All of these letters were sent to Lillie Rackley by Elise Mae (Atwell) Smith. They have some interesting information on the Atwells, Nunns, Jewell & Bastin families. They are interesting reading.
Letter from Elsie Mae (Atwell) Smith, postmarked 17 Mar 1987:
"March 15 '87 Hardyville Ky R2 Box 159 Dear Mrs. Rackley, I was given a letter from you by Mrs. Victor Atwell. My name is Mrs Elsie Atwell Smith. I am a widow age 94 years. I am daughter of John W Atwell, grand daughter of William Atwell, g grand daughter of John Atwell. John Atwell & family lived in N. Carolina, moved to Virginia & cam(e) to Ky with 3 other families in wagon train of covered wagons. The other families were Jewell's, Nunn & Bastins. My grandfather William Atwell was born in N. Carolina in Aug 16, 1800. He had 1 sister Margaret Atwell, 2 bros, Benjamin Atwell & Joel Atwell. William first married Hettie McCarty in Green Co. They had 5 children - 2 boys & 3 girls:
James Atwell married Sarah Gooch
Shelton Atwell was never married
Hannah Atwell married John T. Curry
Sallie Atwell married a Shaw (1st husband) 2nd was Patrick Carter.
Ann Atwell married a John Lile
William's first wife died & he married Nancy Ellen Jewell (my g mother) She had 2 boys.
Jackson Atwell & John W. Atwell (my father).
Benjamin Atwell married Lucinda Erwin. They had 4 boys & 5 girls. BOYS: James Willis, John T. Rush & Job. Girls: Fannie, Sallie Ann, Jane, Susan, don't remember the one's name.
Margaret married Jimmie Jewell, had 3 boys & 4 girls: William, Joseph, John, Nancy, Rachel & Betsy Ann. I never knew any thing about Uncle Joel's family. I have heard my father speak of James Quinton Atwell & also James F & America Slinker but I never knew them. My father was born in 1863. Grandfather William was 63 when my Dad was born, but I think James F & James Quinton Atwell were related to my family. I am a widow 94 years old & still live at home alone & able to get around & do for myself. The Lord has blessed me with a long and useful life. I feel like I have more to thank the Lord for than anyone.
I hop(e) you can read this as I don't write very well any more. I piece quilts & quilt also. Will close. May God bless you & yours, Love, Elsie Atwell Smith.
Letter postmarked May 12, 1987, from Mrs. Elsie Smith, Rt 2, Box 159, Hardyville, Ky. 42746:
"May 10, 87, Hardyville, Ky. R 2 Box 159 42746 Dear Lillie Mae, Guess you think I had forgotten you as I have waited so long to write, hope finds you well. I have not been so well last month or two but still able to stay at home & do for myself. We are having real nice weather here but need some more rain, temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees during day & lower 50 at night.You asked what my Mother's name was. She was Josephine Carter & married John William Atwell Dec 29 1885 There was 4 of us children Nellie Atwell (Phillips) b Dec 21 1886; Elsie Atwell (Smith) born Jan 19-1893; Ezra Atwell b Dec 3 1899; Hallie Atwell b Jan 20, 1901. They are all dead but me & I was 94 Jan 19 1987. My husband died June 15, 1964. His name was William Daniel Smith. We had 4 children: Gladys Mae Smith b Feb 23-1909; Herbert Smith b May 1st died May 1st 1911; Henry Leon Smith b Feb 19 1913; Mary Irene Smith b Dec 21 1921. Gladys died Dec 6 1971, she just had 1 child, Roger Treece. Leon is living at Horse Cave, he married Maydelle Davis, has 4 girls, Leola, Annetta, Gay & Ella. Irene also lives at Horse Cave. She first married Thurman Nunn. They had 4 boys-Ronald, Donald, Danny & Terry. 1st husband died June 13, 1963, a few years later she married Earl McGlasson, her present husband. I have 9 grand children, 14 great grand children & 2 great great grand sons. I just have 1 nephew & 2 nieces living. All of Nellie's children are dead. We are trying to get all we know about the Atwell's written out & I will have a copy made & send to you. I have a book of old marriages of Green Co. I found Uncle Joel's marriage to Mary Forbis in there was married in 1846. I do not have any first cousins living on the Atwell side & just 1 first cousin on the Carter side, that is just 1 out of 56 ist cousins living. I wish I could see you. Could tell more than can write. May God bless you, Love, Elsie. I do not have any pictures of Grandpa Atwell nor his father nor his bro's. I have the Atwell coat of arms. Atwells originally come from England. I will also have a copy of that made for you. My grandfather Atwell was born Aug 1800 in N. Carolina. He died in Aug 1877 - William Atwell. My father John William Atwell born Aug 7, 1863, died Dec 11, 1956. I hope you can read this. Will send you a copy of it all as soon as I can.
Letter postmarked 06 July 1987 from Mrs. Elsie Smith:
Dear Lillie Mae, Just a few lines. Hope you are well. I am doing fair. Are having hot & humid weather here. Am sending you what I have on the Atwell family. They originally came from England. God bless. Love, Elsie
(Note by Lillie: The following information was enclosed with this letter.)
The Atwell family came to Ky in early eighteen hundreds.
Father John Atwell born in N. Carolina, died in Ky.
Wife ? born N. C. died in Ky.
They came to Virginia - stayed a little while. The Atwells, Jewells, Nunns & Bastins all came to Ky in covered wagons in wagon train together. John Atwell took up a land grant in Green Co. Ky just past the bridge at Crail Hope, Ky. on Ky. 218. Place is now known as Alvie Kesslea place. He & his wife died before he proved up on the land. The family let it go. John & wife are burried on the back of this farm. They only have stones out of rock but at one time could make out the Atwell on it.
They had 4 children:
William Atwell born Aug 1800 died Aug 1877
Margaret Atwell born 1804 died ?
Benjamin born Nov. 24, 1807 died Feb. 13, 1895
Joel Atwell born ? died ?.
This is Elsie Atwell Smith's grandfather:
William married Hester McCarty July 10, 1824 - 1st wife - 5 children:
James (Jim) Atwell born 3-8-1833 died 6-2-1912
Shelton " born ? died ?
Hannah " born ? died ?
Sally or Sarah Atwell born ? died? (married 1st John W. Shaw 3-18-186 (she only put 3 numbers here) 2nd Pat Carter
Ann Atwell born ? died ? married a -?- Lile
William Atwell's 2nd wife, Elsie's grandmother, Nancy Ellen Jewell married 1859
Jackson Atwell born 1-7-1861 died 1917
John William Atwell born 8-7-1863 died 12-11-1956
Letter postmarked 25 Aug 1987 from Mrs. Elsie Smith:
"Hardyville, Ky R 2 Box 159 Aug 22, '87 Dear Lillie Mae, Just a few lines. Hope finds you well. I am still able to be at home & do for myself & still live alone. Guess you thought I had forgotten to write but this hot, humid weather has sapped all energy I had. Has been so hot since middle of May & still 95 to 100 during day & 65 to 70 at night. & has been dry part time. We need rain now, How is the weather there. I sent you some papers on Atwell family. My daughter wrote it out. Never could get it typed. I hope you got it. I was hoping you would get to Ky & come to see me. If I live till Jan 1988 will be 95 years old. My Dad was 93 years 4 months old when he passed away. My Mother was just 69 years old the 8 of Jan 1935 & died Jan 31, '35. There was 4 of us children, 3 girls & 1 boy. I am only one left. I have intended to write or call Judy Frogget to see if she has anything on Atwell family. She researches families. Since I wrote you last my daughter had major surgery. Her husband has lung cancer & son & his wife are both in bad health, hardly able to wait on each other. My son is 74 years old & daughter 66. Well will close. May God bless & keep you is my prayer. If never meet in this world, hope to meet you in Heaven, Love Elsie Smith.
Letter dated Jan 1, 1989 from Elsie Smith:
Dear Lillie Mae & William,
Glad to hear from you all & hope this finds you all well as usual. I am about as usual still able to get from my room to kitchen for meals with my walker. Can't walk without walker or holding to something, but thankful I can still do that. I can still sew on quilts and do that most of time. I pieced a drunkard's path in blue & yellow for a woman in Louisville and now she wants a double wedding ring so will make it next. I plan to make a Maple leaf in near furture is God willing. I never plan very much ahead as we kever know one day what the next will bring. The Lord has really been good to me has cared for me for 96 long years. I am left here for some purpose & pray I can fulfill that purpose. Hope you all had a nice Xmas. We did. Irene's children were all home except 1 son who lives in La. did not get to come. Of course I was not able to get out anywhere. I received so many cards and letters and enjoyed them & so many came by to see me & brought gifts. I had a card from Mrs. Oscar Atwell from Fremont Nebraska. Oscar father was Richard Atwell & Richard's father was Thomas Atwell of Mo. their gg father or ggg was Richard, a bro to our great grandfather John Atwell. It seems like we have relations in almost every state. Was sure glad to get the picture of you & your Mother. There were so many things my father told me about the family that I wish now I had written down at the time he had such a good memory. Up untill about 6 months before he died. He was 93 years & 4 months old when he died. I am about 3 years older now than he was when he died. He was b. in 1863 & died in 1956. My Mother died in 1935 at age of 69. Well the sun has come now has been so dark & gloomy all morning. Old folks used to say dark New Year a good fruit years. Well I will close for now. Think Irene is writing you to take care of yourselves & May God bless you & keep your family.
Love & Best wishes for a happy & prosperous N year.
I love you
Submitted by: Lillie Rackley