Monday, March 28, 2011

A Family Gathering by the Car!

I love seeing old photos especially those that contain multiple family members in them. In the realm of genealogy research, an extra plus of connecting with distant cousins is the opportunity to share photos. I am always hoping for photos that are "the older, the better".

I was fortunate to receive many photos from my paternal grandmother, Ella Schulte, and many of the photos came to me via HER mother, Amelia Schluessler Wellhausen. My great-grandmother passed away when I was 16 and I knew her well. Many of my older photos are from my great-grandmother's Schluessler family and just as many are unidentified as to all of the people in the photo and the dates taken. Sometimes it is a bit easier to date a photo if children are included and one can go to their genealogy information and pinpoint a bit better a date that a photo was taken. In other cases, where no children are included, it becomes tougher.

How about dating a photo from the automobile in the snapshot? Maybe that would work. Here are some examples.

My Schluessler family obviously liked family gatherings as I have many group photos in my collection involving different time periods. They evidently also liked taking photos by their auto.

Wilhelm Schluessler, Sr. & Minnie Schluessler Bredow

This photo actually includes my second great-grandfather, Wilhelm Schluessler, so it was a real prize. Inside the car, sitting in the back seat is my great-grandmother, Amelia Schluessler Wellhausen. Next to her is her brother in law, Ellis Rine (married to her sister, Helena Schluessler Rine) and next to him is Vina Winegard, daughter of Minnie Schluessler Bredow.

Standing outside the car from left to right is Helena Schluessler (sister-in-law of my great-grandmother who was married to William Schluessler, Jr.), followed by Mrs. Charles (Wilhelmina) Bredow, and my second great-grandfather, Wilhelm Schluessler. Sitting next to him is his sister, Minnie Schluessler Bredow, followed by an unknown woman and on the end is Minnie Bredow's son, Charles Bredow.

Here is a different view with my second great-grandfather, Wilhelm Schluessler, and his sister, Minnie Schluessler Bredow.

Wilhelm Schluessler and sister, Minnie Schluessler Bredow

Wilhelmina (Minnie) Schluessler was born in March, 1842 in Fahrenwalde, Kreis Pasewalk, Pommern and her brother, Wilhelm Schluessler, was born on June 25, 1845 in Fahrenwalde, Kreis Pasewalk, Pommern. They were the children of Christian Frederick Schluessler and Wilhelmina Krumbach who were from the neighboring village of Neuenfeld, Kreis Pasewalk, Pommern. All came at varying times to the US and settled in the Macomb County area of Michigan.

While I am not knowledgeable as to what type of car this was and what time period this would have been from I do know that the photo was taken between 1913 and 1932. My second great-grandmother, Amelia Schauer Schluessler - wife of the above Wilhelm Schluessler - is not pictured and she passed away in 1913. Wilhelm himself lived until 1932. I am sure there are readers out there, though, who probably will recognize the car and perhaps would be able to estimate the type and year of the automobile. I am guessing the photo to be from the mid-1920's as I do have other photos of these family members with different automobiles in which children born in the late 20's and early 30's are included.

As an aside to this post, I visited the areas of Neuenfeld and Fahrenwalde in 1993 and took some photos of these ancestral villages which were most difficult to find. If not for my sister-in-law, with her GPS ability (before GPS was around) we would have missed the little paths leading to these villages.

Neuenfeld, Kreis Pasewalk, Germany - 1993

Fahrenwalde, Kreis Pasewalk, Germany - 1993

Fahrenwalde, Kreis Pasewalk, Germany - 1993

It was well worth the effort to search out these towns and walk the paths where my Schluessler ancestors walked more than 100 years earlier.

Above photos from personal collection of Cheryl Schulte


Jasia said...

You have such a great collection of family photos, Cheryl. It seems like you have something on every topic. Lucky you!

I love these old car pics!

Thanks for sharing and thanks for participating in the COG!

Cheryl said...

Another great COG, Jasia.

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Great post! Absolutely LOVE those photos!!

Courtney said...

Great article!

Some day I'd like to track down my ancestors in their native country myself. Mine are from the Rheinland-Pfaltz area of Germany.

Loved the pictures, as well!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Lisa and Courtney, for stopping by.

lindalee said...

Great family photo in the old car. I wish I knew a little more about identifying older autos, too. I only have one car photo from the mid 1920's....perhaps it is a Ford. Thank you for sharing your family.

Cheryl said...

Lindalee, Thanks for dropping by and introducing me to your blog as well.

Linda Gartz said...

Love the Schluessler family in front of what looks to me (I'm not expert) like a model A or Model T Ford -- can't see the whole thing, but my parents had one (and was my CoG car) they called Blitzbuggy. Wonderful photos and post