I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
This cute portrait of a little boy in his naval-inspired suit has an inscription on the reverse that reads, "Raymond Doremyer, Jim's son," which handily provides us with an extra clue about his parentage. It was taken at the Bonney & Schumaker Studio in South Bend, Indiana, probably around 1898.
Seldom do I find only one possibility in the census records on Ancestry or Familysearch when I am researching a surname that I find inscribed on the reverse of a photograph. But, that was the case when I typed the name "Raymond Doremyer" into the search box today and hit "return." The 1920 census, our only match, gives us the following family, living in Portland, Oregon1:
James F. Doremyer, 62, head
Anna M. Doremyer, 47, wife
Raymond H. Doremyer, 24, son, born in Illinois, riveter at shipyard
George B. Doremyer, 20, son
I tried to locate the family in the 1910 census but came up empty. It is quite possible that the spelling/transcription of Doremyer may be different and will take a bit of creative searching to turn up a match. I did, however find his WWII Draft Registration Card on Ancestry which tells us he was born in Chicago and that his birth date was October 18, 1895.2
Raymond H. Doremyer passed away on the 10th of July, 1946 in Portland, Oregon3.
1 1920 U.S. census, Multnomah County, Oregon, population schedule, Portland, E.D. 174, sheet 7-A, dwelling 46, family 57, James F. Doremyer family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 June 2012); citing NARA Microfilm publication T625, rol1 1503.↩
2 U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," [database online] Raymond H. Doremyer; Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accesed 15 June 2012).↩
3 "Oregon, Death Index, 1903-1998," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VZC4-ZPP : accessed 2 July 2012), Raymond H Doremyer, 1946.↩
Monday, March 26, 2012
I'd seen this pocket diary from 1898 at a local antique shop on several visits there. Each time I looked at it, I decided the information was just too sparse to figure out who owned it. The diarist never recorded their own name anywhere in the diary pages, nor did they state outright, where they lived. On my most recent visit to the shop, I had yet another browse through the book. Filled with information about shopping trips and afternoon teas, this book didn't appear to carry any significant genealogical information, but I thought I'd ask the shop owner what he wanted for the diary, since it would take me some time to read through it thoroughly.
The price was right. I took the American Diary home. As I initially thought, it was a day-to-day account of the social life of the writer. Teas, visits, and the day's weather dominated each page. I had just reached the end of the first week of November 1898 when I read a most interesting and surprising entry:
Sunday 6. Weather - Bright. Babys birthday, five oclock. Weight 9 lbs. Our little daughter. Sam, Dr. Cook & Mrs. Hanna were with me & every thing went all right. All fixed up and had some coffee at six oclock. Mrs. Jacobus brought Thelma for me, some lovely flowers from Sam.
Mon. 7. Oh so tired. slept most of the day. Dr. Cook called.
I had no idea the writer of this diary was expecting a baby until I read that entry. On the 30th of November, we learn that Fanny Elizabeth was christened. On the last page of the diary, the writer gives us a significant clue that will help us figure out who she is:
She writes, Fanny Elizabeth Hunter's picture taken January 28th, were sent:
I went to the 1900 US Census. I suspected I was looking for someone living in Chicago because of the various landmarks referred to in the diary. I knew I was looking for Sam Hunter, who had a daughter Fanny Elizabeth Hunter. I also suspected that the writer had Canadian connections because 1) she mentioned Dominion Day in an entry on July 1st. and 2) the diary was found on Vancouver Island, BC.
I found a match in Chicago, IL:
Samuel M. Hunter, b. September 1864, Canada, immigrated 1894, married 1896
Jessie Hunter, b. Nov 1869, Canada, married 1896
Fannie E. Hunter, b. Nov 1898, IL
In the 1910 US census, the family is still living in Chicago's Ward 7. Samuel is now 45, Jessie, 44, Fanny E., 11 and a younger daughter, Isabel K, age 8 appears.
In 1920 the family resides in Ward 6, Chicago. Jessie's age now appears to be two years older than Samuel. In the 1930 US Census, Chicago, Samuel M. and Jessie Hunter's children have moved out of the home.
In Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928, I found Samuel and Jessie's marriage record. Samuel Mancer Hunter, age 32, born Innisfil, Ontario, about 1865, son of David J. Hunter and Elizabeth Mancer Hunter, married Jessie Treleaven Borle, 35, born Toronto, Ontario to John Borle and Fanny Marwood, were married in York County on the 6th of September 1897.
It would have been wonderful to find the portrait of Fanny Elizabeth that Jessie mentions in the diary, but I did not see any infant portraits in that particular antique shop. I'm just happy that the information in the diary was enough to identify Jessie.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
This card was mailed from Brooklyn, NY and postmarked December 20, 1907. It is addressed to "Mr. William Streib & Family, New Salem, North Dakota" and signed "from your Sister & Family, E. Behlert"
The Streib Family was a straightforward search. They appear in the 1910 Census, living in New Salem, North Dakota. The family consists of:
William, head of household, b. 1863, Germany
Mary, wife, b. abt. 1864, Austria
Anna, daughter, b. abt. 1892, Illinois
Elmer, son, b. abt. 1894, Illinois
Martha, daughter, b. abt. 1896, Illinois
Esther, daughter, b. abt. 1899, Illinois
William came to the US from Germany in 1881. I found his passenger record: March 21, 1881 on the ship P. Caland, from Rotterdam to New York. He was 17 years old and seems to have been travelling alone.
Esther's birth record, dated Nov 28, 1898 from Chicago, IL lists Mary's maiden name as Mueller.
I haven't figured out whose sister "E. Behlert" is yet. I found an Elizabeth Behlert on the 1911 US Federal Census in Brooklyn, with husband, Charles Behlert. I haven't found a document listing Elizabeth's maiden name. I will follow that possibility some more, and if I find anything new, will post an update here.
Don't you just love the artwork on this postcard? It was made in Germany.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
Update January 3, 2012: This postcard, along with a second one, addressed to Esther Streib, have been reunited with William Streib's great grand-daughter. As well, a third postcard was found in February, addressed to William Streib. In total, 3 postcards reunited.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
It's fitting that the Edwardian period is also known as "La Belle Epoque (The Beautiful Era)." The winsome young woman above is the epitome of Edwardian beauty in her "Gibson-Girl"-style hairdo and smocked, lace-trimmed dress. Her silhouette is typical of the Edwardian period with its "S-shape," created by the new corsets of the time.
Her name is Berthine Thompson. The photograph was taken at the McCabe studios on W. Madison Street in Chicago. I found this photo in a collection of photos with a Manitowoc, Wisconsin connection. I looked online at the various US censuses and did find a few Berthine Thompsons in the 1880, 1900 and 1910 censuses. There was one Berthine (Bertha) Thompson who was born in Mantiowoc County in 1879. Is it her, I wonder?
I am dating this photo around 1905 or so, but I am not a fashion expert, so if you have experience in that area, I'd love to hear from you.