Once again I came across a copy of a photograph I first saw in a cousin’s 1948 wedding album in Florida. Cousin Nita, whom I “found” in 2004 and bonded with immediately, has shown me her dog-eared wedding album several times. The most recent time, her daughter Susie drove me to a store where we were able to make copies of several of the photographs.
The next challenge was to identify the relatives in the pictures. Nita knew the ones from New York, where she grew up and the wedding took place, and her own paternal aunts, uncles and cousins from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Identifying the woman seated second from right and the gentleman standing behind her, however, proved to be a challenge.
I’ve studied the faces. Based upon the relationships of the other guests at the table, it seemed to me it could be my mother-in-law’s aunt who lived in Plainfield, New Jersey. That aunt married and had four children. From that brood, there was one lone grandchild. Unfortunately, he and the rest of that nuclear family no longer are living.
With the ease of the iPhone, I took a shot of the group and sent it along to an elder cousin from New Jersey, to confirm the one unidentified couple in the picture is who I think.* If it is a sister of Nita’s paternal grandfather and my husband’s maternal grandmother, it will be the only picture I know of that exists of Nita’s grandaunt and granduncle from “far away” in New Jersey. Her story, however, is recorded in my family history book so that her legacy will live on.
Finding Nita resulted in a lasting friendship, which was enhanced with family facts. From her 1948 wedding album, as a bonus, we now have a formal image of the many members of the family we had only heard about before. After sharing a copy of my manuscript with cousin Nita, she insisted on giving me my first advance for a copy of my book. I cannot wait to deliver and share my work, which was enriched by finding Nita.
*Our cousin born in 1933 identified the mystery couple in the photograph as his mother’s aunt Esther and her husband [Abraham Schneider] from Plainfield, just as I had thought.