One Postcard Saturdays: New Year!

As this new year begins, I feel a large dimension of hope for both myself and our community at-large. It is my sincere hope that better times are in store for us all, that these current pandemic days will soon be in the rearview mirror.

Early on in this unfolding new year, I have a good deal of hope for making progress in my family research, especially in determining ties to my mother’s biological family. In addition, I hope to further my research on my paternal side, adding to my genealogical tree.

As for my blog writings, I hope to complete posts more often than I have in the past. The content focus of each writing may vary and probably will not go in a sequential order; however, I will put links to previous posts that are related in nature, as needed.

There are many stories I have yet to tell. There are so many things I have yet to learn.

Last time, I spoke of Grammy Alice (link posted below) and her travel journals. My plan is to cover some of these travel stories in upcoming posts. Also, I need to complete further research on her family tree and would like to share some of that on this blog.

If I should be so fortunate as to make a definite determination on my mother’s biological parents and family, I will be sharing that, as well.

There are many stories still harboring in the ancestral tree of my adoptive grandmother (Gra Gra). Recently, I read a statement from someone online that indicated the importance of telling the family stories on behalf of those like Gra Gra that have no blood offspring. After many years of research, I have uncovered a few untold stories and some of the passed-down stories I have yet to prove.

For today’s posting, I have chosen two different New Year greeting postcards. I believe both were given or sent to Aunt Etta (Henrietta James Hooper). The sender’s of these cards are not members of her family, but after a little research I have been able to correctly identify them and provide a limited amount of their family background.

My featured postcard is repeated below, it contains a verse on the front as follows:

Happy New Year.

This year, next year, every year

I wish you all of life’s good cheer.

This postcard was published by the Owen Card Publishing Co. (1915-1927), of Elmira, NY. They published greeting and holiday postcards. On the front of the card is series number 534B.

The card is signed as sent by Mr. and Mrs. Orestes T. Doe. There is no postmark on the card.

In 1897, Orestes T. Doe, of Franklin, Mass., was named as Trial Justice for Norfolk County. Born in Parsonfield, Maine, Orestes died on January 5th, 1930 at the age of 65. He had presided on the District Court level for 31 years. At the time of death, his residence was listed as 29 School St., in Franklin. He had been a graduate of Boston Law School and belonged to fraternities including the Masons and Odd Fellows. At one time he had served as a town clerk.

Orestes T. Doe was married to Mabel P. Dow and they had three sons: Kenneth, Robert and D.B. Doe.

Their son, Kenneth married Lila Winchester, of Rutland, Vermont, on August 12th, 1930. Lila was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Winchester. Lila had a sister named Ada. Kenneth died at age 81, on March 20, 1983, in Portland, Maine. At that time he was living at Gooserocks Beach, Kennebunkport but was listed as formerly living in Franklin, Mass. Kenneth and Lila had one daughter and two grandchildren.

With my limited research time spent, the only additional information I uncovered regarding the other sons of Orestes and Mabel were that they had all been residents of Franklin at one time and were all lawyers.

The second New Year greeting postcard for this blog posting is shown below. It has a verse on the front as follows:

I wish you all good fortune,

Which twelve long months may give;

With loyal friends to cheer you,–

And a long, long life to live!

A Happy New Year

This postcard was published by Stecher Litho Co. (1887-1936), it has a series number 1605A. It was postmarked December 29, 1916, from Milford, Mass. The card was sent to Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Hooper (Aunt Etta and her husband) and the sender was Mrs. L. L. Milliken.

After a little research, I have uncovered the sender as Mrs. Lloyd L. Milliken. Her maiden name was Mary Evelyn Cahoon and she married Lloyd on April 14th, 1904, in Taunton, Mass. She was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Cahoon. Her father was the former superintendent of the Taunton Wire Nail Co.

Mary Milliken was prominent in social circles and had been a stenographer and had an office in the Crocker Building. Lloyd Milliken, at the time of marriage, was in charge of the Hartshorn Farm, on Dean Street, in Taunton.

My research found that there was a historic house located at 68 Dean St., in Taunton, originally built in 1798 for Abiezar Dean. In 1905, the house was purchased by George Hartshorn. It was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 1984, known as the Dean-Hartshorn House. In the current day, the home exists as a senior nursing facility.

So, my curiosity is somewhat cured to have learned a little bit about the senders of each of these two postcards. It also speaks to genealogy clues that might be found on old postal items such as postcards or letters.

Happy New Year!

Until next time…

Links to related posts:

Happy Birthday Grammy Alice!

Born 100 Years Ago: Mom

Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital

Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures

Sources:

Boston Globe, 07 October 1897. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Boston Globe, 12 December 1904. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Boston Globe, 06 January 1930. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Boston Globe, 21 March 1983. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Fall River Daily Globe, 18 April 1904. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Metropostcard. Publishers, metropostcard.com/metropcpublishers.html. Accessed 02 January 2021.

Rutland Daily Herald, 13 August 1930. Newspapers.com. Accessed 01 January 2021.

Wikipedia. Dean-Hartshorn House, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dean-hartshorn.house. Accessed 01 January 2021.

One Postcard Saturday: Uncle Vin

When I think of Christmastime, from years gone by, it surely brings to mind my Aunt May and Uncle Vin.

For several years, that I can remember, my family would visit their house around the holiday. My memories of these visits include watching “home movies” which was a pretty cool thing when I was a kid.

As I got a little older, we no longer made these regular visits; however, they continued to send us each a gift every year. It always made me feel “special” to open their gift and mom would make sure we wrote thank-you notes of appreciation. I saved some of these gifts for many years and thought of them each time I came across one.

Of course, there were times other than holidays that I was fortunate enough to visit their home. One time, I remember being there when a solar eclipse was happening, mid-day, and it got really dark and eerie outside. As time went on, I feel there should have been more effort on my part to visit on a regular basis–I always feel badly about that.

Aunt May was always a very gracious hostess. They had a finished basement area where they commonly held gatherings. I can remember being there with Gra Gra on a few occasions, downstairs, watching Aunt May as she arranged her floral display. It seems that she really enjoyed arranging flowers as that is something that really sticks out in my mind. I remember her as a very kind and gentle person.

May Clare was born in 1903 and married Vincent C. James on Oct. 28, 1926. She died in 1984. I remember that she had been in a nursing facility for quite a while prior to her death.

Vincent C. James was born on Nov. 30, 1901 and was half brother to Gra Gra (Bertha James Watts). He died early March of 1997, at age 95. My dad died in the same month. My dad had been basically housebound for several months, not really able to walk, but he insisted we get him to Uncle Vin’s funeral. That tells the content story of Uncle Vin’s character.

The picture below was taken in 1948, at my parents wedding. Uncle Vin is the one shown between my mom and dad. His brother Lester is shown between my dad and their sister Bertha (Gra Gra).

His parents were George L.P. James (1869-1926) and Susan Mary Henrich (1876-1956). Vincent lived in the Riverpoint area of West Warwick, Rhode Island, for most all of his life. Shown in the picture below with their mother, Vincent is the taller boy on the right and his brother Lester is on the left.

My featured postcard was sent to Vincent in 1915 so he would have been 14 years old at the time. He looks close to that age in the photo above. The sender of the postcard was Cousin Frances. She was the daughter of Helen (Lena) Henrich Strople-Roessler and Leon Strople. Lena and Francis are in the picture below.

Frances was born on Nov. 11, 1911, so she was only four years old when the postcard was sent.

By looking at the handwriting on the postcard, I believe that it was actually completed by the grandmother Frances (Schlosstein) Henrich because it is not Lena’s handwriting. Lena and Leon were married in 1910 and were living in Wrentham. They later divorced. Lena and baby Frances moved back to Plainville and was living with Lena’s mother Frances at Bacon Square. I believe they were living there at the time this postcard was written. To learn more about Lena, please read my previous post: What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich? and for a few more Christmas postcards within the James Family, please read post: James Family Christmas Postcards, Early 1900s.

Shown above is a sample of Lena’s handwriting from a different postcard. It is very different compared to the actual card that was sent to Vincent, shown below. The message reads: “I wish you a very Merry Xmas. Your Loving Cousin Frances.”

This postcard was published by the Stecher Lithographic Co. (1887-1936), of Rochester, NY. Around the turn of the century, they were producing artist-drawn holiday postcards. On the front of my featured postcard are the artists’ initials of M.E.P. which I believe to be that of illustrator and artist Margaret Evans Price (1888-1973). She went on to co-found the Fisher-Price Toys in 1930 with her husband, Irving Price and partner Herman Fisher.

Often, Uncle Vin would share a piece of his wisdom with us. One time, I can remember he was sitting in a chair in Gra Gra’s living room–maybe, after a family funeral, not sure–he made a remark to me that I would never have to worry about going hungry, that my parents would make sure of it.

Throughout his years, Uncle Vin would often write a “Letter to the Editor” piece that would appear in the local paper, including during the WWII era. On Dec. 7, 1941, the United States was attacked by Japanese forces, at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The day after the attack, the U.S. entered into World War II.

In support of our soldiers, Uncle Vin wrote the following poem, in 1942, for the Remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day.

CHRISTMAS — 1942
Written by the late Vincent C. James

The smoke of war is in the air,
Our boys are marching everywhere,
Old Hirohito sneaked a crack,
And shoved a dagger in our back.

Our Coffee, Gas, and Sugar is short
We lie like hell, but all for naught
Our houses cold at sixty five
We watch in dread for Mercury’s dive.

We can’t get tires to save our steps,
Our meat is scarce, we’re in the depths,
We’ve signed a thousand questionnaires
They come in singles, threes, and pairs.

We worry about the money we earn
‘Cause next year’s tax will be tough we learn
We can’t drink gin our worries to drown
‘Cause the price is way, way up–not down.

In spite of this long tale of woe
And as time flies we know ’twill grow
We know we’re still Americans yet
With a love for Country that’s real, you bet

And so we find the cash for Bonds,
To buy the boats that cross the ponds,
We work long hours and slave and sweat,
And we’ll lick the damned old Axis yet.

But bigger yet is the job we’ll do
When we turn to God when we’re feeling blue
And His blessings will shower on all of us here
As we look to the start of another New Year.

So let’s build up cheer for this Christmas to come
And keep up morale while our factories hum
We don’t want to let all our Service men down
So turn on the smiles, tho’ bad news bids us frown.

And we’ll find that this year, more than ever before
That the Spirit of Christmas to our boys will mean more
If we keep our chins up, those of us over here,
Bringing true Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Until next time…

Thanksgiving Greetings: Lionel and Bertha!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

I am grateful for the memories of holidays past and glad that I am able to share my family stories with you, including the one that follows. In today’s blog, I share a Thanksgiving Greetings postcard that was sent by Gra Gra (Bertha) and her brother Lionel to their grandmother (Grandma Julia), in Plainville, Mass.

The publisher of this postcard is not clearly identified, so I am not sure on that but it was postmarked in 1909 from Riverpoint (West Warwick), R.I. At the time this card was sent, Bertha would have been 18 years old and Lionel age 17. To me, it looks like Lionel’s handwriting on the card.

His handwritten message reads:

Love from your two big grandchildren. Lionel & Bertha.

Julia Ann Moore James (1836-1914) was a nurse as shown in the picture below. I have not yet identified who the other lady might be, whether it was a co-worker or a family member, I am not certain at this time.

Bertha Lillian (1891-1983) and Lionel Henry (1892-1969) were two of five children born to George Lang Parkhurst James (1869-1926). In addition to Bertha and Lionel, their sibling Howard Allan James (1894-1963) was the third child born to Martha Ella Carr James Cady (1873-1920). George and Martha were divorced in 1894. Since Martha had limited means, the two older children were placed with George and the baby Howard was allowed to remain with his mother.

The below pictures are identified, as follows: the top larger block is Bertha at 8 years old and is the earliest picture of her that I have found to this point, she is also in the picture just to the right of that at age 16 with the hair bow; the lady with the bangs is Martha and George next to her with Julia on the right which is a tin-type photo. I will show some pictures of Lionel further on in this story as I do not readily have a young picture of him.

George remarried to Susan Mary Henrich (1876-1956) and they had two sons together: Vincent Charles James (1901-1997) and Lester Hill James (1905-1996). Susan and the two younger boys are pictured below.

Bertha and Lionel remained close throughout their lives and he used to come to her house to help with things like shoveling snow or little handy tasks that needed tending to. Below is a picture of him after a winter snowstorm standing next to his car.

In my last blog, I mentioned about the summer cottage we had when I was young and we frequently had visitors including Gra Gra and Uncle Lionel. There is a picture below with myself, my brothers, my parents (my dad is hardly visible standing in back) and Bertha and Lionel. In my last blog, I mentioned about the back addition to the cottage and I thought it was about 1968 but this picture is from 1966 and I can see that the addition is already on the back by this point, so it was at least started by 1966.

In my last blog, I also mentioned a swimming area, in the Charlestown Beach area, called “Danger Deep” located at the shack. Below is a picture of Uncle Lionel swimming with us there. I am the blonde-headed kid in the water on the left side of the picture.

Although I am not able to gather with my children and grandchildren on this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful to spend some time sharing my family memories with you. There are previous blogs that I have written that tie into the family members listed here today and I will make a list of those links below.

Uncle Lionel military service: Uncle Lionel: Fort Greble, RI; Vet of WWI

Other Links: Turkey Day Memories

Thanks Mom for the Effort!

A Thanksgiving Greeting from 1908!

Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory

Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital

Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time…

Salem Roots and Halloween Greetings!

If I were to ask you this question: What town do you think most closely relates to Halloween? Would you answer: Salem, Massachusetts?

Probably!

My paternal ancestors were among the early settlers of the Salem area. Although I have done extensive research on this branch of my family, I have yet to actually visit the historic Salem area in person. It is certainly high on my bucket list. I have been able to conduct much of my research via Boston and other means; however, it would be nice if I can finally walk the actual ground some day.

I am pretty sure that I am the only one who has been successful in connecting the steps to my direct Lindall ancestors. There is still some work I need to do, as well as, preparing a more cohesive gathering of my research details. As I go along with my blog stories, it is my hope to share small pieces of this family branch at a time.

This week, I was able to find a very old, undivided back, Halloween Greeting postcard to feature in this blog. Originally, I thought it was going to be just a focus on the card itself this time around. However, it seems my ancestor spirits may be lingering around and gave me a surprise kick of inspiration yesterday morning. What better time to highlight a piece of my Salem family history than a blog featuring a Halloween Greeting card.

The Mary Lindall House:

Yesterday, I learned there will be a virtual tour of some of the historic houses in Salem, this year, as a fundraiser for the Historic Salem organization. It perked my interest enough to explore their website a bit further and I did not realize previously that they have a wonderful database section of their page where you can browse house histories of over 600 houses. What a great find! It is a very helpful research tool to have access to such online data that used to take so much effort and time to retrieve in person.

When I plugged in the surname “Lindall” in the search area, the Mary Lindall House came up. Upon first reading the history text, I thought it was pointing to my direct Mary ancestor. But after re-reading, I was able to determine the Mary Lindall of this house was actually the granddaughter of my direct Mary. I was either unaware that the house existed or had forgotten about it. Indeed, I had already realized various ancestor family members, whether direct or indirect, had owned much property in this area; but, I am also aware that there was a severe fire in Salem at one time. So, I did not expect to find any actual intact family houses in the present day.

Contained within the house history, from the Historic Salem website, is an illustration of the home but I do not wish to infringe on any copyrights. If you wish to look at the illustration, you may find the page location via my sources listed at the end of this blog piece. Or, you may enter the street address, listed below, for an online search and get a current day picture that will show up.

This house was built between 1755 and 1760 (although the plaque says 1755) and is located at 314 Essex Street, in Salem. The property was owned by Mary and her niece Elizabeth Gray. The deed transferred from Samuel Kerwin to Mary Lindall in 1760.

The house was later owned by Capt. William Osgood, whose daughter Susan lived there until 1920. In 1947, it was bought by the American Red Cross to use as their Salem Chapter House. It has been sold since then but I am uncertain how many times nor any information about the current owner–not something that I will be researching at the moment.

First Paternal Ancestor:

James Lindall was my first paternal ancestor to come over, from England, to the soil of Massachusetts in about 1638. By 1640, he was known to be in Duxbury and in 1645 he was a proprietor in Bridgewater. As was common in this family, James was married to a Mary (of which there are several in this family line). The last name of this Mary unknown at this time. I may have her last name in my records that are not easily accessible for me at this moment. They had at least two children. Their daughter Abigail married Capt. Samuel Wadsworth. And their son Timothy was my direct ancestor, who I will explore below. Both James and Mary died about 1652. Their children were minors at the time and were committed by the Court to the care of Constant Southworth.

Born in 1648, Mary Veren married Timothy Lindall, son of James and Mary (listed above) in 1672. He was born in Duxbury, Mass., in 1642, and died on Jan. 6, 1698/9 at age 56. They lived in a home near the Burying Point, the location of their final resting place. Mary lived to the age of 83 and died on Jan. 7, 1731/2. She had been a shopkeeper even into her advanced years. Timothy and Mary had nine children. At first, I thought it was this Mary that owned the Mary Lindall House but after studying the history closely I realized it was actually her granddaughter.

My direct link to Timothy and Mary:

Their son, Nathaniel, is my direct ancestor. He was born in 1679 and died of Small Pox in 1711. He is buried in the Granary Burial Ground, located on Tremont Street, in Boston. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of his will which I will share in a future story. This child was somewhat forgotten about along the genealogy trail. It has taken a great amount of research on my part, over the years, to connect the steps along that trail. In addition, the name Nathaniel was carried down several times complicating my efforts to square who is who. I will explore more of them in future stories. This Nathaniel moved from Salem to Boston where he was a merchant. He was married to Elizabeth Smith. They had a son Nathaniel (1707/8-bef. 1776) and a daughter Elizabeth (1711-?). Again, I will share more in future stories.

Below are pictures I have taken during my visits to Nathaniel’s grave at the Granary Burial Ground.

Nathaniel’s stone reads: “Here Lyes Buried Y Body of Mr. Nathaniell Lindall Aged 31 years Departed This Life Sep. 1711”.

Children of Mary (Veren) and Timothy Lindall:

Mary born 1674.

James born 1675; died in 1753 at age 78; married in 1702 to Elizabeth Corwin. She died in 1706; then he married second in 1708 to Mary Weld. Children of James and Elizabeth were daughter Elizabeth born in 1703; she married Edward Gray in 1739–they had a daughter Elizabeth. James and Elizabeth had a son in 1704 that did not survive and then a daughter Mary born in 1705; died 1776 at age 70. This is the Mary who owned the Mary Lindall House.

Timothy born 1677; died 1760 at age 82. He was a judge and served in several public service roles which I will explore in greater depth at a later time.

Nathaniel (my direct ancestor, detailed above) born 1679; died in 1711.

Abigail born 1681; died in 1737 at age 56. She married in 1704 to Capt. B. Pickman who died in 1719 at age 46. Abigail married secondly in 1730 to Rev. Jenison.

Sarah born about 1682; died 1750.

Caleb born 1684; died 1751 at age 67. He was married to a Sarah who died in 1734 at age 60.

Rachel born 1686; died 1743 at age 56. She married in 1713 to Thomas Barnard and was a widow in 1718. She later married by 1726 to Samuel Barnard who died in 1762 at age 77.

Veren born 1689; died 1708 at age 19.

Resting Place of Timothy and Mary:

Both Timothy and Mary (Veren) Lindall are buried in the Burying Point Cemetery which is the oldest cemetery in Salem being established c.1637. It has also been known as the Charter Street Cemetery and the Salem Burying Point. It is located at 51 Charter Street, in Salem. My brother took a picture of their stones a few years ago. I have segmented the picture into three images to show the stones a little larger. The script is not very clear but I have written each below the pictures.

Timothy’s stone (shown above) reads: “Here lyes Buried ye Body of Mr. Timothy Lindall, aged 56 yrs & 7 mos. Dec. 6 Jan 1698/9”.

Mary’s stone (shown above) reads: “Here lyes Buried ye Body of Mrs. Mary Lindall wife to Mr. Timothy Lindall, aged 83 yrs. D. 7 Jan. 1731/2.”

Extended Family of Mary (Verin) Lindall:

Mary Veren was the daughter of Nathaniel Veren (1623-1731) and Mary (____) Putnam (1624-1694). They were married about 1648. Nathaniel’s wife Mary was married secondly to Thomas Putnam on Sept. 14, 1666, in Salem. Thomas died in 1686. Mary Veren had a half sibling, Joseph Putnam (1669-1724); he married Elizabeth Porter. Nathaniel Veren was the son of Philip (1581-?) and Dorcas Veren. Nathaniel had siblings Rebecca Veren (1616-1621) and Philip Veren (1619-1664).

Extended Family of James and Elizabeth (Corwin) Lindall:

James Lindall (1675-1753), son of Timothy and Mary (Veren) Lindall married Elizabeth Corwin in 1702. Elizabeth died in 1706; she was the daughter of Jonathan Corwin (1640-1718) and Elizabeth (Sheaf) Gibbs. Jonathan purchased what is now known as “The Witch House” in 1675. This house, located at 310 Essex Street, is the only one in Salem that currently allows visitors that is connected back to the Salem Witch Trials. The house opened as a museum in 1948. Jonathan was a merchant but also a judge during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692; he was the son of George and Elizabeth (Herbert) Corwin and is buried in the Broad Street Cemetery, in Salem.

James and Elizabeth (Corwin) Lindall had three children: Elizabeth Corwin born 1703, she married Edward Gray in 1739; a son born and died same day in 1704; and daughter Mary who was born in 1705 and died 1776 at age 70. This is the Mary of the Mary Lindall House, she never married nor had children and was the granddaughter of my direct Mary (Veren) Lindall.

Elizabeth (Lindall) and Edward Gray had a daughter Elizabeth Gray who was orphaned at an early age. She and Mary Lindall were the joint owners of the Mary Lindall House.

James Lindall remarried after the death of his wife Elizabeth (Corwin) to Mary Weld in 1708. They had seven children.

Name variations:

There are many variations found in the records of the surname Lindall. Those include: Lindell, Lyndall, Lindale, Lendall, Lindol, Lindahl, Lindal.

Related blog pieces:

Previously, I have posted a couple of blog pieces focused on my paternal side, if you might like to learn more. If so, please see, A 50th Anniversary Celebration: Hiram & Hannah Lindall or My Dad: A Soldier of World War II.

Featured Postcard:

My featured postcard, a Halloween Greeting card, has an undivided back with “Correspondence” printed—referred to as a Pioneer card. It would definitely be published prior to 1907 and may be quite a bit earlier than that.

The card was published by “Whitney Made” the Whitney Valentine Co. (1858-1942) of Worcester, Mass.

The card was sent by M.J. Gray (no idea if any relation to the Gray surname listed in my story above). I think this is Mabel Gray as there are other cards sent from her. The card is postmarked from Providence in 1924 and was sent to Mrs. W. J. Hooper (Aunt Etta) in Plainville, Mass.

Summary

Once again, I find myself with the realization that family history records often get confused especially when there are repeated uses of the same names. Even while looking at a few written things for this piece I noticed errors caused by confusion. And for myself, when I first read the history on the Mary Lindall House it looked to me like it was my direct Mary until I re-read the information and took some time to really look at the data. Then it became clear it was her granddaughter. Surely, it is often difficult trying to sort out all the details. So, proceed with caution with any family research and do not be too quick to copy what you find listed and do not jump too quickly to a conclusion.

Until next time…

SOURCES:

“A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692” Volume #3, Lindell-Lockhart; By James Savage.

Historic Salem, Inc., “314 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970,” House Histories of Salem, accessed October 30, 2020, https://hsihousehistory.omeka.net/items/show/300.

Salemwitchmuseum.com/locations/Jonathan-corwin-house/ Accessed October 31, 2020.

Turkey Day Memories

I am thankful for the memories!

I am grateful that at this stage of my life I still have the ability to actually recall the memories–something that I do not take for granted.

My intention for this Thanksgiving blog was simply to find a greeting postcard that would have some interesting background that I could highlight in a brief posting. My focus changed after finding my featured postcard. It had a picture I really liked but the background surrounding the card is lacking in substance.

I do not know the publisher of this embossed postcard, I only know that it was printed in Saxony.

This postcard was sent to Grandma Julia in 1909, in Plainville, Mass. The sender was “The Three Graces”, postmarked from Providence, RI. I have not yet been able to determine the exact identity of the three Graces. However, a while back I started trying to put the pieces together and if memory serves me correctly there is a connection somehow with her sisters. For more background on Grandma Julia, please see a previous posting such as: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

Since I had so little background to share about this postcard, my thoughts began to focus on some of my own Thanksgiving memories–those from younger years. And so it goes that the remainder of this writing will highlight a few of those memories and spotlight my grandfather’s sister, we called Auntie, and her son David. In addition, I will close with an honorable mention of my brother Mark, whose birthday would have hit on Thanksgiving this year, November 28th.

Auntie and David in the mid-1960’s

During my youngest childhood years, my mom was always the hostess for the family Thanksgiving Dinner, as well as, for Christmas. It was a tight squeeze in our apartment for the average of 14, or so, family members attending. Out would come the folding metal table, that I still possess to this day, being set up alongside our normal table. There was an archway between the living room and dining area and this extended seating area would encompass both spaces.

My mom would cook a huge turkey, always 20-something pounds. I can still remember going with her to the local turkey farm to get a fresh turkey. I seem to remember the entrance to that farm being on the south side of Route 117 past Quaker Lane heading into the West Warwick area–I could be wrong, of course, but it was in that general area.

As I grew a little older, my dad decided that all the work my mom had to put into the Thanksgiving Dinner was getting to be too much. He suggested we start a new tradition of going out to eat for the Thanksgiving dinner, still with a gathering of the same family members–and so a new tradition began and continued for several years. Of course, over those next few years we gained a member or two and we also suffered a few losses.

For a few years, we held our “new tradition” Turkey Day gathering at the Showboat, in Coventry, on Lake Tiogue. This local favorite landmark was shaped like a large boat. It began in the 1940’s, prior to World War II and was tragically destroyed by fire on January 16, 1976. Of the select few places we went for these Thanksgiving Day feasts, this one location remains my favorite memory.

According to my memory, the Showboat dinner began with great soup that was set out on the table in a large tureen–I can still picture that in my mind. Each family received their own whole turkey at the table and all the trimmings were served family style. Any leftovers were brought home and we had no clean up to worry about.

Holiday dinner at Meadowbrook Inn

Other than the Showboat, we went a few times to the Meadowbrook Inn, in Charlestown, where both my brothers had worked at one time. We went to the Carriage Inn, in North Kingstown, at least once, maybe twice. The last of this dining-out tradition that I can remember was probably the very early 1980’s, at a place in South Kingstown that is long-since gone–it has changed hands several times since then.

The holidays always bring fond memories of Auntie and her son “Uncle David”. I tend to think of them both during this time more so than any other time of the year. She had one of the kindest souls that I have ever known.

My mom and David, probably about 1932.

I always looked forward to Auntie coming over to attend those early dinners, held at our apartment. We lived in the Greenwood section of Warwick, right on busy Route 5, Greenwich Avenue. She lived across the street from us in a little rental cottage during my younger years. Later on, her landlord, Mr. Palumbo, tore that place down to build a large apartment building. He was able to move her down the road a piece, to another place he owned. Her new apartment had been a barn that was renovated into living space for two single-level apartments. So, she did have one neighbor, it may have been a couple or just one younger man–can’t quite remember for sure. However, I can remember the man volunteered for the Big Brother organization and sometimes he had his young sidekick with him.

As the holidays approached, I always felt great anticipation for the arrival of my mom’s Cousin David from New York City–where he resided for many years. Us kids used to call him “Uncle” David because there was a large gap in age and it was not seen as proper for us to call an adult by their first name–even a cousin, I guess.

Auntie was born Annie Irene Watts on June 15, 1897, in England. She died in 1971, on a day that I will never forget–even though the actual date is not fresh at hand. She was in the hospital at that time. I can remember we were at the cottage in Charlestown and our close family friend, Mrs. Michaels, came over to deliver the message to my mom from the hospital–we had no phone there. It was like the world stopped for me that day.

Annie Irene Watts

Auntie was the youngest daughter of Jonas (died 1923) and Mary Jane (Pepper) Watts (died 1921)–they were married in 1880. They lived in Nottingham, England. Auntie was half-sister to Emma (from a different father), and full sister to Alice, Thomas William (my grandfather), and George Watts. She moved to the USA sometime after 1910 but prior to 1923 and remained here the rest of her life.

Photo taken about 1923 so Auntie was living here in the US by that time. Siblings standing in the back, Auntie and Pop Pop (Annie Irene and Thomas William Watts) And Gra Gra holding my mom’s hand.

When I was very young I can remember when Auntie was blind, I don’t know when it first happened. I remember she had surgery that allowed her to see from one eye but she lost the other, which was replaced with a glass eye. She always lived close by to us and spoiled us very much–especially my middle brother Keith and myself. My oldest brother, Mark, seemed more favored by my grandmother since he was the first born so I think that had something to do with Auntie giving us younger two a little more attention. It was later on that I would have a closer relationship with my grandmother.

Picture taken in 1950, Auntie, Pop Pop and Gra Gra, sitting on the black rattan couch. I loved that piece of furniture!

Since Auntie did not drive, my mom usually took her shopping on Saturday mornings, then my brother Keith and I would visit her. We watched cartoons followed by the other Saturday shows on her little TV.

Auntie with my brothers, probably about 1956, at her cottage.

When we had time off from school, Auntie would often take us on a bus ride to downtown Providence, or East Greenwich–back in the days when it was a pleasant thing to do. At that time Westminster Mall was closed off to traffic. Our first stop, downtown, was always at the Woolworth’s store–I can still see their lunch counter in my mind. One day, I had forgotten my shoulder-strapped hand bag at one of the counter stools and felt my heart race when I realized it. Luckily, when I ran back it was still there.

Our trips downtown always included shopping but I can remember Auntie having eye specialist appointments, as well. Before heading to the return bus stop, we commonly ate lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. We also bought popcorn to feed the pigeons while waiting for the bus.

The below pictures include Auntie’s brother Uncle George, with two of them taken in 1964 when he came over for a visit.

The pictures are not the best, a little blurry, the one that shows him sitting outside on the lounger chair was taken at Auntie’s little rental cottage, when she lived across the street from us. The photo with the boats was taken at Galilee, Narragansett, RI, during his visit in 1964.

It was probably within the next couple of years that Auntie moved from the little cottage to the place further down the road. Sometime after she moved, I can remember that she had an operation on her leg that replaced a vein with a plastic version.

Auntie worked at Leviton Mfg., in Warwick, for many years as an inspector–of some kind. I can remember helping her by stamping green slips that went into the items she inspected.

This picture was taken in June 1969. Auntie is in the light-colored coat, my brother Mark is almost 20 years old here, standing on the left end. Gra Gra is in the blue dress and my mom is on the right end. Photo was taken in the gardens outside Gra Gra’s house, in West Warwick, RI.

About 1969, or so, Auntie went to live in a newly-built senior housing place, West Shore Terrace, in Warwick–the same place as my paternal grandparents. So, she was a little further away from us over those last couple of years, too far for us to walk–for the first time.

Auntie had never married. She became a single parent with a son born in 1930, David Bruce Watts. He died in 2010, after suffering with dementia issues.

David attended and graduated from St. Andrew’s School, in Barrington. He served in the Navy for a while. I do have his service records but they are not handy for me as I write this piece. David settled in New York City and worked for a large advertising company. I can remember him bringing us “Leg’s Eggs” when he came home for the holidays.

Every time he was visiting here in RI, he would go out running every day. I can remember running along a time or two when we were down at the beach cottage. He used to tell us stories about his routine of running in Central Park, near where he lived in NYC. He also spoke about dreams of moving back to RI and opening a Judo school. He was a Judo instructor in NYC for many years, I do have some of his papers and awards for that, as well.

When I was young, David had a Japanese girl friend, she had come home with him to RI for Christmas several times. I remember she was a dancer in the Martha Graham dancers. She was just beautiful and I was quite fascinated with her. One time, she even wore her traditional Japanese Kimono for us and explained it all.

David never married, though, and had no children.

After Auntie died, we gave David the Concertina that had belonged to her and he found someone in NYC to give him lessons and he would play for us when he came to visit. I think he even purchased a new one at some point and played in a little band. Just for fun, I think.

He disconnected with the rest of us left in RI after my grandmother died, so sometime around 1983. It became a very difficult issue for me and something I still don’t understand what his reason was for doing so. I also wondered if I did something or said something. At some point, he talked with my middle brother to discuss his health issue which was not discussed with me. Personally, I never heard directly from him again.

It was much later that I learned of David’s dementia issues. When I learned of the facility where he was living, I sent him a letter but I don’t have any idea if he was able to comprehend it or not. I tried to find him when we visited NYC a short few years before he died but we were not successful. He had been moved from that facility to a different one and the staff would not release any information to me about his new location. The only question they would answer was when I asked if he was still alive, they said yes. For all the good that did me, because I was never able to find him. I do know now that he had been moved to a place New Jersey, which was the location of his death–sadly, something I learned about much after the fact. At least I know I tried, but it would have been nice to see him one more time.

On a side note, my oldest brother, Mark, was born on November 28, 1949. He died of cancer in 2000. His birthday often fell on Thanksgiving Day.

One of my favorites pictures of Mark as a baby was taken at Thanksgiving, in 1950, when he was one year old. They gave him a turkey leg to chomp on.

My brother Mark, Thanksgiving in 1950.

Another picture taken on Thanksgiving in 1950 is multi-generational. Mark is sitting with Grandma (Henrich) James, she is Gra Gra’s step-mom. Looking at the picture, sitting on the left end is our maternal grandmother, Gra Gra–Bertha L. (James) Watts. On the right end is paternal grandmother, Grammy–Alice (Holden) Lindall. Our mom, Marian, is sitting in the back.

To learn more about the Henrich family connection, please see post: What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich?

To learn more about Gra Gra, please see post: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital

I am, indeed, thankful for the memories!!

Until next time…

 

 

One Postcard Saturdays – Abe Lincoln

During my own school days, one of our holidays off was February 12th, for Lincoln’s Birthday, which was soon followed by Washington’s Birthday on the 22nd–commonly falling during our winter school vacation week. These days, it seems a little sad that both holidays have been combined into one “Presidents’ Day” that falls mid-way between the two dates.

For certain, I am no expert on Abraham Lincoln, nor Civil War history but I feel quite fortunate to have visited some of the historic sites associated with his life. In addition to seeing the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC, and visiting the grounds of Gettysburg, (both on two separate occasions), I have also visited The Lincoln Home, in Springfield, Illinois and the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, located near Lerna, Illinois.

The sites in Illinois were visited on a trip I took with my children, made in the summer of 1998–just a few months prior to my mom’s emergency Cancer surgery. My dad’s first cousin, Eleanor, was living in Peoria at the time of our visit. Her mother, Hazel, was sister to my paternal grandfather. In future writings, I may expand on this branch further but will keep it brief today. On this summer vacation trip, we flew out together from RI with my mom but split up in our travel at Chicago; from that point, my mom went to Peoria and stayed with Eleanor while my children and I went on to St. Louis.

Photo taken prior to 1998 on a separate visit. Cousin Eleanor far left, my mom Marian in center and Great Aunt Hazel on the right.

During part of that vacation week, we made a loop-trek from St. Louis up to Peoria to visit, having stopped over in Springfield on the way. While in Springfield, we took one of those hop-on-and-off trolleys which I would highly suggest as a good way to get around and see the sites. The Lincoln Home was one of our stops which is located at the corner of 8th and Jackson Streets.

Abraham Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer and moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1837. He married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842 and they purchased the home on January 16, 1844. They had four sons, one died at age three.

The Lincoln Home is a National Historic Site, part of the National Park Service. Lincoln lived in the home from 1844 to 1861 before becoming the 16th President of the US–elected on November 6, 1860 and re-elected on November 8, 1864.

The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, is located south of Charleston, Illinois, near the town of Lerna. In the park is a replica of the log cabin that was built and occupied by Abe’s father Thomas Lincoln. Note that the cabin was never occupied by Abe.

The history park is set up as a farm with animals and crops that would have been common during that historic timeframe. The farmstead is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in ten states that were still in rebellion. Full abolition of slavery was achieved in late 1865 when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

Photo taken at Gettysburg National Cemetery

The Battle of Gettysburg took place July 1-3, 1863. The Gettysburg National Cemetery, in Pennsylvania, was dedicated with The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863.

Photo taken at Gettysburg National Cemetery

My featured postcard for “One Postcard Saturdays” series was published by the E. Nash Co., copyrighted in 1908, it was a Lincolns Birthday Series, No. 1. This card sent by Mrs. Goff, in February of 1909 to Grandma Julia (Julia Ann Moore James), in Plainville, Mass.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, this postcard was titled “Lincoln Centennial Souvenir 1809-1909”–in recognition of one hundred years.

Also on the front of the postcard it says: “Abraham Lincoln, The Martyred President” and there is an Abe quote: “The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated far above our poor power to add or detract.”

The bottom front of the postcards says: “Immortalized by an oration on the occasion of the dedication of The National Cemetery at Gettysburg, the field of the most sanguinary conflict of the Civil War, a struggle which decided the supremacy of the National Government.”

Photo taken at Gettysburg National Cemetery

President Lincoln was Assassinated in Ford’s Theatre, in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1865 and died on 15th–the following day. There is another postcard which tells about the assassination with printed information on the reverse side, there is no publisher listed. I am not going to display the actual card but I will reprint the information, it follows:

On April 14, 1865, Mrs. Lincoln made up a theater party to see Laura Keene at Ford’s Theater in “Our American Cousin.” On arriving, the President was wildly cheered and the orchestra played “Hail to the Chief!” During the third act, J. Wilkes Booth, a handsome young actor, glided into the President’s box, the door of which he barred, and armed with a revolver and a dagger approached his victim from the rear and fired the fatal shot. Lincoln’s head fell forward on his breast. Booth, crying dramatically, “Sie semper tyrannis!” stabbed Major Rathbone and vaulted the railing. The assassin’s spur, catching in the one of the American flags draping the box, threw him to the stage below, breaking his leg. Instantly he was up, and brandishing his bloody knife at the dazed audience he fled to the rear exit, where he mounted his horse and rode for his life. Several days after he was coralled in a barn, which was fired, and while thus at bay he was shot down. Lincoln died the next morning, April 15, 1865 at the age of 56. The following day Ford’s Theater was draped in mourning.

While preparing to write this posting today, I made an effort to find some of my pictures that I took at the Illinois historic sites but I was unable to locate them and did not want to spend more time looking.

On a separate road trip in 2015, I was able to visit the National Cemetery in Gettysburg (for the second time, the first time I was about ten years old). All of the digital pictures posted above and below here today, I personally took at Gettysburg National Cemetery.

In closing, I hope that young people may have the opportunity to learn about Lincoln and his Birthday, even if the day is not officially celebrated anymore.

Until next time…

Reference Material:

The webpage for the Lincoln Home: nps.gov/liho/index.htm

The website for the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is: lincolnlogcabin.org

The webpage for the Gettysburg National Cemetery is: nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/pennsylvania

Aunt Etta’s Assorted Christmas Postcards

During the early years of the 20th Century, friend and family exchanges of postcard greetings grew to be very popular. In this blog, I have chosen a few such Christmas postcards, and one New Year greeting postcard, from an album that belonged Aunt Etta. Most of these cards were sent to her in 1909, when she and husband William Hooper were living in Franklin, Mass. To learn more about Aunt Etta, please see my previous blog post: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

My featured image postcard, with the kittens and bird, was postmarked in 1909, sent by a Cousin from Hartford, Conn. I cannot quite make out the name of the sender. The message side was written in pencil and is very hard to read; therefore, I am not posting the reverse side here.

The postcard shown below, with birds holding bell strings, was sent by friend Olive Gray, from Providence, RI in 1908.  The card itself was printed in Germany. Her message said: “We all wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You may be far away but we still love you both.”

The “Christmas Greetings” card, with the snowy picture and holly, was sent in 1909 from Hyde Park, Mass. by niece Ethel James, daughter to Etta’s brother William. The message said: “Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.”

Grandma Julia’s sister Ellen sent the “A Merry Christmas to You” card, shown below. I am unable to make out the postmark year.

The “Merry Christmas” card, lady in pink gown, was sent by nephew Charlie James, son of Etta’s brother William. It was postmarked in 1909 from Boston, Mass. His message said: “Dear Aunt Etta, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are all well and hope you are the same.”

The postcard shown below “A Peaceful Hearth” with the logs burning in the fireplace was sent by niece Gladys James, daughter of Etta’s brother William. The card was postmarked in 1909 from Hyde Park, Mass. The verse on the front of the cards says: “A heart where Peace has part: A hearth where joys abound: So may your hearth and heart By every Yule be found!” The message from Gladys said: “With best wishes for a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.”

The postcard, shown below, with the gold front and flowers was sent by Etta’s brother Martin, postmarked in 1909 from Boston, Mass. His message said: “Dear Sister Etta, Just a line to wish for a Very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, am a going to write to you soon. Love from us all to all.”

“A Merry Christmas” postcard, with Mary and baby Jesus, was sent by nephew Leroy, son of Etta’s brother Martin. The card was postmarked in 1909 from Boston, Mass. This card was printed in Germany. The message from Leroy said: “Dear Aunt Etta, How are you all? Has Uncle Will (Etta’s husband) arrested anybody yet (he worked for the Sheriff office). Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” To learn more about Leroy, please see my previous blog: A Thanksgiving Greeting from 1908!

Shown below will be a selection of cards with just the front sides, you can flip thru the slide show by pressing the arrow on the right side, near the bottom of each image.

In keeping with a simple theme, I have stuck to the basics for this posting in order to showcase a selection of greetings from an album which belonged Aunt Etta (Henrietta James Hooper).

Until next time…

 

Grandma Julia’s Christmas Postcards

Grandma Julia (Julia Ann Moore James) kept some of her most-prized postcards within an album, or two. The prize in this case was not a recognition of monetary worth but rather of her most priceless possession–her family and close friends. The same was true for Aunt Etta, daughter to Julia. However, Aunt Etta’s albums seem to be twice as thick, a sign of her times as postcards grew in popularity.

In this blog, I shall present a selection of Christmas postcards that were sent to Grandma Julia, from one of her albums. Next week, or so, I will follow with a similar selection of Christmas postcards that belonged to Aunt Etta. Finally, just prior to the holiday, I shall post a selection from my grandmother, Gra Gra’s collection. These are my three leading ladies as outlined in my Blog Intro Intro to my blog.

To learn more background on Grandma Julia, please see my previous blog post: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

Grandma Julia’s Siblings

Julia’s parents, George Martin Royal Van Buren Moore and Harriett (Daniels) Moore had eleven children: Clarissa, Harriett, Mary, Julia, Betsey, Florinda, Sarah, George, Ethan, Ellen, and Emma. In future blogs, I will do further exploration about them but make mention here, briefly, as a couple of the Christmas postcards shown below are from or about her siblings.

Grandma Julia’s Children

Grandma Julia was married to Charles Henry James and they had ten children: Harriett, William, Charles, Henrietta (Aunt Etta), Martin, Ethan, George, Charles, Byron and Frank. Again, I will explore them further in the future but wish to aid the reader when I reference the sender of the postcards that are posted below.

My featured postcard was sent by Aunt Etta and her husband William Hooper in 1909 to Grandma Julia, in Plainville, Mass. from Franklin, Mass. Here is the written side view:

There is no indication of a publisher on the featured card, but it shows that it was printed in Germany. This card has an embossed technique which adds texture to the surface.

The next postcard, shown here, “A Merry Christmas” was sent by Bertha, my grandmother “Gra Gra” to her grandmother Julia.  It reads: “Dear Grandma, I wish you a very very very Happy Christmas Day. Bushels of love from your granddaughter, Bertha.”

Gra Gra was 17 years old at the time she sent this card.

This card was made in Germany and was postmarked in 1908, from Arctic (West Warwick), Rhode Island to Plainville, Mass.

This is one of only a few cards in this selection that is not embossed.

Shown below is the written side.

The next two postcards shown are embossed style and say on the front “A Merry Christmas”. Each card was sent or given to Julia by her sister Emma, on two different years. There is no postmark appearing on the cards so I am uncertain of the date. One card reads: “We wish you all a Merry Xmas. To Julia from sister Emma.” The second card reads: “With much love to all. From sister Emma, sister Julia.”

And here is the reverse side of these two cards:

The postcard displayed here, “Christmas Wishes, To Greet You” was sent to Grandma Julia by her sister Ellen.

The postmark on this postcard was from Westwood, Mass., sent to Julia at 69 King St., in Franklin, Mass. The year is not readable, but I think it is 1913 as that is the street address which matches another card sent from someone else in the same year.

The written side of this postcard reads: “Dear sister and brother (Julia’s brother Ethan) – A Merry Christmas to you both – Lovingly – sister Ellen.”

The publisher of the card was B.B. London, printed in Germany.

Below is the reverse side:

The next few images are actually from a regular folding-style Christmas card, not a postcard. It was found inside of Grandma Julia’s album along with the other postcards.

This card is just beautiful, very unique I would say. The front cover says “A Merry Christmas”. The next page is a signature page, with verse: “To wish you every Happiness” and is written to “Mother” from “May and Will”. This would be Julia’s son William and his wife Mabel “May” (Dollof) James. The following page of this card has a very nice verse on it:

The verse inside reads as follows:

Christmas is here,

and with all my heart,

I send you a

greeting rhyme,

For upon your face

shines the tender grace,

Of a dear old

by-gone time,

So for old sake’s sake

take my words of cheer

And my warmest wish

for a bright New Year.

The embossed postcard shown below “A Merry Christmas” with Santa driving the old car was published by H.I. Robbins, Boston and Copyright in 1907. The card was sent in 1908 to Grandma Julia, in Plainville, Mass., by Dewey, from Hyde Park, Mass. He was a son of William and May (Mabel). The written side reads: “Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Dear Grandma, from Dewey.”

The next three postcards were sent from grandson Leroy James. To learn more about Leroy, please see my previous blog: A Thanksgiving Greeting from 1908!

This embossed postcard, Santa walking with the polar bears, was postmarked in 1911 from Boston, Mass., and was sent to Julia in Franklin, Mass., in care of W.T. Hooper (Aunt Etta’s house).

It reads: “Hurry up Grandma. Santa Claus is waiting for you, put on your old gray bonnett. With love from your grandson Leroy James.

At the time he sent this card, Leroy was 14 years old.

Below is shown the reverse side with his written message.

On the front of “A Merry Christmas” card, shown below, is a girl pulling a sled with a little “rider”. This card was postmarked in 1912 from Boston, Mass., and was sent to Julia, in Franklin, Mass. It reads: “Dear Grandma, I hope you will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope you will get lots of presents from Santa Claus. From your loving grand child, Leroy James.”

At the age of 16, in 1913, Leroy would send Grandma Julia a final Christmas postcard. On the front side of the card it says “Season’s Greetings” and shows a lady, in a lovely purple dress, sitting within a wreath. There is glitter attached to the front.

This card was published by the National Art Company and Copyright 1906. It was postmarked from Boston, Mass., and addressed to Julia at 69 King Street, in Franklin, Mass. It was via the message on this card, from Leroy, that I was able to learn that the “brother” referred to by sister Ellen on her postcard (shown earlier in this blog) was actually Julia’s brother Ethan.

This is the message written by Leroy in 1913: “Dear Grandma, We had a lovely Thanksgiving with Aunt Etta and Uncle Will but I was sorry you were not here but we will make up for it at Christmas time with love to Uncle Ethan and a big share for yourself. From your loving grandson, Leroy James.”

Shown here below are the reverse sides of Leroy’s cards from 1912 and 1913.

 It is sad to think about, but both Leroy and Grandma Julia died within the next year, in 1914.

The following two postcards shown here below (just the front sides) are both embossed style. I believe they were sent to Julia from friends. The card shown on the right, has no postmark and reads: “With the Season’s Greetings. Mrs. Stewart.” The card on the left, is postmarked 1910 from Plainville, Mass. and it just has initials signed: “S.S.”

Finally, my last two postcards displayed below (again, just the front sides) have no writing, no postmarks but I thought they were nice cards to show. Both of these cards are embossed. The card, on the left, says on front “Bright be your Christmas” and was made in Germany.

So, there you have it, a few select postcards from Christmas past, during the very early 1900’s, by way of Grandma Julia’s album.

Until next time…

A Thanksgiving Greeting from 1908!

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I will briefly introduce you to our young (Martin) Leroy James and a postcard greeting he sent to Aunt Etta, postmarked from Buffalo, New York on November 24, 1908. To learn more about Aunt Etta, please see my previous post: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

Martin “Leroy” James was born in 1897 and died in Boston 1914–at the young age of 17, due to a heart issue resulting from rheumatic fever. He was the son of Martin Royal Van Buren James (born 1864) and Mary “Mollie” (Pease) James (born 1864).

Martin and Mollie, Leroy’s parents, were married on November 20, 1895, in Boston, Mass. The parents of Mollie were William and Catharine (Hickey) Pease.

Leroy, sender of the postcard.

My featured postcard was sent by Leroy to Aunt Etta (Henrietta James Hooper) sister of Martin, the father of Leroy. The paternal grandparents of Leroy were Charles and Julia Ann (Moore) James. To learn more about Grandma Julia, please see my previous post: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

The message reads: Dear Aunt Etta, We are all well and hope you are moved. So goodby(e). From your loving Nephew Leroy. This card was addressed to Mrs. William Hooper (Aunt Etta), in Plainville, Mass. “with” care of Mrs. Julia James. So we learn that Aunt Etta moved during this time, probably from Franklin to Plainville to be with, or near, her mother Julia.

In future posts, I will explore more of Leroy (sometimes known as Roy) and his parents as they all corresponded with family on a regular basis so I have many postcards to be able to share. At the time Leroy sent this card, he was 11 years old. He and his parents were living in Buffalo, New York at that time.

Shown below are some pictures of Leroy as a baby and as a young boy:

 

 

Shown below is one picture of Martin, Leroy’s father. In the future, I will share more pictures of Martin and perhaps his wife Mollie if I can correctly identify her.

Martin Royal Van Buren James, father of young Leroy.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for this opportunity to share my family history via this blog and postal history exploration.

Wishing all of you a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time…

Works Cited:

Family Bible Records

“Massachusetts Marriages 1841-1915” Database with Images, Family Search.

“Massachusetts, Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001” Database with Images, Family Search.

Happy Halloween!

On this Halloween day, here is another postcard, from the past, that celebrated the holiday–this time from 1909. This postcard was postmarked from Newark, New Jersey and was sent to my grandmother, Bertha James, in Riverpoint (West Warwick), Rhode Island. To learn more about Gra Gra see my previous blog, Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.

The sender of this postcard was Aunt Theresa, who was sister to Frances (Schlosstein) Henrich, mother of Susan M. (Henrich) James. Susan was step-mother to my grandmother. In the near future, I will continue with more on the Henrich family. In the meantime, if you missed my recent posting based on the Henrich side, you can check it out at What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich?

My featured postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons. This card is from their Hallowe’en post cards Series No. 150 and was printed in Saxony.

There is a great website where you can learn more about the history of this company and it is the source for my information below, the site is: https://tuckdb.org/history.

Raphael Tuck was born on August 7, 1821. He married Ernestine Lissner in March of 1848. In 1866, they started a business together, in London. They had seven children, four boys and three girls; of their sons, three would go on to participate in the business.

In 1883, Queen Victoria granted the company the Royal Warrant of Appointment. After this time, a message was printed on the cards. In the case of my featured card, the message follows:

Art Publishers to Their Majesties the King & Queen.

The Raphael Tuck & Sons business would go on to open offices in several places, including New York in 1885.

Ernestine died in 1895 and Raphael in 1900.

This is the final post for Halloween cards, for this year anyway. In the month of November, I plan to post some interesting Thanksgiving postcards along with continuing family history stories.

Until next time…