About 35 years ago in a used bookstore outside of New Haven, I came across a little account book and, on paging through it, realized it had belonged to a bride, and then young wife and mother, named Charlotte V. Peirce. I love ephemera and simply couldn’t resist paying a dollar for this little book. Even at that time I had pangs when I discovered family artifacts that had been separated from their families.
A quick search tonight revealed a lot about Charlotte. She was born in Chicago 15 Jul 1888 to Arthur H. and Louise P. (Van Valkenburgh) Peirce. In 1910 Charlotte lived with her widowed mother, sister Louise and her grandmother Louise Van Valkenburgh at 1209 Hinman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Charlotte’s mother Louise would pass away in 1912.
Charlotte met her husband, Edward Chadbourne Boynton, while vacationing at Five Islands off the coast of Maine with her grandmother during the summer of 1911. She married him in Evanston on December 21, 1914.
Edward was born 11 Jun 1885 to Rev. Nehemiah (a well known Brooklyn, NY Congregational minister) and Mary Ella (Wilcox) Boynton. He was a 1903 graduate of Philips Academy, Andover, and a 1907 Amherst College graduate. He attended Andover Theological Seminary. He was ordained as a Congregational minister by his father on May 14, 1913. In the mid 1910′s Edward left his ministry at the First Congregational Church in Ann Arbor to accept the ministry of the Adams Square Congregational Church in Worcester, Massachusetts. In the early 1930′s, he accepted a call to the Congregational Church of Scarsdale where he served until retirement in 1951. The family resided at the parsonage at 1 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale.
Knowing this much, all discovered tonight, changes the view I had of the book on the few occasions when I looked at it over the years. I always imagined a parent carefully instructing a young bride in the art of recordkeeping, to wisely spend her household money. There are a few instances where it’s clear she has an allowance, for instance for her wedding, and her trousseau … now I wonder to whom she was accountable – could it have been her grandmother? her husband? Most likely she was copying a household management style she had seen her mother and grandmother use.
But these are not really my mysteries to wonder about. If any descendants would like the book they are welcome to it.