on the origin of the Nisbets in Scotland. We enjoyed lunch with them on our way home.
Alice has an awful case on them, but you know she has shown poor judgement in choosing one Nisbet man and you must regard her judgement with care. I like this family myself. Their two fine sons are M.Ds in Indiana and Esther teaches music in the public schools at Hartford City, Indiana.
On Wednesday Nov. 28, after school, Alice, Allegra and I started for Ann Arbour, Michigan to spend the school vacation with Dr. Reed Nesbit, his wife Mabel and daughter Nancy Alice, at 302 Revena. We stopped at Niles for a chicken dinner. Arriving at our destination at 1.20 a.m. We enjoyed a hospitable greeting, and had a fine Thanksgiving turkey dinner to which some young doctors were invited. Mabel uses her domestic science education to good advantage. She is a graduate of Michigan University. Her brother William Wilkins of Wichita Falls, Texas, is with them attending the University. He is a fine chap. Expects to study medicine. Mabel had friends in for tea on Friday and Saturday afternoon. Dr. Lilly of Atchison, Kansas, had dinner with us Saturday night, and entertained us by telling of his research on animals, principally rats, on the cause of decay of teeth. He practiced medicine for many years, and after the death of an invalid wife, and having an income sufficient, he travelled and visited the medical centres in this and foreign countries and settled down at Michigan University to do his research. He is having a good time. Has learned many things but reached no conclusions that will greatly benefit man as yet. In rats, cracked corn and rice will produce decay and nothing given with it will prevent it as far as he has found. He has a distinct advantage in his work, as he is independent and not supported by a Fruit Growers Co. or a Codfish Crowd and an Electric Light Co or a Dentifrice Mfgr, with an order to report good results. We called on some good antique dealers; saw some nice glass, furniture etc. Visited the Law Library, a beautiful building, elegantly furnished, and well supplied with books and materials. Here we were shown through by our cousin, Mrs. Inez Webb Noyes, a great grand daughter of my aunt Mary Nisbet Martin and Hugh Beheimer a former Gary boy. Mr. And Mrs. Noyes both have important positions in the university libraries. Mrs. Noyes is a daughter of Fanny Wright Webb, 1004 E. King Street, Franklin, Indiana. Great grandmother Mary Berry Nisbet is buried on the Alexander Martin lot in the Livonia, Ind. Cemetery.
Dr. Reed Nesbit is working hard and doing fine work in his field of urology. Is head of the department at the Michigan State Hospital and teaches in the medical department of the university. We drove into Detroit and visited Mrs. Elden Small and on Sunday returned home through the Irish Hills route and stopped at various places. The roads were fine and it was a spring-like day.
Our work in school has gone on very well. We have immunised about 500 children against scarlet fever this fall, 200 against diphtheria, and vaccinated 1425 against smallpox, besides examining athletes and doing other routine work. Have Dr. Sue Thompson, a Canadian woman, eight nurses, two dentists, three oral hygienists, one sight-saving teacher, one lip-reading instructor, and three clerks in my department and they keep me busy. Except for a cold which did not keep me in, I have been quite well. Alice has been well except for some arthritis. Allegra, very busy with school work. She is head of the History Department at the Law Wallace School. Has made some reputation and received some outside recognition for a "Better Citizenship Organisation" in the school. She has outside clubs, also, Woman Voters League, College Club, Kappa, Womens' Dean Club in Chicago, and really keeps quite busy and does not have to diet to keep her girlish figure of 95 lbs.
Our daughter Beatrice and her husband just arrived at Zurick, (sic) Switzerland where he will study for a time, then go to Cambridge. He has been doing mathematics in Raffles College, Singapore for three years. Is on leave till October. Will visit his parents at Manchester, England. Beatrice expects to leave England in April for home and he will follow, leaving for Singapore via the Pacific route, going by New Zealand to visit his sister on their way back to Singapore.
I hope Nancy Crumble of Holliday, and Eddy Jones, who runs a farm for Dr. Furnen at Shelbina, will send me a copy of family records in Nancy Elizabeth Painter Jones' bible, or her mother's bible, if they have it.
Brother Samuel's (Rev. S.A. Nesbit) boy Paul is at Lodi, California. Wish he would send me his paper on his mother's family (Nellie Painter), also a story on his experiences as a radio operator during the World War in the Navy and an account since. B.F. McCray (sister Mary Nisbet's husband) is living at Oakland, California with his daughter Mrs. Ruth Usher. She is 90 and able to go. (Sic).
If cousin Mallie Scott of Richmond, California, has a picture of her father, I would like to borrow it. She is a Christian Science practitioner. Also for cousin Annie Mathews to loan me a picture of her father.
Or if these people will have copies made and send me a gloss print, I will remit the cost. Would be glad to have wives' pictures also. Am expecting cousin May Hardy to send me Uncle Hiram's, and records. One way to do it is to send such matters as are on hand, follow with more later.
Last summer, I got the address of Mrs. May Hardy, 6106 Charlotte Street, Kansas City, Mo., a grand daughter of Uncle Hiram who lived and died at Chilicothe. She was visiting her sister Alice, in New York at the time and stopped off and visited us. She is nice looking, refined and intelligent. Her good looking daughter Mrs. Linna Boysen met her in Chicago, where we met them and brought them home with us. We went to the fair, to Valparaiso and the Dunes. Had a nice visit. May has not sent me her family record, but if she doesn't, she will have a boarder some day until she produces it. Linna has two boys that their grandma thinks a lot of. Her mother lives with her.
Alfred Berry Endicott, 1027 Darmouth Ave., Claremont, California, a descendant of great uncle James Nisbet of Posey Co., Indiana, is not well, however, he reads and writes concerning the family and other things. He composed a good poem, "Dear Old Coverlet". Mabel McLaughlin had written to him about Mrs. H.L. King of Henderson, Ky., a descendant of my great aunt Rebecca (Nisbet) Lewis. (Aaran) having a very beautiful coverlet woven by great aunt Margaret Nisbet who lived with Rebecca. She is past 96 and was at California with her daughter, Mrs. Edith Been. They are such travellers I cannot keep track of them. My last address (for them) 3458 Ceder (sic) Street, Riverside, California. Her son Oscar, lives at Indio, California. A letter from Mabel today said cousin Ann McLaughlin had not been well. I hope she is better.
Emma Hoffman of Ft. Branch, Indiana, should prepare a paper on the Brother and Lewis families. It is always great to stop and see the Hoffmans. Last summer, Walter, Harriet, Emma and Anna, who live together, were getting ready to start for Chicago. They missed the reunion. George and Lucy Hoffman however were there. Another of the Lewis clan who missed the picnic was Miss Margaret Hale of Osceola, Arkansas.
Mrs. Lillie Gayle, a grand daughter of great uncle William Nisbet is at Manhattan, Montana. Her cousin, Mrs. J.H. Resiter, 521 West 3rd Street, Lexington, Ky., sent a Christmas card, but is too busy with her fine family and running the city, to write.
Oscar Painter is at Boliver, Mo., with his daughter, Mrs Ora Castleman.
Mildred Nesbit, my genealogy Scot in California is teaching in Pasadena, California, Public School. Have carelessly not preserved the envelope that contained her last address and her letter did not give the address. N.S. Amstutz, an attorney friend of mine, files envelopes as well as letters. Says they are important.
Charles E. Nesbit of Robert Nisbett's family has been lost. Haven't seen or heard from him since he came with his wife and spent part of a night with us in 1933. He expected to teach at Kansas City, Mo., last year. If you have heard from him let me know.
May I appeal to those who have not sent me names, dates, and information about their present and past generations and letters and papers regarding their families. I will copy or photograph and return them.
If any of you desire the picture of Nisbet House, Berwickshire, Scotland at $1.00, snap of Samuel Nisbet; Kentucky House; or if you want me to order tartans, let me know. If any desire to make direct contributions to the cemetery and marker fund, I will be glad to tell them the needs or send any contributor and sender an account.
Will expect a postcard filled with family news if you want to stay on my mailing list. If none received, I will consider you do not care for future family letters.
This concludes a faithful account of some of the things some of you may be interested in and I'll not promise another for a long time. It is not intended for a complete record. The letter is intended to interest some people in the family, to supply addresses that they can connect up with lost relations, and to include items that will interest some. All will not be interested in the same things. Will extend the mailing list somewhat beyond my immediate family to see if those outside may find interest. Want to supply the younger members of my family with some data. No one should consider that they are being left out. You are all in the family, and you can't help it. You are largely what you are because of it.
Wishing you all a Good New Year, I am with love to all
Otis B. Nesbit
P.S. Acknowledgment of a liberal supply of almonds and English walnuts from brother Edward and Effie (née Miller) and for a fruit cake from Mabel. Also pecans from Dr. Thompson from Ga., and a large basket of letters and cards.
Thanks to all. (O.B.N.).
November 9, 1934
Dear Dr. Nesbit:
I was very greatly pleased to get your letter of October 20, and to learn you had got a copy of the Heraldic Plates. It is an invaluable history for all who have Nesbitt blood in their veins. My hunt and discovery of the book was thrilling.
I wish I knew when I last wrote you and what information I gave. I believe I have lots of news for you.
The owner of Nisbet House and estate is Lord Sinclair, who is a lineal descendant of John Ker who bought the property from Sir Alexander Nisbet, ca 1652. He does not live there. The present tenant is Grenville Farguhar who made my wife, self and two daughters most welcome when we visited Nisbet House last May. It is still one of the finest mansions in Berwickshire, situated in a magnificent park of 200 acres. Most of the present building was erected in the reign of Charles I. On the site of Nisbet Castle -- two important battles were fought there.
In December last, I got acquainted with a Mr. R.C. Nesbitt, a London solicitor, attorney. He is more fortunate than we are as he is able to trace, to the satisfaction of the Herald's Office, directly back to Sir Philip Nisbet -IX, p xiv, Nisbet's Heraldic Plates. You and I are also descended from the Nisbets, but we cannot furnish documentary proof in the way he has done.
At page xlviii of Marchment Herald's Introduction to the Heraldic Plates, is this paragraph: "Is it permissible to hope that the family of which he (Alexander Nisbet, the Herald) was the distinguished representative will take steps to place in the ancient burying-ground a fitting memorial of the old Herald"? This hope has been realised. Mr. Nesbitt, (London) has erected in Old Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, a very beautiful memorial tablet to the Herald with suitable inscription. It was unveiled with considerable ceremony by John Buchan, M.P., the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly. The Lord Lyon King of Arms with his Heralds being present. Mr. Nesbitt honored my wife and myself by inviting us to be present at the ceremony in Old Greyfriars, and also at the subsequent luncheon. Needless to say, we were delighted to attend.
The Nisbet Coat of Arms is painted on the tablet, by the Court Painter -- a very beautiful piece of work.
Some months before, Mr. Nesbitt asked me to meet him at luncheon at the Athenaeum Club in London and we had a very interesting time. I offered to help him in defraying the expense, but he preferred footing the entire bill.
In St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, there is a Memorial Window to Montrose, a prominent general of Charles I. Sir Philip Nisbet, son of Sir Alexander, was one of the leading commanders under Montrose, and his name and Arms are recorded on the window, a most realistic production.
I have still greater news to tell you. Two or three months ago, I got acquainted with a J. Nesbitt Dowling of Birmingham, England, whose ancestor, two or three generations ago, married a Nesbitt. Talk of pedigrees! The Marchmont Herald isn't in it with J. Nesbitt Dowling! I have been over to see him and he is the greatest genealogical 'find' I've ever made. He has traced the Nesbitts back to, I hardly know where, long before the Norman Conquest; and mind you, he gives day and date, chapter and verse for every statement he makes; tells you where he has secured the information -- Old Charters, Wills, marriage settlements etc.; he has 70 notebooks filled with genealogical notes, and he has been good enough to allow me to copy some of them. He traces the Nesbitts back to the early Kings of Scotland -- in fact, before there were Kings at all! He is a most cultured, brainy man, and I am thoroughly convinced, entirely reliable.
I am hoping to get some photos of Nisbet House, soon. Our London namesake is publishing a book which will contain photographs. (It would not surprise me if your Co. Down ancestry were related to mine. The earliest record of my Nesbitt ancestor is Co. Monoghan, at a place named Mullyash which I believe is within a dozen miles of Laughbrickland).
Have I sent you a review of my book? If so you might please return enclosed copy. I did not publish my history with a view of selling any copies, but if you still wish to have one, the price is £3. The actual cost is more. Please excuse obliteration; for a moment I confused you with a Nesbitt in Pittsburgh who is on the same quest as yourself and with whom I have much correspondence.
I have known Wilbur D. Nesbit for many years. He and his wife (one of the Lee family of Virginia) entertained my wife and myself when we visited Chicago in 1925, and he has presented me with copies of his works, rendered doubly valuable by the kindest of inscriptions. There are ten pages devoted to him in my history.
Unless your experience would differ from mine, it will be futile for you to write Lord Sinclair, the owner of Nisbet (House). I wrote him twice, enclosing stamped addressed envelope, but -- nobility and all - he hadn't the decency to reply.
The address of your namesake in Pittsburgh, Pa., is Clarence R. Nesbitt, 6534 Dalzell Place.
Do you know the "Harvey Book" by Oscar J. Harvey, published at Wilkesbarre, Pa., 1899? It gives the history of many American Nesbitts, also the early history of the Nisbets in Scotland. I got a copy from a firm in Albany, New York. It is very expensive.
In what way was President Wilson connected with the family?
Many thanks for your invitation. It would be interesting to have a meeting. Rev. Joseph Nesbitt, D.D., Lock Haven, Pa., was my uncle, died 1894. "An honor to the name".
On our motor run through Scotland in July (1934), I found there is a Nisbet Tartan and I bought a necktie of that material - 2/6 of our money - from Wm. Grant, High St., Inverness, Scotland, a big dealer in tartans. The cloth costs 12/6 a yard and nothing less than two yards will be sold. My Nesbit correspondent in Pittsburgh ordered some when I told him about it.
I could not get any samples of it in Edinburgh.
Memorial to Herald Unveiled
"A Memorial to Alexander Nisbet, the Herald, was unveiled in Old Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, yesterday, by his Grace the Lord High Commissioner, Mr. John Buchan. His Grace was accompanied by Mrs. Buchan and members of their suite, and the ceremony was attended by Dr. Francis J. Grant, C.V.O., W.S., Lord Lyon King of Arms; Mr. J. Horne Stevenson, M.B.E., K.C., Marchmont Herald; Mr. Thomas Innes of Learney, advocate, Carrick Pursuivant; Lieut. Colonel J.W. Balfour Paul, D.S.O., of Cakemuir, Falkland Pursuivant; and Capt. Harold A.B. Lawson, Unicorn Pursuivant. His Grace was received at Greyfriars by the Lord Lyon and the Rev. Dr. W.W.D. Gardiner, minister of the church, and the ceremony took the form of a religious service.
The service commenced with the singing of the 84th Psalm, followed by a prayer and the reading of the Scripture lesson, "Let us praise famous men". The donor, Mr. Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, then offered the memorial to the custody of the Kirk Session, expressing the hope that it would add to the beauty of the fine old ecclesiastical building.
The Lord High Commissioner said he was pleased to have the privilege of unveiling the memorial to a famous Scotsman. Alexander Nisbet was buried in the Greyfriars Churchyard, but his tomb has long ago disappeared, like so many of their old Scottish sepulchres. The memorial was a lasting monument to a great gentleman and a great scholar.
Alexander Nisbet was born of the famous Berwickshire house, Nisbet of that Ilk. He had two uncles who followed Montrose, and who both died on the scaffold in his following. He did not think that any family on the globe could make a prouder boast than that. Nisbet himself was a douce (?) Edinburgh lawyer, like his father before him, but he was first and foremost a scholar.
THE SCIENCE OF HERALDRY
His Grace remarked that he was not sure that he could claim for the science of heraldry a foremost place among the activities of the human mind. There was a famous German philosopher who took it as an example of what he called a "false science", but he didn't agree with him. He should certainly claim for it a respectable place, as every historian must. It was a kind of historical shorthand, and its little lantern might be a most valuable guide in the dark places of the past. Moreover, it had a real interest and beauty - the beauty of exactness and regularity. There had been heralds of doubtful taste who had spoilt the simplicity of the old charges, but never in Scotland, where heralds had shown a very high level of distinction and scholarship, from Sir David Lindsay of the Mount down to his friend the present Lord Lyon.
The purity of the science in the north had been largely due to Nisbet. His great work, "A System of Heraldry", first published in Edinburgh in 1722, was an institutional work, as important in heraldic science as the great institutional writers, like Stair and Erskine were in the history of Scots Law. He remembered how he pored over that work as a boy, and still often turned to it. He was glad to think that the piety of his kinsmen had erected that worthy memorial to the old scholar in the kirk in which he worshipped.
A prayer of dedication having been offered by Dr. Gardiner, custody of the memorial was accepted by Mr. W.M. McLachlan, W.S., on behalf of the Kirk Session, and by Mr. J.A.S. Millar, M.V.O., W.S., on behalf of the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland. The service concluded with the singing of the hymn, "City of God", and the Benediction.
The memorial which was designed by Mr. A.G. Law Samson, the Herald painter, is in the form of a mural tablet inscribed as follows: "To the memory of Alexander Nisbet of that Ilk, author of 'A System of Heraldry', the most outstanding work on Scottish Armory. Baptised 22nd April 1657. Died 5th December 1725. This Memorial is erected by his Kinsman Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, a Freeman of the City of London and a sometime member of Parliament".
LORD LYON ON SCOTTISH HERALDRY
Following upon the unveiling ceremony a luncheon was held in the North British Station Hotel, Edinburgh, at which Mr. Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, the donor of the Memorial, presided over a company including the Lord Lyon and members of his court. Also present were Bailie Raithby, representing the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Mr. J.A.S. Millar, for the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, the Hon. Sir Hew Dalrymple, K.C.V.O., for the National Gallery of Scotland, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Nesbitt of Ireland, and others. An interesting feature of the luncheon was the exhibition of the original MSS. In the handwriting of the Herald. In thanking his guests for attending Mr. R.C. Nesbitt acknowledged the tribute of the presence of the Lord Lyon and his court at a ceremony set 200 years after the death of the famous Herald. The Lord Lyon in reply said that Alexander Nisbet the Herald wrote about Heraldry in a sane and sensible manner, and Scotland was indebted to him for a national Heraldry which was the purest in the world.
The donor of the memorial is a kinsman of Alexander Nisbet. Their common ancestor was Sir Philip Nisbet, who married Elizabeth Haldane in 1582. Mr. Nesbitt was a Unionist member of Parliament for the Chislehurst Division of Kent from 1922 to 1924. He is a solicitor and has done professional work for both Church and State. He is an advocate of the Shanghai Bar, and from 1909 to 1926 was a member of the Council of the Law Society.
From 1920 to 1922 he was a member of the Lord Chancellor's Committee on Supreme Court Fees and on Circuit arrangements, and in 1921 he was a chairman of the Special Training Grants Committee of the Ministry of Labour, which administered £3,000,000 voted by Parliament for the training of ex-officers after the war.
Mr. Nesbitt is a director of the Union Bank of Australia, chairman of the National Mutual Life Association of Australasia, Board for Britain; and Deputy Chairman of the British Law Insurance Company. "The Scotsman", 31st May 1934.
Accompanying the above account of the ceremony, incidents, and history concerning it, The Scotsman published a large picture showing the notables participating in the churchyard at Alexander Nesbit's tomb and all other pictures showing The Lord High Commissioner Mr. John Buchan, M.P. and Mrs Buchan inspecting the memorial after the unveiling.
Otis B. Nesbitt's Library Contains
The Nisbet Heraldic Plates Ross and Grant
The Harvey Book Oscar Harvey
An American Family Charles F. Nesbit
Letters of Mary Nisbet Nisbet Hamilton Grant
Nisbet, Ross Families Blanche T. Hartman
History of the Nesbitt Family Robert Nesbitt
History of Nisbet or Nesbitt in Ireland Alexander Nesbitt
Nesbit Family John Pratt Nesbit
Several Volumes of Poems Wilbur D. Nesbit
History of Dickenson College J H. Morgan
Contains Charles Nisbet history
Millers and Nesbits (Ky) H.M. Hyatt
Cloud of Witnesses
Containing last statements of John, James and James Nisbet Jr. Martyred Covenanters.
Hundreds of letters and many notes.
From "The Scottish Field", February, 1933
Today Nisbet House stands very much as it did originally, the only addition is the ivy-mantled western tower. For the rest, it is a white 'harled', oblong building in the castellated style, with round towers at each end of the south side and two square towers on the north, in the centre of which is the old entrance. This is a simple lintelled doorway, surrounded with a great breadth of flat moulding, and surmounted by a heavy circular hood, with the owner's shield and initials above. At first this was the Nisbets', but on the estate changing hands, that of the Kers was substituted. In 1774, when the west tower was built, this entrance was closed, and the present doorway opened on the south side.
Messrs M'gibbon and Ross, in their noted work on Scottish architecture, thus describes the inside of the 'Castle': "The ground plan is of an advanced kind, and consists of the usual oblong structure, with rooms entering through each other and extending from side to side. In addition to the hall on the ground floor, there is a large private room, and both have chambers attached in the round towers".
Three staircases serve to unite the various storeys in the stately old mansion, two of stone, one in each of the square towers, and a modern wooden one in the added west tower. Moreover, in those rude times a man's house was in very truth his castle, built primarily for defence, and the immensely thick walls, with their numerous loopholes, tell their own tale.
There is an intense fascination; a haunting charm, about Nisbet, with the old-world air of mystery and romance inseparable from its rambling passages, spiral staircases, secret chambers, and underground passages. The steep stone steps are worn with the heavy tread of mailed feet, the loopholes battered with the hurtling force of cannon balls, and looking out of the narrow, deep-set windows in the turret, one's gaze falls on the meadow near-by, where in 1402, a bloody battle was fought with the English.
Things went badly with the men of the Merse that day, and many were the Berwickshire lairds who fell at Nisbet, never to rise again.
But those were days of feasting no less than fighting. Above the hearthstones in the old kitchen swing heavy chains, with hooks at the ends, which were used for the roasting of an ox, whole. And in intervals of border warfare there was doubtless much revelry and hospitality in the oak-panelled dining rooms. Behind the dining-room wall is a secret room with an outlet into the wide chimney of the adjoining library.
From the second floor a tiny secret staircase, now closed, leads downwards to an underground passage. This passage is believed to extend for over a mile, with an exit somewhere in the fields, and would be used in time of war for the purpose of smuggling in provisions and soldiers, or sending out spies and messengers.
'The beauty of this historic and stately house is much enhanced by its setting of meadow, wood and water. Within a stones throw of the front door a little stream bubbles noisily beneath a mossy stone bridge, while hoary oak and ash trees stand in groups about the grass or spread their giant arms above the carriage drive, and gorgeous copper beeches lend an effective note of colour, and in spring serve as a foil to the snowy blossoms of the geans1'. A winding shrubbery walk leads past the crescent-shaped flower garden, with its rose trellises and lavender beds to the herbaceous border and the kitchen garden within sheltering red brick walls. The shrubbery itself is an enchanting wild garden, for there are patches of aconite and wood anemones, foxgloves, giant hemlock, old-fashioned rose bushes, damask and maiden blush, while in February the field behind the house is carpeted with snowdrops, and in August, yellow irises line the banks of the brook".
Pictures for sale
I am having prepared a photograph of a drawing of this fine old house with the coat-of arms in the corner, which will be fit to adorn any wall or mantel. These I am offering at $1.00 each. If any profit accrues it will be used on erecting markers and improving burial places. These are appropriate for a Nisbet, Nesbit, Nesbitt. If not entirely satisfactory your money will be refunded.
Keep the above description. When you see the picture you will prize it.
O.B. Nesbit, M.D.
Another Honored Nesbit
Charles Nisbet, D.D. was called from Scotland to be first provost of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1785 and remained until his death in 1804. His epitaph says he was a man of integrity and piety, in all learning most accomplished. Of reading immense, memory faithful, in real acumen of wit, pleasantry and satire truly astonishing; but to no mortal offensive, except to those who under the Cloak of Philosophy, insult religion. But to his family and friends, for manners, sweet benign, cheerful and social; beloved without a rival.
(1) Geans: A deciduous tree, native to Europe and western Asia, from which many varieties of cultivated sweet cherries have been derived.
Family Letter No. 2.
By Otis B Nesbit 444 Jackson Street,
July 1, 1935.
The quest for ancestors has had its joys and sorrows, its ups and downs, in rewards and reprimands. This collection of material I am sending out contains some pleasant surprises and great rewards. Mrs. Dobson's letter is one rich reward. She saw family letter number 1 with the material enclosed. That such a crude compilation should bring such a masterly, cultured and refined history of her interesting family, spurs one on. We all enjoyed her letter so much I am sure it will bring much enjoyment and satisfaction to many of the older members of the "clan" and inspiration to some of the younger ones.
The finding of Dr. Robert Nesbit was well worthwhile and has added to my own life, and I judge from the letters received, pleasure to many.
This collection I am sending out with this is not intended to touch on all my replies. Some of these families I hope to work up as "families" and send out. Because you can not present as fine a report as Mrs. Dobson should not deter you from giving me such as you have.
I have devoted considerable space to a member of my family because I want you to know its most worthwhile member. The one whose life has had the greatest influence for good upon others. She is respected, honored and loved by all who know her.
If all goes well I may issue another letter about Christmas time and the response with the news and information warrants it. If I have time, and can, I would like to issue a letter on each family. An issue devoted to doctors, others to our lawyers; teachers; business men; preachers; Nesbit women would make a volume. Enclosed is some material on Nisbet House; pass it on if you have received it before. Several send names and addresses of relatives asking that the material be sent to them. The supply was exhausted and this could not be done until now. We will comply with these requests. Send me your family history or tell me who has it. I am wanting to locate descendants of William Nesbet who died in Brockbridge Co. Va. in 1794; and of John Berry who died in 1770; also the Kentucky Thomas family, the Templars and Aulds. Mrs. Mary Denham, Ackerly Fields of Fieldmont, The Plains, Va., has searched records and supplied me with valuable and painstakingly procured information which I feel grateful for.
"As we build monuments and erect stones to preserve national Memories, so family records deserve and should have a place in the domestic sanctum".
Oscar J. Harvey.
"We aim to know
If, long ago
Our forbears honors carried,
And if they came
In time to fame,
And whom the maids they married".
SAMUEL FRANKLIN NISBET FAMILY
Richmond, California Independent
Feb. 18, 1935.
Miss Nesbit Felicitated On Birthday.
Miss Nannie Nesbit today was happy in the possession of many telegrams and other letters of congratulation on the occasion of her eighty-second birthday yesterday, Feb. 17. Miss Nesbit received many callers at her home, 621 Bissell Avenue, and received telegrams from her brothers and other kinsmen and close friends.
Among those who sent birthday greetings was Col. Bastin, retired mail carrier, who celebrated his own birthday on Saturday 16th, and who penned the following verse:
Happy birthday to you Miss Nesbit,
All your neighbours are wishing today,
As we join in congratulations
To cheer you upon life's way.
Many sorrows and joys you have known;
Yet we're glad, through it all, you've proved faithful
To the causes you claimed as your own.
Many years we have known and we've loved you;
Of your worth all of Richmond will tell;
For our city is proud to own people like you,
And your fine civic spirit as well.
So we join with your friends and your neighbours,
Just to wish you the brightest of days;
May our father in Heaven enfold you
In His peace and protection, always.
May you live many years yet and prosper
In the things you're most wishing to do;
And the bread you have cast on life's waters,
Be returned in rich blessings to you.
So again, our congratulation
On a wonderful journey thus far;
May the rest of the way be so peaceful,
With never a shadow to mar.
Then, when all life's tasks are completed,
And all of your birthdays are o'er,
May the King in His beauty, reward you,
Over there on that beautiful shore.
For our birthdays below, are just milestones,
As our race in sweet patience, we run;
Ever looking to Jesus, the Author;
Who will crown when the victory's won;
Oh, the joys and the raptures awaiting,
All the pleasures of earth to transcend;
Once again to be joined with our loved ones,
And to be with them,--World without end.
Col. H. Bastin.
Mark C. Nesbit, R1 Box 101 Redwood City, Calif. wrote a fine letter. He was one of Governor Merriam's campaign organisers, and has a good appointment. Is married; his wife is secretary for the Phi Delta Kappa on Stanford Campus. His brother Paul is at Lodi, Calif. and has two children. They are sons of my brother, Rev. Samuel A. who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, and then proceeded to have a heart attack that put him down for a time. He is better. Now lives in Richmond, Calif. with his wife and daughter Carolyn who is a manager of a store in Oakland. Samuel's children appreciated the fine example lived by him, as we all do. His life has been given to the Christian Church and to those needing his services, religious and otherwise. He earned by hard effort A.B. and M.A. college degrees. Great things have happened in the Rev. E.T. Nesbit family. A daughter, Mary Templar Nesbit, arrived May 22, 1935 at Ann Arbor, Mich. to be a playmate for Nancy Alice and a joy to her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Reed M.
Miss Mildred Nesbit, a Pacadenia (sic) Calif. teacher is to marry Lon O. Bobo of San Gabrial, Calif. and will live there. If she gets what she deserves he will have to be a very fine husband.
Dr. and Mrs. Charles B. Branson of Lincoln, Neb. announce the marriage of their daughter Rachel Marion to Carroll Carson Gilbert, Apr. 27th, 1935 at Greely, Colo. Rachel was librarian at the college. She is a grand-daughter of my sister Rachel Nesbit Young who resided at Highland, Kansas most of her lifetime. She is a charming young woman and he is to be congratulated.
Mrs. Virginia Kenneth, 432 East Dover Street, Monroe City, Mo. had not been well. Her daughter, Essie May from Dryden, Wash. spent Christmas with her. Walter May, her son, is home with her. Her daughter Stella m. Edward Lenard. Her daughter ?anye m. Claude Watson of Welsh of Okalahoma, (sic) children are Parl (sic) grad. from High School last year. Earl grad. High School 1935. Irene is a junior. Claude Jr. a freshman. .......... Kenneth is home with his mother. Another son m. Man Van Slicke. We enjoyed the 'Family Letter'. The children were here and read it. We are proud of the Nesbit name. I never heard of a black sheep in the family, but I never did see or hear about a lot of them. Brother Oscar (Painter) and I are the only ones left in our family. On April 3, I will be 80 years old and I am able to do my work and cook for my son most of the time.
Oscar E. Painter. R2 Bolivar, Mo. He had been sick. He has a son James at 4203 Fifteenth Street, and a grandson Vernon at South Bend. I have ..1 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Mrs. May Haray has sent me a lot of data on the Hiram Nesbit family. I wish she could locate his picture also try and locate Laura Speed's daughter, and see if she can get Uncles William's picture. Charley Nesbit will not answer letters.
Mrs Anna Mathews promised me more news about her family, when she heard from Dallas. I can't get an answer from John Y's boys. She sent me a lot, and a picture of her father.
Otis Cartmell and I have little financial aid on the stone wall he erected around the graves on the old farm.
Bulletin No. 19
OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT
Wilber D. Vincent
April 10, 1935.
A CHAT WITH TEACHERS
THEME: HOW CAN A TEACHER PERFORM THE
GREATEST SERVICE TO HER STUDENTS?
Most of us are prone to rely on our experience when confronted with problems to be solved, questions to be answered, or philosophies to be woven. Perhaps we do this too much in the face of the fact that communication has opened a very wide opportunity for assembling the experiences of others, and striking a balance among the related data. At any rate, may I presume to answer this theme question, primarily from my own experience.
As I look back over the years, my memories are chiefly of class-room experiences. Personal contact with teachers and professors did not play a large part in my impressions. A number of teachers, however, left permanent imprints upon my mind, and I think upon my personality and character, by the things they said and did in the recitation period, in their lectures, and in their life outside of the school. In only two isolated cases did the teacher take the pains to provide a personal interview, and in each of these cases I still cherish the memory with a delight and with a feeling of extreme gratitude for the services rendered. Strange to say, the personal interviews both came with grade school teachers and in that much-maligned one-room school. The first High School teacher to make a lasting impression upon me was a lady principal, Miss Nannie Nesbit, who taught practically all of the subjects in a four years high school where there were not to exceed sixty pupils. Her contribution was, as I remember, soft-voiced, quiet mannered, but gave a thrill of inspired confidence in myself to do things. She was a careful scholar and some way had the power to make each one in the class feel that he was the individual of her extreme solicitude. She had a fine sense of humor and would laugh with us, but not at us. She had an unconscious type of dignity that made one wish to be held in her high esteem. In all of my experiences I have never been so impressed with the need for exact and careful English as in a freshman class under Miss Nesbit. We somehow caught from her the value of preparedness of our daily tasks. We learned something about poise and gentleness. We felt that our conscience was being quickened and tuned up every day in her classes. We did not do the ordinary freshman pranks because she wouldn't like such. We carefully prepared every paper because she made significant remarks wherever a comma or a period was omitted, and then very carefully discussed the meaning of those marks during the recitation period. She opened up broad new fields of reading by merely indicating in a very happy way the fine stories or the fine sentiment that might be found in certain books. And with all of this, she called us "My boys and my Girls", and had pride in us. [Blanks in the original] ...and when I had received a distinct promotion in my line of work, her letter of congratulation was the one that rang the most sincere and was by far the one most appreciated. Miss Nesbit's contribution in the way of service to her students was distinctly sincerity, effective friendship, building of confidence and an active interest in each of her pupils.
Robert Nesbit M.D. of England wanted additional copies of Nisbet House for his children. He is delighted to have an invitation to visit Mr. Robert Chancellor Nesbitt at Nesbit House July 25. Mr. Nesbitt having rented it for a year. Picture us living in the actual place where our ancestors -- yours and mine -- lived for six hundred years and in the very house built by them nearly three hundred years ago on the site of Nisbet Castle. It is today, one of the finest mansions in Berwick Shire. His letter after this visit will be sent in my next.
** ** ** ** **
Col. Patrick Nisbet Hamilton Grant, of, Biel, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland is living in the old ancestral home, having retired from the English Army. He published, Mary Nesbit's (Nisbet's) 'Letters to her Mother', an interesting book. The letters were found one hundred years after they were written.
** ** ** ** **
Dear Mr. Nesbit,
I know that my great grandfather came over about 1770 from Rathfryland, County Down, Ireland, where the family had gone from Fefeshire (sic), Scotland about 1600 or before. My earliest forbear in America was Joseph Nesbitt who settled and died in South Carolina. He was buried in 1788 in York. He married Sarah Miller of South Carolina. They had one son William, who moved to Georgia about 1819. Father and I were born on the same plantation that great grandfather William established in what is now Fulton County, Georgia. I am of the belief, though I have no documentary proof, that Joseph was related to Sir Alexander Nesbit of Dean Hall, South Carolina. If so, I'm probably descended from Nisbet of Dean, who, as you undoubtedly know were noted in Edinburgh as merchants.
My information such as it is, indicates that at least two branches of the family lived in Rathfryland. My branch once owned the estate known as Endale which was later the home of the Bronte sisters, famed as Irish poetesses. We are in some way related to the Arbuthnots whose descendants are in Pittsburgh, Rathfryland as well as Scotland and other countries. The name Samuel occurs several times in my family line, as do also Robert, James, John, Caleb and Allan. I do not believe that I am connected with the Connecticut, New York, New Jersey of Pennsylvania Nesbitts since their days in Ireland.
Clarence R. Nesbitt
6534 Dalzell Place
Lorraine Nesbit, with F. Butterick Co., 333 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago; daughter of James Boyd Nesbit, now living in California. She is a cousin of Evelyn Nesbit Thaw whose father was Winfield Scott Nesbitt. He died when Evelyn was twelve years old. Lorraine promised to call me when she went through Gary but as yet, no call has reached. Also to write to her father for more information. She has a friend Hugh Nisbet in St. Louis whose mother has a full account of the Nisbets for generations. (Lucky woman). Hugh was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She quotes him that Nisbet is the correct spelling. The name derived from the Norman's pronounced Nisbay. Lorraine's grandfather came from Scotland and her grandmother was born in County Down, Ireland.
** ** ** ** **
Harold T. Nesbit M.D. 1617 Medical Arts Building, Dallas, Texas writes, "I like the picture of 'Nisbet House'. My mother is Mrs. George M. Nesbit, East View Street, Pleasantville, New York and my brother Dr. W.M. Nesbit 616 First Central Building, Madison, Wisconsin. His father was George M. Nesbit M.D. who died in Waterloo, Iowa in 1916. His grandfather came directly from Scotland to Waterloo, Iowa".
** ** ** ** **
At Schoolcraft, Mich. several fine families of Nesbitts reside. In 1828 John and Robert came from Antrim County, Ireland to the county, and in 1830 their father George (d. 1839), and his wife Susan (d. 1835), with their family arrived, acquiring land five miles north-west of the town. A monument in the cemetery marked Nesbitt attracted our attention as we were recently driving by on the highway, upon inquiring we easily located James Nesbitt, b. May 28, 1847 and learned about the family. We met Mrs. N a daughter Mrs. Southworth a widow and her daughter. Her son an M.D. is there also.
Thomas a son of John, lives at Lawton, Michigan and his son a farmer, lives nearby. This family is fortunate in knowing from whence they came and I hope to get some of its members to get up its history.
** ** ** ** **
Miss Mary J. Nesbit of Allisonville, Indiana wrote she was pleased to have the letter and appreciated it very much. She is a descendant of William Nesbit of Millersburg., Ky. Her father Joseph A. was the village doctor there for many years. Evan Woollen Sr. has a fine home in the land of his ancestor John Nesbit purchased from the government. A newspaper carried the story recently that Mr. Evan Woollen Jr. had lost an eye as the result of an auto accident in the Southern route to attend a meeting at Yale. This family is one of the best in Indiana.
** ** ** ** **
Nisbet Grammer, 53 years, died of a heart attack at Buffalo, N.Y. April 21, 1935. He was president of the Eastern Grain Elevator Corp. He was born at Evansville, Indiana on October 24, 1881 and was connected to Mr. Edward Nesbit of that city. He graduated from Yale University in 1901.
Robert H. Nisbet (N.A.)
Se. Kent Conn.
This is not an attempt to answer your letter, rather to just acknowledge its receipt. My wife has been ill; and then I took a turn at it and NO letters have been answered for a long time. Now I am trying to clean up.
While with my mother in Providence - - we went into the family history a bit. My grandfather William Nisbet - - who in his earlier days was forester for the Earl of Selkirk wrote an autobiography, in which he tells what little he knew of the family - - - and my mother provided me with a lengthy paper telling all that any of us know of our ancestors.
I have a very old coat of arms in the face of an old clock - - or rather below the face - - and could send a sketch of it if you cared for it - - I simply can not at this time copy the pages my mother gave me - - - and it might not interest you if I did. If any data I have can be of use to you - - or of interest; another time I can give you some of it. I would like to know more of our family but just now have to confess a great ignorance on the subject.
I'll try to tell you more another time.
Robert Hogg Nisbet.
(I asked him to send material and I would copy same. OBN)
** ** ** ** **
Mrs. Daysie Nesbitt-Strader, Owingsville, Kentucky. My father James John Nesbit, Bath Co. Kentucky. March 22, 1844. His father James Monroe Nesbit only child of Hugh and Maria (McAllister) son of James and Sara (sic) Logan who was a native of Ireland. She promised to come and see me when she visits her daughter at Elmshurst, Illinois, but I have not seen her.
** ** ** ** **
Clarence C. Nesbitt M.D. Pal...yna, New York whose grandfather was John, with my father Samuel, and his brother James, Adams, (sic) and Allen and their sister Dorcas came over some time in the 40s. There have been other children but I do not know their names. This branch came to Hamlin, Monroe Co., New York. They came from Ballybay, Cavan Co., Ireland. My father told me the family originally came from Scotland. He ordered three additional pictures that his children might have one
** ** ** ** **
Don't waste your money by sending it to Annie Walker Burns Bell at Washington D.C. She will send you some dates but will find it necessary to search something else for $1.00 or something else for $10.00 and so on.
** ** ** ** **
Mrs. W.O Nisbet 517 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, N.C. wrote for a picture and promised me their history. She says Dr. Charles R. Nisbet of their city is a descendant of Dr. Charles Nesbet of Dickinson College. The Carolina Nisbets have an interesting history which I hope someone will write up. I have been told Dr. Vernon Nisbet has the time but he answers not.
42 W. Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona.
May 13, 1935.
Dear Dr. Nesbit:
Your information concerning the Nesbit family interested me very much and I should like to have the picture.
I am the daughter of Ira A. Nesbit a son of William O. Nesbit and his wife Elizabeth Morgan Nesbit. Elizabeth Morgan was the daughter of .......... Morgan and Lucretia Crawford Morgan. Thomas Nesbit seems to have been a foster son, born in December 1804. One story is that his parents were killed by Indians and whether his name was Nesbit, or Nesbit was the name of the Presbyterian minister who reared him nobody seems to know. There is also a story of a sister but nothing is known of her. William O, Nesbit was born in Kentucky or possibly Tennessee December 26, 1825 and they seem to have come to Sullivan Co., Indiana a few years later, probably before 1830. So little is known beyond my grandfather Thomas and it was always such a closed book that some of us thought there must have been a reason, it may have been just carelessness. I am trying to learn something of the Morgans and may learn something.
They were very ardent believers in the Christian Church and since that Church was started by Walter Scott in Kentucky, I am trying to find some trace of them in that way, but it is a long slow process from here.
If all of this story or part of it can be fitted into anything you have, I shall be most glad about it. Had I known of you last summer when I drove from Chicago to Southern Indiana, I should have tried to see you.
Mrs. E.E. Ellinwood, R.F.D. 6, Phoenix and A.L. Nesbit, 1022 N. Tenth St., Phoenix, Arizona might be interested. Mrs. Louie Gage Dennit, grand daughter of Simeon Hiatt Nesbit may be also, but I do not have her address now. I shall try to show her your letter.
I hope to go to England and Scotland next summer. If I do I shall probably want more information from you. I am so in hopes that you can tie my branch of the family in some where.
Glenn A. Nesbit
(Teacher, Public Schools)
** ** ** ** **
Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt, Box 215 Little Falls, N.J. says that her family came a century or more ago from Deer Park. Castle Comer, Killkenny, Ireland.
** ** ** ** **
Mrs. Jane Wiley Cline, 2418 Pine Hurst Blvd, Shreveport, La. is trying to trace the ancestry of Thomas Nesbit, b. 1769 m. Constance Bennington in Ky. Went to Monroe Co. Indiana and died there. His daughter Sarah was Mrs. Cline's grandmother.
** ** ** ** **
Anna B. Nisbet, Undercliff, Irvington-On-Hudson, N.Y. wrote Miss Mabel McLaughlin in 1933 that her Uncle William Nisbet has a book on the family. Wish she would tell me what it is and give me her uncle's address.
A FINE SCOTCH-IRISH CANADIAN FAMILY
May 3rd., 1935
Dear Mr. Nesbit,
When I sent you the Montreal papers I intended to follow immediately with a letter but an interruption prevented me doing so at that time, and then with the closing up of a busy winter season of various activities, the time passed so quickly that I did not realise what a long interval had passed until I received your letter.
I am a busy minister's wife of the United Church of Canada, Union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches in an area that has felt keenly the economic depression that has prevailed so long, and which has meant for us increased time and devotion to our church work.
I read your letter to Mrs. Marion Nesbit of St. Michelle Road, and was much interested, so much so that I was anxious to get some further information and determined to take the liberty of writing you. I thought upon reading the account of the unveiling of the Memorial Tablet to Alexander Nisbet the Herald in historic old Grayfriars by the Lord High Commissioner that you would be interested to know that he whom we knew on this side of the water as John Buchan of literary fame, was to be your neighbour in the important position of King's representative as Governor General of Canada. The mayor's conference was something unique and we are not sure yet what it may have accomplished.
What I have to tell you of our branch of the Nesbitt family is largely tradition to us, having come down from the father and grandfather. We have often hoped to verify it and make it history, but have not yet had the opportunity to do so. Perhaps with the wealth of information indicated in your letter we may be able to do that. You have put a great deal into small compass in the material in the letter to Mrs. Nesbitt, and to any other family looking for general logical information you have given many suggestions.
The branch of the family to which I belong came from Co. Cavan, Ireland, and the family seat was Lismore House. They left Scotland with James I when he became King of the United Kingdom, and came to live in England. Later, about the time of Cromwell, they went to Ireland.
The name is derived from the French 'ney' and the Scotch 'ness' meaning nose plus the Anglo Saxon term 'bit' meaning bit or piece. The combined terms 'Ness-bit' are supposed to have become the surname of this people or clan, when one of their number at the risk of his life saved William II when hunting wild boar in the new forest. The King was being pursued and in danger. His companions, with the exception of one man fled and sought safety; but this one man stayed by him, slew the boar and saved the King's life. The King dismounted from his horse, told the man to kneel before him and to remove his helmet, which differed from those worn by other clans in that it had a piece which came down to protect the nose. The King then touched him on the shoulder with his riding whip and said, 'Arise Sir Nesbit'. This incident too is the foundation for the design of the Coat of Ams -- three boars heads.
I have some silver on which is engraved the crest -- a right forearm in armour with the hand holding a mace, and underneath is written the motto "Je Mainiendrai", which is supposed to date back to Norman times. It is a neat and imposing crest.
Lismore Castle must have been a fine old structure in its day, but it is now in ruins. Quite a town, known as Lismore has grown up around it. The estate which is said to contain 2,000 acres is now broken up into farms. Many of the landed gentry of Ireland were characterised as "Absentee Landlords" who spent most of their time in England and around the court, and were practically visitors on their estates. Some of our people were among them. There is a strong military strain -- in my people at least. They are very fond of horses and very clannish with any who bear the name Nesbit. When they came to this country they knew very little or nothing about tilling the soil; there were few industries; and the professions offered little. They brought a few tenants out with them hoping to establish an estate like the one they left, in this country, their slaves. (sic) The lumbering industry was the most lucrative in the early days and they engaged in that with some success; but most of our family knew more about spending money than making it. However, there must have been quite a lot of latent ability in them, for they have done remarkably well, and are very comfortably off and are represented in nearly all of the professions.
This branch of the family Church of England and one very interesting figure, Canon Andrew Nesbitt was said to be the most high church clergyman in Canada. My grand father Robert Humphries Nesbitt was the first to come to Canada. He was the youngest son of his family and I think was a graduate in medicine from Dublin. He located finally on a beautiful spot on the Ottawa River, which is now just eight miles from the capital city Ottawa. The city has grown up since that time, so you see what a wise choice he made. In 1870 the terrible fire swept the country, and fire came with such rapidity over what was then the primeval country, that almost all that they had brought over with them was destroyed; which judging from what was told me by my father, must have been considerable. They hastily buried most of their treasured possessions in the ground and fled for their lives. Among other things rescued was the large family bible which still bears a mark of the event, a large hole burned in the fine leather covering. The family Coat of Arms was another treasured possession. It was damaged to some extent and they took it afterwards to a silversmith in a distant town to be retouched, but they were unable to restore it, and we have no knowledge of what happened to it after that.
My grandfather was also name Robert Humphries Nesbitt, and his wife was Mary Bishop. The Bishop family though is one I am very proud of and are among my favourite cousins. Grandfather's eldest brother John retained the old house near Ottawa, and is mentioned in a history of the country in which he lived and in which the City of Ottawa is located, as a fine old gentleman and a superb horseman. My grandfather went further north along the river and settled with a fine colony of people from the Old Land, almost all of them army officers of distinction. One family G.W. Monk, cousin of Lord Monk the then Governor General of Canada was parliamentary representative for his country for 24 years. He had quite a noted brother, Wentworth Monk, scholar and teacher who was a great friend of grandfather, and whose portrait now hangs in the National Gallery in Ottawa. The portrait was painted by the famous artist Holman Hunt, as a mark of his appreciation of their acquaintance and friendship when they met in Palestine. Grandfather retired in later years with grandmother and went to Toronto, but when they became too elderly to live alone they came to live with us in the old home. I have always been so glad we were able to have them with us again when we were older and when we were able to appreciate and to know them better.
Grandfather had three sons, William Henry Nesbitt of Winnipeg, Robert Ambrose Nesbitt and Richard Humphries Nesbitt of Ottawa, and one daughter Mrs. B.W.J. Rogers formerly of Toronto now of Ottawa. My father was Richard Humphries Nesbitt and my mother was Catherine Ferguson. The Fergusons came from Sterling and also have quite an interesting history. Both families have always been keen politicians, the Nesbitts ardent Conservatives and my mother's people, the Fergusons, just as ardent Liberals. One of whom was a Speaker of the British Columbia Legislature a few years ago during the Liberal régime.
I am the older of my generation and was named after my grandmother Nesbitt. My brother John Henry Nesbitt one and a half years younger is still living near Ottawa. One sister Georgianna Nesbitt MacLaughlin is living in the west, and my youngest brother Robert Humphries Nesbitt, in Toronto. Humphries has been a family name for ages. I too feel strongly on the point of family. The family is the first unit of society and without it there can be no stability in either state or church.
Now, my own immediate family! I have three lovely children, just now at university age and attending McGill University of this city. Richard Nesbitt Dobson 22. Nesbitt is now writing his fourth years examinations in engineering (general course). He is hoping to get his degree this year and I think he should. He has always done well on his examination in former years, and in his first year was told by the Dean of his faculty that his standing qualified him for the Robert Bruce Scholarship. He would like very much to take a two year course in the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and get his Master's Degree there. I don't know whether or not we shall be able to arrange it. Catherine Janet Dobson 21 got her degree in arts last year and is the possessor of the Silver Arrow for archery in college sports, and a member of the champion basketball team for the inter collegiate basketball in Canada.
Anna Ethelwyn Dobson 19 just finished writing third year arts yesterday. They all entered university at sixteen and none have ever missed a year. Janet would like to enter Law next year after this years rest at home; and Anna's ambition is to specialise in English and become a literary critic or a reader for some large publishing firm. It will mean a lot of study; almost a Ph.D. I imagine, but they are all fond of their work.
My husband and I are both graduates of Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario; Mr. Dobson in arts and theology. My major subjects were English and history with lectures in philosophy from the noted lecturer Professor John Watson; also lectures in Religious Knowledge from Professor Ephrian Scott who is now with Union Seminary, New York. We also had the pleasure of lectures from him last summer during our holidays when he had charge of a course on New Testament History at a summer school at the lovely town of St. Ann's near this city.
We have both Scotch and Irish Nesbitts amongst us. The mother of one of our Senators is a Nesbitt from Ireland and knows something of our family, the portrait of another, a Scotchman, hangs on the wall of Manitoba University as recognition of his being one of its founders. A niece of Lord Willingdon, now Viceroy of India is one of the Berwich Nesbitts. Isabella Nesbitt I think was her name, she was one of the Berwich Irish families, and married Col. Osborne, Aide de Camp to Lord Willingdon while he was here as Governor General.
We had the pleasure of attending the first State Drawing Room held by Lord and Lady Willingdon on assuming office and of being presented to Lady Bessborough when she attended one of our Womens' Canadian Club Meetings here. I have always been so proud of having the opportunity of hearing our Consul give a most fascinating address on Marseilles, the seat of his former consulate a few days ago. He gave another interesting address to a group in the city which I was very sorry not to have the opportunity of hearing. It was a comparative study of Machiavelli and Montaigue, so you can imagine what interest it would hold.
The Hon. Wesley Frost is a very popular lecturer here, and is a man of very fine culture and splendid platform appearance. On Thursday evening of this week at our Y.W.C.A. I heard a delightful address from the wife of your Vice Consul here, Mrs. Keeley, on the Near East, where she spent eleven years with her husband in consular service. She has a very charming personality and I felt she was one I should like to know better. When in Ottawa, where Mr. Dobson had a pastorate just preceding the one here, I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Linnell, wife of your consul there at the time and she very kindly helped me with the programme for one of my church teas at my home, by singing a group of songs. She has a lovely soprano voice.
After two previous pastorates it was interesting for me to go back to my home city for seven years. It was during that time that the union of the three denominations took place and although it is said that, "A prophet has no honour in his own country", I was honoured with the presidency of the first Minister's Wives Association after the Union. It was quite a venture to undertake the task which seemed at first to promise difficulties but we ended the year with the finest spirit prevailing and no mention or thought of the previous divisions. This year I am president of the Montreal Minister's Wives' Association which is quite a large body and includes also wives of the College Professors.
I fear I have been saying too much about myself and work just now. There is much that I might write of concerning others that would be of more interest to you. I am gathering information for a biography of one of our clan, a very interesting character who did much for this country. I had a letter from a cousin, Evelyn Nesbitt, containing a bit of early news of four brothers who went to Ireland some centuries ago and I passed the letter on to another Nesbitt family here who are uncertain about their lineage and I shall send it to you when it is returned to me, to see how it coincides with information you have.
Some of our people who have retained the old spirit of adventure have found outlet for that adventurous enterprise in missionary work and it has achieved both success and distinction, and done much, both for their churches and their country. Military pyrotechnics have lost much of their attraction; war has lost its glory, and has come to be looked upon as a horror and something to be decried, missionary endeavour with its world interest, its broad vision, its study of all peoples and races, their customs, governments, literary, artistic, musical, and religious culture, to a certain extent replace the old activity.
Concerning some things I have said here, I would like to repeat that they are to us as yet only tradition and may not be quite correct. There are some facts upon which I would like to enlarge sometime. A few years ago, a cousin, Albert Nesbitt, undertook to look up the family tree and had a direct link back to a point between 1400 and 1500. He died a few years ago, but I think I might get access to his information if his sister is at her home now. She is alone since her parents and her brother died, and travels quite a lot. I shall be glad to pass on the information when I get it.
I should like very much to meet your wife and daughter, Allegra. What pretty names! Alice and Allegra! Have you an Edith too, an "Edith with golden hair"?
I am enclosing snaps of my family, Nesbitt and Janet recently got their graduation photographs. They are very fine; at least I think so. Anna hopes to get hers next year. Janet and Anna may possibly go to Syracuse early in June to a fraternity convention. Janet and Anna are both Kappa Gammas, which is international, and several of your prominent women are among the alumnae of the same fraternity. Mrs. Hoover, wife of the former president I think is one. There are a number of girls going and I may motor over with them as a chaperone. Nesbitt is a Delta Sigma Phi, also an international fraternity.
I am sending for a copy of Nisbet House and would also like a snap of Samuel Nesbitt's Kentucky House. I would very much like a copy of the Heraldic Plates, and later the girls want me to get some of the Tartan I have seen color copy of. That was some years ago and I am not quite sure just now of the pattern and arrangement of colors.
How could I obtain Robert Nesbitt's "History of the Nesbitt Family"? Some of the other books you mention I should like to get later. Your family letter is so interesting that I should like also to be on your mailing list and shall be glad to help with expense of output. I am enclosing postal order for $2.00 for Nisbet House and postage. Will you kindly keep any change that is left over as a D.A. account for further expenses.
I shall be pleased to help with any information I can at any time, and I want to thank you for your interest and the work you have done to revive the name of a great and a brave people.
(Mrs. W.A.) Ethel Nesbitt Dobson.
JAMES NISBET AND REBECCA LEWIS FAMILIES
Posey County, Indiana
Mrs. Alma Potter and her daughter, Dorotha of 312 E. Spring St., Princeton, Indiana, both wrote they liked the letter. Dorotha likes to hear about the "black sheep". The black sheep are always hard to find, because so many are like my sister Nancy, she has always kept our "skeleton closet" securely locked and it's mighty hard to find any bad ones.
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Ruth Nesbit of Cynthiana, Indiana was another of the younger generation who sent a nice letter. She graduated from High School last year. A daughter of Charles Nesbit! Her brother Charles was married recently. He was in Gary for a couple of days in June. He reports all well at home. One of our neighbors complained that the children are not taught to write these days. I showed her Ruth's letter and she changed the statement to "some children". This reminds me of an incident that happened in our yard. I was taking an elderly lady through the iris and she was wanting to know the name of each. We came to Jane Williamson who was not yet in bloom and I said "like all women she is late". She quietly retorted, "some women". We had about sixty friends in for breakfast to view our iris. Will be glad to trade iris with any admirers.
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Mrs. Flora Fisher has embarked in the restaurant business at Cynthiana, Indiana and Mabel writes, "her Irish Stew is a riot". Eat there if you have a chance. The Posey Co. Nesbit women are all good cooks. I drive down to the Posey County Nesbit Reunion the Sunday before Labor Day; this year it will be September 1st and what food they do bring. If you can plan to get there.
Mrs. Eva Newman is growing peonies at Poseyville and my opinion of her is that she can do anything she goes at well.
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Mrs. Sarah Reel and her dau. Edith Benn are at 4282 Almond St., Riverside, Calif. We have enjoyed an old fashioned breakfast consisting of hominy grits, toast, Arkansaw [sic] sorghum, hot cross buns, coffee with real cream; and oranges. For dinner we are having fresh green sugar peas, beefsteak with brown gravy, apple dumplings with lemon sauce. Get out your pencils, she was born Sept. 9, 1837. She in unlike the woman in Brown Co., Indiana. We were being taken up to "Bear _allow" by James Bond, County coroner, undertaker, restaurant keeper, taxi driver, and guide. As we passed the County "Poor Farm" an inmate was at the gate. Joshua said that the man had been an inmate for fifty years. His mother still in town. Mrs. Nesbit said "I would like to talk with her if she still has her faculties". To which Joshua replied, "Madam, she never had any". Sarah Reel by all account had and still has an abundance of faculties.. With your pencils note her birthday and get a letter, card, or present to her. Wouldn't hurt to send it in advance. Have three fine letters describing visits to her. Two by Mildred Nesbit and one by Alfred Endicott. Most of you dyspeptics will be drinking milk at fifty and sixty and calling yourselves old.
Mrs. Ann Louisa Nisbet McLaughlin 321 N. Main St., Henderson, Kentucky, b. June 1849 spends most of her time in a wheelchair. She likes Fanny May, chocolates and other good things, and has a yard full of nice flowers. A post card or letter does her heaps of good, and believe me, she's got more than her share of faculties. That is why some of us are so dumb.
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Onie Williams of Owensville, was killed January 1, when his car was hit by a train. Frances, his widow and his two children Anna May and Thomas and his parents Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Williams have our sympathy.
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Copy of a letter written by Mrs. William Magee Endicott (Mary Ann Rose)
at the age of 85 to Miss Mabel McLaughlin. William is 86
May 1, 1935.
Will write a few lines to all of you. We are neither one very well, just barely keep up most of the time. Will has been poorly all winter - lays down quite a lot. Says he doesn't hurt much, but has a very bad cough, and is so weak. He doesn't do very much, just what I can't do. We help each other with the work. The children are very good to come and look after us - did when we were both down. I had the flu I think. Will did too. He thinks it is just a deep cold ails him.
Hopes this finds you all well and happy. Would love to see you. Sure hope to some time.
We are having lots of rain. A little cool tonight. We have fifty young chicks. Get over five dozen eggs a day. Have only three hens sitting now. Not trying to raise so many this year.
Well my hands cramp so I will have to close this time.
With lots of love to all.
MARY ANN ENDICOTT.
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February 15, 1935.
Dear Sir, and Relative,
Your 'Family Letter' reached me in due course. I have been much distressed at not being able to acknowledge its receipt - to tell how greatly I enjoyed every part of it. My illness has been wearing me down and I've not had the strength to do so. This afternoon I have asked my wife to again put the machine beside me so that I might write you, also Mabel, brief letters. Having come to the place where I can no longer keep up my correspondence .... write any bits of verse or story ... or assemble any more data for my memoirs ... the hours of the days and nights seem very long; and I suppose too ... makes me more sensitive to my weaknesses and suffering. There are so many things one wants to do when they reach the stage where it is no longer possible to do them. How I wish I had become more 'family conscious' earlier in life ... that is that I might have had the opportunity of knowing you all better ... such a 'hobby' as getting better acquainted with the living and learning more about our forebears might have been the 'foil' needed to have made the going easier .. have offset some of the endless nerve wrecking strain that a strenuous business life put upon me ... might have in some measure been a preventative medicine that would have kept me going for many years. On Monday next, the 18th I will have reached my 68th anniversary - much too young to be shelved isn't it? I cannot foresee what is ahead ... a complexity, of ailments may bring me to an end of the road soon, or it may be that I shall have to suffer them indefinitely, no one seems to know .. that is hidden in the veil that surrounds us in life. There seems nothing we can do about it all, but wait as patiently as one can ... and to be patient is hard for me to be.
If by circumstance or fate I may come to a full recovery that will enable me to carry on as I could a while ago, I shall hope to be the recipient of what-so-ever you may have to offer the 'family' and to, if I can, reciprocate with anything informative that may come to me. Meanwhile for this time I have about reached the limit of my strength and would better stop, but hoping that you will sense from this how much I appreciated your 'family letter' and how interested I am in all of the happenings in which your family has a part.
Roseanne, my wife, is as completely shut in as I am; her job is a never ending one ... nursing me thru the weeks and years. February 5th, just passed was our 45th anniversary ... 45 years ... of them, those filled with sunshine ... others as now ... when the clouds hang heavy about us, but through them all she has been the anchor that moored me to life .. 'tis only by the grace of God and her valiant help that I am still here. My .... our love to you and yours.
Alfred Berry Endicott
1927 Dartmouth Avenue.
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Mrs. Beatrice Nesbit Oppenheim our youngest daughter came home from Singapore via Switzerland and England for a visit, leaving her husband Alexander, in England visiting his parents at Manchester. He had been in Zurich and Cambridge Universities. He is a Professor of Mathematics at Raffles College, Singapore and on ten months leave. He arrived June 1st. He had a fine visit and enjoyed them very much. Beatrice and Alexander are at the University of Chicago for the summer. Will return to Singapore in late summer. Beatrice has been away four and a half years; in Edinburgh, Scotland and three years in Singapore with vacation trips to Japan, China and places near them. They have many things to relate which they do in a very entertaining way. Beatrice did not get into Scotland and did not bring the tartans. Professor Oppenheim was at Bayler College, Oxford for seven years and received his Doctors from Chicago after being there three years.
Dr. Reed Nesbit of Ann Arbor appeared before a long list of surgical and scientific societies this year presenting papers on unusual interest and value. There are more than forty Nesbits in the A.M.A. Directory of Physicians and Surgeons in the U.S. and Canada. (Beatrice and Reed should be under Samuel F. Nesbit).
This House, originally called Nisbet Castle, in some documents Nisbet House, and in one, The Place of Nisbet, is situated in the Land of Nisbet, two miles south of Duns, the county town of Berwickshire. The entrance gate is on the road which leads to the River Tweed and the border with England, ten miles distant.
It was built during the reign of Charles I by Sir Alexander Nisbet of that ilk with the aid of his wife Dame Katherine Swinton on the foundations of the old Castle of Nisbet which had stood there for many centuries.
It is a fine characteristic specimen of the picturesque style of castellated architecture which prevailed in Scotland during the seventeenth century, and is in a state of complete preservation. Signs of defence are visible in the numerous shot-holes, and the burn that curves across the park is evidence of the moat which at one time surrounded the castle.
In 1774 the arrangements of the castle were remodelled and a square tower was added at the western end. An entrance door was provided on the south side, which is now the front of the house. A full description is given by MacGibbon and Ross in their authoritative work, "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland".
Sir Alexander Nisbet was the eldest son of Sir Phillip Nisbet who married in 1582 Elizabeth Haldane, daughter of John Haldane of Gleneagles, Perthshire, where Broderick Chinnery-Haldane is today the present Laird. According to Nisbet's Heraldry, Sir Alexander "was most conspicuous for his bright parts and dutiful loyalty to his Sovereign King Charles I" and, in his own words "suffered most sadly both in his person and estate to the utter ruine (sic) and undoing of himself, family and children".
With the defeat of the Royalist cause, the lands of Nisbet were lost to the family and though, after many years of exile, Sir Alexander in 1660 petitioned Charles II for restoration of his estate, it finally passed into other hands.
The stone bearing the Nisbet Arms, placed over the entrance by Sir Alexander, though removed from its position, still reposes in a good state of preservation in the burial vault adjoining the House.--- A description from Scotland.
Upon the lands where the House stands the Nisbet family may have had its beginning. Certain we are that the land was in its possession for 600 years before the House was built about 300 years ago. Have a fine photograph 8 x 10, a reproduction from Alexander Nisbet's Heraldic Plates, which was taken from a pen drawing in MacGibbon and Ross book. At a $1.00 each, 3 for $2.00 at same address. Have had orders from 12 states and two foreign countries with several repeats. They all like it.
Otis B. Nesbit, F.A.C.P., M.D.,
444 Jackson St., Gary, Indiana
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT THE PICTURE
"It is a thing of beauty". Rev. S.A. Nesbit, Oakland, California.
"Yesterday's mail brought the beautiful Nisbet House picture. I took it right down and had it framed. It's great. We all appreciate it very much".
N.L. Nesbit, Richmond, California.
"I received the picture alright [sic]. I liked it immensely. It provides a setting for dreams of the old hairy- chested Nesbitts who butched their enemies and cattle with equal 'sangfroid'".
Charles T. Nesbitt, M.D., Wilmington, N.C.
"I think it is excellent and I'm sure there should be a number of clan who will be glad to get it. Mrs. Nesbit thinks you have made great strides this past year for the Nesbit cause".
Rev. John Pratt Nesbit, Princeton, Indiana.
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The insert is the picture of the family shield cut in stone and placed over the door by Alexander Nisbet. When John Ker acquired the place in 1652 he had this stone, on which they were carved, removed and placed in the burial-vault adjoining the House, A.N. for Alexander Nisbet and D.K.S. for Dame Katherine Swinton, his wife.
The picture of the house originally appeared in the Messers MacGibbon and Ross publication on "Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland", and were reproduced in "Alexander Nisbet's Heraldic Plates" by Ross and Grant in 1892. It was from these plates that the photograph was made.
Nisbet House is still described by Dr. Robert Nesbitt as one of the show places of Southern Scotland. The lands upon which it has been built was known as West Nisbet and had been held by the family for about six hundred years. The house was built on the site where the castle had been demolished. It was built probably between 1633 and 1641, about the time Alexander Nisbet was knighted. Upon these lands the family is said to have had its origin.
Send Family Data
If your family history is not contained in the Nesbit books listed, send me a card telling me about your family, or who has the information, and if I do not have your family line I will write you. If I have any information you want, ask for it. Send me what you have.
444 Jackson Street
Gary, Indiana, U.S.A.
Family Letter No. 3.
O.B. Nesbit. 444 Jackson Street,
December 31 1935.
Wilbur Dick Nesbit
Used to think that Christmas was nothin', but a day
To get a lot o' presents an' to give a lot away.
Shouted "Merry Christmas!" an' helped to trim the tree--
Just a day o' Christmas was all that I could see.
Since I found that Christmas is more than any day,
Christmas came to our house--an' never went away.
Struck me a sudden that friendliness an' cheer
Was meant to be a duty more than one day in the year!
If we're happy Christmas, why not the day before
An' the day that follows, an' so on, evermore?
Got to thinkin' of it--an' that is why I say
Christmas came to our house--an' never went away.
Lots of us go ploddin' along the road o' life
An' think that one day o' gladness will make up for all the strife--
But the Christmas spirit can show you how you need
To make each day a Christmas in thought an' word an' deed--
Used to pack the kindness in camphor balls next day
Till Christmas came to our house--an' never went away.
We just keep on given' to strangers an' to kin
An' find that what is goin' out is always comin' in;
Makes the sunshine brighter where we've got to live
To learn that given' 's keepin'--what you keep you give.
Holly in December, an' violets in May--
An' Christmas came to our house an' never went away.
Used to think that Christmas was nothin' but a date
Till I learned that truly you would never have to wait,
But that it's the spirit that never stays apart
If you let it find you, an' keep it in your heart.
Since I found that Christmas is more than just a day
Christmas came to our house --an' never went away!
Copyright P.P. Volland 1920
Copies of Letter No. 2 and this edition will be sent on request, as long as our supply lasts
NISBET FAMILY LETTER NO. 3
December 31, 1935.
Our Christmas party for the children on Jackson Street in our block was a success. Twenty eight were able to attend. Seven were absent on account of sickness or away from the city. Allegra was at her best and had taken great interest in having the things just right. Ella Vincent came over from Valporaiso to help. They decorated the big table in the basement with a snow scene of trees, of house, of animals, of children etc. It seated eighteen, six boys were seated and another four older girls who helped out; four mothers ate upstairs. Alice had baked cookies. We served brick ice cream with Christmas centers, cookies, candy and nuts. We gave each a sack of candy and a small present. Their ages ranged from two to fifteen.
Ruth Rockwell came home on Saturday and decorated the Christmas tree in the dining room. Sunday, she and Allegra went to Chicago to a birthday dinner for Ruth at a friend's. They stayed all night, going to Wisconsin to be with her aunt and Allegra returning home. Cara and Ella Vincent and Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Roberts and Miss Dorothy were with us for Christmas dinner. The dinner was the best that Alice ever provided.
Rev. Harvey Swanson, pastor of the Uniturian [sic] Church at Buffalo, New York and his wife Dorothy (Wood) were visiting Dr. Parker's. She is a sister of Mrs. Parker. They had come to officiate at the wedding of her cousin Madeline Conroy, of Hammond, to Abraham David Miller a dentist at Joliet, Illinois, a family affair. The wedding party was at Parker's for dinner. Madeline has been a domestic science teacher in the Hammond Schools and is a charming, smart girl. Callers kept us from getting up to the Parker's until 8 o'clock so we missed seeing them.
Mark Nesbit took a motion picture camera up to the Mildred Nesbit wedding at Colusa, California last summer and took a picture of my brothers, Samuel A. and Edward T., their families, sister Nannie, and some friends. I have a copy. The Roberts took the Vincent girls home with them and showed them these pictures and others. We had a one hundred foot film run of our family before Beatrice and Judith left, but a balky camera ruined it and it was not a success. If Reed Nesbit, Leon Young, and others of my immediate families will send me copies of any strip of their families, I would be pleased to assemble a family picture. Please keep it in mind. I hope we can get a motion picture of the Family Reunions as they are held, too. Don't you think it would add interest?
We had a white Christmas. A light snow fell all day and night, Tuesday. The temperature was about eighteen degrees above zero at five o'clock Christmas morning and a blizzard was upon us. The temperature dropped rapidly and was near zero by 8 a.m. when it began rising and by seven p.m. was up to twenty five. This morning the sun is shining, the sky clear, but it's around zero again.
Rev. John Pratt Nesbit, 215 N. Prince St., Princeton, Ind. would like to hear from descendants of Alexander Nisbit who settled in Georgia and are members of Sir Alexander Nisbet's family.
REV. WILLIAM NESBIT VINCENT pastor of the Presbyterian Church Fort Wayne, Indiana, spoke at the Men's Dinner in the 43rd Ave., Presbyterian Church here. We attended. He made a good speech. Is son of a missionary. Lived many years in S..., his mother Mary Nesbit. Wrote to his aunt Mrs. Mary Nesbit MacDonald, Tekamah, Neb. Her grandfather John Nesbit brot (sic) from Ballabay, Ireland when two years. Settled in Bradford Co., Pa. the locality name Ballabay. Uncle Andrew David dead. Richard G. in Cannon City, Col. (Hope he sends me data on family including dates and marriages. O.B.N.)
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COUSIN SARAH REEL who celebrated her 98th birthday Sept. 9, 1935 and her daughter Mrs. Edith R. Benn arrived at 208 South Race Street, Princeton, Indiana from California, to visit the scenes of her childhood and early married life. She belongs to the Rebecca Nisbet Lewis (Aaron) family who came to Posey County. Ind. in 1818 from Harrison Co., Kentucky. Her letters and interviews have been helpful in tracing the Samuel Nisbet family to which I belong. O.B.N.
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LEIGH M. NISBET, 41 Sawyer Rd., Wellsley Hills, Mass. finally responded with an enclosure of a picture of Nisbet House and a bit of his 'tree'. I have been writing him since 1928. I called on his father J.A. Nisbet in his bank at Zenia, Ohio and had a pleasant chat and he directed me to the Talbot Cemetery on the Columbus Pike where a lot of Nisbets are buried. It was one of the best kept country cemeteries I have ever visited. J.A. Nisbet told me his son had a history of his family and he would send it to me. I have written Lee but no response till now. Thanks though late. He is now at the above address and is a professional Boy Scout Executive. He says the family historian is Miss Flora B. Nisbet, Zenia, Ohio. I hope I get a lot of information from her. He says "tradition has handed down the story that they came down from one of the sons of Hardihill (sic), but they do not know which son. According to the records James Nisbet came to So. Carolina about 1787 from County Antrim, Ireland, with his son John who was twelve years of age. In due time John begat; Samuel who moved to Cedarville, Ohio in 1834 with a covenanter delegation. My father John Alexander was his son. My son John died but the blood will pass on in our daughter, Nancy. There are two generations missing between John of Hardihill (sic) and our authenticated records. We have a copy of 'Scots Worthies' which came to America with James".
(Where is it, I want to see it some time. O.B.N.)
He enclosed a letter Jack Nisbet son of William at Richland, Wisconsin, dated Dec. 30, 1922,. William was born in Scotland near Ayr, his mother near Glasgow. His gr. fat (sic) John son of Hugh lived in Dunlap, living in 1992 in Chiwacum, Wash., with an uncle John, Hugh and Tom. If Jack or a Nisbet gets this I hope he will send me more news on his family, and that Miss Flora B. Nisbet will send me all she can on her family. I would like to help out several descendants of the Carolina families.
One of my cousins says my great grandfather had a brother who in early days was editor of a magazine, paper or something in Carolina. If any of you find any reference to such a publication, I would like to learn about it.
MISS BREVARD NISBET of Macon Co., received her A.M. degree in chemistry at Mount Holy, Okla. last June and spent summer travelling abroad. She received her A.B. from Wellsly College. Her father was Otis Brevard Nisbet. He had been dead a number of years. Her mother married Mr. Roy Stubbs. A neighbor brot (sic) me a clipping from the Macon Telegraph containing her picture and the notice. The Nisbet girls do things, as well as the boys. Hope she will send me her 'family tree' that her mother preserved for her.
NESBITT COMMUNITY NEAR MARSHALL TEXAS
MISS MANDE NESBITT, 601 West Grand, Marshall, Texas wrote Mrs. G.L. Cline of Shreveport. "My grand parents were both Nesbitts. My mother Willie Nesbitt, m. a second cousin, William Thomas Nesbitt. My gr. grand parents came from Ireland and settled in Nashville, Tenn. My grand parents came to Marshall, Texas and settled seven miles N.W. of here, known as Nesbitt Community.
Our gr. grand mother came from Scotland. My mother is seventy two.
(Wish you would work up your family tree giving dates and names, achievements, etc. O.B.N).
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MRS. JANE PATTEN, Windsor, Mo., 94 years, October 31, 1935. She is the daughter of John Nesbit and Sarah Steele, son of John and Mary McClure Nesbit son of William Nesbit and Agnes McClintock of Bourbon Co., Ky. William came to Ky. in 1775 returned to Pa., was a Rev. soldier, died in Ky. Jane married Hugh Patten has two daughters. One has taught 30 years in Windsor Schools. These and other facts told in a letter written by her October 19.
The Hiatt Book on Millers of Millersburg contains the William Nesbit family history.
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The Walter Nisbet family and the Lamborn's have had a family reunion at or near Peru, Indiana on the first Sunday after Labor Day for several Years. We attended this year. About sixty were present. A group of nice folks. The Nesbits came down from Wm. Nisbet who came to Canada then to the U.S., lived in Pennsylvania in Kentucky and on to Ohio where he died. Walter Nisbet of Peru is its family historian. He has the old bible and much data. The Lamborn family is fortunate in having a fine lineage which has been well preserved. Atty. W.O. Lamborn, 620-165th Street, Hammond, Indiana has the Lamborn Book which carries the family to England back to 1199.
They enjoyed seeing the Nisbet tartans and the pictures of Nisbet House we took down. The women do know how to prepare good food.
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HENRY GRAY, Book store, 1, Church Field Road East, Acton, London, W.3., England, supplied me with "History of the Nisbet or Nesbitt in Scotland and Ireland", by Alexander Nesbitt of Lismore, Co. Cavan, Ireland, compiled by his widow Cecilia Nesbit, June 1889, printed by Andrew Tredale, 13 The Strand, Torquay, for which I paid £2/2/0, or $7.87 in 1921.
Mrs. Mary James of Paris, Ky. has been searching early Bourbon Co. records and is quite sure that her ancestors William Nisbet, Jeremiah, Nathan, Thomas, Robert and Samuel were brothers. William, Samuel and Jeremiah came down from around Millersburg, Pa. with the Miller and McClintock families. The Samuel in her list is a different Samuel from my gr. grand father who came from Virginia. Her Samuel died in Bourbon Co. and mine died in Harrison. Her Samuel died about twenty years before mine. Her Thomas may be the one Mrs. Cline of Shrevesport, La. is interested in.
Wilbur Dick Nesbit b. Zenia, Ohio, Sept. 16, 1871 d. Chicago 1927; poet; writer, advertiser and toastmaker. Son of Harvey Nesbit, son of John Nesbit: the same John referred to in the Leigh Nesbit notes. I knew Wilbur, and will sometime devote some space to him. I am injecting this in answer to some inquiries. His widow and two sons survive. His poems should be assembled and printed in one volume, which has not been done.
"HELL HOLE OF CREATION" by L.M. Nesbitt, English mining engineer born in Rome 1891, the grandson of an English army officer who settled there in 1848 on retiring from the Bengal Army. He grew up in Italy, attended the Camborn School of Mines. From here he went to Africa, worked in several mines, returned to Italy in 1916. Then to the United States, Cuba, Canada, Venezuela, Columbia and back to Africa; organised an expedition to explore the Abyssinian Danakil of which the "Hell Hole of Creation" is an account. Published by Alfred A. Kopf, New York 1935, price $3.75. If any of you want a hair-raising account of adventure, here it is. He was killed in the crash of a Dutch air-plane in Switzerland, July 1935. Should anyone have more about this family, I would like to have it.
"THE BASTABLE CHILDREN", by Edith Nesbit, an English woman writer of children's stories, who lived in England and died I think in 1933. I have always wanted a volume of her stories. She was read in England as Louise Alcott, was in the United States. This and others of her books have been printed in this country for the first time and I commend them to you who need stories for children. Coward, McCan Inc., publishers. Her biography was written by Doris Langle Moore in 1933. Her husband was Hubert Bland. I have been unable to find this book in Chicago.
A number of my mailing list have not sent me their family history. I am hoping they will do so. I am looking for data on the Wm Nisbet family of Rockbridge Co., Va. James Templer of Virginia, Ohio, Mo., and Kansas. The Auld family and the Nancy Thomas family. If some of you do not evidence more interest, your names are going to be dropped from my list.
Thanks to the great number who have sent cards and letters. They indicate this Nisbetology has many readers. This is a new word coined by Dr. Robert Nesbitt this summer.
My best wishes to you and yours,
Otis B. Nesbit.
444 Jackson Street,
December 31, 1935.
INTRODUCING ALICE NESBIT - MY WIFE
Last year as the bells rang out the old year and rang in the new, we wondered what pleasures the year 1935 would bring us.
Only a few weeks elapsed of the new year when we were delighted, to hear that our daughter Beatrice and husband had been given a ten month leave from Raffles College, Singapore where he is a professor of mathematics, and would spend some time with us here. They purchased 'Round the World' tickets and came via England. Beatrice's letters were filled with interesting tales of their visits at Zurich, Paris, London, Manchester, and six weeks at the University of Cambridge where Dr. Oppenheim worked with his old professor Dr. Hardy of Baliol, Oxford and also lectured there.
The first of January we had the beauties of Florida, told us by Allegra who spent her holiday vacation there. In February we enjoyed hearing of an interesting meeting at Atlantic City of the National Deans' meeting, the superintendents meeting of the N.E.A., which Allegra attended, also having a day visit with her father's old boyhood friend Dr. Dell Kercher in Philadelphia.
The last of April brought Beatrice, telling of her trip from England, and visits with friends at Princeton and the Reed Nesbits at Ann Arbor. Dr. Oppenheim arrived in May in time for the annual iris breakfast, we had for our friends interested in our many varieties.
The last of June we had the pleasure of a fine visit with brother Edward and Effie Nesbit of Colusa, California. While they were here we had a four day trip seeing some of beautiful Wisconsin, and giving sister Effie a chance to visit her brother Samuel Miller at Green Bay.
We spent many days during July and August in Chicago as the Oppenheims took an apartment near the Chicago Campus, while the doctor did some research work at the University of Chicago. The announcement August seventeenth of the arrival of the first grand child was one more added pleasure of the year. We had Beatrice and the dark-haired blue eyed little doll, as our friends call her, in our home for six weeks before leaving. Dr. Oppenheim left for Singapore the first of September to be at Raffles College for the beginning of another year.
The family decided I should see Beatrice and Judith off for Singapore (and take a lot of pictures of Judith by and show and talk about the baby too. Effie brot (sic) a bag of pictures of Mary Templer Nesbit's pictures and everybody had to see them. (I guess Alice got even with her. O.B.N.). I wish we could have had a picture of us four as we entered the North Western Station the morning of October 29th en route for Vancouver, over the Canadian Pacific R.R. The porter remarked there was plenty of room in the apartment if we had not so much baggage. Judith enjoyed the trip and cooed and smiled.
(Grandma says not a cry on the trip. Believe it or not. O.B.N.). I was glad to see the beautiful Canadian Rockies in their garb, with the pine with their long white gloves of snow, as Beatrice spoke of them. My first view of the Canadian Rockies was six years ago in their Autumn colours. We met lovely people en route, many of them going on the Empress of Canada with Beatrice. The morning of November 2nd, after looking over the Empress of Canada and saying farewell to the children, I entered the Princess Alice bound for Seattle, and at four o'clock saw the Empress of Canada at Victoria (on Vancouver Island), sail away, on its long voyage to Hong Kong via Honolulu.
After spending Sunday with cousins Dr. and Mrs. MacWhinnie at Seattle I enjoyed the beauties of Portland for three days visiting Mrs. Whinnie's mother, Mrs. Tessie Williams Ingold. I was interested in meeting a Mrs. Scott of Portland whose husband has cousins (Nisbets) at Dallas, Texas. I found fourteen Nesbetts and one Nisbet in Vancouver, fifteen Nesbetts in Portland, in the phone books.
A night and day trip from Portland brought me to Williams, California, where a ten mile bus trip brought me to Calusa, the home of Edward Nesbit, pastor of the Christian Church. I enjoyed a weeks visit with brother, Effie and sister Nannie who is with them this winter. Nannie had not been in her usual good health, and brother went for her, and their excellent care was bringing her to her usual good condition. I was interested in seeing the country with prune orchards and rice fields. (But, how she talks of California weather. O.B.N.). Sunday, had the pleasure of having brother Edward give an interesting sermon on 'Prayer', sister Effie presiding at the organ. After church, we enjoyed a fine turkey dinner and having our niece Marie, and husband, Mr. B. Butler with us.
A day and two nights at Richmond with our brother, Rev. Samuel Nesbit, and family and a delightful evening with some of the nieces and nephews, at the beautiful home of our nephew and wife, and sons Charles McCray, one of the pleasures of my Richmond visit. Two days with my cousins of the Pierces seeing beautiful Santa Barbara was another added pleasure.
From there to Glendale where I was met by our niece Mrs. Mildred Nesbit Bobo of San Gabriel. After seeing some of Pasadena I was taken to the nieces new home and met her interesting family. I had the pleasure of their company Sunday attending the services at Universalist Church of Pasadena. Three days with my cousins the Gene Woods at Pasadena, they taking me to our friends Miss Ina Martins at N. Hollywood for two days. From Los Angeles to Denver where I visited Mrs. Wm. Hutton and George Hilton's, cousins, for three days, a nice visit to Manhattan, Kansas with Dr. H.T. Groody and family, our son, as we call him. It was here Thanksgiving noon I had first news of Beatrices' safe arrival Nov. 28th at Singapore. A cable received from the professor at home that morning was repeated in a telegram to me, telling of the safe arrival of the children, Beatrice completing her trip around the world. Not everyone can get a telegram dated the same day. It was received Nov. 28, the date of their arrival and the cable was Nov. 28. They are one day ahead of us, and with our time they arrived Nov. 27.
My last stop was a delightful ten hour visit with our new-found cousin Lina Boysen and family at Kansas City. My family met me in Chicago Nov. 30th and took me shopping and to the 'Fat Stock Show' in the p.m., staying for the 'Horse Show' at night. It was exceptionally fine this year.
We had the pleasure of a two day visit from our cousin Mrs. Hardy of Kansas City and I hope all of you Nisbets may have the pleasure of knowing these lovely newly found cousins.
Christmas is over and we find ourselves with many lovely cards from friends and relatives from near and far; maple sugar from our good new friends the Rev. and Mrs. Dobson of Canada; fruit and nuts from California; fruit cake from Ann Arbor Nesbits; air mail from Singapore, and tardy mail from the Oppenheims in Hong Kong; cards from Honolulu from Mrs. Bells Pierce who is visiting the Islands. I hope all who read these letters had as Merry Christmas as we, and that the bells of 1936 will ring in for all; peals of happiness, good health and prosperity.
Uncle Charles and Aunt Maggie Vincent celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary yesterday at Porter, Indiana. We attended. They are looking fine and appear good for many more years. All their children and grandchildren except one, were with them.
Uncle Charlie is the only surviving child of Martin and Mercy Pierce Vincent, a son of Richard and Margaret Alley Wilsie who came to Lake County, Indiana from Milan, Ohio, from New York State. I have four D.A.R. bars on the Pierce line; one on the Seth Pattee line, and joined on the Moses Wood line. Have these if they will take out of one. (sic). I would like to get in touch with anyone having my Vincent history behind Richard.
Your new correspondent,
Mrs. Alice Vincent Nesbit
(She worked so hard with the children's party that she has forgotten all about it. Then I thought she would tell you about Miss Florence Gray who has been in Lorado Taft's Studios for ten years and a school friend of Beatrices's, making a model of Judith's head and Beatrice having her make one for Grandma to have on her mantel. It was made when about six weeks old. Then, how she omitted telling you about the John Wood family reunion; and it's celebration of it's century in this country and her anniversary address as president, is beyond me. I thought she would put it into the letter so you could see who she is. O.B.N.
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JOHN ORR, bookseller, 74 George St., Edinburgh, Scotland supplied me with "Nisbet Heraldic Plates" at $15, "Cloud of Witness", Story of the covenanters at $3.
DIRLETON JOHN NISBET, Lord, 1609-1687. Wrote a volume on "Some Doubts and Questions in the Law". Volume published in Edinburgh in 1698. Portrait in front of the volume in this library.
Letter from Alfred Berry Endicott
A Descendent of James Nisbet of Posey Co. Indiana
(Thank you cousin Alfred. O.B.N.)
Dear Doctor Nesbit:
For the moment I seem to have an added bit of strength... hence I can lie here and attempt a bit of 'one- finger' typing to get off a few Must letters long overdue. How much of it I will be able to do, is problematical, for usually, just when I think that I am coming up - I flop.
I trust that the pencilled acknowledgment of the receipt of the etching of Nisbet House assured you how greatly I appreciated the kindly act. I do not know if I told you this, or not, but it so happened that there was in our house a little frame into which the etching fitted perfectly---just as tho' 'twere made for it, so, it hangs across the room from me, and directly within my sight all the while. Your family letter and the Nisbet data accompanying it is filed in the supplement of my memoirs that I was trying to write to be passed on to my only grandchild - John Paul Endicott. I doubt that I will be able to complete them for him. It is with avid interest that I read all such matter, and I cannot begin to tell you how greatly this new and renewed contact with members of the family has helped me throughout these many weary days and nights of illness. You see, I can conjure up many things to think about in connection with the family and its history...no trouble at all to go a wandering and imagining... not necessary at all to have facts.. legend and tradition form, perfectly, a base upon which to reconstruct the age old movement of our people down across their ancient homelands, then westward across the seas. I conclude in my imaginings, that I will not push any further back, than to the point where the research of yourself, and others, place the probable beginnings of the line...you see, I'm not sure that I want to acknowledge those old Northmen-Vikings-Pirates as being forebears of ours. Yet, after all, they had "what it takes".. initiative.. courage.. skill.. and determination; and most things else needed to enable them to overcome obstacles that stood in their way, albeit tho' some of the methods to do so were pretty barbarous. I wonder if it may not be that our present civilization has not become, in some ways, too soft. Anyway, my undying thanks go to cousin Ann Louisa and Mabel for their having (after discovering me) shared the results of their research with me, thereby awakening my interest in 'family' lore and personages. Likewise, to those others of you who have supplemented that which they did, in so generous a manner.
Well, as I suspected I would, I went "haywire".. the foregoing undated, but it was days and days ago-- now, I am trying it again. It is now July 13th (just for the record in case). Meanwhile, there came to me your family letter of July 1st., and WAS it enjoyed! Read and re-read, until I can almost repeat a lot of it. so much of its contents I would like to comment upon.. starting to do that, of comments there would likely to be no end. However, I cannot refrain from making some.. the tributes to the elderly one who gave of herself so wonderfully to youth through the years.. helping them to build character along with the attainment of knowledge.. why, that makes her (in youthful slang) "tops" to me. Now, she wouldn't appreciate my using the King's English in such a manner, I know, but to such a one as she, it is fitting that obeisance should be made.. no more worthwhile thing is ever done than the building of character, Christian character, into our youth.. it must be that she has done her full share of that, and her memories of her long life 'giving of herself' certainly should be paying her dividends of happiness now. Coupled with the above is your defence of the young High School girl who wrote you from Cynthiana. I wouldn't know just why it should have been said that "children are not taught to write these days".. I have been thinking that a lot of our youngsters can write exceedingly well.. can too, get up on their feet and think, and talk. Before I was put on the shelf I, here in Claremont, was having a perfectly grand time and there amongst the young people and, as an onlooker, imbibing some of their spirit, whether it be listening to their debates - revelling in the music they produced - sitting in on a football rally (whooping it up just as tho' I belonged) - or reading one of the libraries, of which we seem to have our full share. We virtually live upon a college campus - directly across the street is an unimproved area, which, will in time be filled with buildings.. just across this area, one block away, is the campus of Scripps College for women - a very high class boarding school with a student body of approximately 250 and an equipment of buildings superlatively lovely. One half block down and across the street (on our side of the street) is the main building of Claremont Colleges (graduate school and coordinating unit for the colleges, now here to come). This building houses the official staff of Claremont Colleges and a great reference library. Just below lies the campus of Pomona College (the old college) a co-educational institution with a student body, limited to less than one thousand - it too, magnificently equipped in every way. The Pomona library is 'Carnegie' endowed. Down in the village we have a branch of the Los Angeles County Free Library, houses in a specially built building - not large but a 'dream' of a place. Down the street a block and one half away is the home of President Blaisdell of Claremont Colleges.. the same distance up the street finds President Jaqua of Scripps College living.. next door to us lives Mrs. Virginia Judy Esterly, assistant to President Jaqua. So, you see, what with all these surroundings, physical and mental.. I should be able to absorb some degree of education, were I not shut-in away from it all.. to keep youthful, in spirit if not in body, as see (sic) these young folks passing and re-passing our home.
A long time ago, in our mid-western home, I was privileged, for many years, to be a rather active member of our school board-- do you wonder then that I'm FOR the young folks NOW? This old world is in a pretty (pardon the word, but nothing else expresses its condition, for me) rotten shape, but I am betting on our young folks.. they are falling heir to a fearful mess, but they will come thru and clean it up if given one bit of a chance at it. Interesting too, the letter from Mrs. Dobson.. what a mighty lot of good things may be expected from a family group such as she has! I think I was more interested in forecasting the possibilities ahead of such a group, than I was in all the interesting data (and it was interesting) she gave us. Of these comments there seems to be no end (as I said it might be).
In view of your interest in the doings of the members of the clan it may not be amiss if I devote a paragraph to one of them close to me - true it is, he is away out on a limb from the trunk of the tree, but I feel he will qualify for a place on the family roll. I speak of John Paul Endicott, our only grandchild; you have him placed, I think, thru me, back to great grandfather James Nisbet. Just past 17 - graduated from Panama High School in June. Of his accomplishments, his four great grandparents, all living near him here, are just a little proud -- maybe it is not modest to say this, but we are pleased with what he has done - and that's that!.. He made the California Scholarship Federation (an honor society) with 74 points (minimum 40) the highest number ever made in the history of the school .... during his senior year he was High School editor, specialising in editorial writing, of their J.C. - H.S. paper ... as such his entry in the Quill and Scroll magazine's national contest - editorial division - brought him the California first place award ... then he went after the class scholastic record and placed as the highest ranking student in his class of about 250 ... the subject of his address, as Valedictorian, being "Is Education Modernised?". He developed his answer to the question along the line of the newer program of education termed "Integration". As extra curricular work he carried band and orchestra (he plays trombone, as did his Dad, years ago). Then to make sure that he would keep busy he carried on as leader of the Youth group of his church and as 1st Sgt. of the Boys' Brigade of his Congregational Church. And was he tired! Very much so, but he should be fit for anything now, for immediately following the close of school he had a fine outing in the mountains with his brigade ... then with his father and mother drove to Seattle and took a boat trip to Alaska. Just got home last evening, and I'm all ears waiting for him to tell me about the trip ... his doing that will be another of those things I call 'My compensations' for having to lie here all the while. Maybe, it will be that before I send this I will copy a few excerpts from the folio wherein I've written down some of them, and enclose them to you.
My verse and story (?) writing has about passed out ... certain vagaries come up from out of the depths now and then, but strength is lacking to get them down on paper .. the reasoning mind and the decrepit old body seem not able to shift out of low gear. I did a while ago, catch one bit of 'imaginings' and get it down - the thing itself, meaningless, but between the lines I would have you sense that what-so-ever I was seeing was seen because of you, and others, having planted the germ of 'family consciousness' within my mind - when I think of 'family' it is certain that you will be in my thoughts, and I'll be wonderin' if maybe you too are looking back down the corridors of time and be seeing things too - there must be a lot of pictures of those folks one could glimpse if we could focus our minds' eye in that direction. Mabel still uses some kind of rabbit's foot with which to publicise me, for I recently received a Vincennes magazine carrying a bit of a
historical rhyme , "The Curly Headed Drummer Boy", evolved by me in which cousin Will Davis figured - the theme suggested by Mabel - I told her that I was not well pleased with it. It didn't 'jell well'. A trained writer might work out the proper 'meters' on any suggested theme, but as an untrained one I find that if anything at all worth while is evolved, it just has to come out 'as is' without regard for meter, syntax, et cetera.
I have before me two poems by Wilbur D. Nesbit, caught from some newspaper or magazine column ... one, "Forever On Thanksgiving Day" ... the other, "Nasturtiums". I like them, oh so much. THERE is, I'd say, a very gifted person. Is he of our family?
I am so sorry that I cannot contact the Nesbits you have told me of as being in California. I had thought, some years ago, that by now, Rosanne and I would be able to take to the open road and go 'a gallivantin' all about this west coast area - then it would have been, I might have seen them all.
Another regret is that while surrounded with Nesbits and Nisbets here for years, it did not register with me that I might find relationship with them. Why, I had them as customers for years and years, both in bank and building-loan ... in 1922 there lived in the apartment next to us a young couple, she, one Mary Nesbit - they afterwards were our neighbors up here and it never registered that she bore my grandmother's name.
Of the generation approximating mine there are those who have, I know, passed on. Of the next two generations there are a number around here yet, but my acquaintance with them is slight, and in most cases, none at all.
And "Time marches on" -- it is another day - and time to end this, if over-due, now an over-long letter. I note that you included my February letter in your family letter, and thank you for the unseen, unknown contacts it has given me with those others who you so kindly think of when mailing the letter out, BUT, this is NOT a letter - it is a longwinded visit with you - perhaps you will have become tired of the visitor - you are, I know a very busy person - I envy you your ability to keep busy, AND as I re-read your Christmas time letter I say to Rosanne, "Oh for a physical make-up able to handle all those good eats". And "Oh for a temperament that would enable me to do the things for folks like as Dr. Nesbit does and to get the fun out of life that he does".
"Thou shalt Not Covet". You will forgive me for being envious, if so be it, such wishes are envious.
My ... Our ... Sincere regards to each and all of you.
Alfred Berry Endicott,
1027 Dartmouth Ave.,
July 14th 1935
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W.W. Elliot, Nisbet Hill, Duns, Berwickshire, Scotland has a set of twelve photographs taken recently: one taken of a painting of the house before being remodelled It was in the "locked room". Price £2/10/0. Order direct.
WOOD SMOKE WHY?
An appreciation to Dr. Otis B. Nesbit, by Alfred Berry Endicott
Some things lie within ... some, beyond ken
Of each I have tried to draw a picture with my pen.
A PROSE POEM
The delicious odor of it floats in to me upon the air ..
coming from I know not where.
Lying here upon my bed .. ill .. I, thru my window, have but
a circumscribed view .. always much the same, yet ever new.
Eh! maybe it is, you'd like to see it too!
Close by, a brilliant starry Poinsettia nods to me thru
the window panes .. tho' 'tis California's Christmas flower, it
still with me remains. Grouped near-by are so many things..
A flowering Quince gleams, pink-red or orange berries for the
birds .. Coreopsis, its petals shining like molten gold .. Incense
Cedars, dark-green (transplanted, when they were tiny little
trees, from six thousand feet up the mountainside, by me)
stand nigh .. above them the Sycamores lift their heads high ..
Orange .. Lemon .. Lime .. Apricot and Plum trees stand within my
sight .. Guavos .. Cypress .. hedge .. a Palm .. Pines and a gigantic
Deodor, its highermost tip seems reaching for a star. Far
out beyond, last but not least of all, I see in delicate tracery
across the sky the outflung branches of a great Eucalypti.
The delicious odor of it floats in to me upon the air ...
coming from .. out there somewhere. Then it is, I see it .. a
slender shaft weaving its upward way, from out this sylvan
scene, then come drifting in to me, here, where I must stay.
Strangely enough, tho' all this beauty lies before my ..
eyes .. its loveliness enhanced by great-blue skies .. tho' the fragrance
of the flowers, shrubs, and trees, mixed with the smell
of burning wood, comes in on the breeze, it is the sight of
that shaft of smoke that far, far different things makes me
see .. that sends me into a deep reverie ... like a shutter
it hides the here and now .. wafts me back through time and space,
to other years, there setting, another place.
BECAUSE, perhaps, where smoke is, there must be fire, that
which I first see is a fireplace in a wall, deep-throated
beneath a chimney great and tall .. in it, an immense log lies
at the back, while lesser ones on the andirons are piled high,
from out of which the juices sizzle and fry. Outside, wintry
winds are blowing hard .. I hear the moaning of the barren
limbs of copper beech and ash .. it seems they must and will
crash. At that, about those trees I seem not much concerned,
for, comfortably seated in an old, old chair, I am more interested
in what is to be seen before me there .. massive pile .. a
great house, hoary with age, stands outlined within the roaring
fire .. familiar to me it appears to be .. 'tis Nisbet House, Berwickshire!
Rising high are its minarets and towers ...
square and round, grey and dark, except when illuminated by a
brilliant spark. I see it as tho' I were looking on it from
without ... yet, it is within it, I'm sitting there, alone ... there
in that great house of stone. In the firelight's glow I see
Escutcheons, covered with armorial bearings, displayed upon
the walls ... portraits of famed men and fair ladies are hanging
thru out the halls.
Then it is, that I hear voices ... clanking of armour ... foot-
steps ... know that members of the 'Clan' are coming in from off
the moor ... some by way of a secret passage ... others are entering
thru the great door. No longer am I there alone. My people
encompass me about, like a cloud .. never before have I
looked upon a group of folks of whom I felt so proud. Strong
men they are ... who come in and gather around that hearth ...
men, they are, who do honor to the land and place that gave
them birth. From behind me, down the winding stairs within
the towers, come the mothers, wives, daughters and sweethearts
of those men to voice loving welcome to they who had not come back
from out the bog and fen. Some will not have come back. They
who had fallen in the wars, or had suffered death because of
their faith ... yet, yet they seem to be there ... but maybe it
is that, after all, what of them I see is only their wraith.
Confused, I wonder ... is any of this real ... are these MY people
real, or are they only the Ghosts of those, who in bygone centuries
walked amidst the Scottish heather ... thru Victory or Defeat.
Thru fair or stormy weather!
The delicious odor of it ... taking me on a journey into
the past ... painting for me a picture that will for ever last
True it is, that upon my wall there hangs an etching of
that old Ancestral Hall, Nisbet House ... true too, that stories
about it rest within my conscious mind ... likewise true, from
these things I might some reaction, like as the above, find,
but WOOD SMOKE ... just a slender shaft of it weaving its
upward way towards the sky ... why, because of IT, should ghosts
walk the earth like men ... why should time and distance pass
away, and I all this feel, and see, and hear, while I am lying
One of the Nisbets of Indiana.
(Claremont, California, 1935 - Springtime. Alfred Berry Endicott.
** ** ** ** **
NISBET HOUSE PICTURES
Have fine photographs of Nisbet House. 8" x 10" fine copy of a pen drawing from Nisbets Heraldic Plates which I can supply at $1.00, 3 for $2.00. Many have ordered these and are delighted with them. They frame well. Also post card pictures taken last year, two views, at 10¢ each.
Otis B. Nesbit, 444 Jackson Street, Gary, Indiana.
A NOBLEMAN GONE
Considerable space is given over the life and passing of Dr. Robert Nesbitt of Sutton-in-Ashfield, England, because I want the Nisbet/Nesbitt Clan to know more about one of its members who has done a great service to us and to his family by the publication of a fine book on his family. It is a good history of the North of Ireland and the life of its peoples as he portrayed the life of his progenitors, a good history of himself and his fine family. His accounts of his fine and talented wife are noteworthy. He devotes much space to his uncle, Rev. Joseph Nesbitt, a native of Ireland, who came to the United States in 1852 and was a prominent Presbyterian minister in Pennsylvania until 1894, when he died there, having recorded many events of our country during the Civil War, 1860-1865. The doctor made five trips to America and his recorded impressions are interesting.
Dr. Robert's account of his visit to Nisbet House was prepared and sent as a message to the Clan in America , but neither he nor I expected it to be his last. I am grateful that we have it and that he was good enough to give us his time and energy in its preparation. Some of the younger members might follow his example in useful use of their time.
I regret that his life could not have been spared for a few more years of pleasure with his family and family history hunting and that he could not have brought out another revised edition. I hope his family may be able to do so.
By his work and good and useful life he has built for himself and his family a monument that will never be destroyed.
More lasting than granite and bronze.
Below is his last letter to me, his letter to the Nesbits of America and reprint from the 'Free Press' telling of his death. O.B.N.
LAST LETTER FROM DR. ROBERT NESBITT
Dear Mr. Nesbit,
I'm not sure if I answered your letter of June 29. If not my sincere apology.
I enclose you some material for your Xmas Number. And hope it is something like what you want.
I have not heard anything of the interior views of Nisbet. I have some additional views of the house taken by an amateur photographer. Who is a 'big pot' in that district and am writing him inquiring if he can supply you. I will let you know result promptly.
Have you had any correspondence with John Nesbitt Dowling of Birmingham, England. Please let me know as soon as you can. His discoveries of Nisbet lineage are past all belief! But I have got confirmation of all his statements, from original sources.
I felt like walking on air all my time at Nisbet. Our host and hostess were kindness itself. And as I have said it was the prize of our lifetime. Mr. Nesbitt had paid several visits to Hadden, 1513, each time with added interest. He and I are endeavouring to prove that some of the Nisbets were slain on that battlefield.
Get a book titled, "The Tragedy of Scotland", by Colin Walkinshaw. Especially valuable for its pedigrees. Costs only a few dollars. Best wishes to all the clan.
October 24, 1935.
DR. NESBITT'S DESCRIPTION OF HIS VISIT TO NISBET HOUSE
IN JUNE 1935
TO THE NISBETS OF AMERICA:
I have been asked to give my 'impressions' of a recent visit to Nisbet, the home of the Nisbet family in Berwickshire for more than six hundred years, and which is today, one of the fairest mansions in Scotland, and the residence of Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, a lineal descendant of the Nisbets of that ilk.
During the past summer, my wife and I had the high privilege of being guests of the Laird and his lady, who placed us under deep obligation by their personal charm and gracious hospitality. It was the prize of our lifetime! I couldn't sleep o'nights, thinking of our good fortune, to be living in the place that our Nisbet ancestors lived - as recorded in "Nisbet's Heraldic Plates" - from the early twelfth century to the seventeenth.
Nisbet House was built by Sir Alexander Nisbet, son and heir of Sir Philip Nisbet, during the reign of Charles I., on the site of Nisbet Castle, which he had demolished. The mansion which Sir Alexander then erected, constitutes the greater part of the present Nisbet House; an addition having been made by the building of a square tower in 1774. The estate of Nisbet was lost to the family in the time of Sir Alexander by his devotion to the House of Stuart - he mortgaged the property to subsidise Charles I. Someone said of him that, "he backed the wrong horse".
Nisbet is only eight miles from the border, that border; especially where Berwickshire is the boundary, which has witnessed battles, raids and rievers for a thousand years; "Norham's Castled Steep, and Tweed's fair river, broad and deep", Melrose, Duns Law, Kelso, Carham, Bryburgh, Berwick, etc., are all in the immediate neighbourhood, and on the actual Nisbet lands two important battles were fought, in the years 1353 and 1402.
There is a sealed room in the house believed to contain documents and charters. Mr. Nesbitt is determined that before the expiration of his tenancy he will see the inside of that room. All the living Nesbitts must wish him success.
During our visit Mr. Nesbitt proudly wore his Nisbet tartan tie, and he has had rugs and other articles interwoven with the Nisbet arms and motto - 'I byd it'. At an early date he intends asking the members of the Archaeological Society, and the Lord Lyon King of Arms to visit and investigate the house and grounds.
In the gardens there is a yew tree one thousand years old, and in the park there has recently been felled a hoary old oak planted there seven hundred and fifty years ago. At the roots of the tree there was found a peculiar chiselled flint, which, the experts at the British Museum pronounce to be two thousand years old. In Nisbet House is preserved a beautiful water colour painting of the mansion, showing the lake which formerly lay in front of the house. The picture is dated 1815.
Berwickshire, in which the Nisbet lands lie, is not only one of the most fertile counties, but it is the most historic and interesting district in all Scotland.
Mr. Nesbitt was visiting Nisbet one day before taking up residence there, and on the carriage drive, he met the members of the Berwickshire Hunt, which had met at Nisbet House that morning on their way to the coverts. It must have forcibly reminded him of his Old Nisbet ancestors, who, long centuries ago, rode down that same avenue on their way to hunt the wild boar in the surrounding forests; he has discovered the entrance to a secret underground passage, which, tradition states, extended for over a mile, with an exit somewhere in the fields, and would be used in time of war for smuggling in provisions and soldiers, or sending out spies and messengers.
The Nisbet family is one of the oldest in Scotland. Nisbet's Heraldic Plates has the following: "Gospatrick, the second Earl, who lived in the reigns of Alexander I., (1107-1124), and David I. (1124- 1153) granted to the monastery of Coldingham the town and lands of Nesbite, a grant confirmed by King David on 17th September 1139". Sir Archibald Lawrie, in his "Early Scottish Charters" states: "From Gospatrick descended a long line of Earls, and if any can trace their pedigree to him, they are of the best blood in Scotland".
All down the centuries the Nisbets have intermarried with the foremost families in Scotland - Hamilton, de Bruc (Bruce), Haldane, Swinton, Home. Malcolm Conmore married Princess Margaret, sister of Edgar Atherling of the English Royal House; daughter Matilda married Henry I, King of England and son of William the Conqueror. Gospatrick the Second's mother was daughter of Harold II. of England.
The Scottish Field of February 1913 published the following:
"There is an intense fascination, a haunting charm about Nisbet, with the Old World air of mystery and romance inseparable from its rambling passages, spiral staircases, secret chambers, and underground passages.........The beauty of this historic and stately house is much enhanced by its setting of meadow wood and water. Within a stone's throw from the front door a little stream babbles noisily beneath a mossy stone bridge, while hoary oak and ash trees stand in groups about the grass or spread their giant arms above the carriage drive, and gorgeous beeches lend an effective note of colour".
In Nisbet's Heraldic Plates there are twenty-six different spellings of Nisbet; Mr Chancellor Nesbitt has "gone one better", for he has found thirty seven.
Nisbet's Heraldic Plates, p XXI, gives the following description of Nisbet:
The desperate tenacity with which Sir Alexander Nisbet defended his ancient lineage will excite sympathy but hardly wonder. For five centuries at least his ancestors had been settled there, and nowhere in broad Scotland is there a fairer spot. The lands of Nisbet lie in the lap of the Merse, a district so fertile that even the savagery of border warfare never did depopulate it nor throw it out of cultivation. From Duns, the county town of Berwickshire,.....the lands of Nisbet are reached; a quiet country road shaded by fine trees leads to the entrance gate, a few steps further and we are in a noble park embracing in its boundaries the combined charm of hill, meadow, and stream. The kindliness of the soil is evidenced by the magnificent crop nodding gracefully in the summer breeze, and still more strikingly, by the giant ash trees dotted at irregular intervals throughout the park. No ball planted dandies they, but stately fellows with trunks of fabulous girth and giant limbs stretching to the sky. One of the chief attractions of Nisbet is the striking diversity of its surface, concealing from the spectator the extent of the park, yet continually exposing some fresh beauty. Then there is that sense of freedom induced by wide open spaces and given by noble trees with ample room, in which to live and thrive; and with it all, an air of repose, a sweet old fashionedness about the house and its immediate surroundings which, apart from its own stirring associations, invest the place with an absolute charm.
Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, the present occupier of Nisbet House is eighth in lineal descent from Sir Philip Nisbet of that ilk, who, in 1582, married Elizabeth Haldane of Gleneagles. Mr. Nesbitt holds the following positions:
Director of the Union Bank of Australia.
Chairman of National Life of Australia Board for Great Britain.
Deputy Chairman British Law Insurance Company.
Governor of Guy's Hospital.
Freeman of the City of London.
He was legal adviser to Ex-Empress Eugenie.
Former senior partner of Markby, Stewart, and Wadeson, and now acts in a
Member of Parliament for the Chiselhurst Division of Kent, 1922-24.
Legal Manager for the Welsh Church re-disestablishment.
** ** ** ** **
DR. NESBITT J.P.
DEATH OF SUTTON'S OLDEST MAGISTRATE
LONG CAREER OF USEFUL SERVICE
With profound regret we record the death of one of Sutton's best known and highly esteemed residents, Dr. Robert Nesbitt, J.P., who passed away at the age of eighty years on Tuesday evening, November 26, 1935.
For over half a century the doctor's name -- always regarded with affection had been a household word in the town, and genuine sorrow will be felt in every home at the severance of another link with the past. Those people who had the pleasure of the doctor's friendship - and we regard it as an honour to have enjoyed that privilege - will sadly feel the loss of such a cultured personality.
Long Medical Practice
Whether in his professional or private capacity, Dr. Nesbitt was always the same, kindly, courteous and just; a man of outstanding integrity. From his long medical practice in the town - the doctor retired in 1927 - he and his good wife always retained their deep interest in every movement connected with the welfare of their adopted town.
With Mrs. Nesbitt - so closely devoted to her husband and family - the deepest sympathy will be felt in their irreparable loss. The doctor leaves one son and three daughters. Mr. Victor Nesbitt, who is a barrister in London; Mrs. Stewart, wife of Dr. W.G. Stewart, Nottingham; Mrs. Shield, resident in India; and Miss Irene Nesbitt.
For his years, Dr. Nesbitt's health had been remarkably good, but the end came somewhat suddenly on Tuesday. It appears that about 10:30 a.m. he descended to the cellar, and was returning with a scuttle of coal when the housekeeper - Mrs. Briggs - heard a crash. On investigation the doctor was found lying unconscious at the bottom of the cellar steps, with injuries to the head.. Dr. S. J.W. Donald was called in and diagnosed a fracture at the base of the skull. Death occurred soon after five p.m. the same day.
Dr. Nesbitt, who had a distinguished career as a medical practitioner and in public work, was the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Nesbitt, and was born in 1855 at Corglass, County Monaghan, Ireland. He received his early education at Unshena and Ballybay National School, and, though it was the ambition of his father that he should become a minister, he showed a preference for the medical profession, and at the age of 17 years went to the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, where he matriculated and entered on his studies as a medical student.
Quickly he achieved success and before he was 21 years of age he was a qualified surgeon. On leaving Dublin he started his medical career as a doctor's assistant at West Rainton, Durham, and later became house surgeon in the County Infirmary, Monaghan.
In 1882 Dr. Nesbitt bought a partnership in Sutton with Dr. Hammerton, whose name will be recalled by older residents, and then commenced a residence in this district which has been unbroken, characterised by usefulness and public service. Some seven years after coming to Sutton, Dr. Hammerton retired, and the extensive practice was transferred to Dr. Nesbitt.
Amongst those who have been associated with the doctor as partners will be recalled such well-known names as Dr. F.K. Tweedie (now resident at Colwyn Bay), Dr. S.W.J. Donald and Dr. J. Young, the two last- named being partners with Dr. Nesbitt at the time of his retirement from active medical work.
A short time after coming to Sutton Dr. Nesbitt was appointed Medical Officer of Health, and he continued to hold that position until 1927, tendering his resignation, which was received with regret by the Council on February 1st of that year.
With the continuous growth of the town, Dr. Nesbitt's practice increased to such an extent that at one time he probably held more appointments than any other doctor in the United Kingdom; a fact which confirmed the confidence held in him by the general public. Some of the offices he held in addition of Medical Officer of Health, were District Medical Officer, Public Vaccinator, Surgeon to the Post Office, Certifying Surgeon, Medical Referee to Notts. Miners' Association, Surgeon to the Railway Companies and the various collieries, also medical officer to several small societies and other organisations.
Notwithstanding the great demand upon his time by reason of his professional duties, Dr. Nesbitt found time to devote some measure of attention to public affairs. In 1894 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, and up to the time of his death was Chairman of the Magistrates sitting at the Mansfield Sessional Court.
In 1924 he was appointed Chairman of the Nottingham Division of the British Medical association, and in 1927 was chosen Chairman of the Notts. Panel Committee. He was also a member of the Standing Joint Committee of the County, and a member of the Notts. Insurance Committee. During the Great War the doctor became a Special Constable, and as a member of the District Emergency Committee took charge of a body of some 200 "Specials". He also served as Chairman of the local Tribunal in connection with recruiting during the war.
Any review of Dr. Nesbitt's life would be incomplete without reference to the fact that during the whole of his activities the doctor received the help and encouragement of a devoted wife, who herself has taken no small share in the public life of the town. Dr. and Mrs. Nesbitt celebrated their golden wedding in 1932, having been married at May Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast on September 2nd, 1882, the year they came to Sutton.
Dr. and Mrs. Nesbitt have travelled extensively, having visited America on no fewer than five occasions. These travels, together with numerous incidents in the life and work of Dr. and Mrs. Nesbitt are recorded in an interesting book published by the doctor in 1930 for private circulation, dealing with the history of the Nesbitt family. Although since his retirement Dr. and Mrs. Nesbitt have spent lengthy periods in London, Ireland, Bournemouth and elsewhere, they have always regarded Sutton as their home, the town where the service rendered by both has left its mark indelibly impressed upon the minds of the inhabitants.
The funeral will take place today (November 29) at 12 o'clock, being preceded by a service at the Congregational Church where Dr. Nesbitt had been a member for so many years.
O.B. Nesbit M.D.
Bought of B. Grant
18 High Street, Inverness, Scotland
6 Nisbet ties (silk) 2/6 £0/15/0 US Duty $2.44
5 yards Nisbet Tartan (Saxony) 10/6 £2/12/6 $8.33
5 Scarves Nisbet Tartan (Saxony) 5/11 £1/9/6 $5.15
1 Campbell Scarf 5/11 £0/5/11
The above account will enable anyone interested to procure Nisbet tartans. The silk and the wool patterns were not the same as explained by Mr. Grant, as meaning that two different tartan patterns have been discovered. The wool pattern is the most attractive.
The Saxony cloth is 54 inches wide and not less than 3 yards can be supplied. The scarfs are 12 inches wide by 54 inches long. He had a few silk ties in stock. The tartan can be procured in steamer blanket with the Nisbet tartan on one side.
of one of the
CANADIAN NESBITT FAMILIES
by E.E. Brooks, September 1915.
The Nesbitt family, of which we are part, originally came from the County of Meith, Ireland, although of Scottish origin. Four generations back our paternal grand father was twice married, in the first place to Lady Kitty Forbes of Edinburgh, leaving one son Edward, with whose history I am not familiar; his second wife was a sister of Col. Kerr. They had four sons; John, James, Arthur and Tom. Tradition says that Arthur went to England where he married an English woman. They had one sister Margaret, who married a Capt. Wilson of Pont-a-Pass1. I know nothing of the others. This branch of the family owned two estates in Ireland; our branch, 'Armagh Estate' and Wm. Nesbitt of Meath, 'Heath Lodge'. This Wm. Nesbitt married his cousin, Susan Wilson, daughter of Capt. Wilson of 'Shincer House', Dublin. His son, John Nesbitt, married Mary Laidlaw, daughter of the half sister of the Earl of Murray. Her father was Walter Laidlaw of Hallyards near Edinburgh. Previous to the Battle of Culloden the Earl of Murray left his silver plate in his possession, portions of which are still in the family. To my knowledge, they had two sons and one daughter, the sons being Drs. William and Murray Nesbitt, both holding commissions in the navy; and sister Annie. The two brothers sold their commissions and came to Canada early in the 19th century.
My grandfather, Dr. Murray Nesbitt, married Jessie Brown, and his brother settled near Brampton, Ontario. He moved west in the 1840s, settling near Woodstock, where he is buried. The sister Annie married James Chambers of Oxford, leaving two daughters who are still living in Toronto. These ladies are well posted in the family history.
There are also Arthur Nesbitt, a lawyer from the four courts of Dublin, distinctly related to the family, who also settled at Brampton, having a large family scattered throughout the country.
Our father, Capt. C. John Nesbitt, eldest son of Dr. Murray Nesbitt, had one brother, the other brothers dying young, intestate. His brother Murray settled in Sarnia, while his son is living in Winipeg.
Dr. W. Nesbitt had a large family, the eldest W.E. Nesbitt married his cousin, my father's sister. His family lives in Windsor, Ontario. They were all daughters, Mrs. Barretr [sic], Mrs. Campbell of London and the others unmarried.
The second son of Dr. Frank Nesbitt lived at Aurora, Ontario and was the father of the now famous Dr. Betty Nesbitt of the Farmer Bank renown. Another son settled in the States and his family lost trace of him.
The Nesbitt 'Coat of Arms' is a dexter hand in armour, the arm grasping a baton. The motto "I maintain the right".
The link: My gr. gr. gr. grandfather was named William. I mentioned that he had four sons. Our progenitor was named John and went to Hillyards near Edinburgh. The one called William, of whom I have no record was probably our grandfather who journeyed to Carleton Place.
These are the most important parts from Mrs. Agnes Waldock's letters. Mrs. W. is a sister of E.W. Nesbitt, Liberal member for Oxford County.
1. Pont-a-Pass is probably Pointz Pass in County Armagh to the north of Newry, Northern Ireland.
JOHN PRATT NESBIT A.B., M.A., D.D. HONORED
(The Nisbet family again honored. O.B.N.)
The Princeton (Indiana) Clarion of December 7, 1935 devoted a full page describing the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Founding of the United Presbyterian Church of Princeton. It contains a fine picture of its present pastor, Rev. John Pratt Nisbet. pictures of the beautiful church and parsonage. It also gives a good history of the church and its pastor. About the latter it says, "The present pastor, Dr. Nesbit is universally popular and beloved throughout the city and has deeply endeared himself to the local congregation, and to those outside his church with whom he comes in contact, among all denominations and creeds, during his thirteen years here".
"Next April 27 will mark the 43rd anniversary of Dr. Nesbit's ordination. Born in Macedonia, Ohio, he graduated from the Hoopeston, Illinois high school. In 1890 he received his A.B. degree at Monmouth college. He attended Xenia Seminary, Xenia, Ohio, following this, and completed his study there April 27, 1893. With this graduation he likewise received his M.A. degree from Monmouth".
"Dr. Nesbit's first pastorate was at La Prarie Center, Ill., serving there from 1893 to 1900. He was next called to Morning Sun, Iowa, where he remained until 1905. There-after he took graduate work at the Princeton Theological seminary, receiving his B.D. degree May 1906. For eighteen months he was supply pastor at Fair Hill, Philadelphia, going from there to College Springs Iowa, where he was stationed from 1907 to 1915. During his stay there he received his D.D. degree from Sterling College, and also served a year as president of Amity College. His last pastorate before coming to Princeton was at Sparta, Ill., where he was from 1915 to 1922".
"His wife, Mrs. Nesbit, has a wide circle of friends who hold her in the highest esteem. She was graduated from the Henry, Ill. high school and studied music under Madame Donnelee at Peoria. Both come from old families, early settlers in this country. Dr. Nesbit's paternal ancestors of Scottish stock came to these shores in 1728. His good ship Ann in 1623 settling at Plymouth. Mrs. Nesbit is a descendant of Captain John Locke who landed at Rye Beach, N.H. (New Hampshire ?), in 1634".
"The Nesbits have three children. Two sons, both doctors are Dr. Leonard L. Nesbit, ear, eye, nose and throat of Anderson; and Dr. Preston M. Nesbit, practicing medicine at Arlington, Texas. The daughter, Miss Esther Eunice Nesbit, is supervisor of music in the Hartford City Schools, Indiana".
** ** ** ** **
For over twenty years I have been gathering data about the descendants of John Nesbit who was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland in 1702 and died in Hopewell Twp., Cumberland Co., Pa., 1767. He was the son of Allen Nesbet, died Roxburghshire, Scotland 1720. According to Dr. Allen Nesbit, a grandson, John came to this country in 1725 with his mother and married 1726 Miss McDowell who came on the ship with him, is the introduction of a book "The Nesbit Family" in mimeograph form by Dr. John Pratt Nesbit dealing with his family and its achievements. He was born August 27, 1864
Thus another Nesbit has builded for himself a lasting memorial that will survive.
Family Letter No. 4 444 Jackson Street,
by O.B. Nesbit. Gary, Indiana
Mailed to those who acknowledge in some manner its receipt. News about the family and the 'Clan' especially desired.
LET'S HAVE OUR HEAVEN HERE
Wilbur D. Nesbit
So, brother, it's the handclasp
The good word, and the smile
That do the most to help us
And make the world worthwhile.
A ringing song of friendship,
A word or two of cheer --
Then all the world is gladder
And the lowering sky is clear.
It's you and I together --
We're brothers, one and all,
When through a word of friendship
We feel the subtle call.
Then all the world is happy
And all is worth the while --
Ho, brother, it's the handclasp,
The good word, and the smile.
When ever life goes duller,
Then come the helping hand
To set our minds a-tingle
With the thoughts we understand --
It's all of us together,
Or it's only you and me;
But the smile that tells of friendship
Is the fairest thing we see.
We friends who stick together
Through days of weal or woe
Find all our lives illumined
By that unchanging glow
Which gives us newer blessings
Unto our store to add --
Then all our tasks are lighter;
This world of ours is glad.
So, brother, it's the handclasp,
The good word, and the smile,
That makes our journey pleasant
Through many a weary mile.
Then sing a song of friendship.
And speak a word of cheer --
Don't wait till the hereafter;
Let's have our Heaven here!
Copyright by Volland Co.
The past year has been a busy one for me and except for sending out orders for pictures of 'Nisbet House' I have neglected the acknowledgments of letters received in response to Nesbitology No. 3. Your letters have been kept and really many were only read carefully for the first time this week. My impression has been that there was not enough interest manifested to warrant a fourth letter. The indifference of Nisbets to requests for information is not a family trait as I once believed. I find in my contact with genealogists that it is true of families generally. In going over the matter carefully I find so much of value to me that I believe that many others will be interested in the reproduction of some of these interesting letters. I was entertained, instructed and pleased and more than paid for the time and money spent. If your reply is not included, remember it has been kept and I hope some time to include its contents.
The Chicago telephone directory for 1935 contained forty Nesbits-Nesbitts-Nisbets. A self addressed postcard was enclosed in a circular to each asking if they would be interested in a picnic in one of the parks some Sunday afternoon last summer to get acquainted. I also enclosed a circular about "Nisbet House" pictures. Not a single card was returned. I know some of these people would object to a Sunday picnic on religious grounds but certainly not many in Chicago would find such an excuse. I sent a circular about Nisbet House to forty Nesbitts whose names were in the American Medical Association Directory and received replies from about half. This was a very large response and has led to the finding of some very interesting people.
The response to Nesbitology No. 3 is very gratifying. I hesitate to drop any from the mailing list and force people to read or discard Nesbitology when they are not interested. This has led me to carry some on the list who do not even send a postcard. I do not want to be a bore even if the family animal emblem is a boar's head - not one, but three.
Personally I am interested in contacting descendants of John Berry who died in Virginia in 1770, and of James Templar, born in Virginia about 1793. The latter lived and married Mrs. Mary Auld at Mt. Vernon, Ohio in 1830, went to Missouri and died in Kansas in 1859. I have never learned Mrs. Auld's maiden name.
My grandmother was Nancy Thomas who married Samuel Nisbet in Harrison County, Kentucky, June 1, 1813. She was born in 1793, and died in 1869. I searched for years to find her father's name. During the past year Charles Thomas of Indianapolis wrote me to search for a marriage bond and one was found that showed her father to be John Thomas. So now I have another great grandfather. Do any of you doubting Thomases or other kind of Thomas know who his ancestors were? This illustrates how we can often be helpful to one another.
Hope you will find something of interest in this edition. Sale of pictures is not the main purpose of Nesbitology. It is to gather and disseminate information about the Nisbet and allied families. What part of this edition would you have liked me to have omitted?
Otis B. Nesbit,
444 Jackson Street,
NEWS ABOUT OUR FOLKS
We made no extended trips last summer. We had a new Hess Hot Air conditioner heating plant with rectangular pipes, put into one corner of the basement. Put on a wall board ceiling. Painted a few exposed air ducts aluminum, the ceiling ivory, the walls and floors various colors, a black line indicates portions on the floor. New electric wiring in the basement, changed the water pipes, made a laundry room and excavated under the front porch for a store room and the oil tank. We use the old Oil-O-Matic burner. Put a barn ventilator on the roof. While not installed early enough for the very hot weather, we got the fan going and ventilation up for the August hot weather, and were satisfied to stay at home as we found it more comfortable than most places.
I developed some arthritis, so as we have something to complain about in December, but kept going as we had our usual immunization vaccination program on at school and I had to keep going, but have been quite close to home during the vacation, which is half gone. Hope to finish up and get Nesbitology out next week.
For the benefit of the new readers I may state I make my living as Director of the Medical and Dental Department of the Public Schools. I am to be master of ceremonies at the installation of the new officers at the Kiawanis Club, Jan. 5th at a party which the ladies will attend.
Allegra has been home this week from the University of Chicago where she is working for her masters. She is fine and getting on well.
We were too busy for the Christmas party but hope to have the children in some day this week.
We have had a nice Christmas. We went to Valporaiso and had dinner with Cora, Ella Vincent and Jessie Philley. Alice and I went over last summer and helped Cora and Ella trade off their old place for a modern home and they are delightfully located and settled. They are very happy in it. They made a good trade.
Alice has received an invitation to join the Society of Indiana Pioneers. She is not a good joiner and has not as yet accepted. If I could establish that grandmother Mary Berry Nisbet came to Washington County, Indiana with her daughter, Mary Nisbet Martin in 1825 when the Martins came, it would make me eligible. What have you on this Mrs. Webb? The only thing I can promise at this time is that she died at the Martin's home in 1828. This record is in the Martin bible owned by Mrs. Webb. The descendants of James Nesbit and Aaron Lewis are eligible as these families settled in Posey County in 1818.
"Gyp" the Persian cat has not yet made up with Judith. He tolerates her but does not accept her.
Sister Nancy (Nannie L.) now eighty two, has given up her Richmond, California home and gone into the California Christian Home. (Post Office Box 128, San Gabriel, California). She found several old friends there. Is delighted with it, and the climate and the family of fifty women and eleven men who make it their home. Our niece Mrs. Mildred Nesbit Bobo lives near and keeps a close watch over her. Nanny says she has no cares and enjoys the freedom with nothing to do but care for her room, eat, sleep talk and pray.
Beatrice did not find Singapore as good for her health as upon her previous visit, and her husband, Doctor Alexander Oppenheim, Professor of mathematics at Raffles College, brought her and their child Judith back. They flew to Chicago from San Francisco arriving November 18th. The trip was beneficial to Beatrice and she has steadily improved since returning. Missed only one meal, no, I mean, lost only one meal on the aeroplane. Dr. Oppenheim hurried back catching a Japanese boat from Seattle Dec. 5, and would be back about on schedule being on a sixty day leave.
Grandmother Alice has been quite busy getting and keeping a maid. I picked the nurse and she stays, and is a good one. The only serious trouble is keeping the grandmother and mother in the background. They insist on spoiling a very nice baby. Beatrice is assisting in the preparation of this number. Don't think we will let her go back to that island for some time.
Rev. S.A. Nesbit, my eldest brother is better than last year. Has retired from his many years as a Christian minister, and now lives in Richmond, California. His wife underwent an operation for a tumor in San Francisco, and is, at last accounts, quite herself again. Their only daughter Mary Carolyn was married August 5th, 1936 to Thomas Stephen Hafey. They are at home at 2226 California Street, Berkley, California. We wish them every success and happiness.
The usual supply of choice nuts and fruit from brother Edward and his good wife, and a box of maple sugar from Mrs. Ethel Dobson and her nice family were received and are being enjoyed. Thanks.
Dr. R.M. Nesbit is expecting to soon have the manuscript completed for a book to be published early next year, on his speciality - urology. He is connected with Michigan University. His family is fine. Thanks Mabel for a nice tie and a fine fruit cake and all the other things.
Otis Emery Cartwell, of Stoutsville, Mo. who lives on the old farm with his mother who is eighty-two, and at last accounts was spry and active, both mentally and physically, wrote me a good letter. He sent a clipping about Mrs. A.J. Burk, Kirksville, Mo., treasurer of the Missouri Daughters of the American Revolution wanting information about the graves of soldiers of the war of 1812. The Society is marking such graves. She wanted the location of Robert Nesbit's grave. Charles E. Nesbit is the only member of this family who has taken any interest in family history, and at last accounts he had not yet located Robert's resting place. Robert was a large land owner and probably died in Lewis Co., Missouri. If C.E. Nesbit gets at it again he will probably complete this family history. He gets no help from members of the family better able financially to do this.
I sent Mrs. Burk, Samuel Nisbet's war record and if any of my family want the same I can supply it. He was my grandfather. Robert was his brother and John and James of that family are listed as 1812 soldiers, but I know of no record for Robert.
Alice, Allegra, Ella Vincent and I went down to Purdue University last August for a day off and to see the experimental houses. We had a dinner with Prof. Basal Montgomery and his good wife. They have a fine home and a nice baby. He is very widely known as an entomologist, and with continued good health will bring added fame for himself and the Nisbet family. He belongs to the County Posey crowd. Mr. Luthur (?) Thomas was in charge of the houses, gave his father's address and I called on him at Monon, Indiana, on our way home. He gave me Mrs. Wingert's address.
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Mrs. Dorothy Young, the wife of Rev. L.D. Young of Dallas, Texas, died Nov. 22, 1936. She suffered for two years from a heart affliction. She was a marvellous minister's wife and a fine helpmate. She was a member of Leon's congregation when he was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Charleston, Indiana. This was in his early days of his service as a minister, and she was very helpful and devoted to him and to their work, at Washington, Iowa, and Lincoln, Nebraska, Abbey Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Leon was vice Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of America recently and is recognised as one of the most devout and influential preachers in this country. We share his sorrow.
Clarence Ruby Nesbit, 5738 Worth Street, Dallas, Texas sent me a very nice letter. Thanks. I replied and asked some questions to which she has not replied. What has become of your aunt Mrs. Annie Mathews? I have not heard from her for a long time. She sent me a lot of interesting data.
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Mrs. May Hardy of Kansas City, Mo., sent me some data on the Heriam (sic) Nisbet family. She listed a son of Hiram's as Hiram Lee, born March 23, 1857 with no other notes. A postal card from Rev. George Needham, South Pueblo, Colorado, Feb. 9, 1883 to my father Samuel Nesbit at Leona Kansas, was sent to me by my sister Nancy this year. It says, "Your Nephew Hiram Lee Nesbit is very low at St. Mary's Hospital. He sent for me yesterday. I received him into the M.E. Church South and baptised him and despatched to J.H. Mathews for $50.00 to pay his bills and sent him home in a sleeper. He thinks he can get there. The doctor thinks he cannot live more than ten days. He wants to see his old friends once more and desires to be buried with his people. We hope to send him home today if the money comes". This might indicate that he died in 1883.
What new material have you found May? Can't you find a picture of Hiram Nesbit? Who has one? I want one. Would like to hear from your aunt Anna Mathews again.
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Charles E. Nesbit is teaching again. He was at Deepwater, Mo. this year.
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Irene Watson, Monroe City, Mo., a grand daughter of cousin Virginia Kennett, graduated from High School May 15, 1936. Thanks for invitation.
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Joseph Stewart Reister of Lexington, Ky., was married to Miss Alice Genevieve Daugherty, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Daniel J. Daugherty of Floral Park, New York, Aug. 29, 1936.
Joseph is the son of Joseph and Willie Reister of Lexington, Kentucky. Willie is a descendant of William Nisbet, son of Samuel Nisbet of Harrison County, Kentucky. Congratulations Joseph.
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NEWSY LETTERS FROM MABEL MCLAUGHLIN
Henderson , Kentucky, 423 North Main Street.
June 26, 1936.
Dear Cousin Otis,
I hope a letter from me after such a long silence will not be too much of a shock, but I have been engaged in the serious occupation of knitting. I made mother a black sweater and thought it would be suitable for cool summer evenings. But if cousin Alice starts "fur coat" talk, just suggest that she knit her a sweater. So I got some lighter weight yarn and have been hard at work making her a sweater in one of the new violet shades. It has now reached the point where it is too bulky to carry with me to the office in the afternoons; I keep shop alone, so with a clear conscience I can write you. We enjoyed cousin Alice's newsy letter received this spring, very much indeed, and are glad to know Beatrice and Judith are well. It is splendid that Allegra has the opportunity to continue her college work - I know she is enjoying it.
And I have enjoyed all your family history! You have a great deal more of the Nesbit energy than I have - maybe due to the spelling - for look at Neva Newman.
There is very little news that I can add at this time, but I will try to give you the few bits I have. A letter, no it was a post card from cousin Sarah Ann Reel and Edith Benn, received the 1st of June, stated that the heat was too much for cousin Sarah and that they were leaving immediately for cooler places. So I don't know where they are now. Mother is so susceptible to colds that I feared that the winter would be too much for cousin Sarah, but did not expect our June weather to get the best of her. Of course when the weather gets extremely hot, it is quite hard on mother.
I think I told you that cousin Kate Gwaltney had passed away. She was the one who owned the chest of drawers, or bureau, I think she called it, that grandfather James Nisbet made. I think you will recall her - she was one of the few who would take the floor and talk at the reunions. Another regular attendant, cousin Ed. Montgomery, Basil's father, has passed away. We found him a mighty likeable man.
Virginia Nesbit, Ruth's sister, completed High School this fall. I was talking to Fred Fisher, Flora'a son, last Sunday, and he was regretting that Ruth had not undertaken some work. Fred was in school with Ruth, and says that she has a wonderfully bright mind. Ruth wanted to continue her education very much. I suggested a government examination, but it seems that some of us (me included) are so much home- bodies it is hard to uproot us.
Fred is here with an orchestra playing at our 'leading' night club. I say 'leading' for it is a so much higher type than any of the rest around here. The orchestra is made up of boys from the Normal Terra Haute, and they are all registered for Indiana University next year, where they will play to help with their expenses. Fred took dinner with us Sunday and spent the afternoon. It would have done you good to see how interested he was and how much he enjoyed reading about the family. He tells us he has sufficient credits to teach chemistry, but he wants to complete his college work at the University next year before going to work. He then plans to teach a year and go to school a year and so on until he has completed his medical course. He has just had his 21st birthday, and as he has stuck it out for three years at Normal, waiting tables, clerking in Ten Cent Stores, etc., he may hold his present plan, and as he has escaped one 'near matrimony', it may work out. When he finished High School he was very much in love with a little Cynthiana girl, and she with him, and for a while Floral thought he would marry instead of continuing his education, as she was urging. Finally she wrote to me "Love for mother won", and will you believe it, when I asked Fred on Sunday, what had become of the girl, he scarcely remembered her. She is married, and from all I heard about it, I now believe, she was not so much in love with Fred, as with the idea of being one of the first girls in her crowd to marry. I think Floral is planning to be in Henderson next Sunday and visit us and have Fred with her.
Edith and Jim Kilroy drove over and spent the evening with us on the 12th. Cousin Mec [sic] did not come as they were all going to Vincennes on the following Sunday, and they feared two trips too close together would be too much for her. They are not Nisbets, but you will remember them I think.
Mother received a card on her birthday from uncle Will and aunt Mary Ann Endicott, and I hear they are getting along all right. One of the D A R ladies called Lib early one morning to tell her that Mrs. Ruby Lafoon had become a Daughter on the record of James Nisbet, and was much disappointed when she learned that Mrs. Lafoon's and our line don't quite connect. Did I ever tell you that 'Believe it or Not Ripley' published the picture of Sir. Willoughby Nesbit with an account of his many accidents and the fact that he lived to be an old man and died in his bed? Among the accidents was, 'had his chin cut off', and that is the nearest that I have ever come to a Chinese Nesbit - no, it was not Willoughby Nesbit, but the other way around, Sir Nesbit Willoughby, and he was an English naval officer.
Dr. D.M. Short is now resident physician at Boehne Tuberculosis Hospital at Evansville, Indiana.
I hear that cousin Kate Gwaltey had $800 sewed to her corsets when she died. You know they were badly hit by the bank crashes and she had told her family that if anything happened to her they were not to destroy any of her clothing without a thorough examination.
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November 21, 1936
Dear Cousin Otis:
Lib and I were in Evansville Thursday and saw Ethyl Nesbit, Clarence's' wife, over there shopping. Clarence was over too but we did not get to see him.
The Huffmans, Emma, Dora, Carrie and Walter drove over and spent the afternoon with us on a Sunday about three weeks ago. They all look well.
I mailed you a Cynthiana Argus following the reunion, so I suppose you know they have changed the place of meeting to Princeton for next year. I don't think the Nesbits were very much pleased with the last one - too many Endicotts for them. This was only natural, as great grandfather Endicott had 82 grandchildren at the time of his death and so many of the Nesbit line died young.
Ruth Nesbit has been working in Mount Vernon some, during the summer, under the Government's Wheat Control Program. I have tried to talk her into taking a government examination for clerical work, but haven't had much success. Wish I had during the war, and I believe it would have been a good thing for Ruth. Virginia, who finished school in June, wants to enter nurses training, but is too young as yet for the hospital of her choice. Charles has re-enlisted in the army, and the last I heard was, he was stationed in West Virginia. He has a son Jerry Richard, born July 19th. Ruth writes he is a very fine baby, and he and the mother are with the mother's parents in Poseyville. Some rather censure Charles for re-enlisting, but I feel he tried hard to find work, and at least in that way he is able to support is family. He was a railroader you know as what they call "rolled", just a day or so after his marriage. I suppose you know that if a man has been in service longer than another and wants his job he can make an application for it, and that the other man is "rolled". Joe Showers married during the spring or summer - a Miss Beshears, a minister's daughter. Neva is hoping to have a little daughter in her home during December. The boys are delighted. Neva has had several stork showers given her by various clubs and the boys take pleasure in the gifts, but can't believe the garments will be large enough. She writes, they are being wonderful help to her. Flora's Fred has gone back to Terra Haute - this will be his last year there, and Flora is working her head off with the restaurant.
Mother's only living nephew, Edward Rickard of Pueblo, spent the week-end with her during September. Of course she enjoyed that very much. We have been taking her to a picture show or two. What do you think of her boss signing Denhart's bond for $25,000? Rather brave I think, but they say Dr. McCormack and Denhart had been boyhood friends. Lib is busy as can be looking after the house and her work.
Do you hear anything from cousin Sarah Reel? I have not heard for a long time, and neither have the Huffmans.
Let us hear from you when you have time and be sure and tell us about Judith.
With love to you, cousin Alice and Allegra.
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December 26, 1936
I am trying to trace my ancestors back to the American Revolution and understand that you have data regarding the Nesbits. I am the grand daughter of Cyrus Nesbit, late of Grant Co., Indiana, near Swaynzee. I can not trace the Nesbits back further than my grand father who was born about 1840. I will appreciate any information you can give me as I am tracing this line for the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Mrs. Ernest Erler
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Have a supply of recent picture postcard of Nisbet House at 10¢ each and of the 8" x 10" photograph of the old pen drawing - each $1.00. All have been pleased with it.
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THE WISE CHANGETH - THE FOOL NEVER
It was our intention to send out 36 pages in this edition. Can't get it finished without working at it all week. This we cannot do. We have the stencils cut. Will mail it out in tree editions. Many would not have time to read all if sent at one time. You may not like this one and will not want the others.
Address your requests to
Otis B. Nesbit M.D.
444 Jackson Street,
A GREAT GENEALOGIST
48 Gough Road,
January 20, 1936.
The reception of No. 3 of the Nesbitology calls forth my fullest admiration and thanks for the enthusiasm and labour involved in its production.
You are covering a wide field and seeking to give a corporate sense of widely dispersed and disjointed members.
It is pleasant to read of the well being and success of so many of the great family of Nisbet-Nesbitt, who are playing their part in American life, and to feel that their lives are spent in the up-building of that great section of humanity.
With them is the great hope of the future of mankind.
While you are chiefly interested in the co-ordination of the American section of the family I have been chiefly engaged in setting forth the origin of the entire clan tabulating the line of descent of the main family therefrom.
Dr. Nesbitt's communications have been exceedingly interesting to me, and I thank you heartily for sending this copy which has embodied them.
His death is a great loss to us all.
John Nesbitt Dowling.
Hope J.N.D. is able to publish the result of his work on the Nesbit families. He has done a great amount of work. Hope he will send a letter to the Nisbets of America some day. (O.B.N.).
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NINETY FOUR LAST HALLOWEEN
A 94 year old great grand daughter of William Nesbitt of Bourbon Co., Kentucky, herself wrote the following. Wish you could see it.
February 14, 1936.
Dear O.B. Nesbit---
I received your letter some time ago I certainly do appreciate and thank you so much. I enjoy reading them. They help to pass the time away.
We are having snow and zero weather and I don't enjoy it one bit.
Many thanks, love to all.
Mrs. Jane Patten
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LOUIS MARINO NESBITT
From Glasgow Herald
Monday, July 29, 1935
On Monday last the Glasgow Herald reported the crash of a Dutch plane in the Swiss Alps when 13 people were killed including the 'Panch' (Punch ?) artist, Arthur Watts and Louis Nesbitt, an engineer and explorer. It is about Louis Nesbitt that I would write. On Saturday morning he sat and spoke to me on my roof-top terrace discussing the plans to go to Abyssinia as a war correspondent, full of eagerness and excitement at the prospect of new adventures in a land where he had already made history with hazardous exploration.
His writing on Abyssinia had won him in recent years a 'success d'estime', but the present day turn of events had suddenly added cubits to his importance as an authority, and a great authority on unknown Ethiopia. American editions began to boom; the London Evening Standard, began to seek him out. By nature a retiring and modest man, all these things did not disturb him, but they acted as a spur to the literary ambition which he had always secretly entertained and now seemed about to realize. He told me how he had been called to London to join the staff of one of the morning papers. That day he left Rome for Milan by train, caught the Dutch (flier) Air liner for a quicker air dash for London. An hour or so later he was dead.
Louis Marino Nesbitt was of Scottish descent, as his name of course shows, but he was removed from direct connection with Scotland by several romantic generations. Originally from Berwickshire, his forebears had acquired estates at the plantation of Ulster. His grand father left land-owning for an army career and served in India as a Colonel, as what Nesbitt used to describe to me as "the 22nd Regiment, Bengal Army". When sailing home one time the Colonel went ashore for a stay at Malta, and there he met a French lady who became his wife. On the Colonel's retirement from the army in India his wife couldn't stand the rigours of the English climate, indeed, even in Malta and in India she had become crippled with rheumatism.
Hearing of the cures said to have been made by the volcanic craters on the Island of Iochia, near Naples, Colonel Nesbitt took his wife there -- and, lo, she was cured! So great was their joy that they settled in Italy where all around the bay of Naples, the charitable work of the French wife of the Scot's colonel was so much appreciated that a street was named after her on the Island Iochia, and is still known as Strada Nesbeeti - (to write it phonetically). Local property was bought, and the Nesbitt family, Italian Braels was founded. The children of that couple in due course extended the property to various parts of Italy. The north as well as the south; and they became considerable contributors to the development of always more perfect farms of the grape producing vine.
Engineer and Author
The eldest of these sons married an Italian lady, and the third generation of this Scots-Franco-Italian family in time grew up, always maintaining British citizenship Louis Marino Nesbitt was one of the sons of that third generation. At the time of his death he was 44 years old, but lithe and active as a man in his twenties. To look at, he was a typical lowland Scot, his Latin blood revealing itself only in his vivacity of manner. He was of course, completely bilingual, indeed trilingual being equally brilliant as a writer in English, Italian and French, Spanish, German and some Arabic and a smattering of Abyssinian he acquired.
Trained as a mining engineer at the Technical Institute of Rome, The Caniborne School of Mines in Carnwall [sic] and the Institute of Mines and Metallurgy of Wilwaters sand; [sic] he began his first work in South Africa. His mining work and his lone journeys into remote parts or places were always accompanied by a keen interest in the primitive peoples among whom he found himself often isolated. Coupled with this interest were powers of observation, a sense of humour, and an ever-growing ability to put his impressions in writing.
"Hell-hole of Africa"
During 1926-27 he went to South Africa, and penetrated into odd corners of Cuba, Venezuela, and made his first serious exploratory journey in Llanos of the Orinoco. In the following year he went to Abyssinia, and there was an international recognition for an expedition successfully led by him through Africa below the level of the Red Sea.
They travelled south to north with an itinerary of 800 miles (1,287 km) covering the distance in 116 days and making a compass survey of 20,000 square miles (51,800 square km) of hitherto uncharted land, in a temperature ranging in tent shade of 140§-150§ Fahrenheit (60§ - 65.5§ centigrade). All previous expeditions in this region had been wiped out by the savages of this Abyssinian outland. For this exploration Nesbit [sic] was given the Murchicon Award by the Royal Geographical Society of London, and his survey forms the basis of the British and Italian operation maps of that region of Abyssinia. Well-known throughout Abyssinia and Italian East Africa, he was equally respected by the Italian and Abyssinian authorities. As a correspondent he would have been invaluable.
Loss of Literature
At one time the Emperor, Haile Selassie wanted him to found a school of engineer-ing at Addis Ababa, but he refused to tie himself down to one spot. If you want bright and informative, not to say, adventurous reading about Abyssinia, I heartily recommend his best known book, "Desert and Forest".
"The Exploration of Abyssinia Danakil", published by Johnathan Cape. In his work there is something of the expansiveness and simplicity of Douglity. (sic).
Nesbitt's English is limpid and without mannerism, in that he shared with the Arabian traveller a passion for getting deep, not only into strange lands, but into the lives of strange people, recording his observations about them and their country. "I feel happy that I was born in time" he writes, "to employ the ancient slow methods of exploration, by which the very taste and smell of remote primitive territories is forced, even though it be painfully, on the observation of the travellers". And he, after his many escapes from death while struggling through the Torrid Zones, was destined to die in an aeroplane crash on icy peaks.
(The above was copied and sent to me by Ethyl N. Dobson. Get and read L.M. Nesbitt's book "Hell Hole of Creation" if you like a thrilling tale. "Desolate Marcher", T. Nelson and Sons, Ltd. Toronto, Canada, $3.50; is another of his on Venezuela.
Thanks cousin Ethyl for the above. O.B.N.).
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62 Barrows Street, New York City, N.Y.
Little Falls, N.J. - March 10, 1936.
Dr. O.B. Nesbit,
The generosity you display to the 37 varieties of "Nisbet-Nesbitt" (spellings of names of your recipients) people is remarkable.
The last collection was very valuable and I am sending it to my Aunt -- now in England. She had a talk with an old clergyman presently at Alexander Nisbet, Herald, Ceremony.
Now for ourselves, we should like three pictures of the old "Nisbet House" and a couple of each of the post card views. I have copied addresses you included so that I can use them by correspondence or by actual writing. I'd love to bring back a steamer rug of the old tartan.
We were brought up on the old story of the origin of the name in 1042 with the crest "A hand grasping a truncheon"; the motto of the house "I fight for the King" or something like that.
It was a custom of our branch of the family to name two sons Andrew and Robert, of interest to all who consider true the tradition of the first (Nisbet, Nesbitt, Nesbit) being named Andrew.
The Genealogical division of the New York City Public Library may have more facts for us. I shall visit there soon.
My mother and I both wish to sign ourselves
Elizabeth Nesbitt M.D.
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"AMONG THE DEEP-SEA FISHERS"
(Official Organ of the International Grenfell Association)
Offices: 156 Fifth Avenue - New York City, N.Y.
Extract from one of Sir Wilford Grenfell's letters, the magazine "Among the Deep-Sea-Fishers".
"We all regret that Miss Linda Nesbitt has had to take a holiday to recharge the hard-worked machine which has been serving us so strenuously. We shall miss her enthusiasm, her skill and her experience. Fortunately, an old friend has volunteered to hold the fort in the interval. Miss Helen Schiesen will preside in the New York office in Miss Nesbit's (sic) place. If Miss Nesbitt is satisfied we need have no worries about her". Ethyl Dobson.
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26 Tregunter Road, - S.W. 10 - Flax. 8001, October 29th, 1936.
Mr. Nesbitt has asked me to acknowledge your letter of the 12th and was much interested in what you tell him. He thinks you might like to see the little pamphlet which we prepared to be given to the visitors to Queen Mary's House. It gives many details about the Carre panel which for two hundred years was at Nisbet House. (A reprint from "The Scotsman" is given elsewhere concerning the hatchment. O.B.N.).
He will be pleased to accept your kind invitation to send a message to the Nisbets of America and this will follow very soon, we hope. He has been much occupied since returning to London, having spoken at the Provincial Meeting of the Law Society held at Nottingham on the difficult question of "The Tithe Settlement", and more recently, at a country lecture society, he read a paper on Montrose.
As you will appreciate, he shares your interest in family research and wishes you continued pleasure and recreation in it.
Yours very truly
Janet Kerr Watson
Secretary to Robert Chancellor Nesbitt.
RARE EXAMPLE OF SCOTTISH HERALDRY
Loan to Queen Mary's House Jedburgh
The Scotsman, Friday, September 4, 1936
There will be placed on loan tomorrow at Queen Mary's House at Jedburgh, a hatchment or achievement of "John Carre of Cavers and his Lady Margaret Wauchope Impaled", which is pronounced to be a beautiful thing and the work of a highly skilled craftsman. It is regarded as being of historical interest and of considerable historic value. There are a number of hatchments to be found on the Continent, but in Scotland today, one such as this, is very rare.
At the head of the hatchment are the words "Tout Droit", the motto of the Ker Family. Encircling the centre shield are the coats of arms of the eight branches belonging to each of the families of Carre and Wauchope. These include the coats of arms of the Duke of Buccleuch, of Lord Jeburgh, of Lord Ochiltree, of Wauchope of Edmonston, of Lord Torphichen, and of Rutherford of Hundaly.
This Carre hatchment is fittingly placed in Queen Mary's House, formerly owned by the great grand- father of John Carre of Cavers, Sir Thomas Ker of Ferniehirst. Sir Thomas was a life-long friend and devoted adherent of Queen Mary, and it was he who lent the house to her on the memorable occasion of her visit to Jedburgh in October 1566, where, after her desperate ride to Hermitage Castle to see Bothwell, she lay ill for many weeks and nearly lost her life. The Ker arms with the motto "Tout Droit" shown on the hatchment are to be found carved in more than one place on the house at Jedburgh.
The hatchment is dated 1709, and for nearly two hundred years it was at Nisbet House, Berwickshire, where, in the burial vault adjoining the mansion, repose the remains of Margaret Wauchope, the wife of John Carrs of Cavers. A family of Kers lived at Nisbet for many years, and a portrait of Sir Thomas Ker of Ferniehirst hangs in the drawing room at Nisbet House.
It was Ker, who, when placing the Ker arms over the door at Nisbet, removed the Nisbet arms, which are now in the burial vault. It is a curious coincidence that now, three hundred later, a Nisbet should have found this Carre hatchment and brought it back to Nisbet. It was recently found broken and dilapidated in a neighboring village by Robert Chancellor Nesbitt, during his residence at Nisbet House, the home of his forebears.
It was acquired by him and forwarded to the Lord Lyon's Office in Edinburgh for inspection and advice. The Lord Lyon and his Heralds pronounced it to be the work of the highest skill, probably the best hatchment now existing in Scotland. Accordingly, it was restored under the direction of the herald painter to the Lyon Court, the colors of the various coats of arms happily retaining their original lustre.
In consequence of the association of the Carre family with Queen Mary's House, Mr. Nesbitt has presented the hatchment to the trustee of Queen Mary's House on loan for exhibition.
(A hatchment is a sort of panel, upon which the arms of a deceased person are temporarily displayed -- usually on the wall of his house).
The Scotsman, Friday, September 4, 1936.
FROM MRS. ROBERT NESBITT
March 11, 1936
Dear Mr. Nesbit,
When I see the date on your last dear letter and also on the last Family letter, I feel so ashamed of myself. He would not have treated you like that.
But really dear friend (I look on you as that) I have been far from well more or less of the time since that awful ending. I have now been away from home six weeks, nearly. I am really at last feeling better in health. You see I am now 79 years old and we lived like lords fifty three years. People say I have lovely memories. Yes, I have, but they sadden me as well. I used to walk these lovely walks with him and the beautiful chines with their eternal greenery.
You and your wife ought to see this place. I think it is unique in England anyhow. But don't forget to come and see us at Sutton. I shall look forward to it. I hope I shall be alive. My husband had nearly finished a second volume. It will be a very small book. You will not find it so interesting as the history. It may be published late this year and I shall send you a copy or two.
You ask me the price of the Nesbit History which your friends are inquiring about. I see my husband sold a few copies to the members of the Nisbet (?) and my family -- the price £3-3-0 per copy. It seems a great deal of money, but I assure you it cost him a great deal more than that. A friend of my husband has a number of copies and if any of your friends would like to purchase them just let me know and I will have them sent on at once.
Oh how pleased he would have been at your using Nesbitology. He was awfully pleased with himself when he thought of it. Mr. Robert Chancellor Nesbitt of London said he was very much taken with the word, and would use it too.
My husband used to talk about you and your wonderful letters to him the day long. He loved any Nesbit it seemed to me but you were so much of his way of thinking -- well dear Sir, you had a niche all to yourself. Your three family letters are delightfully informative.
Bob and I had a lovely time with Wilbur D. Nesbit in Chicago (the writer of that poem). He claimed he was a relative of ours. He gave us a dinner; he and his were utterly charming. I remember we had a hot ice for the one and only time in our lives, and we were the "observed of observers" at the club. When Wilbur died Bob wouldn't tell me. I heard the news from an American in an Irish hotel. I said, "Why didn't you tell me darling?" He replied, "It saddened me too much, I wasn't going to sadden you". He, Wilbur, wrote often to Bob and sent us a number of his books.
The Rev. Wm. Nesbit in Letter No. 3 says his aunt's grandfather came from Ballabay. My husband came from Ballybay, but the country men often pronounced it Ballabay. I think it is the same word. It is in the County of Monaghan; it looks to me as if he may be one of the family.
Oh! Why didn't you start these letters long ago?
I recall the Rocky Mountains of your country. I never slept all night for looking at them. We both have been where your dear wife was last year.
I am looking for some more family letters from you. I thank Alfred Endicott for his wonderful letter. Have read it often and wonder at his great patience and lovely heart, and all the other letters. I must stop. All my love to all of you and dear little Judith. Don't forget her. Yours very sincerely A.E. Nesbitt.
ANNIE ELIZABETH (COBURN) NESBITT
His history of the Nesbitt Family by Robert Nesbitt is a masterful presentation by his and allied families and its possession will please any Nisbit. Now is a good time, and here a good chance to acquire a copy.
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A GOOD STORY. CAN YOU HELP MRS. EMERY?
1316 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, Indiana - May 8, 1936.
Dear Dr. Nesbit,
Recently I found a paper written by D.B. Foster, 1908 for the Monroe County Historical Society. Dr. B. Foster was the grandson of Thomas Nesbit 1769-1861.
Thomas Nesbit was my great great grandfather. I have been collecting bits of interesting anecdotes of family members as well as the genealogy.
I am anxious to know if you have this same story handed down in your family. I think your ancestor is Samuel.
Thomas Nesbit was born in Pa. Apr. 10. 1769. When a small child his parents emigrated to Nicholas Co., Ky. They came down the Ohio River in a flat boat in the early 1770s. Thomas' earliest recollections were the war hoops of savages. One day in the early spring news was brought that Indians were coming. Only Thomas and his mother were in their cabin home. His mother dragged the child and a feather bed into a large V shaped ash hopper. She had scarcely pulled the boards into place over them when the savages appeared, uttering blood-curdling yells. The home was burned to ashes. When his mother found a place of safety, she learned that the Indians had killed her husband".
I wish I knew the name of this mother and father. The records I have of the family state that Thomas was the youngest of seven brothers, but not much more. I have complete records of Thomas' family.
Mrs. Charles R. (Lura [sic] B. Emery)
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Mrs. Walter H. Nisbet, 66 Clay St., Peru, Indiana died at Indianapolis, Indiana, Oct. 13, at the home of one of her daughters where she had gone on a visit. She was buried at Peru. Her husband survives and he writes, "I have lost one of the dearest friends and companions a man ever had. She was so good". One son, Henry, and two daughters survive. Walter is the historian for the William Nisbet b. 1735 family, and has much valuable material. If we can get him to write it up, it will serve many people.
It was our good fortune to know Mrs. Nisbet and we agree with Walter that she was a fine woman and mother.
** ** ** ** **
Ralph Nesbit III 3542 Lenox Road, Birmingham, Alabama sends the following with a copy of a coat of arms. Wish he would send family history.
Carolina Nesbits (continued)
Dr. Robert Nesbit, from Berwick
Valentine Daniel Emily Ralph Jr.
Ralph III Sarah R.N. Shannon G.J. Shannon Cora
By Mary D. Ackerly
Lula East an Jeter Parker
History, Biology, Genealogy; one volume of 820 pages; index 105 pages; 66 illustrations; published 1930, contains a brief history of Bedford County, Virginia; a long list of Revolutionary soldiers of Bedford hitherto unpublished, and the history and genealogy of many of the old families of this colonial county -- among them: Ackerly, Burford, Bell, Beverly, Board, Bolling, Bond, Boone, Burke, Callaway, Clark, Clayton, Finley, Goggin, Gwatkin, Hatcher, Jeter, Johnson, Jopling, Logwood, Lowry, Martin, Mays. McManaway, Moorman, Otey, Parker, Phelps, Poindexter, Robertson. Sledd, Snead, Talbot, Turpin Vaughan, Walker White Wright.
Had a special sale for $15.00 up to May 1, 1936. After that $25.00.
Order from: Mrs. Mary D. Ackerly Fields
The Plains, Virginia.
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Have any of my readers patronized the Media Research Bureau, of Washington, D.C.? Will you send word how satisfactory its service was to you? Is it a reliable concern?
** ** ** ** **
Miss Glenn Nesbit, M.A. Stanford '33 a teacher, lives 42 W. Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona, had to give up a trip abroad last year on account of her mother's illness. She belongs to the Sullivan, Indiana family. Her Sunday School class, Business Girls' class, First Church of Christ (Christian) sponsors the Casitas Del Sol (Spanish for little House of the Sun) for tuberculous women and girls at $35.00 per month. Cash is always acceptable.
ANOTHER NISBET DESCENDANT AT REST
He sent me a revised and corrected copy of "WOOD SMOKE" that I will send you some day. He was distressed at the way we garbled it. I regret that I did not know A.B. Endicott personally, am grateful that we found him. My sympathy to his good wife and family. I hope some of his family will take his place as one of our correspondents. Thank you for the paper from which we copy the following. (O.B.N.)
DEATH TAKES A.B. ENDICOTT
A.B. Endicott, one time cashier of Pomona Commercial & Savings Bank, and until four years ago associated with Home Builders' Loan Association of which his son, Paul Endicott is vice president and manager, passed away at 10 o'clock Sunday morning at his home, 1027 Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont. He had been failing in health for some years, and for the last three years had been confined to his bed.
Born in Cynthiana, Indiana, February 18, 1867, Mr. Endicott during his boyhood was taken to Iowa by his father and lived in that state until 1911 when he came to Pomona. He was in railway service in Iowa for some years, and then, more than 30 years ago, entered the banking business in Brighton, Ia.
Twenty five years ago he left Brighton to come to Pomona where he established the family home and entered the real estate business, first with Caves, Stevens and Hartley, and later with C.C. Caves, his brother- in-law. For about two years he was at El Monte, he joined an organization of the Southern County Bank.
Returning to Pomona, he became cashier of Pomona Commercial & Savings Bank, serving in that capacity from 1915 to 1921; then becoming associated with Home Builders' Loan Association, in which he was active until ill health forced his retirement about four years ago. His home has been Claremont for the past 15 years.
Mr. Endicott was a member of the Methodist Churches in Iowa and Pomona, and in recent years has been a member of The Claremont Community Church. He has been a Mason since young manhood, and was a member of Pomona Lodge No. 246, F & A.M.; he also was a member of the modern Woodmen of America in Iowa.
Besides his widow, Mrs. Rose Endicott, at home, he leaves one son, Paul Endicott; one grandson, John Caves of Pomona; and a brother J.N. Endicott of Chicago. His mother died during his infancy; his father, J.N. Endicott, died 15 years ago.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Todd & Reeves Chapel, Pomona. The Rev. Hardy A. Ingham of Los Angeles, who was pastor of the Brighton Methodist Church when Mr. Endicott was a member there, will officiate, assisted by Dr. A.D. Stauffacher, minister of Claremont Community Church.
Interment will be in Pomona Cemetery.
November 9, 1936.
LAST LETTER FROM ALFRED BERRY ENDICOTT
February 18th, 1936
Dear Dr. Nesbit,
Along about Christmas time I started sliding downwards and, for some weeks had a rather difficult time. For a while now I am doing better and stronger, hence, once more, am permitted, by Roseanne, to have the machine beside me so that I may peck out, in my one finger way, some letters, etc.
Your 'Nesbitology' No. 3 came when I was pretty ill. Having now been able to read it (over and over again) I want to make acknowledgment of its receipt and tell you that I enjoyed it greatly.
I sort of gasped when I saw you had included my long letter together with the 'prose poem' in your letter; had I anticipated that much publicity, I think I would have been a little more modest in putting forth the accomplishments of that grandson of mine. Members of the family may think it rather boastfully put and 'twas not meant that way.
In reading over the 'prose poem' as it appears in your letter, I discover some differences as between it and the original in my file; some omissions and errors that somewhat confuse its continuity. I remember that when making copy to send to you, I had become rather tired, and it appears made a mess of it. Roseanne thinks that I should send you a corrected copy to be placed in your file to replace that one sent you originally, so I am doing it. Just a bit of vagary after all, but I would like you to have it in the form evolved, and trust this copy will carry the picture to you in a more definite way.
I would like to go over your letter and pick out the portions that were highlights for me, but my strength for the time being is about used up, so, I will forego that pleasure until some later date.
I do want to say now that we much regret not having seen the 'Family' representative who came to the coast, when at Pacadena only 28 miles away. However, the physical handicap of illness would have made it impossible for us to offer the hospitality that a visit from them should have received; hence there could have been no pleasure for them had they been able to come this way. So we shall have to take our disappointment as just another of those that come to one in my condition of health.
I cannot close without expressing that feeling of personal loss that came upon us when I read that Doctor Robert Nesbitt had gone to join that vast throng of his family who, through the ages, over there, have preceded him into that 'far country from whose bourn no traveller returns'. You see, it was through his visit to, and description of Nisbet House, which you passed on to us, that I came to sense the greatness of the place, and to appreciate its history. Whether or not I am descended from the line matters not - it is good to have knowledge of such a worthwhile group of folks. I am grateful for what he has given us, and for you for passing it along as you have, and know how deeply you, who knew him so well, must feel his loss.
I just must, and will stop right here. Our sincere regards again to you and yours.
Alfred Berry Endicott,
1027 Dartmouth Ave.,
* February 18, 1867- February 18, 1936.
* Count 'em- 69; hence an anniversary today.
* I feel that I was born 30 or 40 years too soon.
(Died November 8, 1936. O.B.N.).
A TEXAS LAWYER WRITES
After receiving your "Nesbitology" I wrote you a card stating I would write you a letter later on, and am now trying to fulfil that promise. My daughter, Margaret Lucille, was very much interested in it and carried it home before I had read all of it; but I intend to read it all. I have two sons, Luther Martin, age 30 and Woodrow Watkins, age 23. Both sons are married and the youngest has a son, David Gene, one year old. My father, James Alexander Nisbet was born in Kentucky, I Virginia; but am not sure of this. I have a brother, William Allan Jones Nisbet, living at Giddings, Texas, which is also my birthplace, but I have lived in Houston about thirty years. My brother has two sons, Edw. Allan and Asa Fields: Allan lives here, and is married and has a young daughter, and Asa lives in Austin, Texas and is not married. There is Edw. R. Nisbet, a D.C. (sic) who lives here, who tells me that his people came from Georgia. His father is a Presbyterian minister, living in Galveston. My mother's name was Margaret Calhoun Ross, and descended from the Ross' in Alexandria, Virginia. I met Edward R. Nisbet on the street today and told him about your letter, and he was very much interested. Some of his ancestors were named 'John'. I have two sisters. Mrs. Lilla Nisbet Noble, living in Ft. Wayne, Texas and Mrs. Maude Nisbet Morse. Mrs. Noble has two sons and one daughter, and Mrs. Morse has three sons and two daughters. Most of the Morses live here.
I would like to have your letter No. 2 if you still have one.
Thanking you and best wishes
Yours very truly,
Jan. 28, 1936.
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April 2, 1936.
Dear Dr. Nesbit,
Your letter of Nesbit History came early in the year. I took it up to an aunt of mine, Mrs. Margaret Nesbit Squires, Tekamah, and she enjoyed it, read it all, so she says, with her fading eyes. She is past 80. She said her grandfather and mother's names were William and Ellenor. I wonder if my Uncle Richard ever wrote to you.
If we are not blood relatives dating back far off, we are surely near soul relatives. You spoke of the Christmas party in the basement for the children. We have a room in our basement that the neighborhood children have free access to all the time. Then, when you mentioned the "Iris Breakfast", I knew for sure! Just as the "Rainbow in the eastern sky proclaims that God is Save", the Iris-rainbow flower tells me the same thing. I've never attended an "Iris Breakfast", but I never eat any breakfast during the Iris season until I've walked up and down my Iris rows and given thanks for the returning season. We happen to live within 30 miles of the famous "Sass Iris" gardens. A wonderful sight to visit there.
I hear my nephew, William Vincent is doing fine. I am very fond of him and like to hear good things of him.
Mary Nesbit MacDonald.
A THOMAS FAMILY
December 14, 1936.
My Dear Doctor Nesbit,
Your interesting letter came to me this afternoon and am answering immediately, lest in the excitement of the Christmas Season I might be distracted from my good intentions.
While always pleased to hear from people interested in their lineage, your letter concerns me greatly because I fear I am not able to help you.
Please let me say in the beginning I am not a professional genealogist. What I am doing is merely done because it is my hobby, also that I feel the dire need of our family of some sort of genealogical record. It has never been attempted before and I feel that my task is one of almost insurmountable magnitude because of the negligence of former generations. I have traced our Thomas family back to Griffith Thomas, an emigrant from Wales who first settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania and later moved to Orange County, North Carolina. His children were John, Moses, James, Mary, Griffith, Infant, Jacob, Betsey and Joseph (The White Pilgrim), born 1791 died in 1845.
When first I read your letter, I thought perhaps your ancestor might be the above John, but after consulting my records I find that it is barely possible.
Reference to our John Thomas is found in a diary of the White Pilgrim. He speaks of John living in Montgomery County, Virginia (now Giles County) in 1803, and that he was a single man keeping bachelors' hall. Again, later in the diary, he, under the date of December 6, 1808 refers to a visit with his brother John "and family". So it is quite evident that John married sometime between 1803 and 1808.
Now, if our Nancy, daughter of one John Thomas, was married in 1811 to Samuel Nisbet, she could not have been the daughter of this John of mine, as she would have been only 6 or 7 years of age in 1811. This is my deduction and of course, I could be wrong.
We do know that the John of our family moved to Missouri in the early days and so far we have been unable to trace any of his descendants. We have several leads out, that we hope will bring results. One of which might be of some help to you.
We are in communication with the Missouri State Librarian (our historian) hoping to get some data through old county histories. Often times these give considerable ancestry. You might ask if there is any mention found of Nancy, wife of Samuel Nesbit. I found a sketch in an old history of Livingston County, Ill. that enabled me to bridge an enormous chasm in my family records.
Oh, I am sorry not to be able to assist you for I know too well what it means to get a little boost once in a while.
My Thomas history is still in an embryo stage due to lack of interest in so many of the relatives who do not reply to my inquiry and request for data. Doesn't it seem queer that people want and demand pedigrees in their dogs, hogs, horses and cows, but remain utterly unconcerned about their own lineage?
Please let me hear from you again. I wish you success and would like to help you.
Family Letter No. 5. January 31, 1937.
Issued occasionally and sent to those who
acknowledge receipt of previous issues
By Otis B. Nesbit M.D.
444 Jackson Street, Gary, Indiana
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FROM A DISTINGUISHED ENGLISHMAN
To my American Kinsmen, and to the Nisbets who
live overseas - - no matter how the name be spelt.
At the kind invitation of some of your number I am happy to send a message of good greetings to all those who are linked to the name of Nisbet of that ilk, one of the oldest of Scottish Border families whose roots go back into the early ages of Scotland's history.
Some of you will have visited Scotland. Others, no doubt with Scottish blood in their veins will be well versed in the romantic legends and stirring history of that beloved country, which more than any other has sent her sons out into every corner of the world for, as one has said, "The Scots are the wanderers of the earth, they go about, forming links". Wanderers, yes, but with the love of their native land which is strong and undying. And what a land! Beautiful landscapes, glorious vistas, gorgeous scenery there may be in every country of the globe; yet can anything quite match that strange alluring charm of Scotia, or is it only a Scot who knows and feels the breath-taking beauty and loveliness of the land that to him is home?
Wild and lonely, says the "foreigner," of the Highlands when he travels through the misty glens, gaunt mountains rearing in silence all round him, so that he listens more to the gurgling of running water rippling down the mountain-side like a silver ribbon, tossing its diamond sparkle in the air; only the delicate primrose peeping out among last years yellowed bracken to remind him of the loneliness of cottage gardens in the further south. And the Lowlands! Might they, too, not seem barren to one accustomed to the richer foliage, the luxuriant woods and picturesque villages in the warmer south? Yet there are many who love the rolling uplands and heather-sweet air of the Lammermuirs, the Eildons, St. Mary's Loch, or the more desolate Cheviot Hills with veils of drifting snow - an entrancing sight on a climb up Dirrington Great Law in the early days of spring.
Full well we know how much has been written and sung of the silvery windings of the Tweed. Driving through the Border shires we glimpse it flowing past the ruins of Norham Castle and, higher up, through Coldstream. We cross it by Rennie's bridge at Kelso where it meanders by the lawns of Floors Castle, seat of the Duke of Roxburgh, so close to the roadside that one can picnic on its banks; or again as we pass through Dryburgh and over the bridge on the high road to Selkirk where its swiftly running waters far beneath us are a favourite haunt of fishermen. A lovely, companionable river! We are glad to echo the praise of those who sing of "Bonnie Tweed". Indeed we would probably find ourselves in accord with the feelings of the great Border bard, Sir Walter Scott, as we take the river road from Galashiels to Melrose and pause at the very spot where on the journey home he asked the carriage to wait while he gazed for the last time on his favourite view - - the banks of Tweed, burnished by the rich tones of copper beech and every autumn hue, the blue waters of the winding river, and, far off, his much-loved Eilden Hills.
This is the countryside to which I came when, by happy fortune, I found myself in the spring of 1935 the resident of Nisbet House, ancient home of my forefathers, the spot from which the first of the name became "of Nisbet"; or, as it is termed in the Royal Charters, "de eodem", in other words "of that ilk".
I knew the house, of course, and my family's connection with it from the yellowed pages of the diary of my great-great-grandfather, Samuel Nisbet, whose name by a slip was spelled "Nesbitt" in the government document appointing him secretary of the Bahamas. He related in brief the history of the family, telling, amongst other things of Thomas, City Chamberlain and Merchant of York who married Isobel Cholmly with Plantagenet blood in her veins and was descended from the family of Sir Philip Nisbet of that ilk in Scotland".
Those of you who have seen the brochure describing the memorial I erected in 1934 to Alexander Nisbet the Herald, in Greyfriars Church Edinburgh, will know something of the house that is illustrated there. Driving the fifteen miles from Berwick-on-Tweed, as I used to do after a night's journey from London, one catches a sight of Nisbet through the trees, just a glimpse of the grey walls of the West Tower, and then crossing the bridge over the Blackadder, a trout stream on the lands of Nisbet, the mansion is for a moment in full view until it is again lost to sight by the thick trees on the avenue. But as the car slips out from under the trees on to the wide gravelled path that leads to the door, the sight of the parks beyond the lawn stretching to the north and to the south, the great beech trees and oaks and sycamores in the walled garden to the east, and perhaps on a clear day the distant Cheviots - - all these fill one with a sense of the spaciousness of it all unexpected in a place so secluded.
It was with mixed feelings that I first crossed the threshold by the low door cut into one of the turrets. I was accompanied by the sheriff-depute of Berwickshire, a man deeply interested in Border law who had lived all his life in the lands of Nisbet and his father before him. To him Nisbet meant a great deal and knowing as he did of its past history, he sympathised with the spirit of the occasion. We had entered on ground level. The spiral staircase built in the square tower on the north front led up to the first floor and a long corridor brought us to the dinning room, with a small gun-room leading off it; from which by a balcony and a few stone steps one could reach the Ladies' Garden, a walled triangle of lawn and rose-beds the pleasant spot on a summer's day.
It was nearly three hundred years since a Nisbet had lived in that house. The prospect of a long day in the old house seemed infinitely worthwhile. I looked forward to roaming through the corridors, turrets and towers of the old mansion, making discoveries and discovering the underground passage which legend said had been used as a means of escape in the days of Border battles. I was determined to search the tombstones of the burial vault where the stone bearing the arms of Sir Alexander Nisbet reposed. I would find the little church in the village of Swinton, a few miles across the fields, birthplace of Katherine Swinton who had married Sir Alexander and helped him build this castle which to them was home. I would go to Edrom, where later Nisbets worshiped, and see the stables in the churchyard, each bearing the name plate of the neighbouring families of Wedderburn, Kimmerghame, Nisbet and Swinton.
But I must no longer indulge in reminiscences. I feel sure that some of you will already know much about Nisbet House from dear old Dr. Nesbitt whom my wife and I were happy to have on a visit. He was so thrilled about it all that I believe he wrote fully to his American friends giving an account of his stay.
For others who may not have seen the little booklet describing Nisbet, I quote the following:
"The house - originally called Nisbet Castle, in some documents Nisbet House and in one the place of Nisbet - is situated on the lands of Nisbet, two mile south of Duns, the county town of Berwickshire. The entrance gate is on the road which leads to the River Tweed and the Border, ten miles distant.
It was built during the reign of Charles I by Sir Alexander Nisbet of that ilk with the aid of his wife Katherine Swinton on the foundation of the old Castle of Nisbet which had stood there for many centuries.
It is a fine characteristic specimen of the picturesque style of castellated architecture which prevailed in Scotland during the seventeen century, and is in a state of complete preservation. Signs of defence are visible in the numerous shot-holes, and the burn that curves across the park in evidence of the old moat which one time surrounded the castle.
In 1774 the arrangements of the castle were remodelled and a square tower was added at the western end. An entrance door was provided on the south side, which is now the front of the house. A full description is given by McGibbon and Ross in their authoritative work, 'The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland'. In a more recent book, 'The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland, 1400-1650', by Nigel G. Tranter, F.S.A., published 1935, there is a small sketch and account of Nisbet House.
Sir Alexander Nisbet was the eldest son of Sir Philip Nisbet who married in 1852 Elizabeth Haldane of Gleneagles, Perthshire, where Brodrick Chinnery- Haldane is today, the present Laird. According to Nisbet's Heraldry, Sir Alexander 'was most signally conspicuous for his bright parts and dutiful loyalty to his Sovereign King Charles', and, in his own words, 'suffered most sadly both in his person and estate to the utter ruin and undoing of himself, family and children'.
With the defeat of the Royalist cause, the lands of Nisbet were lost to the family and though, after years of exile, Sir Alexander in 1660 petitioned King Charles II for the restoration of his estate, it finally passed into other hands.
The stone bearing the Nisbet arms, placed over the entrance by Sir Alexander, though removed from its position, still reposes in a good state of preservation in the burial vault adjoining the house".
All these long years since 1660 no Nisbet had lived within the walls of the old castle but now at last a lineal descendant of Sir Philip -- Eighth in the direct line -- was again to occupy it. Using the language of the Lord Lyon King of Arms who wrote to me just before I arrived at Nisbet, "it must be with a thrill of pride you walk across the threshold and take possession of your ancient home". I say it was indeed a thrill to achieve the realisation of a dream and a hope that had long been with me. It was marvellous.
My message to each of you is one of goodwill and happiness during the years that are to come. May this tie long continue which binds all, however remotely connected to the ancient family of Nisbet of that ilk.
December 1936. Robert Chancellor Nesbitt.
Folio No. 87
(A prose poem)
(An appreciation to Dr. O.B. Nesbit, by Alfred Berry Endicott - one of the Nisbets of Indiana .... Claremont, California, April 1935).
Some things lie within - some, beyond my ken;
Of each I have tried to draw a picture with my pen.
The delicious odor of it floats in to me upon the air ..
coming from .. I know not where.
Lying here upon my bed .. ill .. I, through my window, have
but a circumscribed view .. always much the same, yet ever new.
Eh! maybe it is, you'd like to see it too!
Close by, a brilliant starry Poinsettia nods to me thru the
window panes (tho' 'tis California's Christmas flower, it still
with me remains.) Grouped near-by are so many things .. a
Flowering quince gleams pink-red .. beside it a Golden Poppy
lifts its head .. Cotoneasters, with their orange berries for
the birds .. Coreopsis, its petals shining like molten gold ..
Roses too, deep red and gorgeous pink .. Incense Cedars, dark -
green (transplanted, when they were tiny little trees, from six
thousand feet up the mountain side, by me) stand high .. above
them the Sycamores lift their heads high. Orange, Lemon, Lime,
Apricot and Plum trees stand within my sight. Guavos, too,
Cypress hedge, a Palm, Pines and a gigantic Deodar (its highermost
tip seems reaching for a star), while far out beyond, last but
not least of all, I see, in delicate tracery across the sky,
the lifting branches of an Eucalypti.
The delicious odor of it floats in to me upon the air ..
coming from .. out there somewhere. Then it is, I see it ..
a slender shaft weaving its way upward, way from out this sylvan
scene, then coming drifting in to me, here, where I must stay.
Strangely enough, tho' all this beauty lies before my eyes ..
its loveliness enhanced by grey-blue skies .. tho' the
fragrance of the flowers, shrubs and trees, mixed with the smell
of burning wood, comes in on the breeze, it is the sight of that
shaft of smoke that far, far different things makes me see ..
that sends me into a deep reverie .. like as a shutter it hides
the here and now .. wafts me back thru time and space, to other
years, there setting, another place.
BECAUSE, perhaps, where smoke is, there must be fire, that
which I first see is a fireplace in a wall, deep-throated beneath
a chimney great and tall .. in it, an immense log lies at the
back while lesser ones on the andirons are piled high, from out
of which the juices sizzle and fry. Outside, wintry winds are
blowing hard .. I hear the moanings of the barren limbs of
copper-beech and ash .. it seems they must and will crash. At
that, about those trees I seem not much concerned, for, comfortably
seated in an old, old chair, I am more interested in what is
to be seen before me there .. a massive pile .. a great house,
hoary with age, stands outlined within the roaring fire .. familiar
to me it appears to be ..'tis NISBET HOUSE in Berwickshire!
Rising high are its minarets and towers .. square and round, grey
and dark, except when illuminated by a brilliant spark.
I see it as tho' I were looking on it from without .. yet, it is within
it I'm sitting there alone .. there in that great house of stone.
In the firelight's glow I see Escutcheons, covered with
amorial bearings, displayed upon the walls .. portraits of famed
men and fair ladies are hanging thruout the halls.
Then it is, I hear voices .. clanking of armor .. footsteps ..
know that members of the 'Clan' are coming in from off the Moor ..
some by way of a secret passage .. others are entering thru the great door.
No longer am I there alone .. My people encompass
me about, like a cloud .. never before have I looked upon a group
of folks of whom I felt so proud. Strong men they
are .. they, who come in and gather around that hearth .. men,
they are, who do honor to the land and place that gave them birth.
From behind me, down the winding stairs within the
towers, come the mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and sweethearts
of those men to voice loving welcome to they who come back
from out of the bog and fen. Some will not have come
back ..they who have fallen in the wars, or had suffered death
because of their faith .. yet, they seem to be there .. but
maybe it is, after all, what of them I see is only their wraith.
Confused, I wonder .. is any of this real .. are these MY
people real, or are they only the Ghosts of those, who in bygone
centuries walked amidst the Scottish heather .. thru victory
or defeat .. thru fair or stormy weather!!
The delicious odor of it .. taking me on a journey into
the past .. painting for me a picture that will forever last ..
True it is, that upon my wall there hangs an etching of
that old Ancestral Hall, Nisbet House .. true too .. that
stories about it rest within my conscious mind .. likewise
true, from these things I might some reaction, like as the
above, find, but WOOD SMOKE .. just a slender shaft of it
weaving its upward way towards the sky .. why, because of IT
should Ghosts walk the earth like men .. why should time and
distance pass away, and I all this feel, and see, and hear,
while I am lying here ... Why?
All this is beyond my ken and as this narrative flows from my pen .. I'm wondering, still wondering, why?
One of the Nisbets of Indiana.
LETTERS FROM A GOOD NESBITOLOGIST
215 N. Prince Street, Princeton, Indiana.
We want to thank you for the beautiful Nesbit Tie in plaid that you sent me. It is very pretty and I am glad to have it, and Nesbit was pleased to receive a piece of the cloth. Please excuse my delay in sending my thanks as I have been very busy and was called to Peoria, Ill. to perform a marriage ceremony for the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Smith whom I married June 15, 1935. Think the daughter, a beautiful and accomplished young woman, thought I did a good job on the parents, she wanted me to do the same for her and I hope it may turn out that way. Her husband is with Western Electric, Chicago and they are to make their home there.
Mrs. Nesbit and I have read with great interest your Nesbit Family Letter. Thanks for sending it to us. I am sure that Mrs. Helen G. Hartman, Bellefield Dwellings, 4400 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa., writer of the Nesbits, Taggart, Porter and Ross families of Pa. would be pleased to receive a copy. When I took dinner with her and her husband, Nov. 12, she expressed the desire to get a communication with you. She is a Nesbit descendant.
Our daughter Esther was home for the holiday vacation and her mother gave her a 1938 Dodge Coupe for a Christmas present which she drove back to her school at Hartford City, Indiana. She has been walking between six and seven miles two days in the week beside being on her feet and going up and down stairs to teach her classes in the High School and Grade buildings; so she needed a car badly. She had an operation for appendicitis on June 8th during the vacation; and came out of it nicely. She is in her sixth year as a Supervisor of Music and so is afraid she may not be re-employed as her school board has been dropping teachers after five years to prevent them becoming 'Tenure Teachers' If you should learn of a school wishing a musical supervisor she would be pleased to apply and she can furnish the best recommendations.
Leonard has a very happy practice at Anderson, Indiana, really more than he ought to do. He drove down here the 1st of November for a few days rest and turned over his eye, ear, nose and throat patients to the two other ENT men in the city for a week.
Preston started to practice general medicine at Arlington, Texas the middle of last August; but he is having it rather hard to get started; is gaining some each month.
With kindest regards and best wishes for the New Year. I am
Very Cordially Yours,
John Pratt Nesbitt.
** ** ** ** **
February 12, 1936.
Dear Cousin Otis,
Your letter of January 16th received and I want to thank you for offering in any way you can help my daughter get a position as Music Supervisor in case she is let out at Hartford City, Ind. because of the 'Tenure Law'. Had a letter from her stated she expected to learn her fate soon and if she was not accepted as a tenure she would write to Mr. M.E. Snyder, Director of Music in Gary. I rather fear she is hoping against hope as the policy of the Hartford Board has been to drop a teacher no matter how good, rather than let them become tenures. She has worked hard for the music in the schools there; planned her work well and has insisted on the teachers giving the lessons she assigned so that practically all the pupils above the sixth grade can read music; she has the credit of improving the music in the Sunday Schools and the churches and she is popular with the children and the patrons.
When returning from Anderson last September we called on Miss Mary Nesbit at Allisonville; had a very pleasant visit with her. She said she has a cousin living in Borbon (Bourbon ?) County, Kentucky, that had looked up records on her family but had not gotten in touch with her to ask for her records or rather a copy of them. The only record I have ever found out about them is this -- 'That on August 20, 1798 William Nesbit of Borbon County, Ky, sold a farm to John Mears in Huntington Twp., Wesmoreland Co., Pa., Record: Vol. 4, page 88, Grantee Book of Westmoreland Co. This seems to indicate that Wm. Nesbet, is possibly the father of the names you mention, William, Jeremiah, Samuel, Thomas, Nathan and Robert, but this is only conjecture. It would seem to indicate that Wm. Nesbet had moved from Westmoreland Co., Pa. to Boboun Co., Ky, and later sold his farm in Westmoreland Co., just as my grandfather John Nesbit and great-grandfather, Wm. Nisbet sold their farms in Fairfield Twp. Westmoreland Co., Pa., after moving to Summit Co., Ohio as the records at Greensburgh, Pa. show.
On Oct. 28, 1933 I received a letter from Attorney A.G. Nesbit, Henry W. Oliver Bldg., Pittsburg, Pa. sending me a copy of a letter written 70 years ago by Robert Nesbitt who was at the time of writing, 76 years old, giving what he knew about the Nesbit family in the U.S.A. I made several copies and I think I sent you one; but have only one left. Robert speaks of the family coming from Scotland and Northern Ireland, says one branch settled in Washington Co., Maryland, some of whom came to Hagerstown and that Johnathan was a member of the Legislature. He says that his family settled at Westoreland Co., Pa. His father's name was James and his brothers were John, Johnathan, Nathaniel and Allen. These names run through the family until we lose all knowledge of their relationship. I saw the records of the land bought and sold in West- Moreland Co. Pa. at Greensburg by John Nesbitt 1796, James Nesbitt 1796, John Nesbit 1818, Nathaniel Nesbit 1818. John Nobel Nesbit 1829 and Wm. Nesbit, Borbon Co., 1798. There seems to have been three different families of Nesbit who settled in Westmoreland Co., Pa. in different twps., but possibly all were related. I think my grand-father came there to get a grant of land as a soldier in the Revolution.
I have a very interesting letter from Mrs. Blanche Hartman connecting the Nesbits with the Royal family of Scotland who descended from Sir Alexander Nisbet. I would loan you if you cared to see it and make a copy.
When I was a boy of seven I had a school teacher by the name of John Berry, he was lame in one limb, it was a country school near Bloomington, Indiana. He gave me a little book at the close of school I still have, but I was not always in his favor. I remember him giving me the only whipping I ever received in school for not coming back in school as promptly as I should when he had excused me. He had a rod over the black board and before whipping me he said "Johnny I will have to give you a little beech tea". So he led me up in front of the scholars and began to apply it to my legs. I danced around and cried like he was killing me, so only got half a dozen around my legs.
I knew there was a Nesbit from Illinois who was a member of Congress a few years ago; think he was a labor leader, but I did not know there was a Nesbit in the White House. Hon. Scott Nesbit who belongs to our family was Assistant U.S. Treasurer under President Cleveland: he is now deceased. I called on him at Cairo Hotel, Washington D.C. while he was living; he was a gracious and fine man. He had a cousin who was a noted insurance man and planned the insurance system used by the U.S. government during the World War. His name was Charles F. Nesbit, he lived and died in Washington where his father, a lawyer, ran a Real Estate Agency and became wealthy. I have a copy of a book Charles wrote on his branch of the Nesbit family and I believe you have one, and if not, I think you could get one from his son Frank Nesbit, an attorney in Washington D.C. A year ago Frank went to Scotland and visited Berwickshire.
My wife took a severe cold three or four weeks ago and has a severe cough which is somewhat better; but bothers her when she gets up in the mornings. Our little grand-daughter, Miriam, Leonard's only child has been quite sick with tonsillitis, but is better. Aloria, Leonard's wife, had a bad cold; rest all well. Leonard is very busy and Preston's practice has picked up considerably in December and January. He is at Arlington, Texas.
I had only four funerals in 1935 and only one of those in my congregation; but I have had five since first of the year and another tomorrow afternoon with three of the six, members; three of the funerals last week. Two years ago I had thirteen deaths in the congregation, the most in my fourteen years as pastor here.
Give my kindest regards to your wife and daughter. I called on the relative of Mrs. Been and daughter a few days ago. Although 98 years of age she seems to be quite well, but she did not enjoy the cold weather. As soon as the weather gets warmer they expect to go to Cynthiana for a while, and she would like to go back to Kentucky before returning to California.
Very Cordially yours,
John Pratt Nesbit.
** ** ** ** **
June 2, 1936.
Dear Cousin Otis,
Started a letter to you several days ago; but failed to get it written. Have been very busy as we have had a great deal of sickness in the congregation; meetings to attend, presbytery, and now vacation Bible School and four Bible Studies for the Young Peoples' Presbyterial to prepare.
Esther got home from Hartford City, Indiana last Friday. The board there gave her a raise and employed her for another year, making her a tenure teacher; so she does not have to look for a school. The Music Supervisor of our Princeton School was married the first of May and this leaves this position open. We hear they have fifteen applications but Esther is not one of them. She plans to attend summer school and start working on her Masters Degree.
Mrs. Nesbit attended the General Womans' Missionary Convention at St. Louis May 22nd. to 26th., and then came down to Sparta, Illinois, my former charge. I drove over for her and we had a nice visit with former friends and got home last Friday before Esther arrived.
Leonard, wife and baby came down Saturday afternoon; but had to return to Anderson Sabbath afternoon as he had an operation Monday morning. He is kept very busy although there are two E.N.T. men in Anderson. He is taking care of most of the cases that used to go to Indianapolis.
Preston did very well at Arlington, Texas from December to April; but since May his practice has been light; but he likes it very much and has been urging us to come to Dallas for the Texas Centennial; he is only eighteen miles from Dallas. I enjoyed the letter from Mrs. Ethel Nesbit Dobson and think it would be fine if you could spend part of the summer vacation on the Ottawa River; but this would be out of the question for me that last two weeks of August when she suggests it is open, if we go to Arlington, Texas as Preston desires so earnestly.
Will copy what she has written about Linda Nesbitt and Louis Marino Nesbit as I wish to preserve it.
Should you be coming to the reunion at Cynthiana next August we would like to have you spend a night with us.
I wrote a letter today to a Professor Russel Nelson of Saint James School, near McConnelsburgh, Pa. He is a descendant of Thomas Nisbet, one of the five brothers who came to "Penn Land" in 1728. He is also related to the Francis Nesbit family. Francis was a brother of my great-grandfather, Wm. Nisbet at whose grave the government placed a stone one year ago, as a Soldier of the Revolution.
Give my kindest regards to your good wife and daughters; Mrs. Nesbit and Esther are attending a missionary meeting at the church tonight; but I'm sure they wish to be remembered to you. Esther wants to thank you for the interest you showed toward getting her a position.
Your loving cousin,
John Pratt Nesbit.
** ** ** ** **
POSEY COUNTY NISBET-ENDICOTT REUNION
September, 8, 1936
My Dear Dr. Nesbit:
We were very sorry you could not be with us last Sunday. There were several Endicotts but very few Nesbits, only local clansmen, anyway the day was ideal for it and there were about 150 of us together. I have sent for an item about the affair to the Argus and have asked them to mail you a copy, thinking that you would like to look over the names of those that attended.
Many asked about you during the day and I read your letter to them. We will look for you down this coming year.
Give my regards to Otto Riesing the next time you see him, remember us to your family.
The Nisbet-Endicott Reunion is to be held at Princeton, Indiana the 2nd. Sunday before Labor Day next fall, Sept. 5, 1937. Any Nisbet or Endicott descendants are invited.
With best wishes,
Ivan W. Blase.
ONE OF THE PERU, IND. NISBET FAMILY
January 7, 1936.
I received your latest budget on "Nesbitology" this morning and I think the word you have coined as a name for this work very appropriate. I also wish to heartily thank you for remembering me in spite of the fact that I never wrote in recognition of your last budget. I especially enjoyed the poem on the first page written by Wilbur D. Nesbit. It so expresses sentiments of my own which I have found difficult to put into words.
I never cease to be thrilled as I read these budgets at the outstandingness of the Nisbets. They are certainly mentally alert. So many physicians, lawyers, teachers, ministers and now I am finding poets and authors. I have always felt an unusual power stirring within my own conscience, a depth of feeling and the ability to hold on even though the world about me seemed to be trying to strangle me that made me feel that there was a fine heritage within me. Now I believe I can understand and I am very happy and very proud of my ancestry.
Thanking you again and please remember me every time. Love to the wife and I hope you will be in Peru at my next reunion. We hardly got acquainted last year.
293 W. 3rd.
(Nesbitology was a name given us by Dr. Robert Nesbitt of England. O.B.N.).
** ** ** ** **
MRS. EMMA LEE NISBET WHITE
324 Park Ave., Rock Hill, S.C.
Sends the following.
I Alexander Nisbet (What Alexander ? O.B.N.).
II Col. William Nisbet - Soldier patriot and farmer - Served in the Battle of Camden -
married Jemime Baker.
III William Nisbet Jr. - born 1788 at Union County, S.C., died Sept. 22, 1828.
IV John Newton Nisbet. - Son of William Nisbet Jr. and Mary Douglas - born Sept.
29, 1823 - died July 19, 1899 - married Mary Jane Phifer.
V Edward William Nisbet - Son of John Newton Nisbet and Mary Jane Phifer. Born
Feb. 3, 1859 - died June 6, 1908. Married 1st, Lula Taylor Lee. 2nd, Ida
VI Emma Lee Nisbet White, daughter of Edward William Nisbet and Lula Taylor Lee,
- born at Van Wyck July 26, 1882, married James Webb White, Rock Hill, S.C.
VII Webb Nisbet White - son of Emma Lee Nisbet White and James Webb White, born
Rock Hill, S.C., Park Avenue, May 24, 1913.
** ** ** ** **
JOHN NESBITT FAMILY
9129 Jones Mill Road,
August 13, 1936.
My Dear Dr. Nesbit
I received the very interesting data concerning the Nesbit-t family which you forwarded to me early last year, and fully intended to write you sooner, but kept putting the matter off.
My name is John Nesbitt; I was born in the district of Columbia, near the City of Washington, and am a citizen of Maryland.
My father Henry Nesbitt was born in Washington, D.C. in the year 1871; he died in 1924.
My grandfather, one of a family of six boys and six girls, was born in County Roscommon, Ireland about 1847; he came to America during the Civil War and enlisted as a Trooper in Company K., Fifth Cavalry, United States Army; he died in 1931.
My great-grandfather, whose Christian name I do not know, and may have spelled his name with one 't' was born in Scotland about 1800 or shortly thereafter, and emigrated to Ireland, where he settled in Roscommon and kept an Inn. I remember hearing that several of his brothers emigrated to America and settled in the Mississippi Valley. One of them entered the ship-building business in New Orleans, I believe, and I remember hearing that upon his death my grandfather, John Nesbitt, shared in his estate.
I read over a small volume in the Library of Congress recently by one Alexander Nesbitt, which deals with the history of the Nesbit-t family in Ireland, but could not connect it up.
In this connection, I picked up a copy of "Letters of Mary Nisbet", by Nisbet Hamilton Grant, at a bookstall sometime ago. I note that the shield on the cover is apparently the same as that described by Alexander Nesbitt -- three boars' heads sable on a field argent.
I am enclosing a letter, written more than forty years ago, which I ran across sometime ago and which you may have if you desire. The Mr. Elkins referred to is the late United States Senator from West Virginia, and the letter was written to my grandfather by Jesse R. Grant, son of President Grant.
I feel keenly interested in the work you are doing to preserve the records and traditions of the Nesbit-t clan, and wish you much success.
I am also enclosing a money order for one dollar for a copy of 'Nisbet House'. I will appreciate it if you will send it to me at room 26, Court Appeals Building, Fifth & E. Streets, N.W. Washington, D.C.
If I can be of any assistance to you in your commendable work, please let me know.
(Thanks for the list of names. O.B.N.).
October 26, 1892.
My Dear Nesbitt,
I take pleasure in sending you the enclosed and hope if your son has not yet got the position he seeks it will aid you in securing it. I do not know who is head of the printing office but hope Mr. Elkins will give you such letters as will bring the business about. Your letter to me got mislaid and I have just found it when packing my trunk for an early departure to San Francisco.
If I can do any more in this please write me addressing 306 Pine Street, San Francisco.
Jesse R. Grant.
Mr. John B. Nesbit, War Department.
You had better present my letter with your letter to me to Mr. Elkins when he returns to Washington.
** ** ** ** **
4400 Center Avenue
September 17, 1936.
Dear Dr. Nesbit,
It was my purpose today to send you the address of the Rev. Charles Nesbit or Nisbet of the Carolinas but have mislaid it, perhaps you have this line and may not be interested
for I learn from our good friend Dr. Nesbit of Princeton, Ind. that your hunt for the Nesbits has been wide and diligent.
In April of 1935 and 1936, I visited while returning from the South a relative of my mother of the great Smith clan.
My cousin, for that is what I love to call her, has a sister called George Emma Smith (George is for her father), born March 24, 1884, who married first, Osbern Bevard Nisbet of Eatonton, Georgia. I know nothing of his history but know he was a fine man. He died, I believe from injuries or disease contracted in the World War, leaving one child christened Karen Brevard Nisbet who in honor of her father, adopted the name Brevard Nisbet.
I am enclosing her newspaper picture and her coat of arms, both of which I ask you to kindly return to me.
I thought you might be able, from the arms, tell what branch of the family she is descended from. I am not familiar with this cut. The scales seem to point to the legal profession, and I think Dr. John Nesbit told me you had once visited Nesbit House as the guest of a great legal light in London. Perhaps he would know which family bore these arms. I am no longer making any research in this line besides I look to you and Dr. John as the great unravellers of our family history.
I am at present working on the Smith line and quite accidentally ran into these facts.
Do you know anything of a Nathaniel and a John Nesbit who were members of the Welsh Run Church, Pa. as early as 1774?
Some eight years ago one of the York County Nesbits sent me a newspaper clipping stating that the estate of Nathaniel Nesbit (or tt) was about to be distributed by the Courts of Baltimore where he may have retired to, late in life. You will notice the Welsh Run Church was in the neighborhood of the Maryland line.
The clipping stated that Nathaniel had left a sum of money in trust for perhaps ninety-nine years, at any rate it amounted to one million dollars at present. It seems a plumber made a claim but I never heard how the estate was distributed, perhaps it has never been, and it would be difficult to prove heirship at this late date. I returned the clipping at his request to the party who sent it saying I had not found the name Nathaniel anywhere in our family list.
The fact that it is associated with that of John Nesbit is an interesting fact that may be of value to you.
I can only work at intervals as I am the victim of diabetes and must take insulin twice daily. Two widely separated diagnosticians, one in Battle Creek and one in Washington discovered that I also had lymphatic leukemia, these together with a thyroid operation three years ago have slowed my tempo of life and the anaemia taxes my strength to such a degree that I can only work at intervals. I am anxious to do anything I can to further the interest of our people but feel I must bring to a conclusion a few labors that particularly intrigue me.
I have in the hands of a typist now a collection of my verses which my husband insists on publishing but I think not before spring. My sister in Florida sent me a newspaper feature written up by the poet laureate of Florida and when I confess to having lived almost seventy-four years you will understand I feel very happy at still being considered "news" by the press.
I am enclosing a few notes about the Welsh Run Church just to locate it for you and the photo of Miss Nesbit.
Wishing you every success in your work I am
Blanche T. Hartman.
The Welsh Run Church
The Welsh Run Church was near the Philip Davis Fort on the farm of Jacob Royer. It was the most southerly of the Pennsylvania Forts and older than Fort Louden and Fort McCord and follows close upon the building of McDowells Fort and Fort Steel.
It was designed to cover the southern chain of forts guarding the fords of the Potomac, Blair Valley, Duns Gap, Path Valley and other openings in the mountains near by.
Many of the settlers here were compelled to flee to other settlements for safety, (temporarily). The original log church was burned by the Indians in 1761.
A globe of 100 acres was deeded by the Penns to Wm. Duffield and others in 1767 and the second meeting house was built in 1774.
This deed was given in trust for the Presbyterian Church at Conococheague, Peters twp., Cumberland County, Pa. in 1767.
This second meeting house was built in 1774.
Upper Conococheague is now Mercersburg Church and lower east Conocochegue [sic] was the Greencastle Church.
To digress, you will see in my book under Carson that Judge Carson purchased and lived for years in the old Buchanan Mansion now the Mercersberg Hotel and another Carson was pastor at the Greencastle Church. My sister married into the Carson family and I attended one of the family reunions a few years ago held in the Mercersberg Hotel which has not been greatly changed since the days of the Carsons.
In 1744 a new church was built on 3 acres of land on the Robert Smith place, now commonly called "Kennedy's Meeting House".
The second meeting house was built in 1774. Among the names of the early settlers were Davis, Duffield, Nathaniel Nesbit and John Nesbit, etc., etc.
The whole region from Welsh Run to Louden and St. Thomas was settled in 1739. The meeting house at Church Hill was placed in the center of this district and in that year, the church, the Hill Church or Upper West Conocochegue was founded.
The Welsh were the first to come into the Welsh Run District, but about 1741 the Scotch-Irish began to come and founded a church on the Elliott farm scarcely a mile north.
Its first pastor was the Rev. Mr. Dunlap from Scotland. He was succeeded by the Rev. James Campbell in 1749.
I am sorry these notes are not in better form but this material was called to my attention by my hostess just as we were leaving for home and were very hastily taken but I hope you may be able to get something from them by interest and perhaps a clue.
Mrs. Riley had a little pamphlet gotten out for the anniversary of Welsh Run which leads me to wonder if there might not be a connection between the Nesbits and this settlement and the Nisbets of Georgia.
If I am fortunate enough to find the Rev. Charles Nesbit's address I shall send it by post card.
I shall be very glad to hear what progress you have made in the past year or two in the Nesbit pedigree.
The Rev. John Nesbit tells me I have the wrong coat of arms assigned to my branch. I am glad to have that correction.
It was given me by one of the research workers at our Carnegie Library and I did not question her knowledge. I am still a tyro in that line of work and always grateful for correction of errors.
We were invited to visit a nephew for one week at Macatewa Park, Michigan and I had hoped to go by way of Chicago and call upon you at Gary, but our time was so limited we could not do it. If you ever come our way, do come to see us, but do let us know in advance as my husband takes me away frequently and I would not like to miss you.
Very sincerely yours,
Blanche T. Hartman.
Hugh W. Nesbitt, manager of the Bank of Montreal at Montreal and an uncle are getting out a book on their family, Mrs. Dobson writes.
I hope to get some data on this family sometime.
** ** ** ** **
Charles Nisbet, D.D., Dickenson College
Charles Nisbet came from Montrose, Scotland to Philadelphia and on to Carlisle, Pa. He had preached in Glasgow before going to Montrose. He was born in Haddington, Scotland, Jan. 21, 1736 of parents unable to give him an education beyond the local schools. When 19 he entered the University of Edinburgh, graduated in 1754, then spent 6 years in the Divinity School. He made his way by tutoring. He went to Montrose as assistant to an aged incumbent, became pastor in 1773 upon the death of the pastor. He came to America in 1785 and died at Carlisle and is buried in the "Old Graveyard".
"Sacred to the memory of Charles Nisbet, Doctor of Sacred Theology who by the unanimous invitation of the trustees of Dickenson College, that he might undertake the duties of Provost, emigrated from Scotland, his native country; came to Carlisle in the year of Our Lord 1785 and there through nineteen years with the highest approbation discharged the office. A man, if such exists, of integrity and piety, in all learning most accomplished, of reading immense, memory faithful, in real acumen of wit, pleasantry and satire by universal acknowledgment, truly astonishing: but to no mortal offensive, except to those who under the cloak of philosophy, insult religion. But to his family and friends, for manners, sweet, being cheerful and social, beloved without a rival. He gently breathed out his life on the 17th. of January, 1804".
"He left 4 children. Tom, the oldest, was just reaching manhood in 1785, was dissipated, died shortly after his father without reformation, never married. The other son, Alexander, born in Scotland in 1777 graduated from Dickenson College in 1794, for many years a city judge in Baltimore and a railroad president. He erected the monument to his father. He had seven children. Three sons all died in early life; he also had four daughters. Charles Nisbet's daughter, Mary, in 1790 married Wm. Turnbull of Pittsburgh, but later Baltimore. He a Scotsman, 9 children, 4 sons, 5 daughters, all living 1840. The youngest daughter married Dr. McCosky of Carlisle; son became Right Rev. Samuel McCosky, the distinguished Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. One daughter married Rev. Erskin Mason, D.D. of N.Y., son of Pres. John M. Mason of the Dickenson College: another daughter married Prof. Chas. D. Cleveland of D. College, Dickenson. -- Dickenson College, 1783-1933 by James Henry Morgan".
Dr. Samuel Miller wrote biography of Dr. Chas. Nisbet. It was written 36 years after his death.
** ** ** ** **
C.H. Thomas, 5422 College Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana wants help in locating progenitors of Daniel Thomas who married Sarah Amos at Paris, Kentucky in 1801. He was born in 1788. He has the Amos line back to England.
LANCASTER COUNTY, PENN., RECORDS
Miss Barbara K. Maylan 455 South Shippen St., Lancaster, Pa. will send you the Index of the Will Books and Intestate Records of Lancaster Co., Penns. 1729-1850. Price $2.00.
April 22, 1936
My Dear Dr. Nesbit,
Judge Clyde Bruce Aitchison a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission for 29 years, located at 1929 S. St., N.W. Washington, D.C., has his family history for the last 200 years.
I met the judge when he was in Chicago listening to arguments for and against the daylight savings times.
I called you the afternoon the judge was here, hoping we might be able to have dinner together. But I was not successful in being able to reach anyone at your home.
I believe the Ex Congressman from Illinois, Walter Nesbit, Bellsville, Illinois may also have some material.
I am happy to know that you are corresponding with the Henry Nesbitts of Washington.
I think I shall be able to obtain material from my father-in-law, Col. Robert Nesbit of Campbellsville, Kentucky.
Also there is a Burgess Nesbitt, Vice Pres. Colliers Publishing, New York, N.Y. who I believe also has some interesting history material. If you have not received any news from him, I suggest that you write to him, for he is quite a prominent individual. He said in a letter to me that he was most interested in the work you are doing. I sent him all the Nesbitology that you sent me.
I am hoping to see the daughter-in-law of Wilbur D. Nesbitt, and hope to obtain her cooperation also.
Yours very truly,
Marjorie Nesbit M.D.
** ** ** ** **
A.L. Nesbitt, 76, retired Waukegan, Wis. Music Merchant, died May 6, 1936. Three daughters and one son survive - Chicago Tribune.
** ** ** ** **
THE WHITE HOUSE
My Dear Dr. Nesbit,
Dr. Margaret Nesbit sent me your "Nesbitology" a few days ago. We shall be very glad to read it at our first opportunity. I was very sorry indeed that we did not answer your letters more promptly, but things are so fast and furious here that there are about fifty other similar letters that have not been replied to.
My husband's family came to this country in '88, and there is a branch in the eastern part of Canada near Montreal who have the same great-grandparents. Then there is another branch out in Vancouver emanating from the same family, but we have not yet run across any of the Nesbitts that settled in Pennsylvania who belong to this branch of the Nesbitt family. Our genealogy is packed up in Hyde Park so I am sorry to say I cannot give you any details other than the above.
Thanking you for your interest and kindness, I am
Very yours truly
Mrs. Henrietta Nesbitt.
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Miss Brevard Nisbet of Ft. Myers, Florida with an A.B. from Wellesly College and M.A. from Mount Holyoke toured Europe last year, she was formerly from Macon, Georgia, a daughter of O.B. Nisbet deceased. Her mother is Mrs. Roy Stubbs.
YOU CAN LOOK FOR US SOME DAY. THANKS
Canon City, Colorado, Jan. 7, 1936.
Dear O.B. Nesbit,
Your Nesbitology and later card received. Thank you very kindly for the great Nesbitology. I read it with much interest. I think I surely must be 'kin' to all that fine bunch of noted and useful clan.
I note what your card says about, you have "our number" that I sent to Miss McLaughlin. I think I recall hearing from her. I have no copy and so I may state some things here I did not send her. I read with interest about Dr. Robert Nesbit.
His early education was received in Ballybay (Ballibay) the way we spelled it at our Ballibay School house and Post Office, Bradford County, Penn., where my sister Margaret and my father were Postmistress and Post Master. My father, the first P.M.
But it was from Ballybay that my parents came. Settled in the woods in Penn. I will briefly state relative to their name and coming:
My grandfather, William Nesbit came first to Quicks Bend in Brad, Co. His sister had married one Gamble and had preceded him. He there obtained work and saved sufficient funds to send for his father, Nathaniel and brother Nathaniel and his wife and children who all came together to the new land in a sailing vessel. Taking weeks to make the voyage. My father was then seven years of age.
His father William Nesbit purchased a farm in the woods. Erected a log house in the month of December he moved his family of three or four children into the new log house. Soon, before the windows and doors were in place there was born a son David Nesbit. Blankets or quilts were put up covering the open spaces for a time.
They were three miles from Camptown a little town. I know not but I think no Dr. there. So often, as you know, the midwife attended in such case. My grandfather and my father, now a lad of perhaps nine carried their belongings this distance of three miles taking a path through the woods. They would carry a load until it became so heavy. Then putting it down walk back, resting as they walked and return with another load. Grandfather had secured an ox team and sled that had drawn the belongings so far as the little town. Then only a path to the new home. When a boy I helped remove the stones from the old chimney that had fallen.
The farm seemed to be a center and the school district No. 1 was named Ballibay. In addition to the Nesbit family, and the Nathaniel Nesbit who came with my grandfather, there were a number of families came from the north of Ireland and County Monaghan. Namely Erskine, Hillis, Haney McPherson, Morrow, Graham, Boyd, Branyan and Mittens, Woods, McAllister, Stethers, Fee, Lee and Dauherty. All Protestants of the Covenanter Stock.
At one time a covenanter church was organized and carried on for some years. So our family was brought up on the shorter Catechism. Glad I was. The other day I called on a man born in Canada who is a member of our Presbyterian Church. He is sick in bed with an incurable condition. Soon after I got in he said "Nesbit have you got a catechism in your pocket"? I recalled that in a conversation not long before we had mentioned the catechism and I told him I had a small one I would bring him. Since, I have taken it to him. Well, he is a Scotchman.
My grandfather William Nesbit had two sons, John and David. John had seven children, six who grew to maturity. Dead Adeline J. who has a son who is a Dr. Morrow. This son has two sons who are doctors. They went through medical college together. A daughter who is still living, past 80, Margaret is the Post Mistress; William N. dead, the grandfather of Rev. Wm. Nesbit Vincent mentioned in your letter. Two sons living, no sons born to them.
John Fee N. dead. He was a business man, postmaster. Served in State Legislature three or four terms. Made a canvas for Congress. Died of heart trouble on the Saturday night before selection day. Good show for election. One son living.
Andrew David Nesbit, doctor, died with a stroke. A very successful practitioner. A man, every inch a man. Loved by man (as most doctors should be) (sic), one daughter.
Richard Grant, the writer. Two sons living, oldest son was through the World War in the thick of it. Wrote reminiscences very graphic. Passed from us about three years ago. (war is a terrible thing).
John G. a rancher, a college graduate, Civil and irrigation engineer.
Paul W. a college graduate with M.A. A teacher and during vacations he is a ranger naturalist. A mountain climber, is called upon much to lecture to schools, groups and Hi-Y boy conferences. Has a little son.
Our father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
These four sons named above have all served in Presbyterian Churches as elders. Three of them in the same church.
I have served in two churches. My special interest was in S.S. work. I have been a business man most of my life. Spent about 12 years in the banking business. Loosing health caused me to stop bank and move to Colorado 29 years ago. In a year I was at work again and have, for most time been active in business.
All my father's family were teachers in public schools in Tenn.
We four brothers all came to Tekamah, Neb. and were all interested together in business and bank.
Brother William did not have good health for several years.
Let me correct a reference you have relative to Rev. William Nesbit Vincent. His mother's name was Nellie, the missionary. Never have I read a testimony to equal hers written to her people of her faith and trust in God. It was wonderful.
I read the letter with much interest telling of the visit to the "Nisbet Estate", it is certainly great. I like W.D. Nesbit's poems of which you write and the one you give is fine. I love poetry and jokes, even Scotch jokes.
It is quite my custom to slip in the letters I write to my sons and cousins and friends some little joke.
I certainly like much to meet you and your good wife. I enjoyed her part of the letter. I know we could have a good visit. You come to Canon City, Colo. for a vacation and we will climb the mountains and see the great out of doors. We are near some very interesting drives. About six miles for a walk up the river thru the Royal Gorge to the swinging bridge and above us 1053 feet we will cross under the highest bridge in the world above water and the R.R. tracks. It spans the Royal Gorge. Or by auto we may drive to it 14 miles distant. Then you may look down into this deep canyon. - The deepest thru which a R.R. passes. We may camp out and fish if you wish to. I am not a fisherman. But can watch others. We might start up some deer quite close to town. Well come see the Nesbits out here and we will swap "Nesbitology" and might swap a bit of Nesbit theology. For if I mistake not, you have a daughter abroad perhaps a teacher or a missionary.
I enjoyed the part of her account of her travels.
A year ago, last September John and wife with us, we drove thru to the Fair. Leaving them there to return home, we in a couple of days went to Penn. our old home. Leaving Chicago one Sabbath morn, we got to Valporaiso in time for church expecting to meet and hear Rev. William Nesbit Vincent. To our disappointment he was not there but at our city. We had been told wrong, but we met a young lady who had met our son Paul at Boulder University and who had climbed Longs Peak in a party he had led.
One winter in Calif. I made a contact with a Miss Nesbit at Long Beach. I think her father was a retired attorney. I did not scrape up a kin. One time at Burgestown, Pa. I met a Presbyterian minister and a doctor, both Nesbits.
We have a Nesbit family out at Penrose about 15 miles. They are from Illinois.
I received a letter from a Rev. Samuel Nesbit, I think from Ohio, recommending a pastor for our church. Well the country must be full of them. A very wealthy Nesbit in Wilkesbarr, Pa.
I was pleased of the different ways of spelling Nesbit that has been found. I wonder if it was because some of them were "put out of the Clan" for some misdemeanor. Ways of spelling the name reminds me of the story about the Irishman that could speak different languages.
He was present when some men were referring to a young man who was, they said, a bright fellow and could speak two languages. Pat was interested and inquired what two languages he could speak, they informed him "English and French". Pat remarked, "ah that's nuthing, I can speak three languages myself". They inquired what three. "The English, the Irish and the profane". Some day I might send you a few Scotch jokes.
I am sure you have much pleasure and chance to follow up in the hunting out of the Nesbits. You no doubt make some interesting contacts. I am pleased at the manner you throw in some bit of information and direction about things of interest, about the ties and the tartan etc.
When you contact Mr. Endicott give him my appreciation of his "Wood Smoke" and his ability to take from the walls of memories, things of interest and cheer to him while he is hindered from active life.
From our old home in Pennsylvania we went on south to Florida and spent last winter, returning along the gulf and thru Texas, visited Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. When you come west on a vacation you should plan to visit them.
Now I have written a rambling disjointed letter already too long for a busy doctor to read.
I do not know that I have added a bit to the Nesbitology that you care for. But even though our family may have no part in your clan, it gives a little touch of those who bear the same name.
I might say my mother's maiden name was Mary Fee. Her father was a tailor in Balibay, Ireland. Mother was 15 when they came to Pa. and father was 7. Mother would relate many more events about the doings, sing Irish songs and could tell of some of her ancestors who had come from Scotland, and of some of the Orangemen's parades and fights. With an apology for anything I have written I shouldn't have. I am hoping to show you some mountains and high places in Colorado of course you will bring Mrs. Nesbit along. To my new friends by correspondence.
Richard G. Nesbit.