I received this”Post Cards” album along with other memorabilia after my parents passed away. The album contained postcards and photographs that are a century old and relate to my maternal family heritage.
Given the extremely poor physical condition of the album, I felt a need to put the contents into a form that could be meaningfully passed on. Simply extracting the postcards and photographs from the disintegrating album, and placing them in a more durable physical album still unlabeled did not seem to be adequate. Posting the postcard and photograph images in a blog appeared to be a good way to recover and share these family memories.
I believe that my grandmother Brunken was the person who created this album. Hence, I have named this blog “Grandma Brunken’s Album” in her honor. I refer to my maternal grandmother as “Grandma Brunken” in respect as this is how I was to address her when I was a child.
The album had three sections. The first section included picture postcards that my grandparents received – mostly from relatives in Nebraska. The black page paper in this section had deteriorated to essentially fiber powder and that all that remained were stacks of postcards/photographs pasted back to back.
The second section was a mix of postcards and snapshots of family and events primarily around where my grandparents lived near Lahoma, Oklahoma. While the pages of the second section had not deteriorated to the point that the postcards and photographs were falling out, the pages had separated from the the album binding. Examples of these pages are:
The third section included greeting postcards for birthdays, holidays and other events. The pages were like the second section, intact but brittle and were separating from the album binding as they were handled.
Memories This Album Holds
My intent has always been to go through these pictures and utilize them as resources in my family history research. On the surface, other than unlabeled photographs of unidentified people and places, I found little in this album that contributed to my research efforts.
When I tried to separate several of the picture postcards and photographs from the deteriorated paper on which they were pasted, I realized there was writing on the back of many of the items.
I was intrigued with the thought of what names, dates and other family history might be hidden behind these these pasted on postcards and pictures. This blog is a log of my efforts and reports my findings as I go through the tedious task of extracting the information sealed behind these postcards and photographs without destroying the items themselves.
By posting the recovered postcards/photographs and the secrets they hold, it is my hope that this blog will not only preserve the contents of Grandma Brunken’s “Post Cards” album but also provide a vehicle for sharing it with relatives and anyone else who might be interested.
Long Range Plans
The content of this blog will eventually expand beyond the several hundred postcards and photographs contained in this album and the time period they cover.
My family history files contain related photographs, newspaper clippings and artifacts that were either loose in boxes along with this album and other memorabilia, shared by relatives or otherwise gathered during my genealogy research. My plan is to include images of these items in this blog as grandmother might have done in her album.
This album appears to cover the time period of approximately 1905 to 1920 with most of the dates so far identified as being from 1907 to 1917. This was several years before my grandparents moved from Nebraska to Oklahoma as well as their first decade living in Oklahoma. If anyone knows of other related albums that were prepared by Grandmother Brunken or other family members, I would like to learn of the same so that the images and stories they contain can also be included here.