Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Full Circle Number Two

Photo Number 103,  Mrs. Walls, Ambrose, Mary and Hugh Hermes.

This photo is going home.  The little baby boy in this photo being held by his grandmother is Hugh Hermes, his granddaughter ( Julie) contacted me, and then his daughter ( Jeanne) .

Jeanne wrote,
I just talked to Julie and she sent me these pictures - this is so exciting, I love your wonderful past time of reuniting photographs with family!  Picture 103 is my grandmother Mary Wall (or it could be Walls) who is holding my father Hugh Hermes.  Older siblings Ambrose and Mary are also in the picture.  You have already found this out with your skillful sleuthing.  My Uncle Ambrose married Louise had five children (Thad, Mary Louise, Joe, Maureen, and Agnes) and was a farmer in Rock Falls, Illinois but was also in real estate in later years.  My Aunt Mary was never married but took care of my Aunt Frannie who was afflicted with multiple sclerosis.  Mary was a real estate and life insurance agent out of her home.  My father married Mary Elizabeth O'Neil and raised seven children (LaRita, Ed, Rosemary, Steve, Jim, Jeanne and Bill) in Sterling, Illinois.  They also lost a full term baby named Hugh Robert in between Rosemary and Steve.  My father was a farmer all of his life but attended college at St. Mary's Kansas until he was called home during the Depression to help on the farm.  He devoted his life to family and the farm.  There were several children to follow the birth of my father not pictured in photo 103 - Agnes, Joseph, Frances, Rita, Anastasia and Helen.  Agnes was a Carmelite nun for over 50 years.  Joseph married Pauline and was a farmer who had nine boys.  Frances died of MS at 42.  Rita also became a nun but later left the convent and married Willy and never had children.  Anastasia married Bob Brennan and had nine children, they lived in Waterloo, Iowa and Prairie du Chien, WI.  He managed a beef packing plant.  Finally, Helen married Jack Conway and had ten children.  Jack was CEO of Northwestern Steel and Wire Mill in Sterling, Illinois.

Photo number 104 Mayme

 is my grandmother's sister (the baby Hugh's Aunt Mayme).  As your records show she was a twin to Edith (picture 101).
Edith Hermes Photo Number 101 
 I called my sister to try to find out some more information and what LaRita said was that Anton Hermes left Margaret Hermes at some point in the marriage which might explain why the photo of her says Mary Walls instead of Margaret Hermes.

Since its getting late I'm gonna send you this because its all I really know.  Thank you for sending the photos.  Helen and Anastasia are the only surviving children of Ed and Agnes Hermes but I will be calling them to share the good news.

Thanks again!

I sent her a list of all the South Dakota/Illinois names..

I recognize nearly all the names you listed from listening to my parents growing up.  Some of them I knew first hand like the Bauers, Ackerts, Foleys, and Makeels.  I found out from Rosemary that our grandmother was a "Walls" plural btw.  It is ok to copy and paste what I wrote except do not hold me to the accuracy, as I was the 6th of 7 children if you know what i mean.  This has been a great experience for me just thinking of the "family" that came before us.  Thanks for the genuine interest:)

Today I am heading to the post office , I am sending off all three of these photos to Jeanne, if a closer relative of Maymes or Ediths turns up..I am sure that she will share.  I will share Jeanne and Julies email addresses with Jinglebob since he was the one who shared these photographs in the first place.. Full circle connections..sharing connections.  Today is a good day on The Forgotten Old Photographs Blog! :) 

**Update**March 13, 2010   I heard from Jeanne : I loved them especially the one of my Dad at ten months.  He was born in 1912.  What a treasure to have you send us this picture.  I was thrilled. 


  1. I feel like I'm going to cry, ha ha, like we all helped these photos go home. What a great feeling! Connie, great job!!

  2. It is so nice to have the pictures being reconnected to family. You can store the visual's on your computer and the pictures can go away. I have found pictures that I need to send out to distant cousins that they would appreciate but I really don't need to have around.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!! I am so glad you had the idea for this blog and I am thrilled that families will get to have a bit of their history that was lost. If someone contacted me with forgotten photos of my family, I'd be over the moon, and it seems like those are the same sort of responses you've been getting when a connection is made. I hope there will be many more!! ~Abra

  4. How exciting. Really amazing how this all came about Connie! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  5. I was just thinking about this again...are there more children in Edith & Mayme's generation? If Mayme was baby Hugh's aunt, and Edith and Kate appear to have no children, who was Mayme's sister who gave birth to baby Hugh?

    I'm also interested in how Jinglebob is related...I forgot if they were photos of his grandmother's family or his grandmother's friends...?

    Soooo fascinating! And like Abra, I would be struck with delight if someone contacted me with photos. Connie, what a great project you have here!

  6. Norkio, I am not sure, I will check with Jeanne.
    The photos belonged to Jinglebobs Grandmother, they were believed to be her family and friends back in Sterling ILL, no one knew for sure.:)

  7. Since Mayme & Edith are Hermes, and Hugh is Hermes, wouldn't Mayme and Edith be sisters to Hugh's father (Jeanne's grandfather, not grandmother)? Also, if I am looking at charts correctly, Mrs. Walls is the great grandmother of Jeanne, as Hugh's mother/Jeanne's grandmother would have been Agnes Walls Hermes. ~Abra

  8. This is fantastic! I am so glad I sent these photo's to you!

    Yes these photo's belonged to my Grandmother who was a Bauer for the Sterling area of Illinios. There are still Bauers who live in that area.

  9. Abra, I am wondering if Georges name was George Edward..I have sent an email to Jeanne, The only children found in the records that you found were Anton and Margret Hermes Four Children= Kate, Edith, Mayme and George...could there have been another child? I think also that it is a paternal connection. Margaret or Mary Walls was Agnes Mother. Ed and Agnes were Hugh's Parents. We just need to find out more about Ed:)

  10. So, do you think the person who labeled the picture labeled it wrong, calling it Mrs. Walls instead of Mrs. Hermes? I think I am getting confused! Perhaps, if I have time--maybe later tomorrow, I'll go and print the censuses. I had thought about starting a flow chart or notebook to keep these all has been such an interesting project. I would just post the link to the censuses, but I am not sure I can legally do that with my subscription--some information on is free, some can only be accessed by paid subscribers.

    What I find very interesting in all of this is the strong connection Jinglebob's Grandmother must have had to the folks "back home." I have seen that same type of connection in my own family research, where a group of families moved on from Germany to the U.S., or Wisconsin to Minnesota, or Minnesota to North Dakota, etc., but always settled in their clusters and remained connected to those they left behind. For instance, in central Minnesota there are common family names, and when I go on my genealogy trips to North Dakota, scattered among my family names in the cemeteries, I will find names that are relatives of others in my hometown area,even though we aren't related. They all seemed to move together, much the same as groups of immigrants do today. ~Abra

  11. You know Abra, that is an interesting speculation, and I think you are right. We know that groups of families left their homelands and came to America together, or came in waves and settled together. It makes sense that another migration to a new location could include various family members from neighbors/cousins/friends families.

    Also, I think Jeanne said that Anton Hermes left Margaret Hermes and she went back to her maiden name, Walls. So, if this is Margaret/Mary Walls Hermes and she is Hugh's grandmother, then Hugh's father could only have been George if from the Kate/Edith/Mayme/George generation. We know that Mayme married a Hermes and had four children, but none of them are Ed or Agnes. This is very confusing.

  12. If I remember correctly, the census form said Mary Walls was the mother-in-law of the head of household, which was Edward Hermes. I definitely will want to dig further...and I'm not in any way related...but it is a good diversion when I get stuck in place in my own family history. It keeps me interested while giving me a break from dead-end frustration. ;-) ~Abra

  13. Good work Connie. All your hard work is paying off. It is nice to know the photos are going to be where they belong rather that in a box of unknowns.

  14. this was absolutely a wonderful day.


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie