Amanuensis Monday-Letter from James R. Kaye to his sister Barbara J. Kaye Ogilvie, May 10, 1937

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. From The National Standard Encyclopedia Amanuensis Monday was started on the Transylvanian Dutch Blog. This link will take you to the page concerning Amanuensis and why one should transcribe the records !


The letter below penned by my grandmother’s, (Adela Ruth Ogilvie McCartney)Uncle Jim (James Ross Kaye), to her mother (Barbara Jane Kaye Ogilvie). Celebrating the birth of Barbara’s grandson, James Ross McCartney (my dad). So now that I have you completely confused I will leave you to read the letter.



JNO. A. DICKSON PUB. CO.                                                           J.R. KAYE, PHD.,LL.D.

Oak Park, Ill. May 10, 1937

Dear Barbara;

The birth announcement of James Ross is just at hand.

Give Ruth my sincere congratulations, also her husband. Tell her how much I appreciate the honor of naming the baby for me, and also her very kind words regarding the baby’s name sake. I shall not forget them.

I am glad the baby’s birthday comes in the same month with mine and so close together. Tell him we will celebrate together, and many times, I hope.
He was born on a good day- the Christian Sabbath and Mother’s Day- what could be better? It was certainly one interesting coincidence the circumstances of his birth and that of his cousin.

I do hope Ruth is doing nicely, and from the baby’s weight he must be a fine healty boy. That he will grop up into all that is fine and best and be to thema great joy and blessing is my sincerest wish and prayer.

That Hattie is still alive is really surprising. She is growing stealy weaker. She cannot say more than a word or two. The nurse has to feed her with a spoon. She would rather not be worried over and want to go. She does not eat much. The nurse said to the housekeeper today that the end may come anytime and would not be surprised if her service would not be needed beyond this week.

Her breathing is such at time that we think it is the end. She will probably lapse into a coma and

pass on quietly. The only thing that has kept her alive is her strong head. But her energies have broken down, and if the weakness of her conditions continues she cannot last long. The right side that is wholly paralyzed includes the right side of her tongue which is much thicker.

I am all right again, and hundred per cent. By the end of this month the second years’ course in Gary will close. Even then have a Bible Conference for three days, as we had last year. People will come in from five or six towns who are pursuing in large classes the course of study based on my works.

In three weeks I complete the ‘four year’ course on the whole Bible with my class here in the Presbyterian Church. Next fall we begin a new course It is a large class.’

I have been intending to send you a copy of the Teachers’ Guide for 1937, but have been away from the Institute so much, doing the work home, and Hattie’s condition has taken up so much attention. That it did not get attended to. I will be at the Institute tomorrow and will have them mail it.

Jean is a great little baby, strong, healthy and pretty. She rules the two houses.

Whenever a decided change occur, or the end, I will let you know at once.

Kiss Ruth and Jimmie for me, and tell him I will come and see him as soon as I can.

Hoping Ruth and the baby will come right along, and wishing you all every good thing,

Your loving brother



Hattie, in the letter is Uncle Jim’s wife. Aunt Hattie lived yet another year and some after the writing of this letter. She died on 13 July 1938 in Oak Park Illinois.

In doing a little research on this letter, I found something rather fun. If the search on Google brought up the correct place (I don’t know Oak Park) the home that James and Hattie shared with their daughter and her husband, Ralph and Marjorie Kaye Doran, it is their daughter Jean that is mentioned in this letter, is for sale. It sure would be nice if it could fall back into family hands, sadly I don’t have the money to invest . 302 Wisconsin Ave., sounds as if it was a wonderful home for the two families.

So many wonderful things to find in letters, I am so blessed to have so many in my files. They have all been put away in a way that should keep them safe for future generations.

Happy Hunting!