Sunday, September 20, 2009

Probably Henry & Elizabeth Meinzen's Daughters

This black and white photocopy was in the box from Aunt Polly. There were no identifiers on it. No names, no dates. But because it was with some other photocopies of people we know are Meinzen kin, I'm assuming that these ladies are Henry & Elizabeth's daughters. In fact, three of them look like Meinzens to me!

It's an interesting photo. Taken in a rural setting, 2 of the ladies seem to be sitting on the ground, one on a stool, and one is standing. The lady who's standing has her foot on a cloth on the knee of the lady on the left who seems to be fixing the hem of the standing lady's skirt. What a pose for a photograph. Why this pose in this rural setting? Is there some humor we're missing? Was there some joke between these ladies? Is there a story to go with this photograph? Who was the photographer? Was he or she an amateur or new to photography and is that why the subjects of the photograph are not in or near the center of the picture? I wish I had details about this photo - people, setting, context, story, etc.

Based on the clothing and hair styles, I believe this photo was taken between 1900 and 1908. That's a fairly wide date range, but it's a start. More research to do.

Henry & Elizabeth had 6 living daughters. All of them would have been alive in 1900 and in 1908. Hannah would have been 25 or 33; Isabelle would have been 20 or 28; Mina, 15 or 23; Lula, 13 or 21; Bertha, 12 or 20; and Naomi, 2 or 10.

So which sisters could these be? All 3 of the women definitely have the Meinzen look to them. The girl in front looks less like a Meinzen. The lady on the left looks older than the others. Could she be Hannah? Could the lady at the back be Aunt Mina or Aunt Belle? And Aunt Lula the lady standing? What about the girl in front? Bertha in 1900? Or Naomi in 1908? The girl looks older than 10, so it's probably not Naomi.

Perhaps it's a mystery I'll never solve, though perhaps some Meinzen relative, a descendant of one of the women in the photo, will find this blog post and recognize a great-grandmother based on some other family photograph. That's my hope!

For anyone who's interested, here's information about Henry's and Elizabeth's daughters:

Hannah, b. 13 Feb 1875, m. 27 Mar 1907, d. 4 Sep 1910 from having 3 daughters in 3 years (so states her death certificate).
Marie Isabella, (Aunt Belle), b. 28 Aug 1880, m. 20 Nov 1901, d. 1 Sep 1967.
Elizabeth Wilhelmina, (Aunt Mina), b. 26 Jan 1885, m. 1910, d. 14 Mar 1986.
Lula Bernesa, (Aunt Lula), b. 20 Jan 1887, m. 26 Dec 1911, d. 27 Oct 1979.
Bertha, b. 7 Oct 1888, m. 11 Jul 1906, d. 14 May 1918 from facial erysipelas (a form of strep) with a contributory cause of carbuncle (so says her death certificate).
Naomi Faye, (Aunt Naomi), b. 22 May 1898/1899, m. 2 Sep 1916, d. 2 Dec 1979.

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