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Archive for May, 2016

Two posts ago, in What I Discovered in the Box of Unscanned Remine Photos, I posted a photo of two girls circa 1870s or 1880s. One reader wondered if one of the girls could be deceased. She saw the wooden stand behind the girl. While I didn’t think this particular girl was deceased, and photographers mainly used stands behind people to help them hold still for the 15-20 minutes required to take the photo, it is true that photos of the dead, called Memento Mori, were quite common.

In fact, I have a Pinterest board devoted to the subject.

Of all the antique photos that I have in my collection, I don’t think I have any memento mori. Apparently, the style did not catch on with my relatives. By the beginning of the 20th century, most of the Victorian form of photographing the dead had (sorry) died out.

However, there is one photo that sometimes I wonder about . . . .

This particular photo might, in fact, be too late. The photographer was in business from at least 1899-1915. I found researched information on the site Bushwacking Genealogy.

Dornbush, Henry G.: Lived 1878-1962. In business at least 1899-1915. Not a photographer in 1920 census.
1899-1915:  120 E. Main

But maybe he was in business a bit before 1899. Or maybe this photo is from 1899 or 1900 and was on the tail end of the fashion.

Why do I wonder about this photograph? Notice the rose the man is wearing. It is upside down. In the 19th century, flowers were a language between people. This photograph has the general feeling of a wedding portrait because of the flowers, but because his flower is upside down, it likely means he is in mourning.

Notice how her body leans into and behind him, but is stiff in appearance. Her gaze is directed off somewhere, while he looks into the camera.

I would like to identify this couple. It’s very possible they are on my family tree. Just in case she is deceased here, any ideas for how to compile a search on Ancestry of death dates? After all, I have a couple thousand people to sort through.

What do you think? Is this photograph memento mori or can all the clues be explained away?

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From being in touch with some Noffke cousins, I now have a lovely copy of one of the Noffke families.

 

My great-grandmother’s brother was Charles Noffke (who married Louisa Rutkowski). If you recall, this was the woman whose death was public and unexplained. I wrote about her death in How to Explain This Death.

They had a son, Herman (1871-1944). This is Herman with his wife Mary Morganer Finkbeiner (1881-1971). These are some of their children.

BACK ROW: Floyd is on the left. He was 1906-1959. On the right was George, born 1901 (died 1990). He was the oldest child.

MIDDLE ROW: Wilbur is the boy in the middle with glasses (1903-1986).

Alfred is the handsome young man on the right (1905-1963).

Roy is the boy on the left (1911-1991).

Carl, as I mentioned, is the little boy (1917-1970).

It has been wonderful to meet Waldeck and Noffke cousins, but they are all wondering the same thing I have been: where in Europe did these people come from? To be clear: both lines apparently came from the same place in Europe. On one death certificate, I do have a town name. But I can’t find this town any place, and I have asked in genealogy Facebook groups to no avail.

Any ideas on this location of origin?

But I guess I have made strides. After all, we used to think the family name was Neffka . . . .

 

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More tintypes! In Mysterious Antique Photographs I shared a beautiful tintype that I own.

Yesterday I opened the box of unscanned Remine photos. I haven’t had time to scan so many photos–or to organize either–but I thought I should just start doing a few a day because when WILL I ever have the time?

And I discovered these beautiful tiny tintypes. The one on the other post is large and painted. These are only 2.25 x 3.5 inches in size–and unpainted.

Because they are in the Remine box I can guess they might be Remines. Judging by the faces, I am ready to conclude they probably are Remines.

Because these girls and women were photographed full length (standing and seated), we can examine their entire outfits to try to guess a time period.

Therese was born in 1891. Could this photo be from around 1900?

I am having trouble identifying the correct information about Therese’s sisters. When I figure it out, this might help in identifying this tintype. For instance, if there were sisters born in 1880 and 1881 as might have been, this photo could, I suppose, be those sisters. If so, one of them is Genevieve Remine Tazelaar and the tintypes would be in the early 1890s.

I suppose the hair and collars could be 1900. But what about the fitted jackets with all the buttons? I can’t find anything like that in photos of 1900. Odd, too, that it would be a tintype if it was as late as 1900.

Here is the other tintype. I’m sorry it’s kind of crooked and uneven. It was difficult to scan it.

What about these outfits? They are not leg o’mutton sleeves, so does that rule out the 1890s?

I guess I am not very good at taking the nuances of change in fashion and extrapolating to what my relatives would have worn (generally a much more conservative version of the fashion).

The woman on our left looks a lot like Mary Paak Remine, Therese’s mother. She was born in 1859. But the woman doesn’t look terribly young in this photo. And then who would the other woman be? She looks NOTHING like the Paak sisters. She is not Mary’s mother because Jacoba Bassa had passed away long before this.

Were these photos taken in the Netherlands or the United States? The Remines were from Kapelle and the Paaks were from Lexmond. Notice the wallpaper/painted background. I’m pretty sure that these photos were taken in the same studio, perhaps near the same time period.

I’m afraid I have more questions now than I did before.

 

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Harold Remine, the brother of Therese Remine, married Lillian Heddle on 7 July 1925 in Port Huron, Michigan.

 

Pretty snazzy outfit and a pretty girl.

What I remember of her was when she was white-haired and living with Harold in a beautiful brownstone in Montreal with fine china and in a lovely lakeside home outside the city. Harold had done quite well for himself (and for her). That was 1967, when I went with my parents to Expo 67, the World’s Fair. (That was a fabulous experience BTW).

In a University of Michigan alumni book (Michigan Alumnus 54 1947) I learned:

Harold H. Remine, ’21, has been promoted from Superintendent of Electrical Distribution to Assistant Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission.

Thank you to Uncle Don for pointing me in the direction to find this.

Harold was a big curling fan. That trip is when I first learned of the existence of the sport.

What do you think of Lillian’s dress? Check out the bottom of the photo . . . .

 

 

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