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


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

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

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

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

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

Metropostcard. Publishers, Accessed 02 January 2021.

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

Wikipedia. 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.

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…

The Liberty Bell Meets Bunker Hill

On this Independence Day, the inspiration for this post has come via a booklet found within one of Grandma Julia’s postcard albums. This booklet was a souvenir of the journey from Philadelphia made by the Liberty Bell in 1903 to Bunker Hill, in Boston. If you would like to learn more about Grandma Julia, please read one of my previous postings, such as: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

My assumption is that Grandma Julia must have made the trek to Boston to see the Liberty Bell when it came to town.

The train schedule of the bell traveling from Philadelphia to Boston

The return trip train schedule, from Boston to Philadelphia.

My featured postcard is an embossed card, made in the U.S.A.. The actual publisher is unknown but it has printed on the reverse side “Patriotic Series No. 252”. The front side has a verse: “O may its stars forever shine So bright that all may see, To walk in Justice, Love and Truth And Glorious Liberty”.

The following image is of a Bunker Hill postcard of the Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, Mass. It was Sent to Gra Gra, postmarked from Boston, 1913. White border card published by New England News, Boston, Mass. If you would like to learn more about Gra Gra, please read one of my previous postings, such as: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence, it took on the symbol of Liberty during the 1830’s. It bears the message: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof”. (Lev. XXV, V, X)

The bell was once placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, which is now known as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. Originally constructed as the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall is the location where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed.

In 1751, there was a bell ordered from London which cracked upon the first test ring. It was melted down and recast into a new bell in 1753, weighing 2,080 pounds.

There was a narrow split that developed in the bell in the 1840’s which was followed by a repair effort in 1846. This repair job actually created the well-known wider crack. There was a second crack which then silenced the bell.

During the late 1800’s the bell began to travel across the country to serve as a display at expositions, fairs and such.

On June 17th, 1903, the Liberty Bell was displayed in Boston, on the occasion of the 128th Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, during the siege of Boston in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. It is named after Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Mass.

On June 13th, the leaders of the colonial forces learned that the British were planning to send troops into Charlestown. In response, 1200 Colonial troops under the command of Col. William Prescott quickly occupied Bunker Hill on the north end of the peninsula (across Boston Harbor to the north) and Breed’s Hill closer to Boston. By the morning of the 16th, they had constructed a strong redoubt on Breed’s Hill. The next day, the British army under General William Howe, supported by Royal Navy warships, attacked the colonial defenses. The British troops moved up Breed’s Hill in perfect battle formations. One of the commanders of the improvised garrison, William Prescott, allegedly encouraged his men “not fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”

The colonists retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, leaving the British in control of Charlestown but still besieged in Boston. The battle was a tactical victory for the British, but it proved to be a sobering experience, involving more than twice the casualties than the Americans. The estimated total of forces were 2400 for the Americans and 3000 for the British. With estimated casualties of 450 (115 killed, 305 wounded and 30 missing or captured) for the Americans and 1054 (226 killed and 828 wounded) for the British.

In the present day, the original Liberty Bell is located at the Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, in the Liberty Bell Center. There was a Centennial Bell made for the nation’s 100th Birthday in 1876, weighing 13,000 pounds, which still rings every hour in the tower of Independence Hall–each thousand pounds represent an original state.

Until next time…



The American Battlefield Trust Sites. Bunker Hill, Breed’s Hill, Revolutionary War, 2019, war/battles/bunker-hill. Accessed 1 July 2019.

The National Park Service Site. Independence, National Historical Park, Pennsylvania, 2019, Accessed 3 July 2019.


The Liberty Bell Independence Hall Philadelphia; Souvenir on the Bell’s Journey to Boston, June 17th, 1903; Compliments of the City of Philadelphia; Compiled for distribution in connection with the One Hundred and Twenty-
eighth Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Within above booklet: “The Liberty Bell” by Charles S. Keyser, 1901; Dunlap Printing Co., Philadelphia.

Antique Valentine Postcards

According to Wikipedia, the term for the study and collection of postcards is called deltiology.

The general focus of my blog page is to take a closer look at the large volume of postcard collections that have been passed down to me. Some of my blog posts highlight just a presentation of the cards, including this one, when I focus on a particular holiday. Other times, I take a more in-depth look at the sender and receiver and present them as a viable tool in furthering my genealogy research.

These collections have been passed down from my three leading ladies, Grandma Julia, Aunt Etta and Gra Gra. Of the three, the one I think was an actual deltiologist (a person who collects postcards as a hobby) was Aunt Etta. Her collection was much more extensive and she had many unposted cards that had been collected along the way. Whereas, those cards from Grandma Julia and Gra Gra were primarily cards sent to them by friends and family members. To learn more about my leading ladies, please see my previous blogs:

Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital

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

Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

The Valentine’s Day postcards presented here, today, were some of those belonging to Grandma Julia and Aunt Etta.

My featured postcard was sent to Grandma Julia, in Plainville, Mass., by her grandson Leroy James. The reverse side is shown below:

Notice this postcard was postmarked in 1909, from Buffalo, NY. The handwritten message reads: “Dear Grandma, I am looking for a letter, are you all well. From your Grandson Leroy.” If you would like to learn more about Leroy, please see my previous blog: A Thanksgiving Greeting from 1908!

The postcard shown below was sent to Grandma Julia by her son Martin, father of Leroy. It was also postmarked in 1909 from Buffalo, NY, where they lived for a while. His handwritten message reads (to the best I can figure it): “Dear Ma, I am all most frozen, awful cold here, have written you a letter and sent you some cards and Roy a Valentine. Hope you will like them. We all send love to you and kisses. Good bye, write soon, Martie.”


The next postcard is from Mollie, wife to Martin, sent to Grandma Julia. Her card was also sent from Buffalo, NY, postmarked 1909. Her handwritten message reads: “Dear Ma, Hope you will come and see us before long. I think you would have a lovely time here, this is a nice place if you like it. I would love to see you all once more. Martin is doing all right __. Love to all from all. Kisses, Mollie.”


The postcard shown below was sent to Grandma Julia from her granddaughter Gladys, the daughter of William James. The card was postmarked in 1909, from Hyde Park, Mass. Her handwritten message reads: From your loving granddaughter, Gladys James.


The next postcard, shown below, was sent to Aunt Etta, in Franklin, Mass., postmarked in 1909, from Providence, RI. The card was signed from Levi and Frances, I am not sure whether they were friends or family members.


The next two postcards were sent from sister Sarah, who I am still working on correctly identifying. I am trying to figure out if she was married to a brother of Aunt Etta’s husband William Hooper or perhaps she was his sister. Notice in her message she asked about “Joe”, I don’t know yet who Joe was. Please see my previous blog for some background on the family of William Hooper, but it is still very much a work in progress: Don’t Jump Too Fast To Conclusions.

One of the two postcards was addressed to Mrs. Wm. T. Hooper (Aunt Etta), with handwritten message: “To Etta with Love, from Sister Sarah”. The other card was addressed to Mr. Wm. T. Hooper, with handwritten message: “To Will, from sister, have you heard anything from Joe. With Love, Sarah”. Both of these cards were mailed from Worcester, Mass. For a time, Aunt Etta and Will did live in Worcester, I think they lived with Sarah. There is more to learn about this story for future writings.



The final few postcards you will see displayed in a slideshow, below, with just the front image of the cards.

Although I haven’t written new blog posts as often as I would like, the unfortunate result of having too many irons in the fire, be assured that there are many stories yet to learn and be told–with a little help from the clues of these postcard collections. So, please keep a watch out for my future postings.

Until next time…

Better Late Than Never!

You might say that it is too late to post a New Year greeting. However, I say that it is better late than never! It was certainly my preference to post this blog about two weeks ago, but other matters took priority–sorry for the delay. At least, we are still in the month of January.

This blog posting will simply present a few New Year greeting postcards with some basic information. My hope is that I can put together something with more in-depth family exploration, in the near future.

My featured postcard “New Year Greeting” shows a verse on the front: “May the first day of the New Year be a happy one and each day after that as happy as the first day.” Shown below is the reverse side of this postcard which was sent by a Mrs. Arnzen to Aunt Etta and her husband William Hooper, in Franklin, Mass. There is no postmark. To learn more about Aunt Etta, please see my previous blog post: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.



The postcard shown below “Peace and Happiness in the New Year” was sent by my grandmother’s father and step-mother (George and Susan) to Mrs. F. Henrich (Frances, mother to Susan) in Plainville, Mass. The handwritten message reads: “Happy and prosperous New Year to you from all. Sue, Geo and Tribe. Will write later.” There is no postmark. My plan is to dig deeper into the Henrich family background to share as time goes on. In the meantime, to learn a few basics you may read my previous blog: What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich?



The next postcard, shown below, was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons. The front says: “Wishing you a happy New Year.” This card was postmarked from Plainville, I think it says 1909, sent from Tillie to her sister Sue and husband George (my grandmother’s father and step-mother) in River Point (West Warwick), RI. The handwritten message reads: “I got home safe and sound. I missed my train and had to come Attleboro way. Frank (her brother) didn’t get home until Tuesday night. Best wishes for the New Year to all from all. From your loving sister. Tillie. By this message, it would seem perhaps they had bad winter weather to endure in their travels home after a Christmas visit.



The postcard “A happy New Year” shown below was printed in Germany, by Illustrated Postal Card Co., New York-Germany. This card was postmarked Dec. 31, 1907 from Newark, NJ and was sent from Gramma (Frances Henrich) to my grandmother Miss Bertha James in River Point (West Warwick), RI. This card was postmarked a second time when it was received at River Point, Jan. 1908. It appears that Frances was visiting with her family members in New Jersey during the holidays. The handwritten message reads: “Dear Bertha, Tell momma they are all asking for her, it seems a Dream to me. Lovingly (?), Gramma.” To learn more about my grandmother, Gra Gra, please read my previous blog: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.



My final postcard for this blog is shown below, “Happy New Year to You”. It is a Stecher Lithograph. This card was sent to Aunt Etta, in Franklin, Mass., I think the postmark reads 1912. The sender looks to be Eda. To the best I can figure it, the handwritten message reads: “Thank you for your kindly wishes and I sincerely wish you and Mr. Hooper the brightest and happiest of New Year.”



In closing, I would like to send the same good wishes to everyone for Peace and Happiness thruout the New Year.

Until next time…

James Family Christmas Postcards, Early 1900s.

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…

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:

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…