This collection consists mainly of letters from both the Galusha and the Armstrong families, who were related by the marriage of Aaron L. Galusha to Sarah Armstrong, as well as letters to and from many friends and some relatives in Canada. The family relationships, as can be determined from the letters, U.S. Census records, and the Vermont Vital Statistics records, are as follows:
William Galusha's first wife was Esther Laten. Sarah Galusha, one of their children, married Jonathan Swift Smith and moved to Quebec. It is likely that the letters from Lucretia [Le Frary] and Emma Le Frary from Sutton, Quebec, represent this branch of the family.
William Galusha married Polly Larabee Oct. 8, 1825. According to the family history, they had 12 children. Children who can be identified in the letters are Amy Melenda Galusha, Helen Jane Galusha, Aaron L. Galusha, Arvilla Galusha, Mattia Galusha [Taft], and William Galusha.
Polly Larabee Galusha, born Feb. 4, 1797, was William Galusha's second wife. Her brother and sister-in-law were Charles and Rosaletta Larabee of Highgate, Vermont. Her sister was Mary Larabee Shaw of Berkshire, Vermont. She was also related in some manner to Barton and Irene Shaw of Berkshire, Vermont. She was held in great affection by her family and friends. She died Dec. 8, 1874.
Amy M. Galusha, family nickname "Nin," was born Apr. 9, 1825. She never married and worked most of her adult life in various mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Winooski, Vermont She appears to have provided substantial financial support to her mother after her father's death. She had to leave mill work eventually because of swelling in her legs. Her death notice lists the cause of death on Oct. 9, 1869 as "heart disease." She was also held in high esteem and affection by her family and her many friends who wrote to her both in Lowell and in Berkshire.
Helen Jane Galusha was born Dec. 4, 1829, and according to Amy's Bible information, married William Kendall Dec. 9, 1847. They had a son, George W. Kendall, while living in Vermont. They moved to Richford, Wisconsin, sometime in the 1850s where they farmed their own land. Two more children, Charles A. and Flora Estelle, were born there.
Aaron L. Galusha, family nickname "Lele," was born Sept. 14, 1832 and married Sarah Armstrong Nov. 8, 1864. It is unclear if he married Sarah A. or Sarah B. Armstrong. They had one child who was born and died in March 1864. These dates are recorded in the Vermont Vital Statistics records where he is listed as a carpenter. They moved to E. Franklin, Vermont sometime after their wedding. There is no record of his death in the Vermont Vital Statistics records.
Arvilla Galusha, family nickname "Vill", was born on Apr. 10, 1838 and, according to the family records, was married to George M. Drent Oct. 22, 1854. She worked in the mills with Amy, but it is not clear in which towns. The family records indicate she died Jan. 16, 1898.
Mattia Galusha, for whom there is no birth record, married Orrin Taft and settled in White River Junction, Vermont, where they farmed. She wrote to Polly and Amy and addressed them as "Mother" and "Sister."
William Galusha, for whom there is also no birth record, wrote to Polly and called himself her son. He was married to a woman named Mattie, who worked in a factory in Hartford, Vermont (Galusha 091).
Revised: John Galusha (Galusha 147), James Galusha (Galusha 156), and Sarah Hinds (Galusha 198) all called William and Polly Galusha their parents.
All the Armstrongs seem to have come from "Canada East." Since Canadian Vital Statistics were not consulted and since the Armstrongs do not appear in U.S. Census records, their relationships are defined only by the letters.
S. M. Armstrong was brother to the Sarah Armstrong who married Aaron L. Galusha. His father and mother were Robert and Ann Armstrong, of Canada East. He spent some years in the Oregon Territory, Town of Jacksonville, working as a miner. He wrote about taking a year to cross the Plains, and mentioned the "Indian wars." His dated letters from Oregon range from 1855 to 1858. He does not appear in the 1850 or the 1860 Oregon census. He returned to Castleton, Vermont, sometime after 1858.
George Armstrong was S. M.'s brother. He lived in Berkshire, Vermont.
Sarah A. Armstrong was S. M.'s sister. Either she, or her sister Sarah B., married Aaron L. Galusha in Berkshire, Vermont, and worked in some of the mills in Vermont.
Sarah B. Armstrong was also S. M. Armstrong's sister. Her middle initial may stand for the family name of Booth.
The letters written by Marshall Armstrong from Worcester, Massachusetts do not clearly define his relationship to any of the Armstrongs. He referred to James Armstrong, who lived in Berkshire Center, Vermont, as "uncle." He was somehow related to Sarah Armstrong Galusha. 3