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Advent Calendar Minor Surnames Vintage Postcards

The Mystery of a Purple-Robed Santa

In December of 1910 my grandfather, Donald C. Minor of Greene County, Pennsylvania received another Christmas postcard from Genevia in Morgantown, West Virginia.  She wrote:

“I hope Santa will bring you lots of pretty things and that you will have a Merry Xmas and Happy New year. Your friend, Genevia”

As a genealogist the card provides no clues about family threads; as a family historian I can find no details that shed light on a family story.  Nor are there clues and details regarding the publisher or printer, other than this Santa message was printed in Germany, as were most cards of the era.

However, the painting is remarkable in a couple of details – Santa is dressed in a purple robe trimmed in brown fur, as opposed to the red suit trimmed in white fur seen in my other cards.  This Santa also bears gifts which are wrapped and carried, not stuffed in a sack, and a decorated, potted tree.  

I wonder what traditional tales this Santa is drawn from?  If you know, dear Reader, I hope you will leave a comment below!  Merry Christmas!

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Advent Calendar Minor Surnames Vintage Postcards

Loving Christmas Wishes – on a Vintage Postcard

Among the postcards in my grandfather’s collection is this lovely set of bells.  They look to be mounted to a doorway, to jingle merrily whenever someone comes in from the snowy cold.  This  card is lightly embossed to give the holly sprigs a bit of dimension. It was sent to six year old Donald Minor by his Aunt Sarah McClure from her home in Carmichaels, Pennyslvania on December 23, 1908.  

One of the most fascinating designs on this card appears in the upper left hand corner – on the back.  The publishers trademark of the International Art Publishing Company is itself a work of art: an eagle sits atop a globe, which is ringed by a painter’s palette and a quiver of paintbrushes.

In the words of Aunt Sarah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Advent Calendar Minor Surnames Vintage Postcards

Bells Are Pealing A Merry Christmas!

What a captivating smile this little boy has!  Across the century I can still feel its warmth.  Silhouetted against an embossed gold bell, the child’s Christmas outfit looks snug and warm, with a red shirt peeking from beneath the green corduroy coat. I would love to have that matching hat with its neatly trimmed brown fur.  

The card was sent from a Morgantown friend or relative to my grandfather, Donald C. Minor.  On December 12, 1909,  Genevia B. wrote:

“Hello, Donald.  This is my Merry Christmas greetings to you. I hope Santa will be good to you.”

 

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Advent Calendar Minor Surnames Vintage Postcards

May Good Luck and Christmas Greetings Fall Upon You!

Two red-breasted songsters perch on a sprig of holly, which is decorated with a sprig of mistletoe and a golden horseshoe.  This brightly colored card is meant to bring the recipient great cheer, that is for certain.  Published by the New York-based Samuel Langdorf and Company*, number 841 was one of several designs the company printed in Saxony, Germany in 1910.  

Donald C. Minor received this card from his cousin Ralph December 20, 1910. 

“Hello Donal. How are you? What do you want Santa to bring you? I want a gun but mama says i can not have it so I will haft (sic) to take what ever I get. Your friend, Ralph”

There are other postcards from Ralph and his younger brother, Blair, in my grandfather’s postcard collection.  Using the search engine of Ancestry.com I entered Ralph as living in South Connellsville, PA in 1910 with a sibling, Blair.  The return included a interesting match: Ralph Younkin, 10, son of Milton R and May Waychoff Younkin, living with Blair, 8, and grandmother, Jennie Waychoff, in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  I have researched the Minor family fairly well, and the Younkin surname is unfamiliar.  Donald’s mother is a Stephenson, and I wonder as I research her background if Younkin/Waychoff will show up.  Interesting how a fascination with Christmas postcards intertwines with a family history.  Merry Christmas, indeed!

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*The winged orb on the back of the card is identified by the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City as the trademark for Samuel Langford and Company, publishers from 1906-1918.  Accessed on December 16, 2011.

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Advent Calendar Childhood Memories

Christmas Presents of Christmas Past: 1960

If safe-keeping is any indication of what we value, then a Santa gift from 1960 must be one of my most important treasures.  Both the doll and the doll bed, complete with original bedclothes sewn by my mother, are stored in my attic, saved for some distant day when a grandchild comes to visit.