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):
- Cecelia Van Horn and her husband Robert Oswald Van Horn (one of my grandmother’s older sisters and her husband, residing at 165 Renner Avenue, Newark, NJ) “And all the babies”
- Flora W. Baker (another of my grandmother’s sisters) who left her husband Claiborne Baker and baby at home at 22 Clay Avenue W., Roselle Park, NJ
- Fannie and William Townley “and baby” of 1109 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ (now a parking lot)- Fannie was a cousin of my grandmother’s on the Woodruff side. See this post.
- C.C. Coleman (Clarence Coleman) who was the husband of my grandmother’s oldest sister Jennie (Jennie is on the next page) – “left our baby at home” at 902 Salem Road; the baby was my Dad’s cousin Jennie Belle Coleman
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!