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Admin/Biog History Thomas Boting Petford Sr. was born circa 1790 in Worcestor, England. He served in the British Military circa 1815. He married Mary Lowesmore and they had at least five children; Thomas Jr., John, Henry (Harry), Mary Ann, and Elizabeth. The family immigrated to the United States through the port of New York in 1845. They sent Tom Jr. ahead while Tom Sr. and part of the family followed to Wisconsin Territory in 1846. They came to Milwaukee and then to Butte des Morts. Thomas Sr. died in Butte des Morts on Friday October 25, 1850 from stomach ulcers complicated by severe drinking. His wife Mary died July 7, 1876 at the age of 74 and is burried in Plummer Cemetery. No trace of Thomas Sr.'s grave can be found. His son mentions in a letter that he was to be burried in Oshkosh, but the earlier burrials were moved to Riverside Cemetery, which has no records of his grave. He is not burried in the family plot.
Classification Archives
Collection Petford Collection
Dates of Accumulation October 1847
Abstract Letter to Mary Lowesmore Petford and Thomas B. Petford, Sr. in Milwaukee from their daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law Julius Jenkins. They had all come from England together, but the Petfords had continued on to Wisconsin Territory. She discusses their separation and the prospect of others immigrating.

To Mr Thomas Boting Petford
United States Hotel
Wisconsin Territory

New York October [section missing]

Dear Parents,

When these few lines find you and all our dear relations in perfect health we be very glad and pleased. Hoping that you forgive us for not answering your letter from the 29 August as sooner than now. Julius has not had time because he only comes home every other night and has been employed all this time on board the steamboat as second pilot and very likely will be till the river closes.
Dear mother, I see by your letter that you have been very ill and that Ann [Lowesmore Petford] has been very attentive. Give our kind thanks to her for that and I wished that I lived a little closer then I would have done it. Me and Julius have been very healthy and hope to continue so if the Lord spare us. We still lived at Mr. Hartman's because Betsey could not part from them and so we did not go to Albany. Mr. Hearstly is going away so think very hard and he has to leave the farm next spring. He intends to come up to you. [section missing] and get settled there.
Dear mother it has been very warm here this summer and many have died here from the heat [illegible] we have some pleasant days. Everything is getting very dear here. Potatoes are now 2 dollars a barrel, Flour 5.25 to 5.50, Coal 6 dollars per ton. We bought 1 ton of coal and a load of wood for the winter and some pork, beef and potatoes and half a barrel of flour.
Dear mother, I wrote to England for Betsey Goodwin and little Mary Ann and expect them over here next spring here in New York. And I hope you won't forget to come and pay us a visit next spring. I think that I would feel more comfortable if I lived closer to you and had offered a chance of seeing any one of you. We often sit down in the evening and talk about you than you know. It cannot be helped. Julius expects to go captain next spring of one new and large schooner which is building now and belonged to the same owners and employ he is in now to which Capt. Bailey of the Yorkshire recommended him.
Dear mother give our best respects to [section missing] Ann and Thomas and brother John and [section missing] them that I shall feel very much [section missing] to them of the will come down around [section missing] to their promise and see us and hoping you have the kindness and write us so soon as possible. We remain

Your obedient children
Elizabeth and Julius Jenkins

Forgive my hard writing for it is 2 o'clock and dear Betsey is fast asleep. I am going off again tomorrow morning at 4 o'clock to Amboy and New Brunswick.

Yours Julius

Direct as before
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID RG10.12
Object Name Letter
People Petford, Thomas B., Sr.
Jenkins, Julius
Jenkins, Elizabeth Petford
Subjects Immigrants
Emigration & immigration
Westward movement
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009