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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan history’

Today’s photo is completely unidentified except that it was in a pile of family photos. Most likely, it was taken in Kalamazoo, but without knowing anyone in the photo, I can’t even be sure of that. I hope someone can identify one or more of these young ladies in their fancy outfits a la Pollyanna.

The three girls in the center have the giant hair bows. The girl on our left wears a very frilly hat. And the girl on our right: is she wearing a big snood to hold her hair?

I saw a cute meme about hair bows the other days.

Welcome to Women’s History Month (as of March 1)! Kin Types is a good addition to Women’s History Month.

“Kin Types exhumes the women who have died long ago to give life to them, if only for a few moments. Through genealogical and historical research, Luanne Castle has re-discovered the women who came before her. Using an imaginative lens, she allows them to tell their stories through lyric poems, prose poems, and flash nonfiction.”

Kin Types makes a good gift for Women’s History Month!

 

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I’ve been spending time with Mom this week, so I thought I’d post a photo of her as a little girl. Here she is wearing a cute hat and with her little sister Alice and her best friend Marion Van Dam.

And, yes, Mom and Marion are still good friends.

Kalamazoo history

I am guessing that this photo was taken in Kalamazoo around 1942 because Aunt Alice was born in 1941. What kind of car is that behind them? Is that a tiny purse in Mom’s hand?

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I am posting more “new” photos today and relaxing about not doing research outside of the photos (for now).

This photo is a Mulder family reunion. I’d like to see if we could identify everyone. I see Uncle Al, 3rd from left seated. And Aunt Vena, standing, with her arms crossed in front of her, looking over her left shoulder. I think my grandparents MIGHT be peeking over shoulders in the back.

Mom? Uncle Don? Can we figure out who all is in the pic?

This photo was taken at my great-grandparents’ farm–that of Charles and Clara Waldeck in Caldedonia.

In another farm pic, this is Uncle Chuck and Uncle Pete, the two sons of Charles and Clara.

Again at the farm. Is this Aunt Vena as a teen? Or is it Aunt Dorothy? I read a joke on Facebook the other day about someone taking care of chickens being a “chicken tender.”

I am hoping we can put some names to these photos. Also, these photos are from different years. I wonder how close we can come to figuring it out.

The first clue for the reunion photo, which is useful as one of many, is that Aunt Vena and Uncle Al got married in 1935. That is not enough by itself, of course. Then I wonder if the women’s hairstyles and clothing could be from the 40s. Any ideas?

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At the end of this post, I wrote an update.

Instead of griping about not having time to do genealogy research, I’ve decided to change my attitude. I am so blessed with so many old family photos, that my time is best spent right now trying to identify the photos!

Today’s photo is labelled, but it still presents a few problems. The date is 1951. I don’t know the location, but believe that the location is probably in southwest Michigan. The names are Cora, Fred, Godfrey, Anna.

Waldeck surname

Godrey has to be Gottfried Waldeck (Jr), born 18 December 1880 somewhere in “Germany”–most likely Prussia. He was married to Anna Christine Ruehs. She was born 2 December 1882 (same birthday as my mom!). My mother knew them as Uncle Godfrey and Aunt Anna. I’ve written about him before–how he drove his tractor down the block to work in his fields when he was blind. How I saw him do just that.

I asked Mom, and she confirmed that the two on our right are definitely Uncle Godfrey and Aunt Anna.

I like the photo without the orange a bit better.

But who are Cora and Fred? Godfrey had a brother, Fred. He’s the one who lived at the state hospital. He had brain damage from a terrible accident that happened when he was young and newly married with a young child. Fred was born in 1869 and died in 1953, so he would have been 81 in 1951. You can read more about him at Waldeck Family Research. This man does look the right age, but would he have been in good shape like this? Dressed up in a nice suit and tie?

Take a look at this photo of one of the old Kalamazoo State Hospital photos. It could be the building behind them.

Here is the family photo that includes Fred as a young man. Fred is back row, left side. Godfrey is front row, right side.

I am hoping that I can get verification that this is, indeed, Fred Waldeck who lived at the State Hospital. In comparing the younger Fred to the older Fred in the photos, I do think it is the same person.

If I could find out who Cora was that would be even more amazing!

UPDATE:

Thanks to Linda Stufflebean from http://www.emptybranchesonthefamilytree.com/ I was able to put together the pieces of who is in the photo and who is probably holding the camera.

All along I have been imagining Fred as abandoned at the “asylum” all those years. After all, his son was still almost a baby when Fred was injured. His wife Caroline Meir had to work for a farmer and leave her son Edward with her mother in Grand Rapids. Eventually she became a nurse and lived with her mother and with Edward. Caroline probably worked very hard her whole life and raised Edward to become a pastor. She passed away in 1946.

This new “find,” the photo identified as Cora, Fred, Godrey, and Anna, 1951, shows that the family visited Fred. Cora is Fred’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Edward who must be taking the photograph. So on this day in 1951, Fred’s son and daughter-in-law, and his only surviving brother, Godfrey, and Godfrey’s wife Anna visited Fred who was dressed up in a suit and tie for the occasion. The only close family members not in the photograph, in fact, are my great-grandparents, Clara and Charles Mulder. Clara was Fred’s only surviving sister by 1951.

Little tidbit of info: Fred was to die less than two years later, in January 1953. Clara died mere months after her brother, on 6 September 1953.

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When I scan old family photos I always think it’s particularly cool when photos include other people in Kalamazoo (or elsewhere) because if I post them online, there is a chance the descendants of these people can find their relatives’ photos. This has happened before, and I hope it continues to happen.

The photo for today is of a Sunday School class of young “men” at Bethany Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. If you click on the next photo you can be taken to the church history on the church’s website.

The church began as a tiny chapel near the corner of Burdick and Maple in 1905. By 1907, the building above was built to house the rapidly growing congregation. By 1910 there were 69 member families, all of the Reformed denomination (and presumably Dutch or of Dutch ancestry).

As you can see by the back of my photo, it was taken around 1918 (so imagine the church growth by then).

The sticker was put on in the 80s, I imagine, by my grandparents.

Here is the front:

Let’s look at it a little closer:

The church was probably right by houses, but I don’t know whether the photo was taken outside the church (with a house behind the boys) or if it was taken in someone’s yard. They do look dressed for church here.

Do you think my grandfather was one of these boys? He would have been about ten in 1918.

Mom? Uncle Don? Anybody? There is only one boy here who I think looks at all like Grandpa.

About the church: although it was the Great Depression, the new building that still stands today was dedicated in 1932. It continued to be added on to for many years. In the 1960s, I attended Vacation Bible School for one summer. My grandmother was babysitting while my mother was working, so it was easy for me to go to Bible School across the street, although our church was out in Portage. Unfortunately, in 1972, vandals set fire to the sanctuary, which was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt within a year.

I took a screenshot of the church as it looks today on Google Maps. Same building where I went to class 55 years ago.

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Of all the amazing antique and vintage photos of my family that I now have in my files and on my computer, perhaps the majority are of the Remine branch. I could post their photos every day for a year most likely and you wouldn’t see the same one twice. But photos only tell part of the story of a family. The other day I stepped into Ancestry and ended up clicking on a leaf-hint for Grandpa’s cousin Harold Remine (1st cousin, 1x removed). I discovered a page from a book of graduates of the University of Michigan from 1923.

I’ve written about Harold a few times. His career as an engineer for Montreal is touched upon in An Update on the Career of Harold Remine. A photo of his wife Lillian in her wedding dress is Lillian Heddle Remine. There are many more about Harold, as well as his sisters Therese (owner of Ramona Park at one time) and Genevieve Tazelaar.

Here is the entry about Harold.

B.S.E.E. I know means Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. But the rest? Was he in the navy? OK, I looked that up. United States Naval Reserve Force. 1918. So he was in WWI. I wish I knew more about his service! What does “With Detroit Edison Co.” mean? That he got a job there and will now work there? That he already works there? And is the address where he lived or where he worked?

Take a look at the full page so you can see how others are listed. Many do not have addresses. I think if you click twice the photo will enlarge. (But I am not an engineer).

In another exciting genealogical discovery, someone read one of the posts here and confirmed an identity for me.

Do you remember me writing about my grandfather’s girlfriend before Grandma? Check this post out: Grandpa’s Girlfriend.

I figured out she had to be Margaret Christine Garthe, but of course I couldn’t know for sure. Well, her granddaughter found the post and gave a positive identification! How exciting is that! The best part is that I have more pix of her than I have posted on this blog that I can give to Margaret’s granddaughter! Events like this make me love the internet.

 

Here’s one of the other ones:

Margaret was such a cute girl.

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While I haven’t done much genealogy research lately, I have scanned some antique photos. I am eager to get back to the research, but haven’t yet had the time. In the meantime, here is one of the “new” photos I’ve scanned.I love this photo for its moody quality with the reflection of the trees on the house and in the windows, how the closeup of the house almost looks gothic, and his little lace-up boots.

So who are these people and when was it taken? Did they just step outside for the photo? I don’t see warm coats or hats.

This is what the back of the photo says:

Alice Leeuwenhoek and her little cousin, my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg.

Was somebody using this photo as scrap paper to do a little sum? 232 + 94 = 326

So 1914 or 1916? Grandpa was born 31 October 1908. Do you think this photo is 1914, 1915, or 1916?

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