March 2011 Making Connections

March 2011 Making Connections

Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine.

Frame Game
The Photo Detective article in the December 2010 issue was most interesting. I have a few antique photos whose subjects I’ve identified, but I’d never stopped to consider the frames, which have decorative mats. Thanks to your article, I now know they were taken after the 1850s.

At right is a photo of sisters Christine and Dora Hupfer — Christine is my great-grandmother. They’re the granddaughters of Barbara Schmeisser Lang, of whom I also have a daguerreotype. Barbara (1798-1867), the daughter of a count, gave up her status to marry the man she loved: their grounds­keeper. Barbara and Peter Lang had nine children and immigrated to the United States in 1865 to follow their married daughters. Peter died of pneumonia while traveling on the Mississippi River near Cairo, Ill. I’d always felt Barbara’s photo must have been taken after she was in the United States — otherwise, wouldn’t he be in the photo, too?

I have no idea how old the girls are in this picture, but if was taken around the same time as Barbara’s picture, Christine would have been 8 to 10 years old — feasible. I was always more interested in what my ancestors looked like, but now I know to pay attention to the frame, too.

Sharon Brecke » Hollister, Mo.

Dairy Good
I alway enjoy Family Tree Magazine, but I was especially interested in the December 2010 article “As the World Churns.” I have the same type of butter churn as the one pictured on page 12. After World War II, my father took over the family farm and my grandparents left behind the butter churn, a Dazey Churn.

Tom and Susan Towner » via e-mail

Baltic Bliss
Thank you so much for your fine article “Back to Baltics” by Lisa A. Alzo (November 2010). It was very timely because my husband and I spent three weeks in September exploring his Lithuanian roots. We hired an excellent family researcher at The Information Bureau http://www.lithuaniavisits.com, and he located family members for us. We had a wonderful visit with them. Lithuania is an excellent country for tourists with spectacular churches, UNESCO Heritage Sites, national parks and much more.

Katlin Smith » Vancouver, Wash.

Reuse, Recycle
I just picked up the November 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine, my first one. Terrific! Looks like I’ll have to get the whole decade on DVD.

An item in the article “Wide Open Spaces” concerned me, however. Though you have great suggestions for saving space, I have one comment: Don’t donate your used magazines to a library! As a librarian for a public library, most of what we get in donations is falling apart. And most libraries don’t take used old magazines. If you want to give it a try, call first and ask if they want the magazines, and be honest about their condition.

My suggestions would be to contact a local historical or genealogical society and ask if they want the magazines. Or sell them on eBay http://ebay.com. (That’s where I got my copy.)

When I turn down donations, the most frequent comment I get is, “I just can’t bear to throw out books and magazines.” My response: Recycle them. That’s what we’d do with your old magazines, anyway — we just don’t have the room to keep all the things we’re given.

Kathy Lindemann » Los Angeles

Write and Reason
My great-great-grandfather had two wives; I’m descended from the second. I have a letter written by the first wife’s son-in-law to his son that provided some family history, and concluded with the following wisdom: “If you feel disposed to hunt up the other branches of the family, you may occupy a good portion of the remainder of your life.” How true.

Shirley Reeve » Rochester Hills, Mich.

Correction: Page 44 of the December 2010 Family Tree Magazine incorrectly cited the year of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. The correct year is 1814, as listed elsewhere in the article. We regret the error.

From the March 2011 Family Tree Magazine

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