A Last Photo with the Family before Emigrating to America

At the annual Genealogy and Local History day hosted by my genealogy society Luxracines last month, Nicole gave me two old photographs. They were found at the recycling park and passed on to her as she has an interest in genealogy. As I’ve worked with old photographs and have an interest in researching US families, Nicole thought I might be able to research the family and write a post.

When you jump to conclusions…

On the back of one of the photographs was enough information to identify the family. At first glance, I thought the name of the family was MAMER. We were at the Luxracines event and, as members of the committee, we were both busy setting up and making sure things were running smoothly.

I was really excited to be able to work with these photographs as I have a connection to a MAMER family and know there are descendants of the line in America. These descendants are half-cousins as they descend from my 6th great-grandmother Anna Catharina RONAS who was first married to a MAMER and then to my 6th great-grandfather Nicolas HEITZ. Anna Catharina is one of my matrilineal ancestors.

However, once I got home and had time to sit down and study the photographs, I realized the family name on the back of the photo is MAUER and not MAMER.

About the photographs…

The photographs are nearly identical. The backdrop of the pictures is likely the family home. The same persons are in both photos except for a baby. The woman holding the baby in this photo was probably the mother.

The cardboard frame of the photo above had been cut away while the second one’s frame (below) is the original size making it too large to lay flat and scan completely on my flatbed scanner. It came out a bit blurry compared to the first.

Written on the back of the photo without the baby is the following information:

Etienne Grethen
Marie-Anne Mauer + Kinder Anna + Hélène
mit der Mütter v. M.-Anne Mauer +
Bruder Eugène Mauer
Bruder Valentin Mauer
wahrscheinlich vor der Abreise nach America v.
Eugène + Valentin Mauer
= écriture de Germaine Thill-Steichen de Koerich
décédée le 2 octobre 2008

Translation:
Etienne GRETHEN, Marie-Anne MAUER and her children Anna and Hélène with the mother of Marie-Anne and brother Eugène MAUER and Valentin MAUER probably before the departure for America of Eugène and Valentin.
= handwriting of Germaine THILL-STEICHEN of Koerich who died 2 October 2008.

Also on the back is the photographer’s stamp:

Marcel THILL
19, rue William Turner
LUXEMBOURG

Could Germaine have been the wife of the photographer? Did she include the information for the photographer’s archive? Did she know the family? Was she related to them?

Researching the family in Luxembourg

I started my research into this family with the possible marriage of the mother of the children, Marie-Anne MAUER. She married Etienne GRETHEN on 1 June 1897 in Koerich. Their marriage record included the names of her parents, Jean MAUER and Catherine MERTES.1 Jean and Catherine were married in Hesperange on 21 December 1863.2 As their daughter, Marie-Anne was born in Koerich I checked the Tables Décennales (10-year lists) for births of MAUER children in Koerich for the period 1863-1892. I found a son named Eugène born in 1880 but none named Valentin.

Researching the MAUER brothers who went to America

Before searching for further records for the families in Luxembourg, I checked on Ancestry to see if the two men, Eugène and Valentin, had actually gone to America as noted on the back of the photo.

1920 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Ancestry.com

I found Valentin MAUER in the 1920 census with his wife, a son, a daughter, and a boarder named Eugene MAUER. Both men were listed as born in France as were their parents and both immigrated in 1906. Valentin was a naturalized citizen since 1911 and Eugène was an alien. No mention was made of their being brothers or even related.3

Record hits for Valentin consistently showed he was born in France. The 1910 and 1930 census showed he immigrated in 1906 as seen in 1920. A 1921 US passport application gave his place of birth as Ourscanips, France. Obviously a typing error on the application.4 His US World War I Draft Registration Card had his place of birth as Ourscamp, l’Oise, France.5

At the Oise Archives, I located Valentin’s birth record. He was born on 1 August 1887 in Ourscamp, Chiry-Ourscamp. His parents were Jean MAUER age 52 and Catherine MERTES age 46.6

With confirmation that Valentin was born in France and the son of Jean and Catherine, I continued to search in the US records for the Eugène MAUER seen in the 1920 census listing.

Eugene MAUER also filled out a draft registration card in 1918 when he was living in Cottonwood, Idaho County, Idaho. He declared himself an alien from Luxembourg and named Catherine KUHNEN as his nearest relative.7 Per the 1900 census, Catherine immigrated in 1896. She married Andrew KUHNEN in 1897 in California.

Eugene was found on a manifest of alien passengers for the US. He had sailed on the SS Venezuela from San Francisco to Baltimore, Maryland, in June 1921. The information given confirms he was born in Koerich, Luxembourg. He gave Valentin MAUER of San Francisco as his nearest relative. As he was entering a US port he was asked if he had entered the country before, when, for how long, and where. He replied yes from 1906 to 1921 in various places. His purpose for visiting the US was that he was in transit.8 He was likely traveling home to Luxembourg as the next spring he was found marrying Margaretha CLAREN on 30 April 1922 in Folschette.9 They had at least one child, a daughter born in 1923. Birth records are not available after 1923.

Researching the younger generation in Luxembourg

With confirmation that Valentin MAUER and Eugène MAUER found living in San Francisco and Idaho were brothers and the sons of Jean MAUER and Catherine MERTES, I looked into the children of Etienne GRETHEN and his wife Marie-Anne MAUER, also a daughter of the MAUER-MERTES couple.

Etienne and Marie-Anne had a daughter Anna born 3 February 189910, a daughter Hélène Marie-Anne born 30 December 190011, and a son Jean Baptiste born 11 January 1905.12 With these names, I was able to confirm the identity of the persons in this cropped view of the family in the photo with the baby.

Back row left to right: Etienne GRETHEN, Catherine MERTES widow of Jean MAUER, Eugène MAUER, and Valentin Mauer. In the front left to right: Anna GRETHEN, her mother Marie-Anne MAUER holding baby Jean Baptiste, and Hélène GRETHEN.

The baby is a blur in the photograph as he was likely not holding still and it’s impossible to tell his age. As he was born in January 1905 I would estimate the photo was taken later in the year. Valentin stated on his US passport application in 1921 that he sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, about 1906. Passenger lists for ships from Antwerp to America in 1905-1906 may show if Valentin emigrated with his brother Eugène.

Valentin’s 1921 application also includes a passport photo which can be compared with the 1905/1906 photo.

Valentin MAUER ca. 1905-1906 (left) and 1921 (right)

Obituaries were found for Marie-Anne MAUER in 194613 and for her widower Etienne in 1950.14 The obituaries show the children Anna, Hélène, and Jean Baptiste all married and had children. The names of the grandchildren were not included in the death notices.

Is there more to the story of this family?

If the MAUER-MERTES family were one of my families I would have so many questions I’d want answered.

Jean MAUER died in 189215 leaving Catherine MERTES with at least seven children between the ages of 5 and 26 years of age. An 8th child likely died young. A little curious, I checked for her household in the Luxembourg census for the years 1895 and 1900.

In 1895 she had Ann-Marie, Eugène, and Valentin living at home. Two daughters, Marie and Catherine, had been working in Paris for 5 years and son Johann had recently gone to unknown parts of France to work.16

In 1900 Valentin was still at home with his mother and his married sister Barbara had come home with her husband and three children. The children were born in California between 1892 and 1896 which would explain Barbara not being on the 1895 census. Daughter Marie was in her 9th year of service as a nurse in Paris. Son Johann was also working in France while Eugène had been working in Esch-sur-Alzette for a year.17 Marie-Anne was married and in her own household.

In both census listings, the mother Catherine was working to support the family as were all children except young Valentin in 1895.

I have not looked into when Barbara went to America and if, after her family returned to Luxembourg, they remained in Koerich. Nor have I checked if Marie who was working in Paris may have married or even returned to Luxembourg.

Catherine MERTES, the mother of the MAUER children, died in 1914 at the age of 72 years.18

Back to the beginning…

Anna GRETHEN married nine days after her uncle Eugène MAUER on 9 May 1922 in Koerich to Pierre STEICHEN.19 Germaine THILL-STEICHEN who wrote on the back of the photograph was their only (known) child.

I found trees maintained on Ancestry by several descendants of Valentin MAUER and Catherine MAUER. I’ll be getting in touch with them to see if any are interested in receiving digital copies of the photographs or the originals which were saved from the recycling park.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Koerich > Mariages 1895-1923 > image 21 of 222. 1897 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97V-Q466?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NR%3A129989801%2C129649201 : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  2. Ibid., Hesperange > Naissances 1869-1890 Mariages 1797-1823, 1796-1868 > image 1432 of 1492. 1863 Marriage Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DKRX-VL?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-7M9%3A129747201%2C130056301 : accessed 2 November 2019). 
  3. 1920 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls, Roll: T625_141, California, San Francisco County, San Francisco District 28, Enumeration District 3000, Page 2B, Lines 54-58, HH #483-35, Valentine Mauer household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  4. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925” (index and images), Ancestry, citing Selected Passports at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C., Roll #: 1693; Volume #: Roll 1693 – Certificates: 66376-66749, 18 Jul 1921-19 Jul 1921. Passport application of Valentine Mauer issued 19 Jul 1921. 
  5. “U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., FHL microfilm M1509, 4,582 rolls, Registration State: California, Registration County: San Francisco, Roll: 1544256, Draft Board: 08, Valentine Mauer. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 November 2019). 
  6. Archives départementales de l’Oise (60), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online http://archives.oise.fr/archives-en-ligne/), Chiry-Ourscamp, Etat Civil naissances, mariages, divorces, décès 1887-1888, 3E150/23, image 66 of 155. 1887 Birth Record No. 75. (http://ressources.archives.oise.fr/ark:/44803/9b4f7a420970afc4142b20a70bf130c3 : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  7. World War I Draft Registration Cards, Registration State: Idaho, Registration County: Idaho, Roll: 1452216, Eugene Mauer. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  8. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964, Ancestry citing The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C., Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; NAI Number: 2655153; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Roll Number: 119. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  9. Luxembourg Civil Records, Folschette > Mariages 1851-1923 Décès 1894-1902 > image 560 of 659. 1922 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G97J-Y6YY?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-T3D%3A129624801%2C129674001 : accessed 2 November 2019). 
  10. Ibid., Koerich > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 52 of 222. 1899 Birth Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G97V-WF8Q?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMD%3A129989801%2C129648901 : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  11. Ibid., Koerich > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 74 of 222. 1900 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-WXVS?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMD%3A129989801%2C129648901 : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  12. Ibid., Koerich > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 133 of 222. 1905 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97V-WFHG?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMD%3A129989801%2C129648901 : accessed 31 October 2019). 
  13.  Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 18 November 1946, p. 5, col. 3. Madame Etienne Grethen née Marie-Anne Mauer Avis Mortuaire. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=802390&search_terms=etienne%20grethen#panel:pp|issue:802390|article:DTL636|query:etienne%20grethen : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  14. Ibid., 3 May 1950, p. 7, col. 3. Monsieur Etienne Grethen veuf de Marianne Mauer Avis Mortuaire. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=829556&search_terms=etienne%20grethen#panel:pp|issue:829556|article:DTL969|query:etienne%20grethen : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  15. Luxembourg Civil Records, Koerich > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 87 of 122. 1892 Death Record No. 12.  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61W9-VTM?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-C6R%3A129989801%2C129717601 : accessed 2 November 2019). 
  16. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Koerich > 1895 > image 447 of 628. Mauer-Mertes household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-RNZV?cc=2037957&wc=M5G6-T3D%3A345861701%2C345878001 : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  17. Ibid., Koerich > 1900 > image 55 of 632. Mauer-Mertes household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-Y35Z?cc=2037957&wc=M5GF-7MZ%3A345861701%2C345873901 : accessed 1 November 2019). 
  18. Luxembourg Civil Records, Koerich > Décès 1895-1923 > image 183 of 267. 1914 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-QHDK?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2J9%3A129989801%2C129623802 : accessed 2 November 2019). 
  19. Ibid., Koerich > Mariages 1895-1923 > image 208 of 222. 1922 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-QCWT?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NR%3A129989801%2C129649201 : accessed 31 October 2019). 

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – A Blog Book

Many of the genealogy bloggers I follow print their blogs to books. I’ve been blogging for nearly six years and keep putting off printing my blog.

I have an idea of how I want the posts to come together in each book. I don’t want to do them in chronological order as posted. I know the content I’ve written will fill many books. I’d like to have all of my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts printed together. That’s a lot of writing! I know I’ll have to divide them up into several branches of the family tree.

And then there are other posts which don’t necessarily fit into the 52Ancestors category. For example, one of the categories was Old Photographs that I used for the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series. For two years, from April 2015 to March 2017, I blogged about the collection of photographs my cousin Joe Rooney gifted me.

Last year I copied all of the posts from this series into MS Word and found I had over 250 pages of text and photos. I reduced the size of many of the photos, repositioned them, and got rid of blank space until I had about 140 pages. I added a title page, preface, table of content, and author biography.  I printed it out on DIN A4 paper and slipped the pages into plastic sleeves and placed them in a notebook.

In September I finally took the time to look into BlookUp, a French company that creates books based on favorite digital platforms or social media as well as from PDF.

I gave them access to my blog for the content to be imported to their website. I was not ready or willing to spend the time to customize the content using their tool. I wanted to quickly try out BlookUp without having to do a lot of editing.

Since I already had the Old Photographs series in MS Word I used CutePDF Writer to convert the file to a PDF.

As this was only a test I went with the smaller DIN 5A size book. After uploading the PDF, I customized the book. They offer a wide variety of cover colors and three cover styles. A title, secondary title, author, and a cover photo can be added to the front cover. The back cover can include an author’s biography and book summary as well as a photo.

My PDF was 146 pages. The cost of printing the book was calculated at €27.86 minus a special discount of 20% plus a shipping fee for a grand total of €30.39 for one copy. All orders over €100 have free shipping.

A little over a week after placing the order, the book was delivered.

I’m delighted with how the book turned out. The paper is of better quality than I expected. The photos are beautiful and clear.

A tiny error was made on the back cover. There was no indication of how many words could be used in the field for the author’s biography and the summary of the book. I realized this when I copy/pasted my entire About text from my blog into the box for the bio. As only a part of the text was showing on the preview, I rewrote a shorter biography – several times until it fit. The last sentence ended up being only partially printed. It was not meant to be there and I think I must have forgotten to save the final revision.

Since receiving my book, I’ve been playing around with BlookUp‘s “import blog” and “customize” tools. A book can be set up from date to date, by categories, and including/excluding pages. The order of posts can be changed or posts can be deleted.

I tried the first half-year of 52Ancestors posts and the result was disappointing. Lots of blank space and too large images. At the end of some of the posts is the word Save up to three times in separate lines. The posts look fine online. I think it would be too much work to tweak all of the posts for printing. Cleaning up the posts in MS Word and creating a PDF would be easier.

BlookUp will print hardback or paperback for social media and blog books but only in paperback for PDF format. If I’m going to spend the time and money to have my blog printed, I would much rather have a hardcover book. I haven’t tried getting in touch with BlookUp about having a hardcover printed and what the price difference would be.

My first blog book now sits in our living room with other treasures and memories. I’ll be looking into other companies before I make a decision on how to continue with turning my blog into books. Suggestions are always welcome.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

 

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #91 A Series of Brick Wall Photos

The photographs I’m sharing today were taken with a brick wall as the backdrop. None are labeled but in the first, I recognize Florence ROYALTY and her brother-in-law George Wyte LILLIE. I don’t know who the woman in the middle is. There were two copies of this photo in the collection, one had June 14 written across the top but no year.

royaltyflorence-lilliemaybe4picchildren2
George Wyte LILLIE, an unknown woman, and Florence ROYALTY

For comparison here are two photos taken around 1930. Definitely, before 19 November 1932 as this is when Isaac died.

ReeseFlorence
Isaac LILLIE (1872-1932) with his wife Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946)
1920sRaymondIkeRoy
Isaac and Florence’s sons Raymond (1904-1970), on the left, and Roy (1895-1979), on the right, with their uncle George Wyte LILLIE (1874-1943) in the middle.

 

The above two photos were taken in Detroit, Michigan, in front of the apartment building the family was living in. Although the coat with the fur collar worn by Florence and the light colored hat with the dark band worn by George appear to be the same, the second set of photos were most likely not taken on the same day. George in the top photo is wearing a tiny bow tie while in the lower right photo he is wearing a tie. In both pictures, he has a cigar in his hand. Also as the copy of the top photo was labeled June 14 it is very unlikely that the other two photos were not taken in the middle of June since the men are so warmly dressed.

Perhaps the next two photographs could be clues to identify the woman in the middle in the photograph at the top. Could she be the mother of the three children in these photos?

royaltyflorence-lilliemaybe4picchildren1
Three unknown children (sitting)
royaltyflorence-lilliemaybe4picchildren3
Three unknown children (standing)

Using the bricks as a guide I estimated the height of the children. From left to right, the oldest girl is 17-18 bricks=51-54 inches, the young boy is about 12 bricks=36 inches, and the younger girl is 15-16=45-48 inches. This matches with my estimates of their ages being from youngest to oldest, about 2 1/2, 5, and 7-8 years.

I’ve gone through the LILLIE family tree looking for siblings who were born in the 1920s. The only family group I found which would match was the family of Isaac’s youngest brother Robert Wiley LILLIE (1895-1947) with his wife Neele Audrey OWENS (1898-1942) and their children Roberta Neele b. Oct 1921, Marian Gene b. Aug 1924, and Robert Walton b. Jan 1927.

Roberta’s photo was shared in Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #7 Robert Wiley LILLIE (1895-1940).

I found a yearbook photo of Marian in the U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 database at Ancestry.

U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012, (Ancestry.com : accessed 28 February 2017)

I shared the photos with Robert Walton LILLIE’s daughter Julie back in December hoping to get them into a post at the end of the year. She wrote, “Cathy, I have never seen this picture before, and in my opinion, they don’t look like my Dad and (his) sisters. But, I could be wrong. Let me send to my sister and see if she recognizes it. I will get back to you.” After sharing with her sister she wrote, “My sister didn’t recognize the picture either, nor did she think it was them. But, neither one of us is 100% sure.”

I still think the children could be an older Roberta, her sister Marian, and their little brother Robert. I sent a new request to Julie to take a look at the lady in the middle in the top photo.

robertandmarian
Robert and Marian. Photograph courtesy of family member.

Julie got back to me and sent some photographs including the above for comparison. I believe the children’s blond hair darkened over the years. This would explain the darker hair of the older girl in the photo of the three children. Is she the same person as Roberta seen with the cute blond haircut? Between the time the bottom photo of Robert and Marian was taken and Marian’s picture for the school yearbook, her hair darkened. Alas, Robert and the young boy were not very good studies in either photo. The one above, sent by Julie, shows Robert a bit older than the little boy in the photo with the girls but the cute newsboy cap hides his eyes. In the pictures with the girls, the young boy is looking down, hiding his face.

While we were chatting, Julie told me something I did not know. My research on Robert Sr. and his wife Neele was difficult, to say the least. I never found them together on a census. They were married on 10 April 1920. In 1930 Neele and her oldest daughter Roberta were lodgers in a household. No trace of daughter Marian and husband Robert. I had no idea there was also a son Robert until Julie’s son contacted me.

I have never understood why my Father had to go live with his Uncle Ray and Aunt Clara. I don’t remember my Dad ever explaining it to me, and perhaps he didn’t know for sure. Neele and Robert were married twice and divorced twice. I know my Dad had a rough childhood…..My father seemed to adore his Mother, but not a lot of talk or praise of his Father…..don’t worry about bringing up skeletons, as I am perfectly aware that there are many.

Since we now know Robert and Neele’s marriage had its difficulties, I want you to take another look at the photo at the beginning of this post with the young woman in the middle between George and Florence. Do you notice what I noticed? I have to admit I didn’t see this until I looked at the second copy I have of the same photo which is dated June 14 (without a year).

Is the young woman pregnant? If this was Neele, what happened to the child? Could she have given birth while in Detroit? If this isn’t Neele, would it be possible to find a woman who gave birth sometime after June 14th?

Will someone recognize the children and the young woman in this series of photos taken in front of a brick wall? Are they Neele Audrey Owens Lillie and her children Roberta Neele, Marian Gene, and Robert Walton?

Photos of Neele were shared in Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 The Unusual Hairdo (Identified).

These are the last of the photographs from the collection I was gifted by my cousin Joe Rooney who took them off the hands of his cousin Sandra Lillie who saved them from the trash can. I will be taking a week or two off from writing about this collection but will be back with a final post, a synopsis of the family connections made during the process of writing about each of the over 150 photos.

Would you like to re-visit the photos? You can see them on my Pinterest board Old Photographs Saved from Trash Can.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #90 Charlie LILLIE and his Mrs. (Part 2)

Last week I featured this photograph of an unidentified couple in Brookport, Massac County, Illinois.

mrin39470-1970s-charlie-lillie-with-wife
Charlie LILLIE with a woman I believe was his wife in the 1970s

I compared it to this photograph (below) in which Charlie was identified with his wife. I also included a link to the 2014 obituary online of the woman seen as Charles Newton LILLIE’s wife on his death record in 1984.

mrin39470-lillie-charlie-and-wife-cutout
Charlie Lillie and Mrs. cutout of group photo taken around September 1966.
What my readers thought…

Several of my readers noticed differences in the women. Amy thought Fannie May Sides Lillie’s smaller nose and more delicate features in the obituary photo did not match the women above. Vera also said the nose looked totally wrong as noses get bigger with age, not smaller.

Is it an old wives’ tale that a person’s nose and ears continue to grow? I checked around and learned it’s a misconception that cartilage continues to grow as you age. The skin of the nose and ears starts to sag making them more prominent while cheeks cave in a bit. It’s more of an optical illusion we can blame on gravity.

More help came from Joe…

My cousin Joe Rooney sent a genealogy source that couldn’t be ignored. His Mom’s address book. He didn’t send me the actual book but took the time to type up all the addresses for me. Charles & Evelyn Lillie had a P.O. box number in Dallas, North Carolina. This is the town Charlie was living in when he died in 1984. To keep this in perspective, Joe’s mother Ruby died in 1981 so the address is pre-1981.

Who was Evelyn?

We know Fannie May SIDES was the name of Charles Newton LILLIE’s wife from his 1984 death transcript from FamilySearch’s collection North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994.

1984charlesnewtonlilliedeath
“North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FG42-CMT : accessed 14 February 2017), Charles Newton Lillie, 13 Dec 1984; citing Lincolnton, Lincoln, North Carolina, v 49A cn 49094, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,985,160.

Who was Evelyn seen in Ruby’s address book?

On Ancestry I found a marriage in the Kentucky, Marriage Index, 1973-1999 collection.  Evelyn P. HILL married Charles N. LILLIE on 26 October 1974 in McCracken County, Kentucky. The bride was 60 and the groom 65. Both had been previously married and the marriages had ended with the death of a spouse. The number of previous marriages was not included.

I searched North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994 for a death record for Evelyn and found she died on 8 June 1980. Her home address was the same as Charles’ in the 1984 death record at right. Her maiden name was PIERCE.

Evelyn and Charles were married from 1974 until her death in 1980. Charles married again, before his own death in 1984, to Fannie May SIDES.

The featured photo at top must be Charles Newton LILLIE (1908-1984) and Evelyn Loraine PIERCE (1914-1980).

How many times was Charles actually married?

I’m figuring at least four times as I found an early marriage for him in 1933 in Sikeston, Scott County, Missouri. I am confident this is Charles as he was living in Sikeston with his mother Geneva and his sisters Emma Roxie and Alberta Editha at the time of the 1930 census. Charles married Muriel Hurt on 1 July 1933. Although both were from Scott County, they obtained the license in Mississippi County and were married the same day by a Baptist minister in Sikeston.

I couldn’t find either of them in the 1940 census. Charles’ mother Geneva was in Detroit with her oldest married daughter.

On Missouri Digital Heritage I found a single young girl named Muriel Hurt born in 1915 and died in 1937. Was this the same girl who married Charles? Did the marriage not last? The marriage license was signed and returned but the names of their parents were not included.

Who was Mrs. Charles Lillie in 1966?

This leaves me with a void between 1933 and 1974 filled only by Mrs. Charles LILLIE seen in the photo from 1966. Was she the only unknown Mrs. Lillie? I’m beginning to think a newspaper subscription might be helpful.

Until next week, when I’ll be sharing a series of brick wall photographs.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #90 Charlie LILLIE and his Mrs.

There were only three color photographs in this collection. Two of them were from the 1970s and shared in Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #73 Ruth Joanna LILLIE, Part 2.

The last of the three is of an unidentified couple in Brookport, Massac County, Illinois. The location was recognized by my cousin Joe Rooney when he labeled it years ago.

mrin39470-1970s-charlie-lillie-with-wife

The man’s plaid jacket and turtleneck, the woman’s blouse with long pointed collar and button up vest, and their glasses – these point to the 1970s. In the background at the left, behind the man, is a light colored car with a black top. Very little can be seen of it but I believe it’s the same car as in the post mentioned above. [See the photo of Ruth Lillie in front of her car at her home in Brookport, Massac County, Illinois.]

mrin39470-lillie-charlie-and-wife-cutout
Cutout of group photo taken around September 1966.

Cousin Joe shared photos from his private collection of family photos with me when he saw my interest in the old photographs. Joe’s mother Ruby was Ruth’s sister. In the private collection I found a group photo of six. In the group were a man and woman I believe are the couple in the first photo. (see cutout above)

Look at the way the man holds the woman in both photos. How the woman’s shoulder fits in under the man’s arm. Compare the man’s nose and smile. He is wearing glasses in one and has glasses in breast pocket in the other. I think, at least, the man is the same in both pictures.

Who were they? This is the group photo taken in 1966.

mrin39470-lillieroxieraymondrubyruthcharlieandwife
Group photo from Joe Rooney’s private collection.

It was labeled on the back with the following names.

mrin39470-lillieroxieraymondrubyruthcharlieandwifeback
Back of group photo from Joe Rooney’s private collection.

Who were all these LILLIEs? Raymond b. 1904, Ruby b. 1909, and Ruth b. 1907 were siblings and children of Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946) and Isaac Spencer “Ike” LILLIE (1872-1932)

Roxie b. 1905 and Charlie b. 1908 were also siblings and the same age as Raymond, Ruby, and Ruth. Ike’s father Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) remarried after the death of his wife Pernecia Elizabeth GLASS (1852-1899) and had three children with his second wife Geneva Elyse MASON.

I was confident with the man in the top photograph being Charlie LILLIE because he, along with his sisters, were mentioned (without names) in the 1966 obituary of Ike’s brother John Calvin “Jack” LILLIE (1883-1966). Jack was the last living child of Albert and Pernecia.

My 52 Ancestors: #14 Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) ~ Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can was the very first in what became this series. I mentioned Albert’s marriage to Geneva MASON but did not include the fact that she gave him three more children making him the father of fourteen. Since there were no known photos of his children from his second marriage in this collection, I did not bother to research them in-depth. Their children were Emma Roxie, Charlie, and Alberta Editha.

Was his son Charlie married? Could this be his wife? No name was given for her on the back of the group photo so I had to go back to the beginning. Check census records from birth until 1940. Search for possible marriage records. Check for a death record.

I found a death record for Charles Newton LILLIE who died in 1984 in North Carolina on Ancestry.com in the North Carolina, Death Indexes, 1908-2004 collection. The abstracted information (there was no image) was not enough to confirm it was the same man. FamilySearch had more abstracted information in their collection North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994.

1984charlesnewtonlilliedeath
“North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FG42-CMT : accessed 14 February 2017), Charles Newton Lillie, 13 Dec 1984; citing Lincolnton, Lincoln, North Carolina, v 49A cn 49094, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,985,160.

County and state of birth and the parents names (although off a bit) are a match. Most important, the name of his wife was included.

I finally found an obituary online for his widow. Fannie May Sides LILLIE died on 28 July 2014 at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, Gastonia. I have not found a marriage record and her husband was not mentioned in the obituary. However, per the U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, in the early 1990s she lived at the address found on Charles’ NC death record.

I would have liked to include the photo from her online obituary for comparison in this post but without permission I ask you to click on the link to see it. Does she look like either or both of the women in the photos above?

Charles Newton LILLIE (1908-1984) and Fannie May SIDES (1928-2014) are the names I would like to add to the top photo from the 1970s. Would you agree with me?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #89 Everett Isaac LILLIE (1915-1944)

At one point, while doing these posts, I had to develop a system to keep track of the photographs which had been used in posts and those which still needed to be shared and written about. I keep my cousin Joe Rooney’s original scans with his naming system in a folder. Copies with my own naming/numbering system are in my Genealogy folder – where I keep all images, documents, etc. with unique MRINs. I also created a temporary folder: !NOT USED old photos. As it contains copies, I can easily delete each photograph as it is featured in a post.

There are very few photos left in the temporary folder. As I was looking  through it in preparation for a new post I noticed something about this young man.

unkmanovercoatbrickwallThe man is not identified on the back of the photo. He is wearing an overcoat and hat with a cigarette in his right hand and holding a bag in his left. The location it was taken at is familiar. The brick wall behind him is not straight. There are two and a half bricks and then the wall juts out at a tiny angle. The same as in the photos below.

ReeseFlorence
Click on photo to view post!
1920sRaymondIkeRoy
Click on photo to view post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is in front of the apartment Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE (1895-1979) rented at 2122 Marantette St. in Detroit, Michigan. The address is known from photographs taken about 1930 when the house number was still on the building. It is also the address at which Roy, his mother Florence, his brother Raymond, and his sister Ruth lived when the census was taken in 1930 and 1940.

In the next photograph, we see Florence with her sons Roy and Raymond on the right and a young man in uniform on the left. This young man, holding a cigarette in his right hand, is Everett Isaac LILLIE. The cigarette is what made me take a closer look at the unidentified man in the photo at the top of this post and all photos of Everett.

lilliefloroyraymondandmaybeeverettOn Memorial Day 2015 I wrote about Everett Isaac LILLIE (1915-1944), son of Reese Gentry LILLY (1892-1965) and Dovie DEEN (1894-1918). Everett’s grandparents were Isaac Spencer LILLIE (1872-1932) and Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946).

lillieruthjeverettlillie
Everett with his aunt Ruth Joanna LILLIE (1907-1986)
lillieruthjeverettlilliemotherofpatriciaghaganmaybe
Ruth and Everett posing with an unidentified woman.

Everett married before going to Europe to fight during World War II leaving a pregnant wife. No marriage record has been found for them and she remains unknown. Note: The unidentified woman above is older and cannot be his wife.

In Everett’s 1944 obituary his wife and daughter are mentioned as living in New Jersey but were not named. He never knew his daughter Patricia M. LILLIE (1944-2012) who was born two months after his death. She was seen as Patricia M. KENNEDY when she married Ronald R. GHAGAN (d. 1985) in 1976 in South Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut. It is not known if she had children, grandchildren of Everett Isaac LILLIE who died serving his country.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #88 An Unidentified Couple

unknowncoupletintype

Unidentified Couple, ca. 1870s
Photo type
: Tintype
Tintype size: 1/6 plate; 2 5/8″ x 3 1/4″
Border style: N/A
Sleeve: none
Front imprint: none
Back imprint: none
Photographer: none
Labeling: none

 

While comparing this tintype to the rest in this collection I noticed a similarity.

threetintypesfringechairSeveral of the persons were posed sitting on or standing next to a familiar looking chair with fringe. At first I thought they had all been taken at the same studio as it looked like the same chair.

The fringe chair got it’s name from the fringe along the side arm, back, and bottom skirt of the chair. Designed for photography studios and patented in 1864, it was used into the 1870s. The back and the side arm could be raised and lowered allowing the photographer to pose his subjects in different positions. On PhotoTree.com I found this statement:

It became ‘old fashion’ in the late 1870s and is seldom seen after that.

This statement makes me wonder if the tintype on the far right has been identified correctly. In Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #20 Alnie W. ROYALTY it was dated at about 1893 as it was labeled Alnie Royalty.

Once I began searching for more photographs with similar fringe chairs, I found an entire Pinterest board dedicated to The Fringe Chair: Antiques Photographs.

Using the photography prop as a guide I estimated the featured photo of this post to have been taken in the late 1860s or in the 1870s. The back of the fringe chair can be seen behind the woman, the fringe peeking out under the arm she slipped into the crook of her husband’s arm and behind the elbow of her other arm.

unknowncoupletintypeThe woman’s dress appears to be a two-piece with a long jacket-like bodice buttoned up the front, a skirt which looks fuller at the hem, and a lacy scarf tied loosely at her neck. The dress has the small-waisted look of the 1860s but the sleeves do not seem to have the fuller shape of the period. Since she is sitting you can’t tell if she has a large or small bustle.

The man’s jacket has the closer fit look of the 1870s as opposed to the oversized look of the 1860s. His vest and watch chain are visible. The striped cuffs of his shirt are eye-catching. He posed with one hand holding his jacket lapel, the other on his lap, and his feet crossed.

charlesttHis hair and mustache look very similar to Charles W. ROYALTY (1861-1922) seen in this tintype (left). It makes me wonder if the couple might be Charles’ older brother Chester Ashley ROYALTY (1856-1917) and his wife Julia Hannah HODGE (1858-1924) who married on 27 April 1880.

I’m guessing this stunning couple may have posed for the tintype in the mid- to late-1870s, maybe even 1880. Could it be a wedding portrait?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #87 Tintypes, Cartes de Visite, Cabinet Cards

Digital images of vintage photographs shared by family members or seen on the internet normally do not include a scale making it difficult to imagine the size of the originals. I finally realized this and, in my last few posts, I’ve been including the size as well as a few other facts about the photographs. I plan to go back to add similar information to older posts.

unkcoupleUnknown Couple abt. 1894
Photo type: Cabinet Card
Card size: 4 1/4″ x 6 1/2″
Card color: cream
Card edges: plain cut, rounded corners
Border: single thin line
Front imprint: artistic gold print
Back imprint: none
Photographer: O. H. Talbott of South Side Square, Girard, Kansas
Scan: auto adjusted

I know nothing of tintypes, lol. I don’t even know what a carte de visite is, lol, but I’m learning these things from you. Thanks!

Andy Oldham of Christian Grandfather wrote this comment on one of my recent posts and Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story had a question about the missing corners on tintypes. Andy and Jeanne’s comments triggered ( as in camera 🙂 ) this post with a comparison photo of tintypes, cartes de visite, and cabinet cards along with short explanations. 

comparisonofphotos600Tintypes (above, right) appeared in 1856 and were most popular in the 1860s and 1870s. They are often identified with the Civil War period as this was the time of their popularity. A decline came around 1872-1878. However, tintypes, or ferrotypes, were produced well into the 20th century at carnivals, beach resorts, etc. as souvenirs. They were direct positives, mirror images, on thin blackened iron plates. A photographer would purchase large metal plates and cut them down to size for use. Plates were trimmed and corners clipped to fit cases or paper mats either by the photographer or later by the owner. In the photo above the tintype, farthest right, is a 1/6 plate and measures 2 5/8″ x 3 1/4″. Other common sizes of tintypes were: 1/4 plate – 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and 1/9 plate – 2″ x 2 1/2″.

Cartes de visite (above, middle image), also known as CDV, appeared in 1859 and was most popular from 1860-1880 and declined between 1880-1889. The size of a calling card, it was more commonly known as a card portrait. The acronym CDV only came into use during the 2oth century. The card portrait or carte de visite is an image printed on paper and mounted onto a card with the dimensions of 2 3/8″ x 4″, only a bit larger than the 1/6 plate sized tintypes.

Cabinet cards (above, on left) appeared in 1866, were most popular from 1875, when the format gained attention in the U.S., until 1900. Popularity declined around 1901-1903. The same process was used as with CDVs but on card stock twice the size. Cabinet cards measured  4 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ – about the size of a postcard. Imprints on the front and/or back, borders around the image, edges of the cards, and card color help date cabinet cards.

These are only quick descriptions of three styles of photographs from the 20th century. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, there are many sites online with more detailed information on vintage photography. Try searching the above terms, as well as, daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. Be warned, you may find yourself spending more time than you’d like reading about and looking at old photos.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #86 Tintype of an Unknown Man

This very distinguished looking man’s photograph has no identification on the front or back. As with all of the tintypes in the collection, the sleeve or album which may have originally held the picture did not survive.

The man wears his hair short. The damage to the tintype makes it difficult to tell if his hair is parted or combed back without a part. He has no side whiskers and wears a long handlebar mustache combed down sleekly with a slight upward curl at the end. He has a cleft chin and light colored eyes. Even more noticeable than his thin face with its high square forehead and low eyebrows are his large ears which stick out.

The flat bow tie is worn under the turned-down collar of his white shirt. His notch lapel vest has buttons covered in the same material as the suit. The chain of his pocket watch is attached at the third buttonhole. His coat or jacket (the length cannot be determined) matches the vest. It has long lapels and likely buttons only from the mid-section down.

Does the under-the-collar tie date this outfit to the 1870s or 1880s?

tintypeunknownmanrooneycollectionUnidentified Man, ca. 1870s or 1880s?
Photo type
: Tintype
Tintype size: 1/6 plate; 2 5/8″ x 3 1/4″
Border style: N/A
Sleeve: none
Front imprint: none
Back imprint: none
Photographer: none
Labeling: none
Damage: cracks and rust

Could this be the same man as in the photo below? Yes, the chin is hidden by the older man’s beard and his nose looks broader, but look at the ears! Do ears drop with age? In the picture above the top of the ears are at the same level as the eyebrows (high set ears) while below they are just below eye level (low set ears).

mrin21897-lilliegrandpawgolconda-rooney-collection
ca. 1910, Albert Spencer LILLIE 1848-1913

If the man in the tintype above isn’t Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913), perhaps he was one of his brothers?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #85 The Strangest Thing Happened

The strangest thing happened while I was looking at the tintypes in this collection. I was setting up to scan one of an unidentified couple at a higher resolution (DPI) to bring out more detail so that I could write about it.

Since I had the scanner set up and the photographs at hand, I decided to scan all ten of the tintypes. One of them, the first one I shared in the post 52 Ancestors: #14 Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) ~ Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can, was glued to a card with writing on the front bottom and on the back.

ASLWhen I wrote about this tintype in April 2015 (has it been nearly two years?), I had only the digital images I received per email from my cousin Joe. It was my first post using the photographs from his collection and I knew nothing at all about vintage photography.

With the actual tintype in hand, I noticed the card it was attached to was loose at the bottom where the name A. S. Lillie was written. I took a closer look, shining a light in under the plate. It was loose all along the edges. As I was handling it, the card seemed to barely be attached. I pulled the card away a bit and it detached from the plate.

The tintype must have been stored in humid conditions with the card. It appears to have rusted and gotten stuck and not glued on purpose. Once detached, I saw the card was actually a carte de visite.

1870albertspencerlilliecdv1870albertspencerlilliecdvbackAlbert Spencer LILLIE ca. 1870
Photo type: Carte de visite (CDV)
Card size: 2 3/8″ x 4 1/4″
Card color: beige
Card edges: rounded corners
Image size: ca. 1 1/2″
Border: a thin inner & a thicker outer line
Front imprint: none
Back imprint: none
Photographer: none
Labeling: handwriting on back & front
Damage: rust from a tintype

Four different persons wrote information on the back of this CDV, which appeared to identify the tintype when I wrote the original post. In ink at the top: Albert S. Lillie. Directly below in pencil and very faded only the beginning of Albert can be read. In the center, again in pencil, A. S. Lillie age 22 yrs. At the bottom, in yet another handwriting in ballpoint pen, Isaac Lillie father.

Albert S. LILLIE (1848-1913) is my closest relative in this collection of old photos. He was the nephew of my 3rd great-grandmother Clementine (Gowing) DEMPSEY.

The border is a thin inner line and a thicker outer line and the corners are rounded. This as well as the size and placement of the image help to date the picture between 1869-1872. The image on the carte de visite is a young man identified as Albert Spencer LILLIE age 22 years as written both on the front and back. Born in 1848, this would mean the CDV is from about 1870.

1870albertspencerlilliecdvcropped
Close up of the image on the carte de visite

Is there a method to remove the rust from the front of the photograph? Should I try using a razor blade to lift a little bit of rust from the outer part of the card – as a test? I would love to be able to see his whole face and be able to compare it with the other two photos I have of Albert.

While scanning the tintypes I made another discovery which I will share next week. I hope it will make up for leaving you hanging with yet another mystery to be solved. Who is the man in the tintype which was attached to Albert’s photo?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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