Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1850s/1860s Autograph Album of Annie Luella (Caughey) Brunt of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania


1850s/1860s autograph album of Annie Luella Caughey of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, kept before and after her marriage to William Henry Brunt.  The album was presented to Annie in the late 1850s by a friend.


The album is approximately 8-1/2" x 7-1/4" and contains the sentiments of about 50 of Annie's relatives and friends.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.  The album contains three engravings, which are also shown at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Annie Luella Caughey was born 12 February 1842 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of William James Caughey and Susan Elizabeth (Lefevre) Caughey.  An R. C. Caughey, who I believe was Annie's paternal uncle Robert Coulter Caughey, signed the last page in her album.


Other people named Caughey contributed to two group pages in the album, including one signed by Annie's sister Mary M. Caughey and the man she would later marry, William M. Speer.


On 26 September 1860, at Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, Annie married William Henry Brunt, son of William and either his first wife Sarah or his second wife Mary Elizabeth (Beatty) Brunt.  A Harry L. Brunt signed a page in Annie's album; I believe he was Harry Lee Brunt, William Henry Brunt's brother.


There's a very special page in the album that contains a poem written by Annie about her life and family.  A penciled note at the bottom indicates that the page was penned by Annie's husband.  Whether that means he composed the page, perhaps in honor of Annie after her death, or if he transcribed something that she had written into the album, I don't know.  Regardless, it's a wonderful sentiment that mentions her four children:
  1. "Hammie"; William Hamilton Brunt
  2. "Harry"; Henry Lee Brunt
  3. "Nell"; Nellie Lorena Brunt
  4. "little Frank"; Frank Speer Brunt.

"And now ten years have I been married,
Through many lands this book I've carried.
And for the wishes meant so well,
I thank the writers, more'n I can tell.
But if the truth may be confessed,
The joys that are herein expressed,
Don't tell me half what I have known.
Much less my present joys are shown.
What I hope for in the future may
Be judged from what I feel today.
I've found my happiness has been
Exactly doubled each time when
A babe's added to the count,
And nourished at the usual fount.
So I cannot very much be blamed
For wishing more of what I've named.
But lest my wants might make me sad,
From wanting more, the more I had,
I've fixed a number which I must
Secure and be satisfied I trust.
I now have Hammie, Harry, Nell
And little Frank, just walking well.
And if my joy is great with four
What will it be with twenty more.
Annie

I believe that Annie's album came to light at a later time, and at least two of her children, perhaps all, signed pages in it.   The Nellie L. Brunt who signed a page was presumably Annie's daughter Nellie Lorena Brunt.


The F. S. Brunt who signed a page was presumably Annie's youngest, "little Frank, Frank Speer Brunt.


There were quite a few pages where the signers used initials or the handwriting was difficult to decipher, so other Caughey and Brunt relatives likely signed pages in the album.  Family members might be able to tease out more identities from context or from the handwriting in family heirlooms.  If so, please let me know.

Sadly, Annie died fairly young, in 1891.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

A few of the pages I could use some help in deciphering, or that might denote other of Annie's relatives.  I'll number them for the benefit of any readers who might have comments and can tie the comment in to the numbered image.

1)  Appears to be Smith H. Smith, but a reader with knowledge of the families of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, might have a better perspective.


2)   Appears to be S. W. Boyd, but I'm not sure of the first initial.


3)  N. B. or W. B. might be a Brunt.


4)  Appears to be T. Fletcher G. of Allegheny City.


5)  Possibly another Brunt


6 and 7)   J. B. C. Love or I. B. C. Love, or perhaps Love is not a surname at all but rather a term of endearment; and Charles [Love]



8)  Appears to be J. Calhoun B., signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; perhaps another Brunt?


9)  Appears to be Jno. C. B., signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; perhaps another Brunt?


10)  Ned; perhaps a Caughey or Brunt?


11)  page of multiple signers


12)  Harry, perhaps a relative?


13)  Possibly Jonnie Jones?


14)  Someone rubbed out most of the name, but it appears to end in "ter".  There's another page signed by a McAllister, in case that's a clue.  The signer lived in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.


15)  Double page signed by Harry, who might be the same Harry as above.



Surnames in the Album  [Some appear multiple times; many of the signers have undetermined surnames.]

Anderson
Boyd
Brown
Brunt
Caughey
Hartman
Jones
Love
McAllister
McMurray
Miller
Severn
Sieffert
Smith
Speer
Wright

Signers in the album  [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.  Also, if you feel that I've interpreted a surname incorrectly, please advise!]
  • Anonymous
  • Country Friend
  • D. S. H., signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 26, 1860; possibly the D. S. Hartman who signed another page
  • Fritz
  • Page signed by Tom; a penciled note at bottom mentions Mr. Wright of Philadelphia; perhaps they are the same person.
  • N. B. or W. B.
  • John
  • Charles; shared the page with John
  • John; shared the page with Charles
  • T. Fletcher G. of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, signed on July 8, 1858
  • William
  • Nellie
  • J. Calhoun B., signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1860
  • W. T. A.
  • John C. B., signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1860
  • Ned, signed on February 4, 1859
  • Harry; signed facing pages
  • Harry, signed at Manchester, on February 20, 1860
  • John C.? of Pittsburgh (a piece of the page is missing.); shared the page with six other people
  • The signer's name ends in "ter", but has been mostly rubbed out.  The signer lived in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
  • H. L. Anderson
  • Harry L. Anderson; shared the page with six other people
  • S. W. Boyd; not sure of first initial
  • ? Brown of Allegheny City; shared the page with seven other people
  • Harry L. Brunt; presumably Henry Lee Brunt, older brother of Annie's husband William Henry Brunt
  • Miss Nellie L. Brunt; presumably Nellie Lorena Blunt, Annie's daughter with William Henry Brunt, written in a later era.
  • F. S. Brunt; possibly Annie's youngest child, Frank Speer Brunt
  • William Henry Brunt; on a full of a poem about her life and children and signed Annie is a penciled note indicating that the page was written by Annie's husband William Henry Brunt
  • Annie Luella Caughey of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, album owner; married William Henry Brunt.  Later on in the album is a wonderful poem by Annie about her life and children; a note at the bottom indicates the page was penned by Annie's husband William Henry Brunt.
  • Miss Caughey; shared the page with seven other people
  • Mrs. A. L. Caughey; shared the page with seven other people
  • Miss M. Caughey; shared the page with seven other people
  • Miss Caughey of Manchester; shared the page with seven other people
  • ? M. Caughey of Manchester (a piece of the page is missing); shared the page with six other people
  • Mary M. Caughey, Annie's older sister; she would marry William M. Speer, who shared the page along with six other people
  • R. C. Caughey; possibly Annie's uncle Robert Coulter Caughey, brother of Annie's father William James Caughey.
  • D. S. Hartman, signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1860; possibly David S. Hartman; possibly the D. S. H. who signed another page.
  • ? Jones, possibly Jonnie Jones
  • J. B. C. Love or I. B. C. Love or ?, signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 13, 1860.  At bottom: "Votre Ami, Charles".  Possibly the signer went by the name Charles?  It's also possible that the signer wrote Love as a salutation and not as a surname
  • Charley Love, signed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February  16, 1860.  It's possible that Love is not a surname but a salutation.  Inscribed to Annie Luella, and mentions "Miss Gould"
  • John or Jonathan B. McAllister, signed at West Manchester [no state written] on January 5, 1860
  • Samuel McMurray, signed on August 17, 1859
  • Helen McMurray, signed at West Manchester, on August 17, 1859
  • Uncle [? not sure that word] Ben Miller of Allegheny City; shared the page with seven other people
  • ? Severn, Jr. of Allegheny City; shared the page with seven other people
  • Judge Severn of Ross Township, Pennsylvania; shared the page with seven other people
  • F. J. Sieffert, Jr.
  • Smith H. Smith or H. Smith
  • Captain William B. Smith of Manchester; shared the page with six other people
  • William B. Smith; shared the page with six other people
  • W. M. Speer of Pittsburgh; presumably the William M. Speer who would marry Annie's older sister Mary M. Caughey; shared the page with six other people
  • Page signed by Tom; a penciled note at bottom mentions Mr. Wright of Philadelphia; perhaps they are the same person.



Allegheny County, Pennsylvania


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