Introduction to Lynch Clan

My Lynch ancestors from Ireland came to America in 1848. The group included my Grandfather James Lynch and his five siblings, ages 10 to 18, who sailed without their parents to New York City. Soon they were living in a tenement house in Massachusetts working in a textile mill. From there they gradually migrated west. This blog will contain information gathered by my mother, Hazel Lynch Skonberg from her father, giving details of the trip over and life in America. There is also a diary written by his son, Will Lynch, who was with the American Consular Service of the State Department, and was taken hostage on Dec. 8, 1941, by the Japanese Army who had captured Shanghai that day. I hope you enjoy this blog about the James Lynch family in America.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Letter from China in 1921

A primary source for historians, this letter is from "Uncle Will" Lynch in Canton, China dated 1921.  He is telling his little sister, Hazel Lynch, to ask their father, James Lynch, many questions about his life.  James is an old man but his mind is clear and she records what he tells her.  Uncle William Reuben Lynch was an interesting person who spent many years with the American Diplomatic Corp in Shanghai, China. Very intelligent and enjoying culture like music, the ballet, etc., on his furloughs home in his later years, he loved being a "local", his ample body and bald head dressed in bib overalls and a very large straw hat.  His letters were legendary with their (sometimes) ribald humor and descriptions of what he was doing and seeing. More about him later.   The letter is printed in its entirety, exactly as we have it.  Roselyn
Will Lynch in 1922

Canton, China
May 31, 1921

Miss Hazel Lynch
Miller, Kansas, USA

Dear Miss Hazel:
     You are a wise little bird.  You are a junior in the High School.  You've written biographies of all the poets, generals, and whatnots in all of your school books.  You've paraphrased poetry until you have butchered it all out of shape.  You can knock the socks off'n a Latin verb.  What you can't do to mathematics is not worth doing.  I'll bet you still say "I have went" and "I seen it" but did that little head of yours ever jump into a real live up-to-date task?  No, it never did.  So now after getting such a "Bunk of an education", let me put you to work on something that is real, something that has some value to it, a touch of human interest to your own blood and flesh.  Thusly, and in this wise, 'tis thus I would speak and have words with thee.
      Did it ever occur to you to write a biography of a member of your family?  I rather think not.  So I enclose a skeleton outline, rather sketchy, I'll admit, but on the whole it should give one of your education an idea of my general drift.  I want you to take it as a sort of a guide and pump Dad for all the information you can get out of him on the subject of his origin and general wanderings and experiences during his hectic life.  You ought to get a pretty big bunch of exceptionally interesting data.  If you have a facile pen (and I think you should possess such an article after these past three years of high grade instruction) you should be able to write a composition, or rather a biography, that will have the "human interest" factor in it to the nth degree.      
     While sticking to cold facts, it should at the same time cause one's imagination to run riot, for Dad's been "around quite a bit", despite the fact that ever since I knew him, he's been "around home" chiefly.  Besides giving you a work out on a real live subject, this will have the added value of preserving in writing a few events effecting yourself.  One is, and should be, always interested in his "Family tree".  Some people call it "lineage".  So, here is your job.  Hop to it.
     I'm sending this outline in duplicate.  You may retain one copy and forward the other to me.
     Thanking you, I beg to remain,
                  Your obedient servant.


1 comment:

  1. I love it! Even though I have a copy of this letter, it's still really fun to read it again.