As Christmas draws near, I share with you today a few antique postcards that were originally sent to my grandmother, Bertha James, and/or her family. Recipients of these cards include Gra Gra’s father George James and step-mother Sue (Henrich), as well as, brother Lionel and half-brothers Vincent and Lester. For further reading about my grandmother, read her Intro blog: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.
While sorting through postcards, I have found a few to be separate New Year greeting cards and hope to post a few of those in a separate blog around the first of the year.
My featured “A Merry Christmas” postcard was sent to Bertha, in 1909, from Aunt Etta and her husband William Hooper. They were living in Franklin, Mass. at the time. Shown below is the message side of the card. For the Intro blog to Aunt Etta, please read: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.
The next card, shown here, “A Christmas Greeting” was sent to George and Sue from Aunt Etta and Will, postmarked 1909 from Franklin, Mass.
In 1909, Gramma “Grandma Julia” sent a postcard “A Jolly Christmas to You” to Bertha, postmarked from Franklin, Mass.
Aunt Theresa, sent the “May You Have a Merry Christmas” postcard to Bertha in 1909, postmarked from Newark, NJ. Theresa was sister to Bertha’s step-grandmother Frances (Schlosstein) Henrich. The artist of the card itself was Ellen H. Clapsaddle (1865-1934), copyrighted by S. Garretour in 1908, printed in Germany.
The card below was sent by Amelia and George to George and Sue, but I cannot make out the year on the postmark, nor am I clear on who they are at this point but hope to solve that mystery in the near future. This card, “Best Christmas Wishes” was published by Alfred Holzman, Chicago, Ill., and was printed in Germany. The handwritten message reads: “Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. From Amelia & George.”
Aunt Lena (also known as Helen or Helena) sent the card “Merry May thy Christmas be”, shown below, to Vincent in 1911, postmarked from Wrentham. This card was printed in Germany. The handwritten message reads: “Dear Vincent, I wish you a Merry Xmas & hope Santa Claus will bring you a lot of presents. With love from Aunt Lena.”
The postcard “A Joyful Christmas” was sent to George and Sue by Aunt Etta, Will, and Grandma Julia, in 1912 from Franklin, Mass. This would mean that Etta’s mother Julia was living with them at this point due to health issues.
Bertha also received a postcard from Aunt Etta, Will and Grandma Julia, “Hearty Christmas Wishes” in 1912 from Franklin, Mass.
In 1912, Helen (also known as Aunt Lena) and Leon Strople sent the “Christmas Greetings” postcard to sister Sue. The card was postmarked from Wrentham. The verse on the front side of the card says: “At this glad time when hope and memory wake, I greet you lovingly for old sake’s sake.” The card was published by P. Sander. The handwritten message on the card reads: “Dear Susie, George, Lionel and Bertha; I am going to send yours all in one as I know you are not so anxious to get a postal as the little fellows are. We all wish you all a Most Merry Xmas and A Happy and prosperous New Year. Your Loving Bro and Sis, Helen & Leon.”
The postcard, shown below, was sent in 1913 to Lester and has a verse reading: “Christmas with its birth of joy, Brings to all a gift supreme, In the memory of that long ago, When we were children of the dream.” The card, postmarked from Wrentham was signed Cousin Frances, who would be daughter to Helen in the entry above. Born in 1911, Frances would have only been two years old so the written message would have been made by her mother, it reads: “Dear Cousin Lester, I hope you will have A Merry Xmas & Santa Claus will bring you lots of presents. With Love, Cousin Frances.”
My final postcard was sent to Lester in 1914, from Aunt Till (also known as Othelia), sister to his mother Sue, and from his Grandma (Francis Henrich). This card, “Christmas Greetings and all Good Wishes” was postmarked from Plainville, Mass. The handwritten message reads: “How do you do? Hope Santa Clause brings you a lot of nice things. Hope you all have a bang up time. Love to all from all. Aunt Till & Grandma.”
In a recent blog, I started to explore the Henrich family, traced from Gra Gra’s step-mother and will be digging and sharing further some time after the holiday season. Some of the postcards shown in this blog, today, were sent by members of that family. To get a little insight into who is who, please read my previous blog: What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich?
Wishing all a Very Merry Christmas!
Until next time…