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).

Filipina In Baro’t Saya, Real Photo Postcard

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Juan Dela Cruz Studio. AZO stamp box, circa 1924 – 1949.

Price:  $12.00

A beautiful young woman in the traditional Filipino dress, baro’t saya, is posing for this portrait that was taken at the Juan Dela Cruz Studio. An unrelated online image was found on Flickr listing this studio location as Tondo, Manila, Philippines, and with an estimated date for that image as 1927. Our photo above of the unknown beauty may have been taken around this time, as well. The broader time frame of circa 1924 – 1949 comes from the AZO stamp box style on the reverse of the card.

The sender of this RPPC signed the back of the postcard but unfortunately, her signature is mostly covered by the black photo album paper the card had been glued to. We can only read what looks like the last two letters of her name (e-t). She wrote:

“Dear Aquiong, A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Lovingly….”

Sources:  Ensemble-Philippines-The Met. Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/158138. (accessed December 30, 2017).

De Leon, Eduardo. “A studio portrait of a Filipina named Loleng. Juan Dela Cruz Studio, Tondo, Manila. 1927.” 25 Nov 2014. Online image. Flickr. 30 Dec 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/edlei/15695528537/in/photostream/

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes ” AZO (squares in all four corners). Playle.com. (accessed December 30, 2017).

Amelia, December 1911, Binghamton NY

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, December 1911. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Dec – 1911. A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you, Amelia.”

Addressed to:   “Laura Weed, 23 College st, City.”

Here’s a pretty lady, maybe in her seventies, posing for the photographer and wearing a satin dress over a lace blouse with high-neck ruffled collar, wire-rimmed eyeglasses and an unusual-looking “hat-box” shaped hat. The name for this style of head wear is unknown (maybe someone can help us out with this one) and its really not terribly outlandish in comparison to many others from this time period. And though we probably think that the blouse under the dress rather spoils the look, I bet the overall effect of the colors in the hat and of the dress (wish we could see) were gorgeous….and uplifting!

So, with the name and street address on the card we were able to trace Laura’s location to Binghamton, New York. She was Mrs. Laura A. Weed, wife of Manford Weed. Most likely, Amelia lived in the same city as her friend Laura, however there are a number of Amelias that might fit:  Some possible surnames for Amelia are Wilcox, Tierney, Parsons, Gregory, Back, Bailey and Couse.

Sources:  Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1914. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1915. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Kirkwood, Broome, New York; Roll: T624_926; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0045; FHL microfilm: 1374939. (Ancestry.com).

A Merry Christmas From J. F. Dodd in 1906

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard, 1906. Publisher unknown. Series 108.

Price:  $7.00

A merry Christmas

This card, probably printed in Germany, shows an angel in a flowing pink gown carrying a small evergreen through the forest. Accompanying her is a deer bringing Christmas presents. True, we don’t see wings for the angel but then she is barefoot in the snow ( 🙂 this line strikes me funny for some reason) but anyway angel seems to be indicated. And many other cards can be found with this type of angel-tree-deer theme. (We have another one that we’ll put up next.) But underneath this beautiful scene is something that might be easily missed:  Two seated gnome-like characters (!) appear in the yellow area, like bookends only looking the wrong way.

As for the names on the back:  the card was from J. F. Dodd, Christmas 1906, for Stanley….Tisette/Tintle/Tintte…or ? His surname is pretty hard to read.

Bounteous Gifts For Sadie Barbettini

Divided back, artist-signed, embossed, unused postcard. Painting copyright by Frances Brundage. Printed in Germany. Publisher unknown. Series or number 219. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $10.00

A Merry Christmas.

Bounteous gifts from heaven’s choicest store

May you find Christmas morning,

showered at your door.”

Addressed to:  “Miss Sadie Barbettini, Guadalupe.”  The sender wrote:

“Accept my little present and my wish for a merry Christmas and happy new year, you[r] loving cousin Rose d’ “

Sadie Barbettini (spelled Barbetini) shows up in the 1900 Federal Census for Township 9, Santa Barbara County, California with her mother Mary P. Barbettini and older sisters Emma and Minnie. Sadie was born September 1895 according to this census. A number of earlier pages on this census show the name crossed off township name of Guadalupe, so this census should be the correct record for Sadie.

The 1910 census appears also for the family, still in Township 9. The girls’ mother is now Mary Jenkins, widowed, and she has two additional children, John and Mary Ann Jenkins.

Sources:  Frances Brundage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Brundage (accessed December 20, 2017).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 9, Santa Barbara, California; Roll: 110; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0254; FHL microfilm: 1240110. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 9, Santa Barbara, California; Roll: T624_105; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0185; FHL microfilm: 1374118. (Ancestry.com).

Glad Jul

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1890s – 1910s.

Price:  $7.00

This postcard is addressed to:   “Matilda Pettersson”  so the assumption would be that she is not the young woman in the photo, though we can’t know for sure. But she’s beautiful and unmarried (no wedding ring) and is no doubt of Scandinavian descent. She wears a dark, long sleeved dress or skirt and blouse, with a stunning lace jabot, and is posed seated on a wicker chair. That is a photographer’s backdrop that shows the background scene of a table with flowers, rich draperies and wall mural or tapestry. Nicely done, as it’s maybe not immediately noticeable that it is a backdrop. This was given at Christmastime, with “Glad Jul”  (Merry Christmas) written in script:

Source:  Jabot (neckwear) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabot_(neckwear) (accessed December 18, 2017).

Greetings From Mabel Crogan

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s.

Price:  $7.00

In this Real Photo Postcard two very cute blonde kids are posing standing directly in front of a beautiful two-story, wooden-sided home in the country. (Note the nice detail on the porch posts and brackets.) The location is probably Minnesota or one of the surrounding states.

The reverse shows:  “Greetings from your friend Mabel Crogan”  and addressed to  “Mrs. Johanne[?] Torkelsen.”

There are a number of Johanne or variations (Hanna, Anna, Annie) Torkelsens that might fit the for married friend of Mabel Crogan. On the other hand, we might be looking at “Mrs. Johan Torkelsen.” Crogan is also found spelled Krogan. After searching through multiple records, we can’t be sure, but one possibility may be that the photo was taken in or near Folden, Otter Tail County, Minnesota, of Mabel Crogan, born Minnesota around 1906 and brother Marvin, born Minnesota around 1907, children of John Crogan and Kristi (Joten) Crogan. This is only a guess. Below, a closeup of the kids:

Some Edison Girls

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

We’ve got sort of a cold weather theme going here for December before we move on to Christmas…..This charming postcard was promising as far as finding names and a location, due to the description on the back. But come to find out the names written there are pretty hard to read, with the exception of “Mrs. Gilkie” –  she is the lady on the left. Next to her is “Ma” (the sender’s mother probably) and the other two, too difficult to read. It appears the card was addressed to either Dara or Dora. As for Edison…maybe it’s the name of their employer, such as Edison Electric or Edison National Bank. The other possibility is a town name, but Gilkie didn’t come up in the various towns named Edison, or even nearby counties, so that is not so likely. Neither did any matches come up for Edison as a maiden name, married to a Gilkie. This one will go in our mystery category with the hopes that someone will recognize any of the four beautiful women on this card.

Barbara Ann Gerhart

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa December 1923.

Price:  $10.00

“Barbara Ann Gerhart. She will be 16 months old 30 of this month. She walks and sais a few words we all think she is so nice. We all enjoy that dear child, from the Gerharts”

“To Brother Herman & Alice and family.”

This charming Real Photo Postcard was never mailed but does have a Christmas sticker on it in the place of a stamp. So, it’s probable that the card was written in December, but what year? Well, just by the general look of it, it’s probably 1920s. Since the stamp box is covered by the sticker, that potential clue can’t help us, though there’s probably not anything printed there anyway, as we’ve come to find out by looking for postcard backs at Playle’s in “Unknown Manufacturers.” The match on the style indicates the time frame to be from around “unknown – 1925,” which confirms the 1920s guess as a possibility. The next clues are in the sender’s message:  Firstly, Barbara Ann will be sixteen months on the 30th of “this month,” and if the card was written in December, then her birthday is August 30th; secondly, the way the sender describes beautiful Barbara, is….a little different. We found a match in death and marriage records, and the 1930 Federal Census for Marietta, Ohio, revealing Barbara Ann Gerhart, born August 30, 1922, the adopted (now it makes sense) daughter of Walter Gerhart and Carrie (Preston) Gerhart. (The Herman and Alice reference would need a more time-consuming search to see if they were related to the Gerharts, but no other different matches were found for Barbara Ann.)

Sources:  Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 for Barbara G. Vanpetten.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Marietta, Washington, Ohio; Roll: 1887; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2341621. (Ancestry.com)    Walter E. and Carrie Gerhart   adopted daughter Barbara A. Gerhart.

Marriage Records. Ohio Marriages. Various Ohio County Courthouses. Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriages, 1774-1993.

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Backs – Unknown Manufacturers.” playle.com. (accessed December 16, 2017.)

The Brooks Family of Newburg, Oklahoma, Circa 1916

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

Benjamin Edward Brooks, his wife Loucinda (Oden) Brooks and their children Rosa and Leonard.

Benjamin was born in Arkansas, September 3, 1878, per his WWII Draft Registration, or 1879, according to his gravestone. He married Loucinda Oden, August 30, 1900. The marriage record lists both as residents of Gerty, Indian Territory, Oklahoma. The groom was age 21 and the bride age 14. Benjamin, according to this postcard, seems to have gone by his middle name. You can see the writing on the front, left to right, of  “Rosa, Uncle Edward, Leonard, Aunt Sendia.”  And, if you look closely, you’ll notice stenciling on the wood above the cabin door. It’s pretty difficult to make out, but it looks like it includes some numbers, so maybe it was some type of i.d. for the lumber company. The 1920 and ’30 Federal Census’ shows the family living in Newburg, OK. Per cemetery records, Rosa Mae Brooks was born May 6, 1902 and Leonard O. Brooks, September 9, 1912.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Newburg, Hughes, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1465; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 72. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Hinton, Caddo, Oklahoma; Roll: 1895; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0034; FHL microfilm: 2341629. (Ancestry.com)

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of Oklahoma; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147.

“Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVP6-LM7V : 4 November 2017), Edward Brooks and Loucinda Oden, 1900.

“Rosa Mae Dilbeck.” Find A Grave memorial #128124881. (Findagrave.com).

“Leonard O. Brooks.” Find A Grave memorial #14574732. (Findagrave.com).