Posts Tagged ‘antique photograph identification’

These photos have been a mystery to me since the 1970s. On the back of the woman’s photo it says “Mother’s aunt.”


Notice that the photo says the photographer was in the city of Groningen. This is the largest city in the north of Netherlands, and a very old city. But it’s not where my family came from. And here is another photo that was right next to the lady’s photo.


These are the only photos I have from Groningen, to my knowledge. The people don’t show any familial resemblance, but that–as we know–doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

What is more confusing is whose aunt she is. I have to assume that “Mother” means Cora DeKorn Zuidweg, Grandpa’s mother. It couldn’t be Grandma’s mother. Not only are most of our photos from Grandpa’s family, Grandma’s mother wasn’t Dutch, but Prussian.

So Cora. Or Cora’s mother? Or Grandpa’s father’s mother?

First, I looked at Cora’s aunts. Her aunts all came to the United States. They were the Paak sisters–none of whom look ANYTHING like the woman in this photo. And then on her father’s side, Mary DeKorn DeSmit and Jennie DeKorn Culver were her aunts. NOT these ladies.

Second, I went back a generation. Alice Paak’s aunts were the Bassas–no Groningen there–and the Paaks–no Groningen there either.

What about Richard DeKorn’s aunts? His mother had a lot of brothers, but only one sister–and she remained in Kapelle her entire life. His father had one half-sister (and a lot of half-brothers and one brother), Pieternella DeKorn. That family is still a bit of a mystery. She might have been born in Kruiningen, but I don’t know where she lived or when she died.

So how can the lady in the photo be “Mother’s aunt”??? The only other possibility that I can think of would be Jennie Zuidweg (Jennegien Bomhof), Grandpa’s grandmother. Let’s say his mother Cora wrote “Mother’s aunt” and meant her mother-in-law’s aunt. Is that possible? Jennie is from the only branch that was completely outside of Zeeland (until she came to Goes and married Johannes Zuidweg). She was born in Zwolle, Overjissel. That is 66 miles from Groningen, whereas Goes is 205 miles away.

BUT!!! Before we get too excited, what years did Reinier Uges have a photography studio? 1889-1914!!  How can that be the aunt of a lady (Jennie Zuidweg) who was born in 1838 (and died in the U.S. in 1924). This lady would have to be a generation younger than Jennie, wouldn’t she?

All in all, I’m pretty sure that “Mother’s aunt” meant Grandpa’s mother’s aunt, thus an aunt of Cora DeKorn Zuidweg.

But that is impossible.

You see how frustrating this is?!

Any ideas about the age of the woman and the age of the man would be helpful!!

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We just got back from Lake Tahoe last night, and I have a lot of catching up to do—including blog reading!

This beautiful funeral photograph from Kalamazoo seems to belong to someone in my family, but who is the mystery woman? I have not been able to figure it out. If anybody has any ideas, based on knowledge of the family or even based on photos I’ve already posted, please let me know!

Any idea on what decade this is? Was this typical of a certain era to create a tableau like this from a funeral? The only other photo I have that is similar is the one for Louis Van Wyck‘s funeral in 1911. His funeral was hosted by the Salvation Army.

John M. Reidsema ran his photography business in Kalamazoo from at least 1889 – 1905, possibly earlier and/or later.

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Here’s another unidentified photograph. The cardboard frame says it’s from Kalamazoo, but of course, it could be a copy. That said, I have noticed that most of my photographs of adults have been taken in Kalamazoo, not brought from the Netherlands or mailed from the Netherlands either. Nevertheless, maybe my unidentified pix fit into that latter category!


I have no notes from Grandpa on this one. He’s certainly Dutch, even the frame is from a Dutch photographer.  He’s balding, but tries to make up for it with his rather wild mustache.  Looks like he uses a curling iron for it.

His glasses are noted. But what I find particularly interesting is the color and tie. Surely that is a style from a certain period? Maybe even the cut of his coat lapels?

His posture is ramrod straight, so he at least wants to give the impression of a business man or upstanding citizen.

Any ideas about this one? Decade? His age?

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