This is post #2 of 52, part of the writing series 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks by Amy Johnson Crow.
Recently I figured out who was in a photo in my grandmother’s collection and it completely floored me.
When I became the caretaker of my grandmother’s photos, I had them all digitally scanned. Few photos had names or dates on them. Periodically I’d go through them using the clues of the clothing and objects to guess a date. With the dates, I could figure out the people using my family history research.
This photo is a middle-age woman and two young girls. From the high necklines and ankle-length dress of the woman’, I guessed it was taken in the 1890’s. The girls look to be close in age, a few years apart at most, and seem a little serious. The mother seems resolved.
In my grandmother’s family tree, there is only one woman with two girls close in age in the 1890’s: her grandmother. Rebecca Lauck married William Heberling in a second marriage for both of them after their spouses died. Together they had two girls, Verna in 1888 and Anna in 1890. Rebecca died October 4, 1895 when she was 46 years old. This photo has two girls who could be 7 and 5 years old with a woman who could be 46 years old.
It must be Rebecca before she dies with her young daughters. Did she know she was dying and posed for this photo with her daughters so they could remember her?
It’s amazing to think about. My great grandmother and great-great grandmother together in a photo just waiting for me to discover it.