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Saturday, December 16, 2017
Ernest's mother, Mary Amanda Wood Carsten (1884-1917), was a 1st cousin, once removed of Wallis's father, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). These cousins saw each other on a regular basis, especially after Wallis's father bought a 1917 Ford and drove his family to Toledo to see the Carsten cousins in the summer of 1917.
Mary Amanda Wood Carsten had died tragically in January of that year, at the age of 32, leaving Ernest and three other siblings--all under the age of 13. The visit of the Wood cousins was a happy reunion, as photos from that trip show.
Maybe it's a little odd that a cousin would write his surname on a cousin's card, but there were multiple cousins named Ernest. For the family genealogist, however, this is a particularly valuable piece of ephemera because Ernest's surname was frequently spelled incorrectly in the Census and other documents. This card is firsthand proof that his name was "Carsten," not "Carstens" as shown in other records. Thank you, Ernest!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
This time, the sender was cousin Ernest J. Carsten (1906-?). Ernest was one of a handful of children born to Mary Amanda Wood (1884-1917) and August Jacob Carsten (1884-1975).
Reading the 1910 Census where Ernest is listed with his family in Toledo, Ohio, I noticed that August was a carpenter. Since Mary Wood's brothers were carpenters, maybe she was introduced to future husband August through one of them?
This postcard has no postmark...but Ernest was already writing in cursive, so it was probably sent in 1915 or 1916. I doubt it was sent later.
Sadly, in January, 1917, Ernest's mother Mary died at age 32, in emergency surgery as doctors tried to save her life. The cause written on her death certificate is "extrauterine gestation, tubal," with the contributory cause being "internal hemorrhage and shock."
Late in the summer of 1917, his father remarried and the family had a new step-mom (Mathilda C. Kohne, 1892-1948). And that was the summer WWW and his brothers (including my late dad-in-law) took a road trip in their new 1917 Ford to visit Cousin Ernest and his siblings.