Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"Heirloom" - The Wood Family Watch

When my dad turned 21 in the mid-1960s, he inherited an heirloom watch from his father.

Dad wrote to his father asking about the watch's history; and my grandfather, John "Johnny" Egbert Wood (02 November 1919 - 29 December 1996), responded with the letter shown below.  The people mentioned in Johnny's letter are:
  • My father, the addressee, "Son"
  • My paternal grandfather, John "Johnny" Egbert Wood (1919-1996), letter writer
  • My paternal great-grandmother, Susan "Susie" Bowers Wood (1860-1933), referred to as "Mother."
  • My paternal great-grandfather, Albert Houston Wood, Sr. (1880-1967), referred to as "Daddy."
  • My paternal great-great-grandmother, Susan Elizabeth Ford Bowers (1825-1901), mother of Susie Bowers who is shown above.
  • Catherine Montye Foster Wood (1883-1965), wife of Albert Houston Wood, Sr. and my grandfather's mother.
  • David Trousdale Foster (1880-1949), brother of Montye Foster Wood and Johnny's maternal uncle.
To further aid in understanding the context of the letter, here is a visual representation of the direct line lineage discussed in the letter:

Shown above the line of descent from my paternal great-grandmother to
my paternal grandfather. My father and I follow below Johnny in this lineage.

Page 1 of Johnny's original letter.

Page 2 of Johnny's original letter.

Transcription of the two-page letter shown in the above two photos.

In addition to the information in this letter, my dad shared with me that he had ascertained that the watch was made about 1903, as my grandfather had guessed.  Dad had to replace the casing of the watch, due to beyond-repair breakage, in the mid- to late-1980s.  The original watch case was circular, and he said it showed off the watch face much better than the current casing.  Also, the watch used to have a gold expansion band.  Dad replaced the expansion band with the leather one pictured after the gold band wore out in the 1980s.  The watch's crown (i.e., winder) has a stone set in it.

This heirloom turns 115 years old this year, and it's still worn almost daily and keeps on ticking.  What a wonderful treasure to have in the family!


  • Old Gold.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Feb. 2018.
  • Elgin National Watch Company.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Feb. 2018.

This blog post is part of +Amy Johnson Crow's 2018 #52Ancestors Challenge, as well as a #TreasureChestThursday post.

©Amy Wood Kelly, 2018 - I am happy to share my genealogical research and writing with others, as well as to help others with their research efforts.  However, please do not reprint or repost this in full or in part or use excerpts from it without giving full credit to me, Amy Wood Kelly, as the researcher and author as well as providing the permalink to this post.  Thank you, in advance, for showing respect for my request and the work I put creating this.

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