Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sarah Jane Norton Diaries: Sharon Springs, NY

In the spring of 1864, 24-year-old Sarah Jane Norton, her 28-year-old husband Austin, and the couple's infant son Charlie emigrated from Sharon Springs, New York, to Ypsilanti. Sarah kept a diary over the next 43 years until her death in November of 1906. Her 1864 diary will be serialized here during 2012. To see all entries to date, see the "Sarah Jane Norton" tag at bottom.

At left she is pictured in 1888 at age 49. Introduction to the Norton family.

2/5/1864: Elma came for us to go to Mr Vooreses. but I thought I would wait untill Almire came here

2/6/1864: Eve Vansaltinberg came here this afternoon. I sold her my carpet-rags Albert came about 4ockock. I very glad to see him. I was so glad I did not know whether to cry or laugh. he has enlisted again for three years I am sorry. he had been home but a little while he gave me 58 dollars and ring that he paid 2 for he did not go to bed till after ten

2/7/1864; We sat up with George last night I set up untill three, then Aut got up and I went to bed Albert went to Uncle Bens, Aut went as far as Henry Smiths with him

2/8/1864: Washed the flanel to day. I had a good many and I thought I would divide it.

2/9/1864: Aut work for Jake Anthony Albert a Delos came between ten and eleven I was washing my white clothes they stayed a little while. then went down to Gardnersville to see [Sile]. I Irond part of my clothes this afternoon. Chalie as very cross I do not believe he is very well

2/10/1864: finished Ironing and baked some Albert an Caroline Noyes came a little before noon. I got dinner at three. Aut was down street allmost all day We were to Mr. Collins donation this evening to Rockville. there were a great many there he got 188 dollars. Albert and his couses [cousins?] were there we had charlie with us he was good. we got home half past 10

2/11/1864: Went to the stoar this morning. Albert did not get up untill nine o'clock then he went of with Seth Merenus and Barny Davis

These diaries were written by Sarah Jane Norton and are the property of the Norton Family. They may be used and reproduced for genealogical and historical purposes only. No commercial use is allowed without the express, written permission of Dennis Norton and no charge may be made for, nor income derived from their use.


Lisele said...

Love this diary. Can't wait til they get to Ypsi. When she says, "Washed the flannel," does that mean underwear?

Dusty D said...

Yes ma'am--and likely some of it was her own flannel underwear. From Wiki:

" union suit is a type of one-piece long underwear. Created in Utica, New York, United States, it originated as women's wear during the 19th-century United States clothing reform efforts, as an alternative to constricting garments, and soon gained popularity among men as well. The first union suit was patented in 1868 as "emancipation union under flannel."[1] Traditionally made of red flannel with long arms and long legs, it buttoned up the front and had a button-up flap in the rear covering the buttocks (colloquially known as the "access hatch", "drop seat", "fireman's flap", and other names), allowing the wearer to eliminate bodily waste without removing the garment. Depending on the size, some union suits can have a dozen buttons on the front to be fastened through buttonholes from the neck down to the groin area."

I imagine in the drafty, uninsulated, unevenly heated homes of the mid-19th century you'd wear long underwear indoors throughout the whole winter.

(TMI: DD does too, so I can keep the thermostat low and because I'm often out biking somewhere in wintertime). Not red though. And not that you asked. :)