112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — Post I

Honeymoon photo, Frank M. Brodhead and Fannie Bishop Woodruff, married June 6, 1908

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be publishing the pages of a guest book that was given to my grandparents when they moved into their new home at 736 Jersey Avenue in Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, in June 1908.  Their minister Rev. William Force Whitaker of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth was the first guest who signed in, and his handwriting matches the handwriting you see here, so the book evidently was a gift from him. About 18 months’ worth of guests is recorded. Many of you will recognize the names of those who stopped by. I’m not publishing all the pages at once since I will have comments to make about certain names and want to research some others.

I am going to assume that the house number 736 is correct, however, a previous post I did on my grandparents’ wedding contained a newspaper announcement that gave the house number as 732.  It could be that parents (Andrew D. and Margaret Brodhead) lived at 732, since I have seen that as their address, and my grandparents at 736.  A visit to Google street view indicates that both those homes have been replaced (quite recently it appears) by a townhouse-looking structure, so, alas, the number discrepancy is neither here nor there—there shall never be real estate listings showing the inside of those two dwellings.

The pages below show a child’s scribbles, revealing that my Dad or his brother must have gotten his hands on the guest book at some point. Or perhaps the scribbles were made by the children of some visitors…

The first page shows the following guests — after the Reverend (who resided at 142 Stiles Street, Elizabeth, NJ):

The Van Horn Children: Abigail Van Horn, Frances Van Horn, and Robert Osborn Van Horn

In any case, I will welcome your comments as you see names you recognize. Please feel free to share any information you may know about the people behind them for the benefit of other family members who follow this blog. Thank you!


Categories: Baker, Barksdale, Brodhead, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Family Homes, Heirlooms, New Jersey, Presbyterian, Townley, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — Post I

  1. Such documents are always treasures, especially to genealogists! 🙂 –Curt

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    • Indeed! Fortunately, my grandmother was not the type to throw anything away. She even prepared several pages of material that could be used for her own obituary!

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      • Laughing, given ten years of blogging, my life is more or less an open book. Good for your Grandmother. As for writing materials for her obituary, it certainly helped guarantee that her life would be seen as she wanted it seen. –Curt

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      • Yes, I’m glad she wrote all that she did. She died when I was 5 so I never really got to know her. Finding all those pages she wrote was very interesting. If blogging had existed back in her day, I’m sure she would have been busy with it. It’s a great way to do your memoirs, as you know!

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  2. Shirley Brodhead

    Thank you for sharing.

    shirley Brohead

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  3. What a neat thing to have!

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    • Yes, it is pretty amazing to be able to know where people were on a particular day over 100 years ago and to see the familiar names. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  4. This is amazing – what a treasure!

    Like

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