52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 6:
Valentine

Valentine Mystery

Among my paternal grandmother’s keepsakes is an old Valentine’s Day postcard. It is the only Valentine among her keepsakes. This has led me to wonder about the significance of this particular Valentine. There is no postmark and it is unsigned. Who sent it? And, why did she keep it?

The Evidence

The postcard has a copyright date of 1910. My paternal grandmother, Pearl Jane Osborne, was born in Indianapolis 19 May 1893. She was 16 years old on Valentine’s Day 1910. Old enough to be receiving romantic Valentines. My grandmother attended Shortridge High School and graduated in June 1913. She knew plenty of boys while in high school. During those years a disproportionate number of students were young men and her class of over 250 pupils was considered large.

Valentine Front
Copyright

The address on the Valentine is the home my grandmother lived in with her parents and uses my grandmother’s given surname, Osborne. This leads to the conclusion the Valentine was sent prior to her marriage in October 1914.

Melancholy Message

There is just one line from the sender,

“From a heart that was bruised and broken because I thought you did not care.”

Two words are underlined, which leads me to conclude the sender had strong feelings. The handwriting is not familiar to me. But, since I do not have a good sample of my paternal grandfather’s handwriting, I cannot rule out he was the sender.

There is no stamp or postmark on the Valentine. Last year I wrote about my paternal grandparents for the week 4 prompt, Close to Home. The information I provided in that post showed they lived very near each other. [1] Did my grandfather write these words and hand-deliver the card? It may explain why my grandmother would keep an unsigned Valentine with such a melancholy message. Especially since my grandfather died unexpectedly in August 1928.

Valentine Back
Pearl Osborne 1913

Conclusion

I will never know the true story behind this old Valentine. But, I can image that my paternal grandfather was the sender. Perhaps my grandmother initially rebuffed his proposal, engendering the feelings in the message. Although I think of my grandmother as being sentimental, she had relatively few keepsakes. For her to keep this old Valentine for more than 60 years, it seems likely it held some strong meaning.

EPILOGUE

While researching this post I discovered the publisher copyrighted several Valentines in 1910, all having a similar design. All of these, now antique, cards can be found for sale on eBay for around $10. Interestingly, some have not been used while others are someone’s keepsakes. [2]

Valentine Front
Valentine 3
Valentine 2

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Admiral Byrd: I’d Like to Meet…

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 4: I’d Like to Meet…
Richard E. Byrd, my sixth cousin, 3 times removed, was a famous aviator, in 1929 he flew to the South Pole. His story inspired me when I was young.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!