Today’s subject of this vintage photo is Gertrude Higgins, born 14 November 1894 in Brooklyn, New York, New York:
She looks to be about one year old and wearing her finest dress so it might well have been a photograph to mark her first birthday.
That would date this photo to November 1895, making it 128 years old! This photograph is in pristine condition, so much so that if this style of cabinet card were still made today and you told me the picture had just been taken, I’d believe you!
What ha been found about Gertrude’s family and her life?
Gertrude was the daughter of John J. Higgins and Annie E. Wilson. Both were born in New York to Irish and English immigrant parents.
According to the census, the couple married in 1888 and by 1900 were the parents of five children:
1. Mary, born March 1890; married Robert McC. Robinson. They were the parents of three children.
2. Joseph, born April 1891; married Loretta J. Whelan. They had one son.
3. Anna, born May 1892; married George A. Schomer. They were the parents of four children.
4. Gertrude Regina, born 14 November 1894; died 5 April 1964, Queens, New York, New York
5. Florence, born October 1896; married Philip Charters Monaghan. They were the parents of one daughter.
Gertrude grew up working as a stenographer in the insurance industry by the time of the 1920 census. She was still living at home in Queens.
In 1930, she lived with sister Mary’s family and still worked as a secretary.
By 1940, she had married Peter A. Joyce, lived in Queens, and still worked as a secretary with the added detail that she did government work.
Peter must have been somewhat well to do, as he was 52 years old, born New York, and retired in 1940.
By 1950, Gertrude had also retired and the couple had moved to Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida, following in the path of many other Northeastern residents.
Gertrude and Peter had no children.
However, her parents had a number of grandchildren so there are descendants of John and Annie (Wilson) Higgins and this photo has gone home.
I’ve gone no further with the family history because at least one of Gertrude’s nephews and nieces is still living!