Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: "Take Good Care of the Little Brothers"

"Aunt Nellie" (Rachel Ellen Wood Lervis Kirby, 1864-1954) mailed this colorful New Year's postcard to her nephew, Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957) on December 29, 1910. Aunt Nellie was my hubby's great-aunt.

By the time this postcard was written at the end of 1910, Wally had two younger brothers in addition to his older brother. That's why Aunt Nellie wrote to him (misspelling his name, as she often did):

"Wallace, Please tell mama for me that I received the scarf and am much pleased with it for it is pretty and I wanted one. I hope you will be a good boy for mama and papa and take good care of the little brothers. With love from Aunt Nellie"

Wallis's family was living on Lancelot Avenue in Cleveland, in a home built by Nellie's brother--Wally's father, James Edgar Wood. He was a builder who would construct a home on spec, move his family into it, finish it, and sell it while building the shell of the next spec home. The family moved many times in this manner.

Nellie was a beloved aunt and a devoted sister to her 16 siblings. She lived in Chicago and sent postcards to members of this large family on many occasions. There were also visits to and fro, and gifts on occasions like the birth of a baby (I know from my husband's baby book).

Nellie was a caring person, literally: Her occupation in the 1930 census was "caretaker, nursery" and included in her household, along with her husband, was a "boarder" who was 2 8/12 years old, presumably an infant being cared for by Nellie. In other censuses, she was listed as a seamstress.

Nellie was widowed twice, having married Walter Alfred Lervis Sr. in 1884 and, later, Samuel A. Kirby, a barber. She outlived all of her sisters and brothers, even though she was far from the youngest of the 17 children of Thomas Haskell Wood and Mary Amanda Demarest.

2 comments:

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

The New Year postcard is charming. Census reports are wonderful to add information about a family but it is nice to have a piece of memorabilia.

Marian Burk Wood said...

Yes, family correspondence like this brings people from the past to life for me. Happy new year to you and your family, Colleen.