Many years ago a Franks family researcher shared a copy of a letter written in 1837 by Elizabeth Gill who lived in old Livingston County. The letter was written to her family back in Laurens District, South Carolina and named several family members.
Juda Franks, who is mentioned in the letter, is my only connection to the letter-writer. Juda was the mother of Nancy Franks, who was the third wife of my 4th great-grandfather, John E. Wilson. Juda Franks was also the sister to Elizabeth Gill. I descend from John E. Wilson and his second wife, Harriet Brooks.
A transcription of this letter is below. There is no punctuation so you will have to insert those marks mentally to make comprehension easier.
[Cover page] Crosskeys Ky Feb 11
Mrs. Becy Brown or Wm. Brown
of Hardiman Duke Lawrence
District South Carolina
Laurence CH [Court House]
State of Kentucky Livingston County
February the 10th day 1837
Dear Mother and Brothers and sisters I once more take my pen in hand to let you know that I am yet in the land of the Living and enjoying reasonable health thanks be to God for his mercies bestowed a [sic] poor me hopeing these few lines may find you all enjoying the the like blessing I have not had a letter from you for some years past but have had word not long since from you by Williamson Ashley I will say to you that one half my family is living here close Round me and the rest of them is living in Tennessee in Smith County all my children is married off and I am living with my youngest daughter I hope you receive this letter fail not to answer it imediately for I want to hear from you all very bad and particular I want Hardyman Duke to Rite to me a bout all his family and how they all do and the condition of all the connection in that country So far as you know and Rite whether you know any thing of brother Jesse or not and also of Sister Martha for I don't know any thing of them at all now where they are I tell you that Sister Juda Franks is living here close by me She is now a widow Her husband has been dead about a year
And I will inform you that Sister Lydia is a widow and is now living in nashville and all her family is married off I was there last fall and seen her and I received a letter from her not long since Thomas Ellison and his wife moved to the Alabam and they are both dead I will now say something a bout our countries produce it is a tolerable poor country but it produces fine crops of all kinds of grain cotton it is not so good for but it is good for plan tobacco and every other produce corn is from1 & fifty to one 75 cent per barrel tobacco bears a good price at this time I want you Duke to come from that old worn out country and move here for you could do much better here I think than you can there Mother is you know any thing of Sally Blakeley Polly higgins or Sister Peggy Brown Rite to me where they are if you know and how they are doing and you William Brown if Mother is dead you must Rite a bout them all and let me know where they are if you know I would be glad you would Rite how times is in that country concerning Religion and whether any of the connection has profest Religion or not since I left there all my children has profest Religion and the most of them has Joined the Babtist Church
and now if we never should see each other a gain in this world let us try to be prepared to meet in heaven we have had a great Revival of Religion here the last year past it would be good for us to consider how short our time is here on earth that we might try to be prepared when death comes to get to heaven and if we should never meet each other a gain in this world let us try to be prepared to meet in heaven where parting will be nomore where we shall meet and be compleet and long together dwell and sing a song with one accord to mother
Beckie Brown Elizabeth Gill
WB when you Rite Direct your
Thus say State of Kentucky
Livinston County Crosskeys post office
 Cross Keys was located on the lane leading from Fords Ferry Road and ending at Crooked Creek Church, about 1-2 miles from the seat of justice of present-day Crittenden County. In 1837, this area was still part of Livingston County. Cross Keys Inn was the property of Samuel Ashley and was the site of the first county court of Crittenden County in April 1842.
Published 17 April 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/