Monday, December 26, 2016

My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 4

My grandmother and her siblings sledding in Beverly, Massachusetts
Probably around the same year as the diary
left to right: Mildred b. 1909, Gertrude b. 1905, Eunice b. 1904, 
and perhaps Gordon b. 1907,  and an unknown boy

Earlier this month I started to scan and transcribe my grandmother's tiny 3" diary and publish those pages on my blog.  Gertrude Hitchings was fourteen years old, and kept this little diary for the year 1920.  You can read the first installment HERE.  I'll be posting sections of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday.

Mon. Feb. 9, 1920
Got up at 6.45 had to
walk to school and walked
home cars started running.
Went sliding over Crosby’s in
afternoon.  Went sliding after
supper over Crosby’s came
home 9.00 went to bed 9.45


Tuesday 10
Got up at 6/45 went to
School but had to walk halfway
Home all afternoon Mrs. Butler over
Home all evening  Eunice and I
Went over to Mrs. Butlers.  Mildred
Got up today.  She is lots
Better.  Wen to bed 10.00


Wednesday 11
Got up at 7 went to
School home at 1.15
Stayed home all afternoon
Ma and Pa went over to Butlers
Home all evening bed at 9.15

[NOTE:   It appears that Mildred is over the mumps (she was very sick in the last few diary entries last week).  I would love to know where the "Crosby's" is that the kids used for sledding, or who is Mrs. Butler? 

There are missing pages here.  On 13 February 1920 Gertrude's eldest brother, Arthur Russell Hitchings married Ethel Elizabeth Coleman in Washington, D.C.]  

Tues. Feb. 24, 1920
Got up at 7.30 had break-
fast went over to North
Beverly helped Mr. Lowell
Came home at 6.00
Went out sliding after supper
but didn’t stay, came home
and played games bed at 10.PM


Wednesday 25
Got up at 7.45. Snowing
hard.   Home all morning
Mrs. Butler over after dinner and
made Ouija board go.  Russell
and Ethel came down.  Took pictures.
home all evening played with
Ouija board went to bed 10.30


Thursday 26
Got up 8.45 stayed
Around house all day
Home alone all evening played
Victrola folks over to Mrs.
Butlers went to bed
At 10.15 PM

[NOTE:  The mysterious Mr. Lowell appears in this diary entry again.  And it was very interesting to read about the "ouija board", I didn't know that they were popular in the 1920s!  I'd love to see the photos Gertrude took of this evening of games.  It's fun to read about the victrola, too.

Russel and Ethel are home in Massachusetts after their wedding in Washington D.C.   I don't know if any family members were in attendance at the wedding.  ] 

Fri.  Feb 27, 1920
Got up at 8.30 had break
fast stayed around the house all morning.  After
dinner Eunice, Gordon, Millie and I
went over to Mrs. Butler’s.  Stayed
home all evening and
went to bed at 10.PM


Saturday 28
Got up at 8.15 worked
around the house all
day.  Russell & Ethel gone to
Lynn. Mill and Gordon down town.
Rus got a room.  Home all
Evening went to bed at 10.30


Sunday 29
Got up at 8.45 took a
bath had breakfast. Gordon and I
went down to the depot with R. trunk.
After dinner went sleding up reser-
Voir.  Russell & Ethel gone housekeeping

Home all evening bed at 8 PM.

[NOTE:  There is more visiting with Mrs. Butler here.  Apparently Russell and Ethel removed to a room in the city of Lynn, because Gertrude and Gordon helped deliver his trunk on the 29th to the Beverly depot.  

[Out of order]
Thurs. Mar. 25, 1920
Got up at 6.45 went to
school went to Salem with
Ma after school to get my hat
fixed over.  Came home 4.30 had
dinner.  After supper went down
A&P with Marion and then
Went down ??  bed at 10.


Friday 26
Got up at 7.00 went to school
Had a swell play home at 1.15
Worked part of the afternoon
Then went out with Bertha
?? on the bicycles cam in
got supper stayed home all
evening and read went to bed 9.30


Saturday 27
Got up at 7. had breakfast
Eunice went to North Beverly
Worked all morning and after
noon went riding 4. O’clock
took a bath before supper home
all evening wrote letters bed at 9.30

[NOTE:  Gertrude and her mother (my great grandmother Florence Etta Hoogerzeil (1871 - 1941) went shopping in Salem.  Gertrude had her hat made over for springtime, which was a frugal way of saving money instead of buying a new hat.  There is another mention of the A&P grocery store, and of her friend Marion.  This is the first mention of Bertha, probably another school friend.  It is the end of March, and the girls are riding bicycles instead of skiing and sledding.]

Read Part 1 of Gertrude's diary at this link:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary - Part 4", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 26, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. I love the photograph. Reminds me of a family trip over a small ski jump, my brother Pete deciding we needed the excitement, hard landing and a broken toboggan. Thankfully the destruction was limited to the toboggan.

  2. That sounds like a good story for a blog post, Janice!

  3. My husband's grandmother's name was Eunice. I never thought that I would see another... especially living in the same place.
    Our Eunice, Eunice Gould Murray Campbell, was born in Beverly, MA in 1909. They lived at 15 Madison Avenue.

    Maybe the name Eunice was inspired by your family?

    1. Jen, My great auntie Eunice was born 14 June 1904 in Beverly. Her great grandmother was Eunice Stone (1807 - 1886) (my 3x great grandmother). Eunice Stone was a descendant of John Stone (1595 - 1667) and Elinor Cooke, one of the earliest settlers in Beverly. I found several other Eunice Hitchingses in the early Hitchings families living in Saugus and Lynn. It was a popular name among the Hitchings and Newhall families.