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Last year I posted two unidentified photographs that I wished to identify. The photographer was based in the Dutch towns of Utrecht and Den Haag (The Hague).  Both photographs seemed to have the same props, so it was likely that they were taken around the same time at the same photography studio.

But they sure looked different. One looked as if the subject could have lived three hundred years ago. The other looked more turn-of-the-century.

Thanks to a Dutch reader, Hubert Theuns, I learned much information about the photos. In particular, he discovered that the older style outfit was the traditional costume of Cadzand, a small town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In 2007 Cadzand had about 800 inhabitants. He told me that the photographer, Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen, was born in Utrecht 18.11.1861 and died in Hilversum 05.01.1936. Photographs from the period 1886-1915 can be found athttps://rkd.nl/nl/explore/portraits#query=cjl+vermeulen&start=0&filters%5Bcollectienaam%5D%5B%5D=RKD%20%28Collectie%20Iconografisch%20Bureau%29

Here are the two photos–first the more “modern” looking one and then the “traditional costume” photo.

 

Look at this amazing costume. It looks so Puritan to me.

 

 

Here are the backs of the photos:

 

Note that they both have the 3 digit telephone numbers. According to the research of Hubert Theuns:

The telephone was introduced at The Hague on July 1, 1883, and at Utrecht in February 1883. There used to be local telephone directories, but I have not (yet) found any on the internet. National telephone directories were published as from 1901. The collection of national telephone directories from 1901 till 1950 are being digitalised by the dutch national library, but unfortunately this process has found delays. Only the national directory of 1915 is available on the internet, and shows that the photographer in 1915 in Utrecht had the same three digit number as mentioned on the photograph, but that his number in The Hague already had four digits.

Hubert narrowed down the time period to pre WWI.

Now he has been able to get these photos published in a newsletter of the city of Goes, as well as its website! Check it out: IDENTIFY THESE PHOTOS.

Eventually these photos WILL be identified!  I am so grateful to Hubert. He is a reminder that genealogy is a collaboration of many people. It’s not a a selfish interest.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me with my research! I think of you all with fondness!

OK, we’re going to try this again. You might have seen my post last week about this–which I subsequently deleted when it became obvious I’d missed a clue.

My great-great-grandfather’s sister Jennie DeKorn Culver (divorced) and her two adult daughters moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle at some point. All three women died there. Only Lela seems to have married–at the age of 63.

Two weeks ago, I posted the photo that gives the exact date the Culvers moved to Seattle. Here it is again with the date of August 20, 1918 written on it. One of the Culver daughters is in this photo.

 

I also posted a photo of all three Culver women–Aunt Jennie DeKorn Culver and her daughter Rhea and Lela–with some identified travelers or perhaps people seeing them off on their travels.

After much searching I did find one newspaper “jotting” that mentions the move. It was posted in the Kalamazoo Gazette on August 13, 1918.

 

Of COURSE, the mystery deepens. Why does it mention only Rhea and not her mother or sister? I can’t believe they wouldn’t be mentioned if they did, in fact, move at the same time.Maybe Rhea went with the other people in the photo? If so, when did Jennie and Lela move?

I will say that Jennie does look as if she is dressed for travel (she is the 3rd from the left). Do you agree with me? The other daughter, the one in the striped silk could be dressed for travel–or not.

In 1918, Rhea (born 1890) was 28 years old. She was single and a grown woman. I wonder if she went with any of the Culver family or she went with a religious group. Lela was also single and 30 that year. Jennie was 61. I will be 61 this summer. I can’t imagine making that move with my two daughters if I didn’t know anybody else in Seattle.

Also, this new information sheds light on that photo of the young Culver woman with the older woman (above). Maybe that is Rhea and she IS going with that woman to Seattle.

This is where it gets even more confusing.

In the 1920 census, Rhea, stenographer, is living in Kalamazoo with a cousin and the cousin’s husband, Charles Pierce, and daughter! The cousin is Cora DeSmit Pierce, the daughter of Jennie’s sister Mary. WHAT? So Rhea left for Seattle on her own and came back to Kalamazoo? Homesick?

Cora DeSmit Pierce

But wait.

Also in the 1920 census, Jennie and Lela (teacher) were living in Seattle! So Rhea moved to Seattle, according to the paper. It doesn’t say she joined her family there. It sounds as if she is the first Culver to move to Seattle. But how did the others end up in Seattle and Rhea NOT by 1920?

Can this get any more confusing? I will have to study the photo album more to see if I can find any other clues in there. I would like to examine yearly city directories in both Seattle and Kalamazoo, but even if I could, it still might not divulge what happened.

What do you think? Did Rhea move first and the rest of her family come later? Any ideas on where to research next?

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I’ve written before about my great-great-grandmother’s sister, Carrie Paak Waruf, and her husband Henry Waruf: Who Was Hank Waruf, Kalamazoo Gunsmith, Tennyson’s Words for Henry Waruf’s Funeral, and All the Peek Girls (note that Paak can be spelled Peek, Paake, etc.). And when they traveled to Cuba.

But I’d like you to look at some photos I have that Grandpa had me mark Aunt Carrie.

The first one is a favorite. Carrie and Henry Waruf were well-off merchants. They had no children. And Aunt Carrie did like to spend money on her outfits. Is that a fur piece or a feather boa around her neck here? And what about this hat? On what planet was this popular? I assume it was expensive. That almost looks like a Minnie Pearl price tag on it. Is that a ribbon? Overall the hat mystifies me. I’d place her at around 40 in this photo. What do you think? By the way, she was born in 1862, so that would make the year of this photo around 1902.

Photo #1

Here is another photo of Aunt Carrie.

Photo #2

These are obviously the same woman, although the 2nd photo seems to be a much younger photo. This brings up the mystery of her age that arose in the post What Can the Photographer Tell Me When He’s No longer Here. The evidence on the 2nd photo about the photographer made it seem as if this photo was also around 1900. So now I am more confused than before. But it makes me wonder if that successor craziness went on more than once. I still think she looks under 35 in the 2nd photo, maybe even much younger than that.  Look at the differences in wrinkles with the first photo.

Now, if anybody has an idea on the date of that peculiar hat, it would help assign dates to these photos!

I’m very satisfied with the identity of the woman in photos one and two because I have another photo or two of her with her husband. There is no doubt.

Here is the bigger mystery. Grandpa also told me that this next photo was Aunt Carrie. I don’t see how that is possible. What do you think?

Photo #3

Is this Aunt Carrie? Or is it one of her sisters? There were Alice, Anna, Mary, and Carrie. This is not my great-great-grandmother Alice. But could it be Mary or Anna?

Here is Mary:

Photo #4

Mary Paak Remine

Mary Paak Remine

Here is Anna:

Photo #5

Annie Paak

Annie Paak

And here is Alice:

Photo #6

Alice Paak DeKorn

Can you hear me screaming? She almost looks like a sister. She looks enough like them that Grandpa called her Carrie. But who is she?

 

Last week I was given the most wonderful identification of the church that I thought was in Seattle circa 1918. It turned out to be First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1917!!!

The young lady in plaid is a Culver, I’m sure. I don’t know who the other lady is. All dressed up for travel. What does the caption say? STARTING FOR SEATTLE AUG. 20, 1918. Hah, you can’t ask for anything better than that in genealogy and family history research. The actual answer–to the day–complete with new outfits and a Gladstone bag in the hand of the older woman. Look it up. It was named after Prime Minister Gladstone, and it’s a very specific and stylish type of luggage. I know this because . . . ta dum . . . I used to own a luggage store. Look at how crisp their clothing was. These poor orphanage girls, daughters of a woman who had to figure out how to make a living for her family of divorce, looks like they are doing pretty well. No idea why . . . .

Here are other photos. Tell me: what does it look like. Are these other people traveling with the Culver women? If so, why are they going to Seattle? Are they all planning to settle there? They seem to be “of a group” because the man is carrying a bag. But what if he’s holding the lady’s Gladstone for her? Maybe they aren’t all going.  I’m confusing myself. What I do believe is that that is Jennie to our right (and their left) of her plaid-skirted daughter. And I think the boldly decorated young lady on plaid’s right (to us she is farthest left) is the other Culver girl. 

 

Remember that this date is before the end of WWI, which ended in November.

While I have solved the mystery of when the Culver women left for Seattle, I still do not know WHY or WITH WHOM.

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Last year I posted a photo that I believed was taken in Seattle. It was in the Culver-DeKorn photo album that was so kindly sent to me by a “caretaker” of the photos for decades. I wondered what the uniform was that the man was wearing and what the building was that is shown behind him. My assumptions have been shaken to the core. The old post is in quote marks, and below that is what I discovered!

First let me tell you a little more about Jennie DeKorn Culver, my 3rd great-aunt. She is a very sympathetic character to me. She went through a divorce when very few people did so, and she lost her daughters to the orphanage for a little while because of that. She was an artist when that was not approved of for a woman, especially from her background.

Jennie’s parents and two siblings were all born in the Netherlands, but Jennie was born in 1857 in Ottawa, Michigan.

When Jennie was 7, her mother died. When she was 16, her father died. The year before her father died, her oldest sibling, Richard DeKorn, married Alice Paak  on May 10, 1872. Her sister Mary married John DeSmit on October 4, 1872. So when their father passed away, that left Jennie alone. Jennie didn’t marry John Culver until she was 25. What did she do from age 16 to 25 and where did she live?

Here is the old post:

(The Culver-DeKorn family: my great-great grandfather’s sister, Jenny DeKorn Culver, and her daughters, Lela and Rhea, who moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle 100 years ago.)

In the scrapbook which I received from a blog reader I found this photograph. Any ideas on the type of uniform? Since this would have been around the time of the end of WWI, does the uniform have to do with the war?

I don’t know who the man is. Most of the Culver photos are of women.

But the clues would leave me to believe the photo was taken in Seattle in or around 1918. But did Seattle have old elegant buildings like this at that time?

###

Well, my goodness! I had a surprise yesterday when a blog reader posted a comment that upset my whole way of looking at the photo album in general:

That building is the old First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo. It burned down in 1925. There is a colorized view of the building halfway down this page.

http://www.kpl.gov/local-history/religion/first-congregational.aspx

 

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I can’t find a Carl Sadler in Kalamazoo who would be born around 1915 or 1916. Since these photos were taken in 1917, I am estimating that he was born around that time.

Another thing to consider: how many other photos in the album are from Kalamazoo?!

But stay tuned for the next installment of Aunt Jennie. Because I have some more new info about her!

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Sunday is Father’s Day, and it will be the 2nd one without my father. If he were here he might like if I shared some photos from his time in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

These are all from a fishing trip he was able to make, probably to the Yukon, in Canada, when he was stationed in Colorado or Alaska. I chose these photos because of all the times I went fishing with my father when I was a kid. We would take the rowboat out on the lake and fish for perch and (often) sunfish. Not like these fish!

 

Here is his permit from September 1, 1949. Notice it says Dad is a resident of Colorado, but that was his army address–he was actually from Chicago. Was he really living in Colorado at the time–or was it Alaska? I say that because I know he was in Alaska from the stories he used to tell me.

Apparently he took time out to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, too.

Fish experts: what kind of fish did Dad catch?

Two and a half years ago (how can it be that long ago?!) I posted a series of 12 “episodes” called “My Grandfather’s Story,” which was the results of an interview of Grandpa conducted by a social worker when my grandparents were living in a senior apartment complex. If you want to check the story out, just type My Grandfather’s Story into the search bar of this blog and you will be taken to links to all the posts.

But my own family interviewed Grandpa (and Grandma, too) about life in “the old days,” as well!

I thought I would share a very brief clip where Grandpa is being interviewed about where he was born, and a bit about the neighborhood he was family was living in. It relates to a post where I wondered about a house the Leeuwenhoeks may have lived in. This would have been Grandpa’s Aunt Jen and Uncle Lou and their daughter Alice. You can find it here: Did the Leeuwenhoeks Live Here? After getting information from a reader, I posted Library Research on That Little House in the Woods.

Now we hear in Grandpa’s own words what he has to say about the neighborhood. When my mother asks about “the brick house,” she means Richard DeKorn’s (Grandpa’s grandfather) house. See it and read about it here: The Richard DeKorn House. My aunt Alice is seated on our left, and she begins the questions. Uncle Don is in the middle, and that is Mom on his other side.

One of the interesting points Grandpa mentions is that his grandfather, Richard DeKorn, owned three houses in the first block of Balch. By first block, I believe he means from the corner of Balch and Burdick. One would be the “brick house” he built himself. One of the others might be the Leeuwenhoek house.

Grandpa liked to tell stories about the past, so I think he would have liked these blog posts.

 

Grandpa and his father

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