Posted by: Janet | May 19, 2009

My Grandmother’s Records

In my mother’s records I found these photographs taken by her parents when my mother was a baby and the family lived in Minneapolis Minnesota.  My mother was born in 1912 and her older sister, who was a twin,  was born in 1907.

These photographs were in the back of a little book called Baby’s Childhood Days.


Famiy in Minneapolis 1912Family in Minneapolis Minnesota, 1912 

Top picture, the twins – my Aunt Elizabeth and her twin sister Helen, born 1907

Middle picture – my grandmother, one of the twins, and my mother as a baby, on the back of this picture is written I’m not so mournful-looking as in my postcard, you see.  (I wonder if this was written after Helen died – if so, then the twin in the picture would be my Aunt Elizabeth)

Lower picture – my grandfather, one of the twins, and my mother


Baby's Childhood Days

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1912 and 1913 my grandmother made the following notes about my mother’s progress.  She made these notes in very careful handwriting, starting with pen and then switching to pencil.  

My grandmother's handwritingMy grandmother’s writing

At two weeks follows moving objects with her eyes

At four weeks smiles and coos

At eleven weeks crows a great deal

Laughed out loud a hearty little laugh at twelve weeks, June 26

At 8 1/2 months plays with dolls and rattles, pulls off her shoes, and pulls the ribbons out of them

(Now my grandmother backtracks a bit)

August 17, four months old, is afraid of strangers

September.  Sits on the floor with pillows around her.  Sometimes sits up alone

At 6 months, sat at table in a high chair all through dinner, October 6

October 24.  Two bottles a day

October 30.  Three bottles a day

December 19.  Eight months a half.  Begins eating oatmeal, cream of wheat, baked apple

December 21.  Had the breast milk for the last time.  Weight, 15 1/2 lbs.

At nine months has two teeth.  Eats egg and toast, and sucks bacon.

Jan. 13.  Third tooth, Jan. 16  Fourth tooth

Jan. 18.  Fifth tooth

Jan. 12.  Weight 18 lbs.  Jan. 19.  19 lbs  10 1/2 mos.  (One feels that these notes might have been made in a hurry and there is some confusion here)

One year. Weight 20 lbs. Height, 28 in.  Seven teeth.  Has four meals a day.  Eats cereals, toast, crackers, eggs, orange juice, soup, milk toast, and four bottles a day of modified milk.

Thirteen months.  Begins to stand.  Says “down, how now, meow, pat, bat (butter)

May 28. Rompers

May 30.  13 1/2 mos.  Straight milk.

15 1/2 months.  Begins to walk when held by both hands.  Has eight teeth.  Begins to eat meat.

July 22.  Took the first step of her own volition.

At sixteen months, seldom soils or wets a diaper.

16 months.  Two words put together Dear bowwow

Sept. 24.  17 months.  Bottles given up.  Eats well at table, three meals a day.  Has ten teeth.

At nineteen months, goes up and downstairs.

At nineteen months, first step alone.

(continued from another page)  At 20 months begins to walk quite a little

Here my grandmother’s record ends.

In copying this record I want to clarify when the twin sister Helen died.  My mother once told me that her mother and father didn’t talk about it but she thinks her mother told her that Helen died at age 6 of diptheria.  That was a very common cause of death at that time.  How tragic.


  1. Cousin Janet, this is just wonderful! It’s amazing how times change so much. That when your mother was only 9-months old and eating eggs, toast, and sucking on bacon… nowadays doctors insist that babies not each eggs until over a year old. And I cannot imagine allowing Ronan to suck on the salty, processed bacon that we have. Wow! Thank you so much for this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: