Monday, January 16, 2017

My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 6

An advertisement for Hoogerzeil Express in the 1920 Beverly, Mass. City Directory, page 49

This is another installment of a transcription of my grandmother's 1920 diary.  Gertrude Hitchings (1905 - 2001) was only fourteen years old when she wrote this tiny 3" diary in Beverly, Massachusetts.  You can read the first installment HERE.  I'll be posting sections of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday posts.

March 10 - 15, 1920

WED. MAR 10, 1920
Got up at 6.30 walked to
school and back awful warm with
bad walking.  home all afternoon
Mrs. Butler over. Went sliding after
supper but didn’t’ stay.  Bobby Brick [?}
and ^Marion & Adolf up tonight.  Ma & Pa
over Mrs. Butler’s bed at 10.15


Got up 6/45 walked to
school and back, rained a little this
noon.  bad walking.  Home
all afternoon.  Went down
Marion’s after supper.
Pa went over to see Russell.
I came home at 9.30 bed at 10.15


Go up at 7 went to school
at 7.15 had an assembly
home at 1.30.  Home all afternoon
Mrs. Butler over, raining this p.m.
Went to the pictures with Marion
and her father home 10.30 bed 10.45

[Notes:  Marion could be Marion Hoogerzeil (1904 - 1953), Gertrude’s first cousin.  The Hoogerzeils lived at #5 Union Street.   Marion’s father would have been Gertrude’s Uncle Alonzo Hoogerzeil (1875 – 1946).  Ma's maiden name was Florence Etta Hoogerzeil. They were the children of Peter Hoogerzeil, Jr. (1841 - 1908) who started the Hoogerzeil Express company in Beverly (see the advertisement above)  By 1920 it was being run by John E. Healey, Etta's brother.  

Gertrude mentions going to “the pictures” with Marion and her father.  This would be the moving pictures or movies.  My grandmother always called movies “the pictures”, even if she watched “a picture on TV last night”. ]

SAT. MAR. 13, 1920
Got up at 8.00 had breakfast
worked around the house all
the morning.  Raining hard.
Went over Mrs. Butler’s after
dinner and helped her she cut
her hand. Came home got supper
and went to bed at 9.20 P.M.


Up at 9.00 took a bath had break-
fast.  Helen, Ellsworth, Russell,
Ethel and Mr. Lowell came
over to dinner.  Went down
Marion’s after dinner.  Helen
and Ellsworth stayed here all
night went to bed at 9.15


Got up at 6.15 went to school
Helen & Ellsworth went home at 11
Got a ride home with Mr. Put-
num.  Went down the store
with Marion.  Ma not well. Home
all evening.  Marion up. Cars running again
                                        bed at 9.00

[Notes:  Gertrude's two eldest siblings were married and living away.  Her sister Helen and her husband Herbert Ellsworth Robson were living nearby in Beverly, and her brother Russell and his wife, Ethel, were living in Lynn.  They were all together for Sunday dinner on the 14th. 

Ma, my great grandmother Florence Etta (Hoogerzeil) Hitchings (1871 - 1941) had TB and was not well.  She was often in Danvers State Hospital during Gertrude’s childhood.]

March 16 - 21, 1920

Got up at 6.45 rode to school
today in the car.  Got home 1.15
Went over Magilsons with Marion
She worked over there today  stayed
until 6.  Ma is better today
Home all evening  Ma and Pa
are over Butlers went to bed 10.


St. Patrick’s day
Up at 7.00 went to school, got
home at 1.15  Mabel came
up stayed all afternoon.  I went to
class meeting at 3.00 got home 4.15
went down Marion’s.  Marion
up all the evening until
8.30 went to bed at 9.30


Got up at 7.00 went to
school home at 1.15.  Went
up to Marion’s cousins with
her.  Went to club after
supper.  Mrs. Butler & Mrs Small
over.  Went to bed at 10.15

[NOTES:  Gertrude was happy to take a car (trolley) to school today.  Did they stop running in the winter? Were they on strike?

The Magilson family lived at 154 Bridge Street in Beverly.  They were from Holland, just like the Hoogerzeil family. I don’t think they were relatives.  Notice that on the 16th Marion helped out the Magilson family, and on the 13th Gertrude helped out Mrs. Butler, who had cut her hand. ]

FRI. MAR 19, 1920
Got up at 7.00 went to
school. Home at 1.15  Ma
& Pa gone to Russell’s.  Went
riding on Eunice’s bike.  Home alone
all the evening.  Eunice
and Hollis gone to pictures
went to bed at 9.15


Got up at 7.00 snowing
hard this morning.   Worked
around the house all
morning.  Home all
afternoon and evening
tatting.  Went to bed
at 9.30


Got up at 8.45 had
breakfast went to church
home at 12.30 had dinner
Went to walk with Marion
after dinner.  Home all evening
went to bed at 10. O’clock.

[NOTES:  Ma and Pa, my great grandparents, went to visit Russell, their oldest son, who was recently married and living in Lynn.  Gertrude again mentions going to “the pictures” AKA the movies.  

Gertrude loved tatting and knitting.  I remember my grandmother always doing handwork, and every Christmas she would knit something, sometimes just socks or mittens, for everyone in the family.  This was quite a feat because she had seven children, their spouses, and 29 grandchildren to knit for every Christmas!  It was your lucky year if you received a Christmas sweater from Nana! 

This is one of the few entries where Gertrude mentions going to church.  I don't know which church the family attended in Beverly.]

Part One of my grandmother's diary can be found at this link:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 6", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 16, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Do you have any of the tatting you mention?

    1. I have some of her knitted items. I passed the baby sweaters and things on to my daughter. My mom has some of tatting (edgings on hankies, etc.) It was like lace.