Category: <span>Genealogy</span>

Unidentified Negatives

I’ve got quite a few negatives from grandma’s batch of scanning that are pretty great photos, but since they’re negatives, I’ve really got no way to identify the people in the photos without having a corresponding print that someone actually labelled.  I thought I’d put a few up here in case someone happens to stumble through them and can identify the people.  I can pretty well guess the date is around 1940-1950 or so, and in the Clearfield County, Pennsylvania area.  Some of them I have suspects for, but others I have absolutely no idea.  They’re just great photos and they should be liberated from my hard drive!

Four Friends

The face on the left immediately jumped out to me as my husband’s grandfather, Doede (Douglas) Jaarsma.  Fortunately, someone labelled the back of this with all four names and the title, “Four Friends.”  I don’t know if the names are in order, but after Doede, they are Jake Westerdijk, Henk Kremer, and Dirk Werkman.  The back of the photo is stamped with the date 2 December 1939, and has the photographer’s information – Foto Steenmeijer, Heerestr. 421, Groningen.  The year was before Doede married my husband’s grandmother, so he may have been working in Groningen even though he was born in Friesland.  The year would put him at 28 years old, and it’s kind of neat that four friends paid to have a nice photo taken together – they must’ve been pretty great friends.

Randolph Field Hangar Line

This postcard, addressed to Grandma from Grandpa while they were dating, shows the hangar line at Randolph Field in Texas.  The postmark on the back is 19 August 1941, and has a one cent George Washington stamp on the back.  The return address shows grandpa stationed with the Recruit Detachment.  The photo on the front of the card is titled “Hangar Line, Randolph Field, Texas” and shows a line of planes in front of hangars.  If I were a betting woman, I’d say these are probably the North American OA-47 planes, and you can find more about the planes here.  Grandpa wrote on the back, “I am sending this card so you can see some of the airplanes and hangars.”  He wasn’t a pilot himself, but spent time there as a new recruit.

Easter Greetings – 1911

This is the last of the Maher Postcards!  This final one, scheduled for the holiday, features “Easter Greetings” with a center image of two yellow chicks hatching out of white eggs, surrounded by pussy willow branches and some sort of pink and white floral garland.  The corners are a little torn, and the image is heavily embossed as can be seen on the back side.

The back features a green George Washington one cent stamp with a postmark date of 7 April 1911, sent from Patton, Pennsylvania.  The addressee is Master James Maher at 113 Aldrick St, Buffalo, NY, who would’ve been about 6 years old at the time.  The message reads, “Hello James, How are you?  Anyway I would love to see you and baby brother.  We get very lone[some?] for you all.  What is the …” and the rest is illegible or missing from the tear on the postcard, but I suspect it asks, “What is the Bunnie going to bring you?”  It’s signed upside down at the top, “Love, Your Aunt Sara,” where Sara was likely the sister to James’ father, Bernard.  Nice way to wrap up this series with a pretty little card!

High School Name Cards – Part 1

These were collected by my paternal grandmother in school, and most of them are dated 1949.  I’m going to post these in two parts because there are quite a few, but I thought it would be fun to bring them to the light of day again in case someone is searching for their ancestor and happens upon these.  These small tokens with personal messages sometimes can give you more insight into their handwriting and personality, and they’re just plain fun.

Background – apparently in high school, kids got these name cards to hand out to their fellow students.  I’ve seen them in modern graduation announcements as well, and some have messages written on the back, while some don’t.  At least at this school, the Coalport-Irvona High School, the kids signed the back with a little message, kind of in the style of signing a yearbook.  Here are the first six with transcriptions.  If you want a link to the tag with them all, click here.

Ida Colleen Dixon: “Clarice, I’ll remember you as being a little bit of a shorty in our class.  You’re short and cute!  Remember me!!! Ida.”

Joann K. Dixon: Clarice, Wishing luck to a academic girl who knows her stuff.  Joann”

Edward F. Traveny: “Clarice, To a swell classmate.  Luck and success in your future years.  Killr[??]”

Germaine K. Flynn: “Clarice!  You are one swell kid, and I’m sorry I ruined your book report.  You’re sweet.  Love, Gerry”

Philip I. Plottel: “Dear Clarice, How have you ever been able to ‘stand’ me for twelve years!?  Luck and success to a swell girl.  Always, Phil”

Barbara Ann Hegarty: “Dear Clarice, Three little girls, In a male class, But gee what fun, and Brady to sass!  Love, ‘Babs'”

I did find some photos for some of these kids, so I’ve added those to the name cards as I’ve found them!

Randolph Field, Texas

Just a quick one today.  This postcard was sent by grandpa to grandma with a postmark date of 7 August 1941.  They were still just dating at that point since it’s addressed to her maiden name.  There’s a one cent George Washington Stamp on the back.  Grandpa had joined the US Army Air Force (before the two were separate branches).  The front of the card, at the bottom, states, “USA Formation, Randolph Field, Texas,” and shows what looks like 35 planes flying in a formation of the letters U, S, and A over the base administration building which was nicknamed the “Taj Mahal.”  The planes look to be biplanes, and quite possibly are the PT-13 which was the Air Corps primary trainer plane at the time.  My grandpa wasn’t an aviator, but I believe he was doing basic training there.  The return address states he was in the “Recruit Detachment.”  Still a neat photo, and I love the cars on the ground too!

Class Photo

I can recognize one face in this one, that of my husband’s grandfather Doede (Douglas) Jaarsma.  He’s sitting inside the sluice, third of the boys from the left, just next to the older man standing on the left.  There’s a small handwritten X just below him.  I’m assuming this is either a group of employees or school boys, and I’m leaning towards the latter since there’s only one man in the group that looks older and is presumably a teacher.  Doede went to a technical high school and became a blacksmith.  These boys all look to be either in their late teens or early 20s, so since Doede was born in 1911, this was probably taken somewhere around 1930.  A couple of the young men do have wedding rings, so it’s possible this was taken as late as 1941, before Doede himself was married.  To me, the trough structure looks like some kind of mill sluice, meant to direct water to a water wheel or sawmill possibly – it’s a little odd since the Netherlands is SO flat, especially in Friesland where this was likely taken, I can’t imagine how/why water would be first carried up so high and then brought back down.  It’s a pretty interesting photo!

Valentine Greeting – c. 1910

In the ongoing publishing of these Maher Postcards, I think this should be the final card, and I saved it for this post, because, well, timing.  There’s no date and it didn’t have a stamp or postmark so it was either hand delivered or put into a larger package delivered to Lee Maher whose name appears on the back.  I’m guessing this falls in the same time frame as the others, so 1910 or so.
The back is really nice in comparison to other cards.  It has a little leaf design and notes that it’s “Whitney Made, Worcester Mass.”  The stamp square also says it’s once cent for domestic mail and two cents for foreign.  It’s a shame that it’s a little beat up with part of the front design torn away over the years, but again, for over 100 years old, it could be worse!