A 1923 Baby Book for Charles Adams Chadwick

Summertime always brings back happy memories for me, as I grew up spending vacations with extended family. I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandfather’s cousin, Charles Adams Chadwick, with whom I visited in the summer of 1981. I’ve written about Charles before. His mother, Aunt Pearl, was my great grandfather’s sister. Charles never married, so has no direct descendants today.

Charles was a kind, thoughtful, gentle, intelligent man who loved history and loved sharing stories about the ancestors. His mother lived during the lifetimes of my 3X great grandparents, so a bit of the family lore has trickled down through time.

Charles was thrilled when I became interested in our family history and wrote me several prolific letters. After he passed, I inherited the old family photos that had belonged to Aunt Pearl. I also inherited Charles’s baby book, which I want to share with you today.

Aunt Pearl didn’t mount any photos in the book and not all the pages are filled in. My favorite part is the list of baby gifts.

Charles Adams Chadwick, aged about 1 year

I love that the book, clearly for a baby boy, is pink! I even have the original tissue paper that covers it and the original box in which it came. I also love the adorable drawings in this book. They don’t make them like this anymore.

January 20, 1923
Charles Adams Chadwick

9 pounds at birth
10 at three weeks. Then
the baby stood
still for a long
time. Then began
to gain 1/4 pound
a week.

This book
Pink 7 white blanket
White “
Three sweaters
Soap Box
Two pillows

All were gifts from Nammie, Pearl’s mother (my 2X great grandmother, Nellie Tarbox Adams). Guess what! The stockings must have been too dear to use because I have them!

They don’t look like they were hardly ever worn – maybe just for special visitors coming to call.

Bank account –  Aunt Annie
White carriage robe –  Aunt Annie
Baby basket –  Barbara
Bathrobe –  Aunt Ada
rattle – Aunt Ada
Perfume – Aunt Ada
Stockings – Aunt Ada
Jacket – Aunt Ada
Booties – Aunt Grace
Winter bonnet – Margaret
Dress – Frances
Sweater – Aunt Edna
Embroidered petticoat – Winifred St. Clair
White dress – Mary Louise Healey
Brush & Comb – Aunt Emma Arnault
Booties – Aunt Ethel
” – Aunt Jessie
Silk Puff – Aunt Myra
Dolls & booties – Aunt Marie
Yellow & white robe – Ethel Elliot
Fancy Pins – Mrs. Hurley
White shoes – Di? & Alta
Silk moccasins – Fay Sadler

Baby boys’ fashions have certainly changed, but Charles was quite the well appointed little fella, wasn’t he? Annie is my great grandmother and I suspect that Barbara is my aunt, who was Charles’s two year old cousin. Aunt Ada was a Phinney on his dad’s side of the family. Fay Sadler was Pearl’s cousin in the Tarbox family. I don’t recognize any of the other names, but they could be Chadwick relatives and Pearl’s friends.

Baby Chadwick’s hair was golden but
gradually got a little darker. His eyes
were a clear blue quite light at first, but
also grew dark.

The hair color gene must run strong in my family. Holding this lock of hair up to my own, the color matches almost exactly.

First Short Clothes
The baby’s clothes were all quite
short and he wore them as they were
until it was time to put rompers on
Dec. 25, 1923, when he received two pairs of
pink & white ones. He looked adorable in these.

First Word
His first word was “Da-da-da” & he
always said it when his daddy appeared.

Here’s the last page completed:

First Tooth
His first tooth came at seven months, followed
in a week by another. At ten months he had six
teeth, at fourteen months ten teeth, at sixteen
months he had twenty. He cut all of his teeth
very easily. The stomach and eye teeth coming
in the summer with no trouble at all.

I miss you, Charles. RIP.

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