On our way back home from New York City, Karen and I went by way of the village of Grand View-on-Hudson. We were specifically hoping to see the house that my grandfather — and that his father, too — lived in briefly during their childhoods. I believe that my grandfather’s grandfather lived there with his wife for many years.

The alert reader will notice that I have not yet given any of the ancestors a name; I will now. All three, as well as my grandfather’s grandfather’s father, were named “William Cook Disbrow.” At one point, they were named relatively logically “Sr.,” “Jr.,” “III,” and “IV.” However, at some point, “Jr.” became “Sr.,” “III” became “Jr.,” and “IV” became “III.” My mother maintained that it was because only royalty have “retired numbers,” and that after the second William Cook Disbrow died, the third should then have become “Sr.” and the fourth should then have become “Jr.” This never happened, and neither did the next logical step; so, my grandfather, the fourth William Cook Disbrow, grew up as “IV,” changed to “III,” and remained “III” throughout his life. It’s probably fortunate for the sanity of future genealogists, therefore, that my grandfather had two daughters and no sons. The “William Cook Disbrow” line was gone, at least in name. On this site, I will consistently refer to them by their chronological suffixes: “Sr.,” “Jr.,” “III,” and “IV.”

We know that the Disbrow’s house was on the uphill (west) side of Piermont Avenue, right in Grand View-on-Hudson. Unfortunately, we didn’t really have any extra time to do research, and we weren’t able to positively identify the house visually. Here’s a picture of it, though, which we believe to be from the 1920s, as well as one of the second William Cook Disbrow and his wife Elizabeth.

Disbrow house

I know we have more, probably better photos. I’ll try to post one when I’ve unearthed them.

Well, now, that didn’t take too long — I found them, all right! I’m posting this twice, because we have two hand-painted post cards; because they’re hand-painted, they look a little different. There’s no identification other than the printing on the front, “River Road looking South, Nyack, N.Y.” On the back, it says it’s “Printed in Germany” and that it requires one cent for domestic postage, two cents for foreign. This doesn’t help too much with dating the card: domestic postage for postcards remained at one penny through 1951! I cannot find a rate history for postcards sent internationally from the U.S., though I suspect that two cents was probably the going rate for most of the same time.