Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Lost Postcard from 1922

A few months ago, I received a phone call from a gentleman who lives in our neighborhood.  He had seen an article in the local newspaper in which I was featured.  He called to say that he thought he had some letters I would be interested in.  He had obtained them through an auction or estate sale he said.  We later determined that the letters had to have been obtained at the estate/auction sale of my husband's uncle.

It turned out the letters were family related on my husband's side.  They were letters from the late 1880's between family members in Avon, Ohio and Coldwater, Michigan.  What a great thing to find that these letters existed!  I still have not transcribed them all, but they are full of small newsy items between the families.

One day this last week, this same gentleman called back to say he had found a postcard dated in 1922 and we confirmed that it was addressed to my husband's aunt.  So, our guardian angel of lost letters dropped it off on his way to do errands.  He didn't know who it was from, and at first, neither did my husband. As soon as I read the postcard, I knew who it was from.

Here is the postcard:

 This postcard was written by my husband's grandfather to his daughter Bernice. Bobbie was my husband's father.  We're not quite sure what "Daddy" was doing in Frewsburg, NY, but we do know that "Daddy" had a twin sister who's daughter lived in Frewsburg, NY.  We can only suppose that a good uncle went to help his niece in a time of need.  This postcard was written on February 25, 1922.  It came back into the family on February 8, 2012 - almost exactly 80 years later.

"Daddy"  was Charles Edward Cheney born in Coldwater, MI in 1865.  His twin sister was Ida Blanche Cheney who married Alva C. McNitt in Coldwater, MI.  Ida and Alva had 4 children;  Harry born in 1889, Ethel Alice born in 1892, Flora Elizabeth born in March 1894 and Charles Wallace born in 1896. 

Ethel Alice McNitt married Calvin McNell in Coldwater, MI.  Sight unseen they bought a dairy farm in Frewsburg, NY and moved to a new life.  They had 2 children.  Juanita born in 1920 and Calvin B born January 23, 1922.

That last statement tells us why the uncle was in New York.  His niece had just given birth to her son and was unable to help with the duties of the dairy farm.  Being a good uncle, he went to help.

Serendipity has played a huge part in my genealogy experiences.  This is just another chapter in the story to be told.


  1. What an amazing story. Fascinating how these things come full circle, sometimes!

  2. Great story! How lucky you are to have been the recipient of such a gift.