#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Photo

Last year when the prompt was “favorite photo” I chose one from my family. This time, I’m showing a favorite photo from my husband’s family. It’s one of the pictures in the collection of my mother-in-law, Shirley Raney Lindsey. I took my scanner when we went over for Christmas in 2019, and while the rest of the family visited, I scanned.

This is one of my favorites. A man and a woman with a basket of pretzels and rolls at an outdoor venue in Germany. I am not sure who these people are, but I would love to eat one of their pretzels.

These two look ready to pass out or sell pretzels and other baked goods at an outdoor dining area, possibly a Bier Garten, perhaps for Oktoberfest. The woman could be Helen Schiesl’s mother, Theresa Brummer.

Shirley’s mother Helen Schiesl was born in München (or Munich), Germany, in 1892. Her parents, so I’m told, were Norbert Schiesl and Theresa Brummer. In 1907, when Helen was just 15 years old, she sailed for America on the steamship Pretoria. According to passenger records, she would be staying with her Aunt Ursula Hartfeld in Orange, New Jersey.

I found Ursula Brummer Hardfeld, whose father was Mathias Brummer (his wife was Ursula Kros Brummer), but I’m not sure of the relationship. Ursula Brummer Hardfield was born in 1872. If Mathias was her mother’s brother, Ursula would be her cousin. Since her aunt was also an Ursula, perhaps she was just a little confused. Or maybe Mathias was Helen’s much older brother, in which case she would be Ursula Hardfeld’s aunt. I don’t know how Helen’s English was, or if the person filling out the paperwork spoke German. It’s unfortunate that I can’t connect these two parts of the family tree, but hopefully someday I’ll figure out how that branch fits in.

I think the woman in the pretzel photo may be Theresa Brummer (pictured below in a photo colorized using the tool at MyHeritage), but it could also be a family member with a strong resemblance. What do you think? Please leave a note in the comments.

My second favorite photo from that day of scanning is this one, labeled by Shirley as Mom’s Grandfather. I colorized this one at MyHeritage as well. Doesn’t he look distinguished? I have so many questions, though. I can’t quite make out his lapel pin. I feel like it would tell me something about him if I could just tell what it was. He’s holding a picture of a woman. Was this his wife? I wish he had tilted it a bit more towards the camera, so we could get a better look.

Helen Schiesl’s Grandfather

Here’s another photo that may offer a clue to his identity. Is this the same man, Helen’s grandfather? And is the woman Helen’s mother, Theresa? That could indicate that he is her Brummer grandfather. But, could the man pictured here be his son, Theresa’s husband, Norbert Schiesl? Or could the adults be Theresa’s parents, and perhaps she’s the young girl? I can’t even make out the writing well enough to transcribe it. I assume they’re names, but just three out of the five people pictured.

It would be nice to identify everyone and determine what happened to them all. Perhaps someday, hopefully within my lifetime, someone will find these photos who has well labeled copies in their possession. Then, the mystery will be solved!

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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3 Responses to #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Photo

  1. Barb LaFara says:

    Nice collection of old photos, thanks for sharing. Compare the noses of the men in these images, I think some are the same men at different ages. And, I think the lady is the same in all 3. IMHO

  2. Kira Foltz says:

    Pretzel photo just makes me hungry!

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