I awoke this morning with the thought that genealogy is a gift. The trials and perseverance of our ancestors can inform, entertain, sadden, bring joy, and perhaps engender resilience in us. How? Knowing those that walked before us survived pestilence and war during their lifetimes can open our eyes to the simple fact: humans can endure a great deal and may even thrive in times of chaos.
This photo is one I have had and studied for more than twenty years. It has always been a favorite of my extended maternal family, including my mother’s grandparents W. P. and Charlotte Siegel and great grandmother Charlotte Raiffeisen. Lewis Mothersbaugh and his wife great-aunt Maria also have held my interest and are easily recognizable, as are my grandfather’s sisters: Ida, Edna, Tena and Emma Siegel. My mother’s great-aunt Amalia Raiffeisen is the easiest to distinguish as she had a white stripe in her hair by the time she was in her 30s. The mystery lies in the identity of the other people pictured here.