Skinner Adoption

An Adoption: Tanner/Skinner/Brandenburg/Scofield

While researching at the Appomattox County Courthouse I ran across the following letter, which was buried in a thick packet of court documents pertaining to the estate of Nathaniel Tanner. Although Nathaniel Tanner died in 1875, his estate was not probated until 1907. I thought this letter might be of interest to those researchers who are working on this line, especially since the courthouse and all its records were destroyed by fire in 1890.

Lynchburg, Va.

Feb 16, 1907

S.L. Ferguson, Esq.
West Appomattox, Va.

Dear Sir:

Your favor of the 12th inst. to hand and contents carefully noted.

My father, Benjamin Tanner, son of Nathaniel Tanner was married to Mary Elizabeth Hackworth in Lynchburg, Va. on Dec. 7, 1865. They had four children of whom I am the oldest and the only surviving one. I am the Minnie referred to in your letter. These children were Erminnie Lois Tanner born Nov. 16, 1866; Benjamin Tanner born July 1, 1868, died the same day; Ada Florence Tanner born Dec. 7, 1870, died July 1, 1902; Powhatan Ernest Tanner born Jan. 7, 1874, died Feb. 3, 1891.

I was married to Col. M.A. Winter of Washington, D.C. Nov 25, 1891 and divorced from him Jan. 14, 1905. I have no children.

My sister, Ada Florence was married to Wm. H. Skinner of St. John's, Newfoundland Sept. 2, 1895. Both are now dead, her husband's age would be 45 if living. They had three children viz. William Ernest Skinner born June 6, 1898; Blanche Montgomery Skinner born Nov. 2, 1900; Ada Florence Skinner born March 11, 1902.

The two older children, William and Blanche, have been adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Brandenburg of Roxbury P.O., Howard Co., Maryland and now are called Willie Brandenburg and Blanche Brandenburg.

Ada Florence Skinner has also been adopted by a Quaker lady in San Antonio, Texas. Her name is Miss Sarah C. Scofield who with her father, sister and brother lives at 436 W. Murphy Ave., San Antonio, Texas. Ada Florence goes now by the name of Ada Florence Scofield. I send you herewith a letter from the children merely as a matter of proof.

A letter for Willie and Blanche should be addressed c/o Chas. Brandenburg, Esq., Roxbury Mills, Howard co., Md. and for Florence c/o Miss Sarah C. Scoefield, 436 W. Murphy Ave., San Antonia, Texas.

My mother, Mary Elizabeth Tanner was born in Bedford County [Va.], Aug. 3, 1840 and is consequently 67 years of age or will be on Aug. 3rd of this year.

I have answered all your questions, I believe. I was rather surprised to learn that the shares were so small, as from what I understood from Mr. Benjamin Tanner, my cousin, they would be about twice what you state. However, I for one, shall be glad to receive the amount as I am in destitute circumstances and would be glad if you will kindly let us have the money as soon as you can. It will indeed be a veritable God-send to me.

If there is anything else you wish to know about this matter, I shall be glad to furnish all the information I have.

In the meantime thanking you for your kindness, and trusting you will bear  in mind the fact that my case at least is an urgent one, for reasons which I cannot go into details to explain unless necessary, I remain.

Very sincerely yours,

(Mrs.) Erminnie Lois Winter
420 Walnut St.,
Lynchburg, Va.