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 at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Cabinet Card from Wytheville, Virginia: Bertha Martin, 1890s

Bertha Martin didn't identify the other woman in this cabinet card photograph when she gave it to Mattie Wetzell.  She has written "Me" beneath her image.  The reverse reads, "Compliments of Bertha Martin to Miss Mattie Wetzell."

The photograph was taken by J.E. Carnahan in Wytheville, Virginia.  The sleeves on the women's dresses indicate that this photograph is from the 1890s.

I found a Mattie Wetzel living in Madison, Shenandoah, Virginia in the 1900 US Census.  There were a few other Mattie Wetzels.  I believe she is the same person as Mattie Whetzel, also living in Madison in 1880 with her parents Ezra and Emily.

Bertha Martin is a far more common name.  I found one Bertha on the 1900 that caught my eye, from Shenandoah, Page, Virginia, but I have no way of knowing if it is the correct one.  She was born Feb 1880, daughter of John W. and Mary R. Martin.


  1. Could Bertha be Mattie sister? I noticed that in addition to Mattie living with her parents on the 1880 Shenandoah County, Virginia census that you mentioned that there is a Bertha, born 1875.

    I don't have any connection to either the Martin or Wetzel family, just enjoy your posts and loving trying to help out.

    Just wondering.

  2. Fantastic lead, Deborah. I think you're following a good hunch. I didn't notice little Bertha on the census along with Mattie, but that is definitely an avenue to follow! Wetzel, Whetsell is Mattie's maiden name. Martin could be Bertha's married name.

    After reading your comment, I've been hunting around for a marriage record for Bertha Wetzel/Whetzel to anyone with the surname Martin, but haven't found anything yet. The only thing that make me wonder if Bertha was close to the recipient of the photo is that she has written "me" under her image.

    So little to go on but perhaps we can figure this one out yet!

    Thanks so much for helping with this!

  3. I have a little more information. Not about Bertha :( but about Mattie.

    The Shenandoah Co. VAGenWeb site has marriages and it shows that Mattie married a Charles Painter Fravel in Shenandoah Co., Va in 1903. The link for the marriage record is here: http://www.vagenweb.org/shenandoah/marriage-record/marrw2.html

    On FindaGrave.com I find their tombstone here: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Fravel&GSiman=1&GSsr=121&GRid=23409105&

    I also found Charles and Mattie in 1910, 1920 & 1930 Shenandoah Co., Va censuses without any children living with them.

    Hope this helps a little.