Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stecher Family Album

Finally got around to photographing images from an album that I believe was assembled by my grandfather. He identifies his mother, his aunts and uncles and cousins who lived in and around Boston and in New York state. His mother (my great-grandmother) was one of 11 children of Melchoir and Helene (Roethler) Stecher of Achern, Germany. After Helene died, Melchior decided to come to America with his younger children. His oldest daughter, Jacobine, remained in Germany.

Above is a photo of my great-grandmother who was born in Achern, Germany, in 1836. Her firstborn son died during a cholera epidemic in Boston. As far as my grandfather knew, his father simply disappeared. Below is a photo of my great-grandmother's younger sister, Caroline. Caroline died at age 34 in 1879. My great-grandmother died at age 59 in 1895. Her death certificate said that she was married (rather than widowed or divorced or separated) at the time of her death. I found a record on that showed evidence of separation papers, but I was unable to obtain those records as they had been lost somehow. My great-grandmother looks world-weary compared to her younger sister, and no wonder. Family secrets and tragedy must have weighed heavily on her. I keep thinking that something will turn up on the internet some day to solve the mystery of my great-grandfather's disappearance. I was shocked to find on the internet that my missing great-grandfather's father, a retired weaver, committed suicide by hanging, at age 93, in 1891.

There are no photos of my grandfather in the old album, but here is a photo of him in 1916, the year my mother was born, before he served in the Army as a doctor in World War I, and another with my grandmother in 1920:

I've added a Flickr badge with photos from the album my side bar on the right with photos of descendants and in-laws of Melchior and Helene Stecher from Achern. Still have more photos to take from the album.

Late in the day, as I was working on this, I looked up and saw a rainbow:

Update: Oh dear. I can't believe I spelled descendant as "descendent" on the URL for my Flickr page for the Stecher family photos.

As a dear person once said to me, "Welcome to the human race."

As a former medical transcriptionist, I have lived for many years with the expectation that my spelling be perfect. Little room for mistakes in that field. It feels very strange to realize that I can make spelling mistakes like everyone else now without taking a cut financially! I've been amazed again and again that not all people work at jobs where there is such a pronounced expectation of perfection.

You mean I don't have to be perfect?

What a relief!

1 comment:

The Solitary Walker said...

am - I quit my proofreading course a while ago because I realised I could not even hope to attain the expected standard of punctilious, typographical perfection! What a relief it was for me too. I could live again.