By Randy Phillips, Vice-President

    Not wanting to let the letters slip away yesterday, I went ahead and bid on and won the auction.  One way or the other, I wanted to insure that these wound up in the hands of the LGS or the branch of origin.  Due to the short time frame I had to work there really wasn't time to try and get someone else involved even though I would have liked to see someone from that branch have an opportunity to purchase a part of their history.  I will be working on a plan for handling these in the future but this one caught me by surprise.  Here is the description of the letters as copied from E-Bay:

    Collection of Americana letters of Edward T. Latta, Union officer, Captain with the 4th Regiment Indiana home guard.  He was one of very few officers who served with Native Americans during the Civil War.  Latta became a land speculator and purchasing agent for railroads.  During the 1800s he left his family behind in Grand View, Iowa and relocated to Leavenworth, Kansas.  The collection consists of deeds, warrants, and a series of 26 letters dated 1882 and 1883, on assorted letterheads, written by Latta to his wife.  They detail commercial transactions and also poignantly reveal how difficult it was for him to be living apart from his family.  From checking our website this appears to be: 83 Edward Thompson (7) Latta.  [Branch 3].



21 Sept. 1928 to 4 Nov. 2007

By: Kathy Latta and Izola Mottershead

Alex Latta Jr. was born September 12, 1928 in Edmonton, Alberta, to Alex Latta Sr. and Catherine "Jessie" Brix. With older brother, David, and later, sister Izola, Alex grew up in the house on Jasper Avenue next to the bridge named for their grandfather, D. G. Latta. He attended Alex Taylor School and Victoria High School.  His parents divorced and both remarried.  His step-mother, Grace Oscroft, was a loving influence and when he was ten she gave birth to his half-brother, Douglas. 

While still a youth, Alex worked in his grandfather's shop and later worked for his father at Alex Latta Ltd.  The experience from those jobs helped him to get his own business started.  In partnership with his younger brother Doug, and their friend Doug Hart, Alex started Gambit Products Ltd., a machine shop specializing in the manufacture of small parts for other manufacturers.  Today it is a thriving business under the management of Doug's son, Michael.

One of the smartest moves Alex ever made was to court and marry the young nurse who was looking after his ailing grandfather.  Alice McDougall was a devoted wife and mtoher to his six children:  Shirley, Kathleen (Kathy), the twins Laurie and Alex, III, Shauna and Carol.  Grandchildren and great-granchildren were a joy to him in his later years.

Throughout his adult life, Alex was a member of the Highlands Masonic Lodge.  A staunch supporter, Alex regularly attended meetings until his health made it difficult for him.  Indeed, he often credited the Masons with instilling values in him which helped him throughout his life.

He was a great storyteller who dabbled in poetry and prose.  Some of his stories have been published in "Edmonton: In Our Own Words" and other works have been posted on his web page: http://myriadweb.ca/latta. His sense of humor was legendary and he was fond of playing tricks on just about anyone he met.  There are several people who still sport one of his puzzles dangling from a buttonhole - he didn't always remember to pass on the instructions for removing it.  The boys at Gambit made dozens of these, all suitably engraved in Alex's memory, to be handed out at his Memorial service.  Of course, the instructions were included.

Alex enjoyed sharing his knowledge on a variety of topics and was a patient teacher to anyone with an enquiring mind.

Even though Alex and Alice each had hobbies of their own, his being chess, card games, curling, golf and genealogy, they still enjoyed the time they spent together doing things that gave them mutual satisfaction. They would take their family on vacations along the Yellowstone River picking rocks, looking for agates.  It took on a safari-like atmosphere when the children were told to look out for rattle snakes and black-widow spiders, neither of which could be found in their own vicinity.  When they went to the Okanogan they brought back fruit, but from Yellowstone they brought back cartons of rocks!  They took up lapidary and there are several pieces of agate jewelry to be passed down.

A former employee of Gambit, Alex Halliburton, who was a Scottish immigrant and a talented artist, asked them to take pictures of old log cabins when on their treks into the countryside.  Who needs an excuses for a country picnic?  Plans would be made on any available weekend, a different route to be plotted each time, and often ended up at a friend's home or Doug's lake just in time for supper.  Lunch often saw them picnicking at a Greek Orthodox Churchyard.  These were all so different and the granchildren will wonder why there are so many pictures of them.  One of the albums on display at Alex's memorial service was the one of all those log cabin/Greek Orthodox churches.  Often while scouting around for old homesteads, they furthered their couriosity by asking the landowner for permission to look for and dig the old dump site.  From this Alex, Alice and Kathy got into antique bottle collecting.  They also assisted in developing the Wild Rose Antiques and Bottle Collecting Society in Edmonton which hosts many well attended shows each year.  One year the City decided to dig an area of an older city dump for the purpose of developing the land to build a new stadium.  The Club got wind of this and soon had a contract with the City to dump the dirt in a certain spot of the nuisance grounds, then the Club went to task digging up old treasures.  Ginger beers, ceramic jugs, cobalt medicine bottles, fruit jars, hand-blown ink wells, torpedo-bottomed bottles, round-bottomed wine bottles, etc., all found as a result of first taking pictures in the country!

In later years this industrious pair decided to explore their overseas roots, and for over twenty years and as many trips they would return home with tales of having walked in the footsteps of Moore, Keating, Yeats and Shakespeare!  They explored Alice's Scottish roots, and Alex's Irish ones.  They brought back a wealth of pictures of homes, courtyards, and surrounding lands that pertained to the history of their ancestors.  Alex always got a kick out of looking for anyone named Latta and the stories he told when he came back from those expeditions were not all written down, and were lost when he passed away.  Kathy has only vague memories of some of these tales.

When Alex would meet new Lattas he would talk, take pictures and bring back the stories they shared.  One time he met a trio living in the same thatched farmhouse that they grew up in.  He asked permission to take photographs but one individual preferred to get his teeth for this special occasion and went off to get them.  They waited and conversed for a long time and finally the gentleman came back without his teeth.  He had left them on a fencepost while doing chores and couldn't come up with them immediately!

While traveling down to New Mexico to visit  Branch 16 cousins, the Milligans, Alex stopped for a meal near Aztec, and while eating, grabbed a local phone book and of course, looked up the Lattas in the book.  He was able to get in touch with Dale Latta, an Arts teacher I believe.  The timing was not good, but while at the Milligan's he was able to determine which branch they are from.  On his next visit through the area, he was invited to stay over and get to know Dale and his family.  Alex so enjoyed this visit, and later, after going back to Ireland and taking photos of the actual remains of the farmstead building, asked Dale to paint the picture.  This was done and it hands in the Gambit office.  Dale also honored us with a picture of Alex, now also hanging there.  Another picture, of two Lattas by a thatched cottage will hang in Kathy's home.  They are siblings Tom and Jean Latta of Rooskey. 

As Alex's health took its toll on his activities, he could be found daily at his computer, conversing with people all over the world, and relishing his part in the ongoing work of Latta genealogy and the many successes he had had trying to put two and two together to make one.  We would like to thank all of you who helped make his last years more enjoyable and who so willingly shared stories and information with him.  He was a very proud LATTA.




Milton Ulladulla
Local and Family History Site

The Milton Ulladulla district is on the NSW South Coast, being part of the city of Shoalhaven. Captain Cook first saw Aboriginals on our beaches in 1770. The first white Settler was Rev Thomas Kendall in 1828 who started cedar cutting at Narrawallee Creek near Milton. Ulladulla was known as Nulladulla - meaning safe harbour.

Pioneer Records
Baptisms - Nelligen 1859 - 1920s.
Name...Bap Date...Birth Date...Father...Mother
Researched & Indexed by Cathy Dunn Dec 1998

LATTA,Charles Misethre 25.4. 1875 30 .3. 1875 William Elizabeth
LATTA,James Gibson 11.1.1874 6 .12.1873 William Elizabeth
LATTA,John 18.8.1872 3 .6. 1872 William Eliazbeth

Milton Ulladulla Cemeteries
Sandridge Cemetery Burials Pre 1900

LATTA nee LINDSAY, Janet 9 Oct 1896 Meth UM

Sandridge Cemetery Mollymook
Church of England Section B

LATTA, Emily.

Milton War Memorial - WWI

The Milton Ulladulla Districtís War memorial is found at Milton Memorial Park, on the corner of Princes Highway and Thomas Street Milton, opposite Milton Primary School. Transcription by Cathy Dunn, one distinguishing feature on the memorial is that the names of the servicemen and women included their rank and are so listed, with KIA over-ranking them all. PVT. is used to abbreviate Private in WW1, whilst the correct abbreviation PTE is used for the WW2 servicemen. Spelling and order of names as found.

LATTA J.J. SGT. ## John James Latta
LATTA R.G. PVT. ## Robert Gibson Latta
LATTA A.H. L/CPL. Arthur Henry Latta
LATTA B.R. PVT. Bertie Roy Latta

John James Latta

Serial Number and Rank 3525A, SGT
Birth Milton 1890/21787
Parents James Latta and Rosetta Thomas
Enlisted Ulladulla 22 September 1915
Next of Kin Wife. Ellen Latta of Lismore

Ellen Gumley (born Milton) March 1910 Bangalow. 1910/1115 Byron Bay.
Service 54th Battalion
Death DOW 19 November 1916
Burial Heilly Station Cemetery France
Honour Rolls

Kendall Cottage Memorial
RSL Honour Roll
Milton Town Memorial
Milton Methodist Church
Milton Congregational
Yatte Yattah Community

Brothers - Arthur Henry Latta, Bertie Roy Latta & Robert Gisbon Latta.

Robert Gibson Latta

Serial Number and Rank 3181, Private
Birth Milton 1894/21065
Parents James Latta and Rosetta Thomas
Enlisted Ulladulla 7 November 1916
Next of Kin F. James Latta
Service 45th Battalion
Death DOW 2 April 1918
Burial Etaples Military Cemetery Pas de Calais France
Honour Rolls

Kendall Cottage Memorial
RSL Honour Roll
Milton Methodist Church
Milton Town Memorial
Milton Congregational

Brother - Arthur Henry Latta, John James Latta and Bertie Roy Latta. Robert Gibson Latta served with his cousin Robert Joseph Backhouse in 45th Battalion

Arthur Henry Latta

Serial Number and Rank 2478, L/CPL - PTE
Birth Milton 1896/32270
Parents James Latta and Rosetta Thomas
Enlisted 13 May 1915
Service 4th Battalion
Marriage Florence Higgins 1922 Milton
War Record RTA 12 May 1918
Honour Rolls

RSL Honour Roll
Milton Methodist
Milton Town Memorial
Yatte Yattah Community
Notes Brother to Bertie Roy, John James and Robert Gibson Latta

Bertie Roy Latta

Serial Number and Rank 2586, Private
Birth Ulladulla 1892/22542 Milton
Parents James Latta and Rosetta Thomas
Enlisted 21 September 1916
Service 39th Battalion
Death 8 September 1952
War Record RTA 3 January 1919
Honour Rolls

RSL Honour Roll
Milton Town Memorial
His name does appear on the
Congregational Church Honour Roll as like his two brothers.

Brothers - John James Latta and Robert Gisbon Latta both who were KIA. Other brother Arthur Henry Latta served in the 4th Battalion. Served with John William Sperring and Thomas Duffy in the 39th Battalion.

Stanley Cylde Latta

Serial Number and Rank Unknown unable to find
Birth 23 May 1885 Batemans Bay 1885/19180 Moruya
Parents William and Elizabeth Latta nee Backhouse
Enlisted Unknown
Marriage Beatrice Madeline Palmer 13 May 1907 Sydney
Death 30 August 1959
Honour Rolls Milton Methodist (S Latta)

Stanley Cylde Latta is the only S Latta, with any connection with the Milton Ulladulla region. No record could be found for any S Latta in WWI records.

Milton Ulladulla Burials 1901

LATTA, David. # 26 June 1901 57 years Sandridge M/A? Unmarked

Milton Ulladulla & Surrounds Births 1900

LATTA, Gertrude 1900 Ulladulla James LATTA & Rosetta THOMAS #

Pioneer Records
1911 Burials

SC - Sandridge Cemetery Mollymook

23 Dec 1911 Ulladulla SC M/A5/5 John LATTA

Church of England Marriages 1880 - 1889


Church of England Marriages 1890 - 1899



Message Board Post:

I am having quite a bit of luck with my ancestors in Australia because Victoria is so small. I have found a wonderful book. It is called People and Places, Western Victoria 1854-1865, from the diary of Augustus Bostock.

William Latta, c 1818, Donegal. (The man who suicided in 1876 at Grassmere near Warrnambool) was Augustus Bostock neighbor and had land next door. Augustus's diary has multiple references to our ancestor, William Latta and strangely enough the family that his son, John married into after his father died. John Latta married my Great Grandmother, Grace. Her family was Parker and her mother's family were Lindsays. They are all referred to quite frequently in the book.

The Diary eg
Went to see Latta and Doy about building the bridge. (The bridge was required for them all to access parts of the road to Warrnambool)

Thrashing machine came to Lattas. (It seems Latta grew wheat and raised beef etc and sent some of the food to the miners at the Goldfields. This was a very significant period of gold mining in Australia.)