Paris-Plage, La Chapelle Jeanne d’Arc

Divided back postcard. Postmarked July 3, 1917, Army Post Office. Stamped:  Passed Field Censor 2289. Publisher/printer:  Neurdein & Co., Paris.

Price:  $10.00

Plage is beach, so….beach in Paris or Paris Beach? Ahhh, so the full name of the town is actually Le Toquet Paris-Plage, which is located in northern France, on the shores of the English Channel. Le Toquet was, at one time, known as “Paris-by-the-Sea.”

Addressed to:   “Master J. Obery, Polkyth, Saint Austell, Cornwall.”

“Dear Frank. How are you. I saw a little boy who has had a bad throat – how is yours. Keep smiling. Best love   Daddy”

J. Obery was Francis John Patrick Obery, born East Ham, Essex, London in 1910, son of Edward Richard Hooper Obery, born about 1879 and Kate Hooper, born about 1876, who had married on August 5, 1905, in St. Austell, Cornwall. The parish marriage register shows the groom’s occupation as schoolmaster and that his father’s name was John Edward Oliver Obery. (Two middle names were seemingly a tradition.) Kate’s father was Francis Hooper. Edward’s address at the time of marriage was 141 Milton Ave., E. Ham, London and Kate had been living in Watering Hill, Cornwall.

It’s hard to write about some of these cards and photos sometimes. Maybe because there’s that familiar feeling of being able to walk over to the next block and find the Obery Family, or a sense somehow of a trillion points in a person’s life with connections back to ancestors, and forward to their descendants, an overwhelming fullness you can feel but that’s difficult to translate…..

That said, a quick look at the 1911 census shows Edward, Kate, Francis and Edward’s widowed mom, Phillipa Obery, all at 141 Milton Avenue. We later picture the Oberys, minus Edward, locating to Cornwall to stay with Kate’s family, for hopeful safekeeping, while holding Edward in their constant prayers. For context re the move to Cornwall, the month prior to this card being written, 162 civilians were killed in a German daylight air raid on London, June 13th. Another 57 civilian lives were lost in another raid July 7th, just four days after the postmarked date on the card.

Edward served in the Army Veterinary Corps and yes, thank God, he did make it back to his family.

A little about the postcard image:  So, this would have been produced from a photo, not necessarily true to the original, as sometimes the printer or publisher removed or added things (according to what they felt was needed). Anyway, there are some nice details to pick out within the full scene. (The whole is maybe reminding you of a bunch of miniatures set up in a reproduction.) We notice that the road’s edges must slope downward, since the car’s on an angle, driving “in the ditch” some would call it 😉 ; there’s one of those wooden pole fences held together by wire, leaning a little this way and that, as they are wont to do, the fence looking out-of-place with the very stately 4-story building behind it (Or vice-versa!) Moving to our right, we can partially read a sign for an Auto Garage; sweeping further, we pick out three buildings that have half-timbering on a portion of their facades (the vertical stripes with some diagonals) and then of course there’s the church, Saint Joan of Arc, which is not very old at all at this time, having first opened July 14, 1911. (Incidentally this church sustains damage in the Second World War, but is then, thankfully, able to be restored.)

Sources:  Le Toquet. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Touquet (accessed November 11, 2020).

England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (Ancestry.com).

Class: RG14; Piece: 9565; Schedule Number: 88. 1911 England Census. (Ancestry.com).

“The First World War. Spotlights on History. Long Range Bombers.” nationalarchives.gov.uk. (accessed November 14, 2020).

The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO). Ancestry.com. UK, British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920.

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995.

Greetings From Hohenstaufen, Germany

Undivided back postcard. Postmarked July 25, 1898 from Göppingen, Germany.

Price:  $10.00

Gruss vom Hohenstaufen (Greetings from Hohenstofen)

Another, again a little hard to decipher without knowing German. The sender appears to have been  “M. A. Stempa.”  But it’s beautiful artwork, printed of scenes from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, located in the south of Germany:  that of the mountains called Hohenstaufen and Rechberg, and the Barbarossa kirchlein (kirchlein means little church) and church at Schwäbisch Gmünd (Hohenrechberg pilgrimage church, built 1686). The reverse of the card shows the heading Königreich Württemberg, which translates as the Kingdom of Württemberg, a German state which existed from 1805 to 1918. See last link below.

Sources:  Rechberg (mountain). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rechberg_(mountain). accessed September 28, 2020.

File:2015_Hohenstaufen_Barbarossakirche_1.jpg. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2015_Hohenstaufen_Barbarossakirche_1.jpg. accessed September 28, 2020.

Kingdom of Württemberg. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_W%C3%BCrttemberg. accessed September 28, 2020.

St. Mary’s Church, Hogsthorpe

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1930s – 1950s. Publisher:  A. E. Wrate, Lumley Rd., P. O. Skegness.

Price:  $10.00

A commercial-type Real Photo Postcard, that would have been a good one to use for Halloween, but just to continue with a couple more from England before moving on to Veteran’s Day….and we’re guessing on the date, maybe from the 1930s through 1950s. Note the blurriness around the outer edges of the photo (for some reason). We’re guessing that A. E. Wrate is Alfred Ernest Wrate, born in 1916, son of Alfred Wrate and Amelia Elizabeth (Moody) Wrate, but all three family members are listed in census records as being in the photography business. Wrate’s was also known for its “walking pictures.” See Go Home on a Postcard‘s entry “Wrates – Skegness.”

St. Mary’s Church, located in Hogsthorpe, a small village of the East Lindsey district in Lincolnshire county, dates originally from the 12th century.

Sources:  Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. (Ancestry.com).

The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/6452F.(Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. (Ancestry.com).

“Wrates – Skegness.”  Go Home on a Postcard. https://gohomeonapostcard.wordpress.com/companies/wrates-skegness/ (accessed November 11, 2018).

Hogsthorpe. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogsthorpe (accessed November 11, 2018).

Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland, Aerial View

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher: Dúchas. Circa 1995 – 2003.

Price:  $1.00        Size:  About 6 and 3/4 x 5 and 3/4″

Gleann Dá Loch, Co. Chill Mhantáin. Radharc ón Aer. An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, Gaeltachta agus Oileán. Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. Series or number 53.

For St. Patrick’s Day, just a quick newer postcard to start off a short Ireland theme….The publisher is Dúchas – The Heritage Service and per the short Wiki article they were not around very long, so this postcard would be dated from about 1995 to 2003.

“The Monastic City”

This card shows an aerial view of the ancient Christian monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Most of the buildings date from the 10th through 12th centuries.

Sources:  Dúchas. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%BAchas (accessed March 17, 2018).

Glendalough Monastic City – Ireland’s Ancient East. visitwicklow.ie. (accessed March 17, 2017).

Mystery Language

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1904 – 1918. Printed in Canada.

Price:  $8.00

The snow is piled up in front of two stylish ladies (check out all the trim on the young woman’s coat) who have posed for this photo. Their dog is beside them, and prominent in the background is what looks to be a church, just from the shape of the windows, and next to the church, a house. The branches of the bare trees are beautiful in this scene, too. Possibly the postcard photo originated in the same area as the sender’s address, so the card may be of historical interest for Saskatoon history buffs, as well as any Abrams descendants.

Baffled….for now

But the note from the sender of this card is a stumper. What language is it written in?  Deciphering can be tricky for old postcards in other languages due to abbreviations and sometimes misspelled words or former spellings of words used, let alone a person’s particular style of cursive, although the name and address are easily read on this one as:   “Mrs. Wm. Abrams, Saskatoon, Sask.”

Without being able to decipher but one or two words on the back (if that) we turned to searching for the receiver of this card to find their native tongue as stated on census records. There is a William Abrams and his wife Maria and their children listed on the 1911 and 1916, residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This would coincide with the postcard date of circa 1904 to 1918, per the AZO stamp box (all four triangles pointing upward, along with divided back starting December 1903 in Canada.) William was born in Russia and Maria in Germany. William’s declaration of intent, in his U. S. naturalization process, appears to show that he was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, which is now called Dnipro and lies within Ukraine….No other possible Abrams were found to fit our postcard, so this is all good info, even though it doesn’t help us figure out the writing on the back. Hopefully, we’ll get some help on the translation from somewhere!

Sources:  Year: 1911; Census Place: 30 – Saskatoon Ward 1, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Page: 26; Family No: 236. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 03B; Roll: T-21944; Page: 22; Family No: 247. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 21; Microfilm Serial: M1524.

Dnipro. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnipro (accessed January 16, 2018).

M. E. Church, Webster Crossing, NY

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Divided back, used, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked from Webster Crossing, New York, November 24th. The year appears to be 1909.

Price:  $15.00

A Real Photo Postcard of a beautiful little church:  M.E. stands for Methodist Episcopal. The Methodist Episcopal Church (M.E.C.) was the first Methodist denomination founded in the U.S. and existed from 1784 to 1939. That’s the short version without getting into a detailed history, (as per the norm, everything is always more involved than one might initially think) what with mergers and differences of ideology, schisms and the like. But back to this particular church:  it’s a charming building, we love the contrast of the dark trim against the white, the steeple (almost like a large cupola), and the lancet-style front window, with its smaller similar version above the door. The reverse of the card shows a joke we are not privy to, but imagining the laugh shared between friends, we are smiling just the same.

“are you going to church sunday night ha, ha.”

Addressed to:   “Hazel Eggelson. Kanona N.Y.”

This is likely the Hazel Eggelston (no matches under Eggelson) who appears on the 1910 Federal Census with her parents, Martin and Louise, and uncle, Samuel Eggelston. All are native to New York and are living in Bath, Steuben County, at Wheeler and Kanona Roads. Hazel, born about 1896 would have been about thirteen or fourteen when she received the postcard.

Kanona is about 28 miles south of Webster’s Crossing, and Bath is about 3 miles south of Kanona, as the crow flies.

Sources:  Methodist Episcopal Church. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodist_Episcopal_Church (accessed October 2, 2016).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Bath, Steuben, New York; Roll: T624_1079; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0100; FHL microfilm: 1375092. (Ancestry.com)

Ice Breakup In Fairbanks, Alaska

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Vintage photo, Cushman Street bridge and Ice Breakup, Fairbanks, AK. Circa 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $7.00          Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

You can see the spire of Immaculate Conception Church that, from this angle, is appearing behind Samson’s Hardware store. The church, built in 1905, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites and was originally located on the other side of the river. It was hauled over the ice on skids (logs or planks) to its present location in 1911 so it would be close to the hospital that had been built a few years prior. And that’s the Cushman Street bridge, built in 1917, that is spanning the Chena River. Samson’s, in business since the Gold Rush days (now Sampson’s True Value) relocated in 2010 about a mile and a half west of the site it occupies above. Here’s an image from Alaska’s Digital Archives showing a somewhat similar view of the store (note the long windows) as well as partial views of the church spire and bridge.

Sources:  “Fairbanks – Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.” Diocese of Fairbanks. Missionaries in the last frontier. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)

Cole, Dermot. “Historic Samson Hardware celebrates grand opening at new store.” Newsminer.com, May 22, 2010. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)

Photo of “Sled dog team on Chena River in Fairbanks.” Alaska’s Digital Archives. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)

Writing Home From France

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I’d been looking for something to put up for Memorial Day and so this and the following post are a little late. It sounds like the author of this little note to his Mom would have made it back home just fine (and we pray he did) but just in remembrance of those men and women who’ve served and had not…..here’s a postcard showing Saint-Aignan (Loir et Cher) – Vue Générale et le Pont, written shortly before the end of WWI. The sender writes:

“Aug. 27, 1918.  E.E.F.  Dearest Mother, I’m fine and dandy, how are you? This is the town I am at. This is a beautiful river I go swimming there quite often. On the left hand corner is the church I spoke to you about last Sunday. You can’t see half of it. Had a lovely time Sunday the boys…”

It sounds like there may have been another page or two after the above, unless he meant “with the boys.” And that is the River Cher that our guy goes swimming in, and the Collegiate Church of St. Aignan that he’s mentioning, on the left.

The publisher logo appearing on the back, top left, shows the letters IPM. The words surrounding the letters are hard to make out, except for “Paris.”

Divided back postcard, unused with writing. Dated August 27, 1918. Publisher:  IPM, Paris, France.

Price:  $4.00

Rossmacowan Chapel, Waterfall, Bantry Bay

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Do they call it St. Bart’s?

This is actually Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Rossmacowen, in County Cork, Ireland, according to the modern-day photo we found online at Panoramio.  The church’s location was difficult to pinpoint on a map until happening upon and then searching under the spelling Rossmaceoin. Google Maps lists this church in the area of Castletown-Bearhaven, a.k.a. Castletownbere.

St Barts

The publisher…

The postcard was produced by Fergus O’Connor & Co., Dublin, Ireland. Quoting the Irishpostcards website:

“Fergus O’Connor was a Dublin publisher, who published Sean O’Casey’s early writings and produced nationalist postcards and related material. Following the 1916 Easter Rising he was imprisoned in Lewes prison.” 

Where’s Waterfall?

Back to the postcard caption – Waterfall? After lots of searching, we found reference in an old newspaper article (very long) from the year 1898, that appeared in the London Times, regarding the Castletown Berehaven area and the Barony of Bere. (Apologies for the offensive article title, in sources.)

Waterfall Town

Lastly, the postcard is estimated circa 1918 due to another found online (sold) that stated the date on the back was 1918.

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa  1918. Publisher:  Fergus O’Connor & Co., Dublin, Ireland. Made in Germany.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  St. Bartholomew’s Church, Rossmacowen. Photo by corkperson taken May 14, 2013. https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/92862425. (Accessed March 19, 2016).

St. Bartholomew’s Church. Castletown-Bearhaven. Google.com map search. (Accessed March 19, 2016).

O’Connor & Co., Fergus. Irishpostcards.wordpress.com. https://irishpostcards.wordpress.com/publishers/ (Accessed March 19, 2019).

“The South of Ireland Problem – Castletown Berehaven.”  The Times (London, Greater London, England) 24 Oct. 1898, Monday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com)

Chase Each Shadow Cold

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Christmas card, circa 1890s.

Price:  $4.00.      Size:  5 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4.

“May this joyous Christmas Day

Chase each shadow cold away.”

A Christmas card on heavier stock, done in brown tones, of a quaint stone church in a country setting. The back shows,  “With Love from Nettie.”

The name Nettie was not uncommon at one point. This card is estimated to be from about the 1890s. Nettie may have been a nickname for Annette, Anita, Henriette, Gianetta, Jeanette, or Antoinette, just to name some possibilities. In a quick Ancestry search, the name Nettie comes up most often for women born between about 1870 and 1900, then starts dropping off. Reminds me of the mystery we have on our Irish side, Nettie McPharlin, daughter of Edward McPharlin and Bridget Fosset, “married a Mr. Devett.” What are the odds of this card being from my 3rd-times great Aunt Nettie? Probably about the same as winning the lottery, but it’s a good reminder to renew the search for our Nettie.