Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Photo Number 499

This is a photo from blog reader Jim.

Jim wrote:

I just came back from a short trip to Ohio, where I stole a few minutes to go to one of my favorite little antique malls.  It's very small, but is PACKED with stuff from probably over fifty dealers.  There, I picked up four more vintage group photos.  Two of them had names on the back, and another was so interesting, I thought your readers would enjoy the mystery of it.

It's a photo of a family of thirteen -- Mother, father, nine sons, and two daughters.  There are no location stamps for a studio, and no notes of any sort on the back.  However, there are some pencil marks on the FRONT of the photo.  Someone went through and labeled their family members.  With few exceptions -- Dan, Will, Mother, Henry, Ed, Al, and Mary -- there is nothing but an initial.  The only lead -- and I figured only Iggy or Abra would be able to dig deeper -- was an additional written name under Mary's photo.  Could VOLSK be a married name?

Photo from Jim

Photo from Jim

I found it curious that initials were used for identification..and that Mother was written..but not Father..and Henry was written in a totally different hand and I am positive that is Dan..three times Dan!

Thanks Jim for sharing your old photo! :)


  1. If the surname is VOLSK, it suggests these people might be of Russian descent. The town of Volsk lies on the Volga River - and was famous for an orphanage and production of Vodka. They might also have come from a "contested" area of Poland/Germany.

    I found an entry that I think I will pursue in the 1900 US census for an Edward Voltzke (b. Nov 1876) living in Proctorknott village, St. Louis county, Minnesota with brother Henry (b. Jun 1872) and widowed mother Albertina (b. May 1839).

  2. It is so amazing how they just wrote on the top of their heads. My mom did that every once in a while. Interesting photo, I agree..

  3. By the women's dresses I'd date this between 1898-1910. The skirt & blouse had become common by that time.

  4. I think what we have here is actually a family reunion picture and it could be even later - say 1915-20.

    I think "Mother" might Barbara nee Scherer Volzke who married William (Will) Volzke February 25, 1895. They were the parents of five children, Arnold William, Irene, Ruth, Wilferd and Berdean Emma. They lived in Utica, Seward County, Nebraska.

    B. could be Belle nee Bowersock Volzke (b. Jun. 17, 1893 d. Oct. 10, 1982) who married Arnold William Volzke January 16, 1916 and lived in nearby York, NE.

    I can find records for:

    John Volzke (b. 05-May-1889 Apr-1966 Nebraska)
    Henry Volzke (b. 18-Sep-1893 Oct-1973 Nebraska)

    There was another Volzke family living in South Dakota at the same time - They may have been related -

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GSfn=&GSmn=&GSln=VOLZKE&GSby=&GSbyrel=in&GSdy=&GSdyrel=in&GScntry=0&GSst=0&GSgrid=&df=all&GSob=n has some people pictures - I think Arnold William Volzke looks like Will - and Barbara looks a lot like "B." So perhaps reshuffling folks - maybe some of them are Scherer's and other "in-laws".

  5. Both families, Nebraska and South Dakota came from Germany. I think they were related - The family in South Dakota have these names: Frederick and Christina Volzke, children:
    Paulina, Mary, William, Elizabeth, Gottlieb, and Joseph (who is married to Catharina). Between these two branches - I think we have nearly all the names except Dan-dan-dan and Al. Barbara Scherer has a brother named Charles, also living in York, NE.

    I'm sorry this isn't well organized.

  6. I have a family photo with the women dressed almost identically to the ladies in this photo. The photo of my family was taken in 1903. This is a beautiful photograph. I always complain about no names on old photos. This one finally has names, and now I'm going to complain that someone wrote on the people in the photo! If someone from this family is searching family history, they might be thrilled to see this photo. I was also going to suggest that "father" may not have been written if he happened to be a step-father to whoever the writer was. But it looks like Intense Guy is finding the information. Thanks for posting this photo.

  7. This photo still has me bugged. I sent out an email this evening November 26 2011 to the Volske Funeral Home in Seward Nebraska to see if they were related or if they recognize these people.


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