Sunday, June 12, 2016

This great old cabinet card is from the Peoria, Illinois area



Somehow connected to the Krumholz-Weber-Wernsman-Schmitt families that lived in and around the Peoria, Illinois area.

Possibly a child of Joseph Krumholz, later of Fairbury, Illinois.

Hopefully someone can help identify this unknown child.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Krumholz... What Are They & Where Are They From?

"Krumholz" is not a extremely common surname. Which for researchers of the name (like me!), is a good thing. It seems that most lines in the United States can be traced by to just a handful of immigrant ancestors. Linking those folks is where the challenge lies.

The 2013 Dictionary of Family Names, gives the meaning of Krumholz as--

German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Krumbholz ‘bent timber’, ‘mountain pine’, hence probably a metonymic occupational name for a cartwright or wheelwright. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental.

"bent timber" that would appear to be what the name describes

My personal Krumholz lineage is a Catholic family traced back to a small area in Baden, Germany that is nestled along the Alsatian border. The family lived in the area for hundreds of years, where descendants still reside today.


There is also another Krumholz branch that is from Eastern Germany and parts of what is now Poland. These Jewish Krumholz family lines immigrated to large numbers to the United States, and like millions of others were nearly exterminated during World War II. 


In the early days, the name often had an extra 'm'-- Krummholz. Though that appears to have been dropped by descendants today, on both sides of the ocean.

With such a limited number of people with this surname, you'd think it would be link up descendants & figure out how they are connected--- Not So! Though it is a project that would be interesting to undertake sometime in the future.

For social media users & Krumholz relatives- a Facebook page exists to keep us all united Krumholz Family News & Genealogy

Do you have Krumholz ancestors in your family tree?
Have you had luck researching/connecting your unusual surnames?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TBT- Photos of Yesteryear- Erwin & Vera Bruce

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is-

Vera & Erwin Bruce



Erwin Bruce, the younger brother of my Great-Grandmother, was born in 1909 in Linn County, Iowa, the last of four children born to Owen Rutherford Bruce & Sally Estella "Essie" George. After his parents 1916 divorce, he moved to Minnesota with his Mother & Step-Father.


He lived in Minnesota and worked for many years as a farm hand for area farmers, later he moved to California where two of his siblings had relocated to. Eventually, in middle age, he was married to Vera Stinson Graves, a divorcee. 


They lived in the Cotati area where Vera died of a heart attack in 1968 at age 61. Just over 2 years later, Erwin also 61, died of a heart attack.

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Time For a Family Reunion!!

We are into the full swing of Summer [finally!] and what do genealogist love to do in Summer?? 
—that’s right, attend family reunions!



Whether annual family association gatherings of 500 people or a lunch date with 8 cousins – ‘reunions’ are a great way to further research and to maintain contact and relationships with living, breathing relatives!

This Summer is particularly active for me, in the family reunion department! I've been spearheading a large reunion for one branch of my family over the last year & a half. It will finally be later this month. As anyone who has organized a large reunion knows, it can be a lot of work. Unfortunately, while this is a very large extended family, the attendance seems to be far less than I'd hoped for.... it can be challenging to find a date/location that works for a large family that is spread across the United States.
A 1940's reunion full of unidentified relatives of The Dead Relative Collector



July is when I have the opportunity to attend 2 other family reunions! One has been happening for 70  years! And while the last decade has seen us lose so many of our treasured older generation – we still come together the second Sunday of July and celebrate what connects us! Later in the month, the siblings of my Grandfather & their families gather for a reunion as well.

It's a wonderful time to catch up with those living breathing relatives that we don't always get a chance to see or spend time with... and a time to share stories or photos as well! I know I always drag along a bunch of "mystery photos" in hopes of getting some of them identified.

In case you are thinking of planning your own reunion & are looking for a few resources-- here are a couple of links for planning a reunion of your very own!
Mister Spiffy's Reunion Planner
Your Midsize Family Reunion: A Planning Checklist
Family Tree Magazine's- 10 Steps to Family Reunion Success



  • Do you have any annual family reunions? 
  • Or at least one scheduled for this year?
  • What traditions do you have?
  • Do you have a program?
  • When was your last one?


Have you found it a benefit in having a program – or do you think folks prefer the big group free flowing social time?


If you haven’t had a family reunion in a while [or for some- EVER!] perhaps it’s time for you to start planning one!


Please feel free to post family reunion ideas, dilemmas, or links to your family reunion stories the comments below!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mystery Photo- Mrs. Emil Peterson- Elmore, MN

I recently rescued this great family cabinet card!




















From a Buffalo Center, Iowa photography studio...
"Mrs. Emil Peterson-  Elmore, MN" is written on the backside

A lovely old cabinet card of what appears to be a Mother & her 5 children. It would be wonderful to reunite this with a family member who would treasure it.

I've yet to research into the Peterson family of Elmore, but hopefully someone out there can claim this piece of memorabilia!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mystery Photo- Annie Lee of Mankato, MN

I recently rescued this lovely cabinet card photo




This fine portrait is identified as "Annie Lee" and comes from a Mankato, Minnesota photographer.

I've yet to do any research to look into Annie Lee or her possible family. Perhaps another research familiar with the Lee family can find where she belongs?!

Hopefully someone can claim this wonderful photo for their family archive so she can be returned 'home'!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

TBT- Photos of Yesteryear- Ralph & Minnie Maine

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
Today it is my Great-Great Grandparents
Ralph & Minnie Maine



Ralph & Minnie Maine with Larrie & baby Thora
about 1899 in Winnebago, MN

Ralph & Minnie Maine were married on Christmas Day 1895, at the home of Minnie's parents in what is now rural Cass County. Ralph & Minnie frequently moved back & forth from Northern Minnesota to Southern Minnesota over the years.

This photo of the young couple was taken around 1899, when Thora was a baby. By Summer, the family had relocated back to Northern Minnesota and had a new baby in the family- Blanche! Three more children- Loren, Hiram & Vernie would follow over the next 8 years.

Ralph died unexpectedly after suffering a stroke in 1939, at the home of his daughter Vernie. Minnie remained on the homestead until her death in 1953.
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Other "Maine" posts include: