In late April I wrote about Aunt Rosey and her girls and the crazy trip down the rabbit hole their story took me on. Their story is complicated. Very, very complicated. One of the items I included in that post was this scan – including this very helpful wedding announcement – from Aunt Vera’s scrapbook.
Quick refresher: Alice Hyde is my 2nd great grandmother. Vera Duval is Alice’s daughter. Rosey is Alice’s sister, and Vera’s aunt. Plus – Rosey has a daughter named Elvera too. (Just for fun I’ll also add that Alice and Rosey’s step-mother/aunt was also named Alice.)
So back to the scrapbook. When I first shared this invitation, I wrote this:
At this point I reviewed a few old family notes and letters. Now be careful not to get lost here. I found a letter written by Vera, daughter of Alice Hyde Duval who is the sister of Rosey Hyde. Yes that’s right, both sisters named a daughter Elvera. This letter written by Vera to my Grandma, mentions an old scrapbook that Vera kept. She asked my Grandma if she wanted to have it.
I had a lightbulb moment and remembered that my mom’s cousin Heather had emailed me a few scans of an old scrapbook she had. I dug through my emails and found those scans. Among them was this page.
When Heather sent this to me all those years ago, I had NO EARTHLY IDEA who Mr. and Mrs. Peter Williamson were. I did some basic searching but came up empty. I figured they were important to someone in my family so I went ahead and added them to FamilySearch and uploaded the announcement. But now? The minute that image opened, I knew exactly who they were – this was a marriage invitation for the daughter of Rose Elvera Hyde and Peter Williamson.
Rosey was a Grandma!
After writing this post, I contacted my mom’s 1st cousin Heather, and asked if she would be willing to scan the rest of the scrapbook so I could look for other clues. She did me one better and mailed it to me so I could scan it.
This is the cover of Vera’s scrapbook. It’s a 3-ring binder filled with letters, cards, announcements, invitations, certificates, and tons of newspaper clippings. TONS of newspaper clippings.
I’m about 2/3 of the way through scanning right now. There are so many helpful items. But the real fun comes when there are seemingly helpful items that I get to decided if they are fact or fiction. Case in point:
This scrapbook page has several parts to it:
- Folded certificate (that we will ignore for the purposes of this post).
- Torn newspaper clipping attached to the back of the folded certificate.
- Newspaper photo with three print items taped to it and handwritten notes in pencil.
- The name Duval in what appears to be my Grandma’s handwriting. (Vera’s niece.)
Let’s start with the torn newspaper clipping. It reads:
“-The candy had a bitter- ———- (ch)ocolate cover with flakes of (cocan)ut, and a marshmallow center. No one asked me, but I finally took a piece. I was chewing when a beautiful woman walked through the archway.
“I’m Dolores Hope,” she said. “Are you waiting for Bob?” My tongue pushed the candy frantically over into one cheek. “Yes,” I said. “My name is Bishop, Mrs. Hope. This is Mrs. Bishop.” We chatted a ——— Mrs. Hope, with a gold-leaf…”
Well, here is the fun part. Vera had a sister named Dolores. Dolores was married to a man with the last name of Hope. This seems to be a piece of fiction included in the newspaper that struck Vera’s fancy because of the coincidental name use. But, the album is full of these, so it starts to mess with my head a bit and I feel like I need to spend more time sorting fact and fiction.
Now on to the photo.
Above the photo is handwritten in pencil, “I opened the paper & there you were same Gay Grin & all”. At the bottom of the photo is written in the same hand, “& you —– to ice skate”.
The caption of the photo is “Propriety On Ice”.
Taped to the photo are two different print items that read, “Elvera Duval”.
The photo itself looks very much like Vera, the scrapbook’s creator. But just like the fictional stories make me question, the seemingly factual ones make me doubt a bit too.
The last item on the photo is the sideways bit of newsprint that reads:
“-efore Ike and Mamie arrived in —- Springs, Dolores Hope asked if she and the children could —- note and ask to call.”
I have no idea what that bit of news has to do with the photo. Maybe they occurred close together? Maybe Dolores sent the photo of Vera and she was the one who taped the bit about (possibly) herself to the side?
Oy! Aunt Vera, you have created a lengthy and masterful puzzle in this wondrous scrapbook of yours.
I still have more scanning to do, but the scanning is the super easy part. The study of each item is going to be complicated for sure.
What do you think? Which items on this page are fact and which are fiction?
Many thanks to Heather for the kind use of this family treasure. Once it’s fully scanned, it’s headed back to her care.
16 thoughts on “Treasures: Aunt Vera’s Scrapbook – A Perplexing Gem Riddled with Fact and Fiction”
I think the news article is about Bob Hope’s wife, not your relative, but the photo is probably really Elvera? What a treasure—and a headache—that scrapbook is!
Thank you Amy. Bob Hope hadn’t even crossed my mind (despite the context clues) because I didn’t know his wife’s name was Dolores. Thanks for the insight. Your thoughts are pretty much my thoughts on which is fact and which is fiction. Although, I’m not entirely sure about that other little clipping taped to Vera’s photo. I’m guessing that the more time I spend processing through the album the more I will come to understand Vera’s thought process, and then hopefully figure out what is what. I hope so anyway. 😉
I bet you will! I look forward to seeing what else is buried in the scrapbook!
I love mysteries like this book. Enjoy the journey of discovery!
Thank you! 🙂
I hate to correct the genealogy expert of the family, but I am Deane’s niece, not cousin. 🙂
Also, I have another surprise coming in the mail to you.
And, I agree, Vera had a lot of clippings that are whimsical in the scrapbook.
Hi Heather! Did I call you my Grandma’s cousin? I thought I called you my mom’s cousin. Well, either way – I know exactly who you are. 😉 Ooooh, another surprise? I can’t wait! Whimsical is the perfect word for Vera’s collection.
Sounds like you are having some good fun, and that is what genealogy should be. Looking forward to hearing more on the scrapbook.
Thank you Charles. 🙂
You’ve preserved quite the amount of family history. I appreciate your reference in the other article to the Giver.
Thqt wqs w good movie!
Thank you! And thanks for stopping by.
I am 2 years late in reading this post. I immediately thought of Bob Hope’s wife Doloris, also. You have your work “cut out” for you!