Robert wrote a series of letters from the US and Canada to his cousins in Yorkshire. Here here are 6 letters or parts of letters.  The spellings are as written.

Found by Lucy Barker in 2002, in the possessions of Ann Ward Barker

Addressed to  M. Coultas of Sawdon, Yorkshire
Jan 26, 1893
Marengo, Iowa

Dear Cousins,
I thought that I would write you a few lines to let you know that I have not received them photos that you promised to send me. I have been watching the post office pretty close for the last three or four weeks but I did not see any of you there. if you have not sent them by the time you receive this letter send them as soon as you can for I am thinking some of moving from here in the spring. I am either going to Chicago to work in the Steel Rail Mill or to a place called stuart to work in the Rail Road round house cleaning Ingens. I don't know which of them I shall do yet. I have a friend that has promised to get me a job on the Rail Road cleaning Ingens and I think more than likely that will be the position I shall take. But all the same you can send the photos to me in Marengo and I can have them forwarded to me whichever place I am.
I supose you will of herd that I got safe back to America. I was afraid that we would have to stay twenty Days in Quarantine before we landed but we got off with a Day and a Night, and I was glad we did for it was a terible place to stay. there was no accomodations of any description the place they landed us on was all rock with a few Evergreen trees on it. they had Board sheds for us to sleep in and a few boards nailed up for Beds, the Steerage passengers was still worce. the way we had to take our meals was bad enough. the Steerage passengers had to be fed like a lot of pigs. it was laughable to see them. the most of them had left their plates and tin cups on the ship. you could see them going with old tin cans or any thing they could pick up to get their Coffey and Tea in. I can tell you I was glad whenw e got away from there.
I received yours and Annie's letter the morning I started I was glad you received my photos all right and thought they were good I thought they were poor ones I had a notion not to send them, but then I can't expect an artist can make me any better looking than I am if he could I would let him try. we are having lots of snow here this Winter the most we have had for ten years. I have had some nice Sleigh rides this Winter. I went to a Dance last night to the nearest Neighbours we had a fine time I did not get home until three o clock.
I must conclude or I will tire you out with gab. give my best love to Lizzie and Hannah and Annie also to your Father & Brothers and all Sawdon friends, not forgeting your self, Will & Harry. from your Cousin R.C. Barker
p.s. would like to hear from your girls will answer all letters are any of you coming to the World's Fair this Summer your Uncles folks are all well, so is Will Barkers, your Uncle is talking of coming back with George, Nick next Xmas

RC was about 25 when he wrote the letter, M. Coultas was Mary Coultas, b. about 1863 in Sawdon, Yorkshire, daughter of Norris Coultas and Sarah Thompson, who was the sister of Elizabeth (Betsy) Thompson, second wife of Edward Barker, Robert's father. Although Robert called Mary 'cousin', they were not actually blood related as she was the daughter of his stepmother's sister. There were 4 Coultas sisters, Lizzie and Hannah and Annie, when RC wrote Dear Cousins he was probably witing to them all, Mary was the eldest. Will and Harry were Mary's brothers.Ann Ward was his half sister and only about 14 in 1893. Will Barker is of course RC's brother William.  "Your uncle" refers to WO Thomson who emigrated in 1859, RC wrote of going towork for him in his next letter below, and was boarding with him some years later, at the time of the 1900 census.  I don't know who George and Nick were. (Need to check with original letter.  Was it George Hick?)

It was the discovery of this letter that first alerted the remaining UK Barkers to the fact that there was an American branch of the family, David eventually making contact with Vicki.

Another letter, postmarked 22 March 1893, adressed to M. Coultas of Sawdon, Yorkshire, England:  Found in Ann Ward Barker's possessions.

Marengo, Iowa
March 5, 1893
Dear Cousins,
I received your letter and photos yesterday the 4th and was very pleased to hear from you. I was very mutch pleased with the photos I think they are emence you all look as natural as can be. I would like to have Will's and Harry's when you see him tell him if he will send me his address at Scarborough I will exchange photos with him I would like to have Aunt Marys Girls photos at Scarborough also I had aught to of mentioned it to them when i was back but did not if you know their Address will you please send me it when you write.
we shall be very glad to see you all at the Worlds Fair you would see one of the finest sights you ever saw in your lives you could come over and take in the Worlds Fair and then come out and give us a visit and then you could go back with uncle in the Fall. I think if you ever got to America you would not want to go back to England unless it would be for a visit.
our Snow is about all gone now we had a rain a week ago and a weeks fine wether that has melted it and stopped our fine Sleigh rides until another Winter. I am not sorry that it has gone we shall have to go Buggy riding now or Carriage riding as you English call it. I will send you a picture of our American Buggy so you will know what kind of animal they are. they are only made to carry two a fellow and his Girl some times you will see a fellow that is a little Greedy with two girls in one of them. I am sorry to have to say it but we are an Hundred years ahead of England in improvements of all kinds of accomodations the most of the houses around here have an Organ and a sewing machine and a pattent washing machine that you put the clothes in at one end and they come out at the other all nicely washed but you have to turn an handle for a little while. i could not comence to tell you what fine things we have got or I would not have anything to write about next time. you girls will see them all when you come to the Worlds fair. I am not going to Farm for my self this year as it is a little incovenient to keep Batch and I can't find a Girl that will marry me so I am going to work out by the Month for a while. I get a 1 pound a week and Board for Eight Months if I want to stay that long I am going to work for your Uncle so my Address will be the same. will be glad to hear from any of you Girls will answer all letters. I must conclude with best love to Uncle and aunt also visitors and your self and Will & Harry Bol*
from your Cousin RCB

Note: Will and Harry are brothers of Mary Coultas.  Aunt Mary would be Mary Thompson.  Bol* is possibly Robert Coultas (Bob?), the third brother of Mary.

Part of another letter found in Ann Ward Barker's possessions was undated. Since he asks who Don married and Don married in Dec 1908, that would put the letter at a later date. He also refers to renting land out, this would appear to refer to his time at Leduc, where he moved in 1913.  Since he had obviously been there some time this would put the letter to be written somewhere around 1918.

April so far has been dry and windy some days we can't see for dust. everything is dull here. Lots out of work yet the farmers can't aford to hire help. They are doeing all their work themselves with horses this year they can't aford to buy gass for their tractors. I have been living alone on my farm all winter keeping ?atch. I have a fiew chickens have land rented to one of the neighbouts I get a third of the crop when prices are good it is all right but the way they are now it is pretty hard scratching but we will live in hopes of better prices. I got yopur last batch of newspapers thanks very mutch I don't seem to know hardly any body when I reed them. I shure would apreciate a good long letter from you as I have only had one since I comenced writing to you it seems as though all the old timers have left H.B. they seem top be all new names. I get a letter from sister Kate at Newton quiet often but I haven't answered the last one yet. How is jack, Gorge & Don getting along give them my best love when you see them, who did Don marry was she an H.B. Girl. You never told me in your letter who the boys married give me all the news when you write. Will close this time with best love to you and your family.
From Brother Bob".

Note:  Jack, George and Don are his half brothers.


The following undated letter was written to Kate Ward Barker but it was probably written sometime in the 1930's because of the references to poor crops.

Alberta, Canada
Dear Sister
you will think that I am never going to answer your welcome letter that I received a long time ago. but have been waiting to get a few snap shots taken am sending you 1.2 doz they are not very good but it was the best I could do. well sister times are very hard in Canada at present lots of people out of work and nothing to do. not mutch harvest work farmers cant aford to hire help. prices for Grain are lower at the present time that it has been for years. Grain is only worth half as much as it was last year at this time.
most of the Crops are very poor lots of it dried out & trailed out and blown out. my crop is very poor most of it with no price. wont have mutch left after Taxes are paid unless the price goes up but I am thankfull for what I have got it is more than lots of the Farmers have got lots of them have not got eny thing left some were hailed out completly & some of them driedd out the Government will have to help them. Brother Will has a fair crop havent seen eny of them for a month. he had one of his Boys & his family motered from Idaho, United States to see him this summer they went back a month ago. how is all your family getting along give my love to them all and acept the same yourself & Bill
from Brother Rob

The following is part of another letter which is incomplete.  Maggie died on February 13, 1931, so the letter was presumably written between that date and 1935
.... some crop on my place. times have been mighty hard for the last 3 years we could not get hardly eny thing for what we raised. but things are looking up for some now. I think Sister Maggie is dead also one of her Boys I saw it in a Scarbrough paper annie sent me well Sister havent mutch news to tell you. we have had a fine Winter with the exception of Dece it shure was cold in December was over to Billie's. Brother Bills sons for Christmas Dinner ( page 3) they came over after me it was 40 below zero I shure got cold before I got there 12 mile ride in a sled but we had a good dinner Billie's wife had a nice roast Turkey for dinner and pumpkin pie and other things stayed 4 days when I got back home some of my potatoes was frozen in the cellar.
will try and write you again soon may have more news to tell you. have been troubled with Catar all winter but it seems to be a little better now
Love to you all
from Brother Rob

6. A letter, presumably to Kate:
Leduc, Alberta, Canada
Augu 21 35
Dear Sister,
Received your letter the other day was glad to hear from you, hope those few lines will find you well. did you have a good time at Wilby [Whitby] hope the sea air did you good. did you get to Claymore, I havent seen the sea for a long time I spent part of one winter in Vancouver in B.C. Saw the sea every day but it was the Pacific Ocean had a good rest. havent been able to do much work for some years got the Rheumatism in wet wether but am able to do my gardening dont put out mutch vegetables it dont take much for me I had lots of raspberries last year but not so much this year I canned 12 quarts od jam this year so far will be able to can some more yet. we have had a verry wet summer so far this year we had a very backward spring the Grain is two weeks or more late. I have only got out 75 acres od Oats and Barley this year if we dont get a frost it may get ripe in about three weeeks or so last yeay we were harvesting at this time still most of the Wheat was frozen.
had Brother Bill & one of his Grandchildren over a week ago and stayed two days it rained so they could not get back they are all well I had two neces & a nephew from the States to visit me in July they stayed two weeks we had a good time. Bobs wife & Ned & his wife they came by Car. Bobs wife had been hear before But Ned & his Wife hadent been here before, they want me to go and spend the winter with them I think I shall go if all be well. Brother Bill will come and stay on the place if i go. he is going to Farm it next year.
Well Sister how is all your family getting along give my love to them all & remember me to all freinds in newton. havent heard from Hutton Bus for a longtime. havent got much paper so am writing on both sides. well Sister will write to you again after Harvest. will conclude for this time. Love to all from Brother Rob

RC would have been77 when he wrote this letter.