This was originally posted at my other blog, GenBlog. Here is my initial post:
This postcard photo was rescued from the Antique Mall in El Paso, Illinois, by me, on 05 October 2008.
Addressee: George Summer Myers, Hastings, Michigan, c/o Royal Myers
Postmark: Probably Mottville, Michigan (although not 100% legible), 13 January 1915
Signed: Aunt Grace
The message reads: Dear Summer am sending you a picture of your cousin his name is Pruan [?] Dee[.] Uncle Shirley has gone to New Mexico and I'm so lonesome[.] How I wish I could see your mother and have a good visit, Galen has the whooping cough, many thanks for the "Baby Book" like it so well, Love to All Aunt Grace
After doing some investigating, I now believe that the postmark is instead Scottville, and that the name of the baby is Orman. Here's what I found, and all the pieces seem to fit with the letter on the postcard.
1920 US Federal Census
Scottville, Mason, Michigan
- Myers, Shirley Sr - age 39
- Myers, Grace
- Myers, Keith
- Myers, Leslie [?]
- Myers, Orman - age 5
- Myers, Shirley Jr
Since the postcard is signed "Aunt Grace" and refers to "Uncle Shirley" I concluded that Grace and Shirley were husband and wife. The note also mentions "Galen" who has whooping cough, therefore, likely a child. After seeing the census, and seeing "Orman" I can now see that this is the name mentioned on the postcard. Since the postmark is 1915, and on the 1920 Orman was 5, it is liekly that this is in fact the photo of Orman Myers. Additionally, the surname found in the census is the same surname that the postcard is addressed to, suggesting that George's father and Shirley were brothers. And finally, I could not initially make out the postmark, as some of the first few letters were missing. I thought it was Mottville, but after coming up empty on the census for that town, I broadened my search to all of Michigan, finding this family in Scottsville.
One family down (I think), now how about the recipient, George Summer Myers?
1920 US Federal Census
Hastings, Barry, Michigan
- Myers, Royal B - age 43
- Myers, Gail M
- Myers, George S - age 7
At first, I wasn't sure if the was the right George Myers. The name (including the middle initial noted in the census) and the place seemed to fit, but the age of George struck me, as he was listed in the census as being 7, which would have made him 2 in 1915 when the postcard was sent. But I got to thinking about the father's name, Royal (incorrectly indexed at Ancestry as Boyal) and remember seeing that name on the postcard. I did not initially transcribe it, as the placement of it was at the bottom and blended in with the other text, so I missed it. So, I think I'm on the right track, but the age still made me wonder. Then I remembered that my grandparents used to send me postcards when I was very young, the postcard itself for me, the message really intended for my parents. So I've come around to accepting that this is likely the correct George Myers.
Onward and Upward
Going back to the likeliness that Shirley was the brother of George's father, I then looked to the 1900 census. I found a Shirley (age 19) and a Royal (age 24) in the household of Harlow and Matilda Myers in Castelton, Barry, Michigan. Ages line up with the 1920 census, so I am concluding that this is the right family and that Royal (George's father) and Shirley are brothers.
A search for Orman did not produce anything; it is quite possible he is still alive. With that said, I am not going to posted the additional information I collected for privacy reasons. I'm still working to locate family to reunite them with this postcard.
On further investigation, I realized that the name is actually Ornan, not Orman. I studied the letter over and over and they match, thus indicating that it's two n, not an m and n. A search for Ornan turned up a death for Ornan D Myers (matches postcard with middle initial), b. 9 October 1914, which matches with the timeframe of the postmark of 13 January 1915 and the approximate age of the boy in the photo, as well as the 1920 census information. A search for obituaries turn up his, tying him to Scottville, Michigan and noted surviving relatives.
1. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Hastings, Barry, Michigan, enumeration district (ED) 52, sheet 8B, p. 16, dwelling 218, family 221; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com ); citing National Archives and Records Administration >microfilm T623.
2. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Hastings, Barry, Michigan, enumeration district (ED) 52, sheet 8B, p. 16, dwelling 218, family 221; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com ); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623.
3. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Castleton, Barry, Michigan, enumeration district (ED) 38, sheet 4A, p. 7, dwelling 75, family 75; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com ); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623.