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Wenner Family Letters

The following letters were transcribed and submitted by Chawn E. Caniff If you have questions regarding these letters, please contact Chawn. Chawn writes, "I have in my possession, two letters from family members. One dated in 1934, the other is undated. Both talk of the history of the Wenner family in Loudoun County. One speaks of the building of Woodbine Lodge and Oak Hill Manor. I do have the original documents, however, I do not believe they would scan well. Please note that [several individuals mentioned] are still living, if you would like to omit this portion of the letter out of courtesy [portions omitted, per S.Beach]. ...I do believe the letter to have been written in the mid 1950s, most likely prior to 1955. ...I have not edited either of the above for errors. They are presented as written. Please let me know if you have any questions on any of the above. - Chawn"

Following is the text of the first letter from Susan Wenner (Chawn believes her to be residing in Woodbine Lodge) to her great-niece, Sara Wenner, living in Oakland City, IN:

                                                           Oct. 28th 1934

Dear Sara:
    Well do I remember the little girl of long ago, and much pleased was I to hear
from her.

    Our ancestor, William Wenner from Germany settled here over two hundred years
ago.  He was a school teacher and taught school not far from where we live.  I
remember when a small girl, of hearing some old gentleman telling of their
attending his school and where the school house stood; bear in mind in those days
the county was very sparsely settled.  Neighbors were very far apart.  The minister
who administered to them spiritually rode on horseback over Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, West Virginia and South Carolina.  You can imagine he couldn't get around
very often and in his notes spoke of stopping with Elder William Wenner living near
the Potomac river, who in the minister's absence officiated at marriages and
funerals.  He was our father's great grandfather, your father's great, great, great
grandfather of course your great, great, great, great grandfather.

    Virginia and I have led uneventful lives.  We went to the village school (there
were no public schools, all were pay)  not together.  I am eight years older than
she is, then to College, finished there, home again, lived through the excitement
of two wars, the Civil and the World.  I am ninety two so pardon the writing.

    Your aunt Fred during her visit to George made out to squeeze us a call, she is
looking extremely well.

    I hope you all will continue well.  Love to them.

                                                                Aunt Sue.

Following is the second letter, from Winifred (Dee Dee) Wenner to her niece, Sara Wenner (no date available):


Dear Ellie or S.E.W. or Sue:

Take your choice.  Was glad to hear from you, and to know that you and your dad had
a safe trip home.  We know he was tired and worried about your mother, and we would
have been glad if you and staid until the next day or, over Sunday, because he
really needed a good rest.  I had a letter from him last week.  

[several lines omitted here related to individuals still living- S.Beach]

    I hope Will wasn't angry or hurt at Zeke's outburst.  HE was also tired and
nervous.  But when he reaches a certain point he cuts loose.  He wouldn't
deliberately hurt his brother for anything.

    You were right about William W. Wenner building the house.  Aunt Jenny told me
the first house was a log house and it was between the spring house and the barn,
and (this was back in the fall 1921 or 22) and there was an old tree I think it was
a ______, and it was planted when the log house was built and it was still bearing
fruit.  200 years old.  Grandfather told me he was 8 years old when his father
built the house 1818, and my father, your grandfather was the first child born in
it.  Susan and John were born in Lovettsville, and John who was a doctor died in

    My mother came to this country from Ireland when she was 4 yrs. old.  HEr
sister mary was 5 or 6 and they were in Canada, and she talked so much about
Racine, Mich. so they must have been there also as her father had a roving foot.  I
don't know how they got to Loudoun Co. VA but they lived at Oak Hill Manor, the
Home of James Monroe.  His wife was related to the Lees, and the family living
there, at that time were relatives.  Grandfather was overseer, and they had the
family carriage and coachmen to drive and they drove to mass and wherever they
wanted to go, in style.  The family inherited an estate in Frederick County, MD and
the Bradys came along and settled in Petersville and they attended the church where
uncle George is buried.  When they were living at Oak Hill, the little sister
Rosanna was born, and she died there and was buried there.  Ann and Bridget were
born in Petersville.  My grandmother's name was Winifred Mulhuran.  Tell Sam to
bring you home here and I'll tell you all about it.  My mother was always talking
about the home in the old country.

    Mary's address is
            Mrs. Mary Swingle
            166 South St.
            Cadiz, OH

    Zeke is watching the ball game and I must stop now and finish supper.  I hope
you can get some sense out of this.

    Iona Wenner might have been grandfather's mother.  He told me his father was
married 3 times and he was the only child of the third marriage, and his mother was
a Houck or Hauck from Frederick, MD.  I am going to see if I can get any record of
the marriage and I'll let you know what I find.

    Love to you both.

                                                        Dee Dee

The following was provided by Chawn, who writes, "I will attempt to show the lineage of the individuals addressed in the two letters I transcribed. Hopefully, this will help to understand who is being discussed." Please contact Chawn with your questions.

1.    ? WENNER (came to Loudoun County prior to 1730)
        + ?
        2.    Wilhelm WENNER (b. ca 1730)
        + ?
                3.    Wilhelm WENNER (b. ca 5/29/1760 Lovettsville)
                        + Priscilla SCHUMACHER (SHOEMAKER)
                        4.    Johannes Wilhelm WENNER (b. 4/21/1785)
                               + Iona HOUCK (HOUGH)
                                5.    William W. WENNER (b. 3/8/1810)
                                        + Susan Ann WALTMAN (b. 1/29/1813)
                                        6.    Johnathon J. (John) WENNER (b.10/18/1838)
                                        6.    Susan W. (Sue) WENNER (b. 1842)
                                        6.    Virginia Rachael (Jenny) WENNER (b.1850)
                                        6.    William Waltman WENNER (b. 10/1/1843)
                                                + Ellen Theresa BRADY (b. 4/29/1846)
                                                7.    Susan Winifred (Fred/Dee Dee)WENNER (b. 4/8/1885)
                                                7.    George Washington WENNER (b.2/22/1887)
                                                        + V. Louise HICKMAN (b.1898)
                                                7.    Heaton Emanuel (Zeke) WENNER(b. 9/21/1890)
                                                7.    William Waltman (Will) WENNER(b. 7/14/1888)
                                                        + Hazel Carolla GUEST (b.5/11/1896)
                                                        8.    Sarah Ellen WENNER (b.8/2/1918)
                                                        8.    William Waltman (Billy) WENNER (b. 8/5/1920)
                                                        8.    Josephine Uldene WENNER (b. 5/5/1923)
                                                                + Charles Edward CANIFF (b. 3/30/1919)
                                                                9.    Chawn Ed CANIFF (b. 4/14/1957)

Lineage of Ellen Theresa BRADY (generation number same as above):

5.    John BRADY
        + Winifred MULHURAN
        6.    Mary BRADY (b. ca 1845)
        6.    Ellen Theresa BRADY (b. 4/29/1846)
                + William Waltman WENNER (as shown above)
        6.    Rosana BRADY
        6.    Ann BRADY
        6.    Bridget BRADY