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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in middleton (11)

Friday
Oct142011

Friday Love Letters: September 24, 1920

I am so lucky to have a series of letters from my great grandfather Wentworth Middleton to my great grandmother Edith Shaw Middleton. This collection of letters is one of my most treasured family heirlooms. These simple pieces of paper have been passed down and saved for almost 100 years. More on this collection and how to preserve.

Sept. 23. 1920- 91 years ago.

A letter from my great grandfather Wentworth Middleton to his wife Edith. Wentworth is working in a NJ steel mill while Edith and their daughter Marjorie are down the (jersey!) shore with friends. It seems like he planned to go down to meet them on Friday- but because of work he has to delay his trip. I love the nicknames he had for my grandmother, "kiddo". In other letters he refers to her as "chickie".

Dear Edie,

I was going to call you up but did not think about there not being any phone. You certainly are having fine weather and I wish that I could be down there with you, but it does not seem to be possible just now. Am sure that the Kiddo must be much better by now, as she was improving very much (pg.2) last Sunday and Monday.

I called up your Mother and she said that they had sent you a letter to the old place but were sending you a postal to tell you about so you must have that by now. She also said that Anna was feeling very bad again. I said that it would be very nice if she could go down to the shore it would do her good. But she said (pg.3) it would be impossible for her to get down there.

Matt sent some eggs yesterday and I will bring some or all of them when I come down. You better call me up Saturday morning at 9 o’clock. I am afraid it will be impossible for me to come down Friday A.M. I will tell you then what time I will be down (pg.4) on Saturday. I will probably be able to stay Monday and maybe Tuesday.

Tell Mort if you see him that he can play at Deal by paying the greens fee.

Am using a fountain pen and the ink has run out. I hope you are feeling fine and do not worry about things too much. (pg.5) Give lots of love and kisses to Marg and also yourself tell her I will see her soon. Give my love to the Middleton’s and lots more to yourself and the kiddo.

                                                                                    Daddy

When I read these letters I feel like I'm really getting to know them. I can't imagine any other way I could tap into their personal thoughts the way these letters do.

Do you send/save letters and cards? Do we still value the handwritten word? Inspired?

Write your sweetheart or friend a letter today!

Monday
Jul252011

* Summer Vacation: Vintage Jersey Shore Pictures

A love of the beach must run in the family! I've found many vintage pictures of my family playing on the beaches of the Jersey shore. The pictures range from early 1920's-1938. With each picture you get a snapshot of typical clothing, photography, and technology of the time period. I love the clothes! I wonder what they would think about what we wear to the beach?

A few historical events during this time period:

Prohibition began in 1920 and ended in 1933, The Wall Street Crash of 1929- resulting in a 12 year Great Depression, 1931 Inventor Thomas Edison dies, 1934  Fuji Photo Film founded,  1935 Kodachrome color reversal film is developed by Eastman Kodak, 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released, and in 1938 Fuji is making cameras and lenses in addition to film.

Also keep in mind that many of these young men and women would soon find themselves in the midst of WWII. My grandfather and his 4 brothers all served their country, and my grandmother worked as a volunteer for the red cross. Their lives changed so much in just a few years from these happy summer days down the Jersey shore.

Ocean Grove, NJ 1923-ish

The little girl 3rd from the left is my Grandmother and she was born in 1917. I think she looks about 6 years old here, so I'm estimating this picture to be from about 1923.

Ocean Grove, NJ about 1923 - left to right- unknown, unknown, My Grandmother Marjorie Middleton, My Great Grandfather Wentworth Middleton

Ocean Grove, NJ about 1923 left to right- unknown, Marjorie Middleton, Wentworth Middleton, unknown

Atlantic City, NJ 1929

My Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Nolen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlantic City, NJ 1933

My Grandfather Joseph K Wright, Atlantic City NJ, 1933

Atlantic City, NJ 1936

My Great Uncle John "Jack" Wright, The Brighton Hotel- Atlantic City NJ, 1936

Atlantic City, NJ 1937

Atlantic City, NJ 1937 left to right: unknown, My Great Uncles Vincent Wright and Jerome Wright

Toms River, NJ 1938

Jack Wright, Marjorie Middleton Wright, Joseph K Wright, Jo?, Toms River NJ, 1938

Atlantic City, NJ 1938

My Grandparents Joseph and Marjorie Wright, Atlantic City, 1938

 

 

 

Marjorie, Atlantic City NJ, 1938

Thursday
Jun162011

* Treasure Chest Thursday: Old Stock Certificates from Butte and Western Mining Company

In today's technological revolution, we have digital copies of pretty much everything. But I always wonder how our ancestors decided which documents and papers to save and how these pieces of survived for so long. I was intrigued when I found 4 old stock certificates for the Butte and Western Mining Company at my parents house. Each certificate was for 100 shares in the company and the front is dated April 1923. I starting digging...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun082011

* Wedding Wednesday : Married In Spite of her Father

News From the Suburbs: Married in Spite of Her Father

 

What great vintage gossip! This rule breaking bride is my gg grandmother. I guess even in 1887 gossip found it's way into the public eye. This article was sent to me by a fellow researcher, thank you Charles!!

 

 

"Social circles on Jersey City Heights, and especially the members of the South Bergen Reformed Church, are interested in a wedding which took place Saturday evening at Asbury Park. The bride, Miss Virgnia Wentworth Franks, was a school teacher living with her father at No. 173 Bergen Ave. She was active in church work. About three years ago she became acquainted with Thomas Middleton, and an engagement soon followed. The young woman's father positively refused to sanction the projected marriage because Mr. Middleton had been divorced. All the other members of the family sympathized with the couple. On Saturday Mr. Middleton, Miss Franks, her brother, Mortimer Franks, and some friends were at Asbury Park and it was decided that three years were long enough to defer to the prejudices of the father. The Rev. Mr Battin was hunted up and the couple were married, Mortimer Franks giving the bride away. They will at once go to housekeeping in a pretty little cottage in Ocean Ave, which has been handsomely furnished by Mr. Middleton."

I wonder what Virginia thought of this being published!! Did she ever think that I, her gg granddaughter, would be reading it!?

The groom, Thomas Middleton, is a very mysterious character in my family tree. I have connected with my grandmother's cousin who has also extensively researched the family tree and he is facing the same brick wall. I know he was born in England, purchased a house in East Orange, NJ 1896 (I have the paperwork), and died in 1910. And now that he was married/divorced to someone before Virginia Franks. The 1900 census lists his arrival year as 1884, so was his first wife in England? Did they have kids? ahhh more questions...

Connecting with family members is HUGE! DO IT! If you don't know of anyone, find them! Charles and I share gggg grandparents and I found him very randomly. He had posted a query on a message board and when I googled my gggg grandparents names I found him. He had letters and had done a lot of research. We have been able to exchange a bunch of really great information and details. Not to mention, I have 3 daguerreotype's from the Franks family and he had 3 or 4 from the same generation! How about that.

I'll take what I can get, I've learned to focus on the details. Sometimes it can be the smallest detail that leads you down a path to copious amounts of information. If nothing else, this article gives me a fuller understanding of their life experiences. I'm sure glad I wasn't there when he father found out!