Wordless Wednesday

SCAN0296Audrey and Ora Strait (couple in the middle) and William Charles Strait (on porch railing)


Sepia Saturday #336: Rock-a-bye Baby










This card was sent to my grandparents, William Charles and Beatrice Irene (Repsher) Strait shortly after the birth of their daughter, Mercedes Marie Strait in 1936. It is signed by a person named “Mrs. Booth.”

Who is this Mrs. Booth to the Beatrice and William Strait family?

Turns out Mrs. Booth was a friend and neighbor to William Strait. She was a woman who had a very interesting first name of “Chatty.” Chatty J. Booth (42) and her husband George W. (39) were living at 46 Pine Street in April of 1930.[1] They were renting the house in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, for $20 per month. They were married around 1909-1910 when George was 19 and Chatty was 21. They had two single daughters living with them in 1930, Hazel E. (20) and Beatrice A. (14). All were listed as being born in New Jersey as were their parents.

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Chatty’s husband George was working as a weaver in the fabric mills and he was not a veteran. The industry code of 7759 later assigned to George’s occupation (not by the enumerator) was designated as an operative for an industry that had a lot of descriptions:

“Artificial leather; Bags (except paper & leather); Bedding factory; Braids; Comforts & quilts; Elastic woven goods (weaving); Flags & banners; Grass carpet or matting; Haircloth; Hat & cap materials; Horse blankets, carriage robes, etc; Linoleum; Mats & matting (from cocoa fiber or grass); Millinery factory; Narrow fabrics (not specified); Not specified textile mill; Oakum; Oilcloth & linoleum; Quilt mill; Regalia, badges, & emblems; Shade-cloth factory; Shoestring factory; Trimmings (not elsewhere covered); Upholstering materials; Waste; Yarn (not specified)”

Chatty’s daughter Hazel was working as a student nurse. Hazel’s assigned industry code of 5594 was a little less complicated and fell neatly into trained nurses within the college or university industry.

The Booth family at 46 Pine Street in 1930 was living right next door to William Strait and his mother. Audrey (42) and her sons William C. (19) and Karl H. (16) were living at 44 Pine Street along with Audrey’s older sister Belle (60) and Belle’s husband William Knox (62).[2] I’m sure they shared cups of sugar, gossiped on the back porches, and worried about the depression together.

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By 1940, the Booth family had moved to 83 Sparta Avenue, Newton.[3] Chatty (52) and George (49) were living alone; their daughters most likely had married. Chatty was the informant for this census as indicated by the little circled x next to her name. They are renting the house for $23 per month. For their education, Chatty had finished 6th grade and her husband 7th grade. They were both born in New Jersey. They were living in the same place (indicating Newton) as they had been in 1935.

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Neither were working in a private housekeeping industry and at this time both Chatty and George were working as weavers in the textile mill for wages. An interesting item to note is that George only worked 26 weeks in 1939 while Chatty worked more weeks showing 48 weeks of work. However, for those 26 weeks George earned $1,100 while Chatty earned $1,014. Translation: George earned $42.30 per week while Chatty earned less than 1/2 that at $21.13 per week!

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They most likely moved from Pine Street to Sparta Avenue sometime between 1939 and 01 April 1940. Their vacating the house allowed William and Bea to move into it. This can be deduced from where William and Bea were located later in the 1930s.

Beatrice and William were married on 12 October 1935 in Netcong, Morris County, New Jersey, in St. Michael’s Church by Edwin E. Lange who officiated the ceremony.[3] When William applied for his Social Security number on 03 December 1936 he listed his address as Brooklyn Road, Stanhope, New Jersey.[4] Since Bea grew up and lived in Netcong/Stanhope, they were most likely living with Bea’s mother at this time (1936).

My grandmother always said that Audrey was upset that Bea had married her son and I’m sure there was much agitation on Audrey’s part to get Bill to move closer to her! It must have worked since Polk’s 1938-39 Newton city directory shows that William and Beatrice were living at 71 Sussex Avenue.[5]

Since William and Beatrice were listed as living at 71 Sussex Avenue in 1938-39 then living at 46 Pine Street per the 1940 census, the Booths must have moved to their house on 83 Sparta Avenue sometime between 1939 and April of 1940 when the census  was taken.

The Mrs. Booth from the card was a neighbor and friend of William Strait’s family. Looking into how she interacted with the family also helps to highlight the benefits of a genealogist’s research into a family’s FAN club (friends, associates, and neighbors). The Booths are not a family of interest to me. But someone researching them could narrow down the timeframe of when they moved from Pine Street to Sparta Avenue by researching my Straits too.

Oh! And this marks the halfway through 2016 point! Looking forward to the rest of the year with my fellow Sepia Saturdayists. Or is it Saturdians?

The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo: Baby in a bassinet

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[1] 1930 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Newton, ED 20, page 6B (penned), dwelling 149, family 154, George W. Booth; digital image, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publicationT626, roll 1384.
[2] 1930 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Newton, ED 20, page 6B (penned), dwelling 148, family 153, Audrey Strait; digital image, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publicationT626, roll 1384.
[3] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr. and Caroline Repsher nee Bonser”; (Handwritten family group sheets, Netcong, New Jersey, 1911-1970), p. 84. Privately held by Jodi Lynn Strait, Tucson, AZ, 2016.
[4] William Charles Strait, SS no. 146-10-5034, 03 December 1936, Applicaton for Account Number (Form SS-5), Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland.
[5] R. L. Polk, compiler, Polk’s Newton (Sussex County, N.J.) City Directory 1938-39 (New York: R.L. Polk & Co., 1938), 95.

Sepia Saturday #335: He’s my Younger Brother






What to do with a yawning koala bear? Why naturally, equate it to children singing! This is the only card I could find with open mouths. The little boy is also showing some of his bottom teeth, like the koala. It’s a Valentine Day’s card found in my Aunt Sadie’s Shirley Temple Scrapbook. An older girl and younger boy, maybe brother and sister, are singing away while tapping out a tune on the piano.

Which bring us to Aunt Sadie (older girl/sister) and my father Bill (younger boy/brother). I’d like to share some of the photos of them together with you.sadieandbillie335003


The chair photo shows older sister Sadie on the right with her arms around a very smiley, younger brother Billy.

The next photo shows the siblings outside on someone’s lawn. Sadie was wearing a dress with ruffles around the armholes and ankle socks. Billy was wearing overall shorts and the expression on his face looks a lot like a kewpie doll. Sadie looks like she’s wringing her hands and there’s a worried expression on her face. There’s a house in the background behind the trees but I’m not sure who’s house it is.


This next photo looks to be around Easter time. Both Billy and Sadie were dressed in white or a very light color. Sadie’s pleated dress had a bow at the waist and she’s wearing a bow in her hair. She doesn’t look happy about something, perhaps having to keep that dress spotless! Both siblings had very neatly combed, blonde hair. Billy was wearing short pants with a smart jacket. This would have been taken in the early 1940s.


This next photo is one of my favorites. Billy has an ear-to-ear grin and Sadie is smiling, squinting into the sunlight. Based on the coats they’re wearing it could be early spring or just starting to turn cooler for fall. There are a couple of cars with fancy grills in the background. I also like the off center composition of this photo, crowding the subjects to the left side of the frame.


And apparently life wasn’t all fun and games. This photo shows Sadie and Billy with a broom on the back sidewalk of a Victorian house. Their mother, Bea, watches over them. Billy was giggling at something. Sadie has one hand on her hip and the other reaching up to the top of the broom. She was wearing a calico dress. I think the house is the one on Pine Street, Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey.

The last photo shows Billy and Sadie at Christmas time. They both have winsome expressions on their faces. Sadie was wearing a dark dress with a white collar matching the bow in her hair. Billy was wearing sadieandbillie335004short pants but had a striped tie on. I’m guessing the photo was taken down at Aunt Toot’s house based on the toy train set behind them.

So, that’s some photos of my dad Bill and his older sister Sadie when they were younger.


The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo: Open mouth

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Sepia Saturday #334: Jumping Around








Sadie received this card for her 5th birthday in September of 1941 from her uncles Hank and Adam and soon-to-be aunt Kitty. The young lady jumps up into the air when the card is opened wide. Her brother/playmate is occupied with a fluffy dog. They both have matching shirts with blue and red stripes.

So, I searched and searched and searched for someone jumping rope among my photos. No luck! But I did find a picture of my niece Madeline jumping off the end of a slide at Brundage park in Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey. The pictures were taken 15 July 2006 when Madeline was 4 years old. And she’s dressed a lot like the kids on the card with a striped shirt and a light colored pair of skorts.


And I’m sure her Uncle Chris did some jumping to get down from the top of this jungle gym….


Don’t jump Uncle Chris!!


Madeline Rae Sofio conquering Silver

And there was some jumping around to get from one rocking animal to another at this park.


Madeline Rae Sofio taking on a seal

That’s my very short take on jumping and playing around.






The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo: Jumping

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