What an adorable baby girl! Before we get into the research, here’s the transcribed version of the back of the postcard:
|Postmark||Hard to read, but the stamps are from Norway|
Miss Charlotte Murphy
|Message||Dear Miss Charlotte |
I am now in Norway and will send you a card so that you hear that I am still alive how is cupid I often wondered how you all where [sic] maybe I will Return to America this fall, have been sick most of the time since I came home Clara is getting big now best Regards to all from Carrie Vicken [Wicken]
Charlotte (the recipient) has been identified. She is found in both the 1900 and 1910 censuses living with her parents William and Josephine Murphy. In 1910, the address matches the one on the postcard. The 1900 census has them listed at 603 S. 10th, with an entry for 619 right under it; this could be a simple recording error. I was unable to find the family in the 1895 or 1905 Minnesota state censuses or in the 1920 federal census.
In the 1910 census, a “Caroline Wicken” is in the Murphy household as a servant. She is 27, born in Norway, immigrated in 1901, and single. A “Carrie" Wicken” with a daughter Clara is also found in the 1910 census living in Elmore, Minnesota, which is about 150 miles from Minneapolis.. She is 44, born in Norway, immigrated in 1884, and widowed. These appear to be two different people.
It makes more sense that the postcard was written by the “Caroline” found in the Murphy household, sometime after 1910. Another clue is that Carrie references “cupid” and I would assume that at the time the postcard was sent, Charlotte would be around the age to start looking for a husband.
I did investigate the “Carrie” in Elmore seeing as she had a daughter Clara. But the reference to Clara “getting so big now” would lead me to believe she’s talking about a very young child, not an adolescent (Carrie’s daughter Clara was 12 in 1910). I realize the photo could have been taken at one time and sent some many years later, but the reference doesn’t really tie in with that theory. Additionally, it is my understanding that real photo postcards were not around prior to 1900, so this is probably not Clara from Elmore. Too bad that postmark isn’t legible; that would have helped! The photo could be of one of her grandchildren, but her son Elmer died in 1922, her daughters each had one known son, and her son Carl Morris had two known daughters neither named Clara (but his wife’s name was Clara). And from what I can tell, other than a same-name individual, there doesn’t appear to be any connection between the Wicken of Elmore family and the Murphy family through people or places. I have found descendants of the Carrie in Elmore, but I just don’t think this photo belongs to their family.
Since the author of the postcard was between Norway and America, I tried to locate passenger records or passports to help guide the research but was unsuccessful. The records available on FamSearch for Norway led nowhere. So I’m pretty much stuck on this one. Any ideas?