Happy Anniversary: Love, Mother

If it had gotten mixed up with my other “old papers,” I might never have known who “Mother” was. Fortunately this card was in a stack of other 40th anniversary cards my grandparents received in 1981. Because of that context I knew exactly who mother was.

Grandma’s mother was deceased by 1981 and Granddad’s mother lived until 1986. It had to be my great-grandmother Tena Ufkes who signed the card. It helped that the writing was somewhat familiar to me as I’d seen other snippets of her writing.

But if the card had not been with the others from my grandparents, identifying it would have been difficult. That’s the way genealogical records need to be analyzed: in context.

My image of this card includes my provenance (how I got it–the cards were in my Grandmother’s effects after her death). It also includes how I identified the card. I didn’t keep all of Grandma’s anniversary cards–just the ones my parents gave her and the one given to her by my Grandmother Neill. One only has so much room. Fortunately Grandma Neill signed her card the way she signed everything “Mrs. Ida Neill.”

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