The whole reason I created this website was to share information. I received a message the other day on Ancestry.com from a woman who wanted to know about the Webber Family I had posted on my tree. It became very clear very quickly that she was the holder of some Webber family treasures and just needed to know more about who these people were. She kept talking about a horn, but I had no idea what she was talking about. Because there are so many crazies out there, we felt each other out about our identities but came to trust one another rapidly. I asked her take photos of her treasures and when she sent them as attachments in an email, I almost fell off my chair. She is the keeper of a beautiful silver horn with Captain Nathaniel Webber’s name and an inscription engraved on it with the date 1852. It is a gift from the passengers of his most famous ship the Trade Wind. Most of the passengers on that voyage were missionaries being carried to their newest posting. When a fire started in the galley, Captain Webber put all the crew and passengers to work to save the ship and the outcome was successful. I was able to send this Webber cousin a copy of the newspaper article that explained what had happened aboard the Trade Wind on that fateful voyage and fill in the blanks.
She also had possession of a beautiful 3 page letter addressed to the Webber Family from 1857. It has all kinds of political, economic, nautical and family news in it and shows that Nathaniel Webber was a learned man of the world. Considering that he stowed away at 8 years old on a ship and never left the sea again, it is astonishing that he was so educated, but then maybe he served with some crews who taught him during those lulls of weeks with no wind on the oceans. He addresses the letter specifically to his son Edward, who happens to be this cousin’s direct ancestor for whom I have been looking for many years. I have never been able to nail down what happened to him and his family. Now I know. And several of the descendants lived right in Orange County, California the whole time, a few minutes from my home town. The letter is such a piece of history, I feel that it needs to be shared with some historical society. And in the letter, Captain Webber mentions Captain Berry, who is obviously another ship captain. My ancestress, Captain Webber’s daughter, is named Jeannie Olivia Berry Webber. I never knew where the Berry came from but had a feeling it was a friend. Another piece of the puzzle put together. Amazing! I have put copies of the letter in the Webber Gallery. Captain Webber’s penmanship is so interesting. He still uses the F for a second S in a word, which is a very old practice.
I am so grateful to my new cousin for sharing her treasures with me.