Last week I received a comment on this post from Charles, a wedding and portrait photographer near Detroit, Michigan. Visit his website here.
“Wow, Gertrude is my wife’s Great Grandmother (Grandma Gerdy) and Leonard would be her son; Olive would be Leonard’s sister.”
We continued our correspondence and he shared some details on “Grandma Gerty” that I’d like to share as an update to this post:
It’s crazy that those photos made their way to VA. I’m in Michigan, about 25 miles north of Detroit. Gertrude lived here with my wife and mother in law in her later years, in this very house, in fact. I just found out yesterday that she also died here…..in this very house! Right in the next room! How did that fact get by me all these years?
My wife often talks about brushing her Grandma Gerty’s long silver hair for her when she couldn’t do it anymore (she was actually her Great Grandmother). She lived to be 97 years old. Gertrude also lived in Indiana with her sister Mildred, sadly, we don’t know much more than that. The Leonard that was mentioned in the postcard should be her son, but his last name was Duncan, I’m guessing there was a second marriage; I’m on the hunt for more information now.
I have done some research on my own family history but have never gotten very far with my wife’s; last night I typed in “Gertrude Kitchen” and your blog was fourth on the list— the really fun part was my wife’s reaction, I didn’t know who I was looking at—when I read that the postcard was sent to Indiana, I thought it could possibly be someone that my wife might know, but I was very doubtful. I mean, it was just a photo on a blog, out there on the internet. I would be shocked if it was actually someone that my wife knew…..well, I was shocked.
I called her into the office and she walked in behind me and said “that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!!, that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!” She read your post and then she was off to the old ceder chest in the living room (it belonged to Gertrude). She came back with a handful of photos, some of Gertrude, one or two of Olive as a toddler and also at age four, and some others of people that were obviously important to Gertrude, but we have no idea who they are.
I will certainly send you photos as soon as I can get them scanned, along with any info I can relate to them.
Originally posted on July 17, 2011
From the writing on the back of the top postcard, I’m surmising the lovely young woman is Gertrude Kitchen (or Kitchens). It is addressed to Miss Ethel Noland, a woman I wrote about in a previous posting on this blog. There was no address or cancelled stamp, so the postcard was never sent.
The second postcard is addressed to Mrs. Frank Wilson, Idaville, Ind., RR No. 19. It was sent June 27, 1913 at 8:00 a.m. from Lima, Ohio. (Postage was just a penny!) The card reads as follows:
Dear ??? and all: How is this for outdoors picture. Why don’t you write. How are you and (Maud?) and Leonard? — Gertrude
The baby is identified as Olive May, 14 mo. old.