Turnover Find is Family Treasure
A local woman discovered a souvenir of a family's beginning
Jasper discovered a tiny tray at the Turnover Sale. The tray was covered in layers of grime. Underneath the tarnish, she discovered names, a date, and a significant place, New York City. The tray was the printing plate for engraved wedding invitations, an announcement of the wedding of Miss Ellen Elms to Mr. Peter Meyler Gilroy in 1933.
Jasper, a Maplewood woman who prefers to be known by her nickname, loved the tray, but wants to return it to the family. "It marks the beginning of a family," she explains. "Its value to them, well, it's priceless." So Jasper began the work of searching for the Elms and Gilroy family.
Thanks to an active thread on MaplewoodOnline, Jasper learned that the groom, born around 1905, first lived in Newark with his family. He was a reporter for the Star-Ledger for decades before becoming press secretary to a governor. Then he served as Civil Service Commissioner for the state.
Ellen lived in the Bronx with her family until her marriage in 1933 at age 27. She and her husband had a daughter and a son, and they livedin Short Hills, at least until her death in the 1950s. Ellen died of unspecified "heart issues," according to The New York Times obituary.
When Peter Gilroy died in the 1960s, he had a sister living in Maplewood. Her name was Mrs. James M. Caffrey. Evidence suggests that her first name is Roberta, and that she died in 1983.
Roberta Caffrey is listed in the 1930 census as having children named James, Roberta, Margarite, and Robert. Her husband was then an undertaker and they lived in Newark.
After that, Jasper's trail goes cold. The Caffrey-Gilroy-Elms family hasn't come to light. Nor is it clear how the wedding invitation came to the Turnover Sale.
"I'd like to solve the mystery," says Jasper. "I'd like the family to have this heirloom."
Do you have any leads on the family? Add your ideas or info in the comments, or email MarciaW@Patch.com