Tag Archives: Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner

Identifying Everyday Clues in Photographs, Part III

Dating PhotographsSo far in this series, I have gone through the process of identifying details in a photograph of my 2X great grandmother, Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner. In the second post, I provided some resources for identifying period silhouettes. While narrowing down a period silhouette and fashion details can be tricky, finding a probable range for a photograph’s date is oftentimes more simple, especially if you have solid genealogy data to support it. If you are lucky, the range will not be too large, for example, a ten years versus twenty years. The narrower the range the easier it becomes to date a photograph, especially if one is lacks familiarity with fashion trends. Once a range is establish-ed, research within a period silhouette can be pinpointed.

 Step Three is Determining a Timeline using genealogical knowledge:

In the first step, I identified the older woman in the photograph as Elizabeth. I am fairly certain that she is the older woman because I have several photographs of her which have been verified by people who knew her, including my great Uncle Floyd. The young woman has previously been named as Grace Wolfe or possibly one of her sisters, Anna or Pearl. And just because the younger woman was assumed to be a Wolfe granddaughter, does not necessarily make it true. Be sure to check the extended family members to eliminate other possibilities. The worst case scenario would be if the younger woman was not even a family member but had just been assumed to be so.

Grace Wolf & Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner

Elizabeth Yegerlehner and her granddaughter

Elizabeth was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1843. She immigrated to the United States with her parents and siblings in 1852; they sailed on the ship Hungarian from Le Havre, France, to New York City. Upon arrival, they traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, which had a thriving community of Swiss expatriots. In 1861, Elizabeth married Christian Yegerlehner. Soon thereafter, they moved to Owen County, Indiana, where they lived until Christian bought land in adjoining Clay County. Elizabeth and Christian were the parents of ten children. Their oldest child and first daughter was Rosina E. Yegerlehner. Born in Marion Mills (Owen County), Indiana, during the spring of 1863, Rosina married Henry A. Wolfe at the age of nineteen. Rosina and Henry had eight children, six of whom were girls: Emma, Mary Anna, Bertha, Minnie, Pearl and Sophie Grace. Elizabeth had three other granddaughters who were plausible candidates for the woman in the photograph: Roberta Yegerlehner (born 1892), Bertha Steuernagel (born 1886) and Alberta Yegerlehner (born 1893). Of these three, I am eliminating Roberta and Alberta because I have photographs of both women and they do not appear to be the same as the unidentified woman.

  • Emma, born 1883, married James Hamilton (1914)
  • Mary Anna, born 1885, married Roscoe Snedeker (1914)
  • Bertha, born 1886, never married
  • Minnie, born 1888, died 1917, never married
  • Pearl, born 1895, married Elmer Blanton (c1920)
  • Sophie Grace, born 1897, married Eugene Miller (c1921)
  • Bertha Steuernagel, born 1886, died 1911, never married

Step Four is to Construct Date Ranges based upon time lines of targeted individuals:

Since Elizabeth died in 1922, this genealogical fact creates a finite end to the photograph’s date range. However, based upon the clothing the two women were wearing, the photograph was taken much earlier than 1922 as most women wore shorter skirts and a heavy corset was no longer worn by that time.

In the original assessment of the photograph, I gave the Wolfe woman an age range from 16-25 years old. Dating young woman can be difficult. If you have glanced at young women at the mall or around your local high school lately, you will know what I mean. Puberty strikes in mysterious ways. In this case, the young woman in the photograph is old enough to be wearing long skirts and her hair is worn up. A young girl or pre-teen in the early years of the 20th century would have worn shorter skirts and her hair would have been down or possibly tied back or in braids. The Wolfe woman is also as tall as Elizabeth if not slightly taller, which can be an indication of her age. She had possibly reached her full height. My 14 year old daughter still has quite a few inches to go before she is as tall as me. However, she has friends who are almost my height (and I am tall).

Always remember that the age range is an educated estimate! The person could be a few years younger or older.

  • Emma’s range (1899-1908)
  • Mary Anna’s range (1901-1910)
  • Bertha’s range (1902-1911)
  • Minnie’s range (1904-1913)
  • Pearl’s range (1911-1920)
  • Sophie Grace (1913-1922)
  • Bertha Steuernagel’s range (1902-1911)

The estimated range for this photograph is 1899 to 1922. Next week, I will focus on the clothing of the younger woman to narrow down the range. Why the younger woman? While Elizabeth’s clothing offers some clues, it is generally the styles of youth that reflect the newest fashion trends.

Evolution of the shirtwaist (or blouse):

Identifying Everyday Clues in Photographs, Part I

Dating PhotographsHow many of us have received boxes or albums of photographs from relatives, only to be dismayed to find them unlabeled and undated? This is a concept familiar to many genealogists. Even if our ancestors did not properly annotate their treasured photographs, clues can still be found to help date them. Trends in clothing and hairstyles can be used to narrow down time frames. The type of photography used and the imprints of long gone photographers on cardboard frames offer further evidence of when and where a photograph was taken. Knowing an ancestor’s lifespan and their family’s unique dynamics helps to fill additional puzzle pieces.

This is the first in a series of posts on using clothing and hairstyles to identify and date photographs. My first career was in the field of costume design and history. I studied many fashion trends during my years as a costumer. I still love anything related to textiles – from vintage clothes to sewing reproduction garments. In many ways, studying the history of clothing helps me to visualize  my ancestors with greater depth and clarity. My aim with this series is to help the average genealogist recognize fashion trends in their own photographs and to provide resources for further study.

Today, let’s start with a typical photograph that anyone might have in their collection. In this case, the photograph is of my 2X great grandmother, Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner, and one of her granddaughters. I have had this particular photograph in my collection for many years. When I received it from my uncle Mark (yes, that Mark from the letters!), he was in the process of photographing some of the family’s older photographs. He was generous in giving copies to all the relatives who wanted them. This was prior to scanning and high quality color photocopies. Over the years I was led to believe that the younger woman was Grace Wolfe, one of Elizabeth’s grandchildren. I have heard in the intervening years the woman might have been one of Grace’s older sisters.  This definitely put a spin on my original dating of the photograph! But it did clear up some of the inconsistencies that I could not rectify.

Grace Wolf & Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner

The first step is to Identify and Describe the people in the picture:

During this step, write down everything you observe in the photograph. Even the smallest of details could be important. The background of this photograph does not provide any identification, such as buildings, cars, farm animals, etc. In this case, however, I am fairly certain that the photograph was taken on the Yegerlehner farm, or one of the farms owned by extended family members. However, this information is not relevant to dating the photograph at present. If the photograph had an identifiable background, listing the visible features would be another step in the  process.

Older Woman –

  • Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner (I know this because I have seen other pictures of her so I am familiar with her appearance).
  • Lived 1843-1922
  • Wearing dark clothes, possibly black
  • Elizabeth was widowed in 1903
  • Her bodice has a yoke, with lace or other adornment
  • Sleeves caps are small
  • Sleeves are narrow, but not tight fitting, with cuffs at wrists
  • Bodice does not appear to close in front
  • Long skirt which ends 2-3 off the ground
  • Skirt is plain, with no adornment
  • Long narrow pin at base of neck
  • Bodice has a low or non-existent collar
  • Although her hands cover waist, there is possibly a belt which hits right under her bosom
  • Hair is pulled tight in a bun, with center part

Younger Woman –

  • Most likely one of the Wolfe girls (Emma, b. 1883; Mary, b. 1885; Bertha, b. 1886; Minnie, b. 1888; Pearl, b. 1895; and Grace, b. 1897)
  • Wears long skirt, a couple inches of the ground, striped material, possibly cotton
  • Bodice of same material as the skirt
  • Bodice has ¾ length sleeves, with cuffs below elbows
  • Sleeve caps are slightly puffy, as gathers are evident
  • Sleeves are narrower, but not tight fitting, for “ease of movement”
  • Bodice blouses out at waistline
  • No collar
  • Bodice does not close in front
  • No jewelry
  • No adornment on bodice or skirt
  • Skirt is smoother across hips, and wider at bottom
  • Age between 16-25, old enough to wear long skirts
  • Hair in bun at back, although there is fullness over the ears which mostly covers them; hair appears to be parted in the center but only at the front
  • Working clothes vs. high fashion “good occasion” clothes
  • Clothes likely homemade and not purchased from a catalogue

In the next installment, we will look at fashion trends at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.

©2015 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/05/02/identifying-everyday-clues-in-photographs-part-i/

Accompanied by…

Schwartz, W. B. - 1894-03-29Mrs. Rosina Wolfe, accompanied by her mother and brother, Mrs. C. Yegerlehner and son Charles, came up from Clay City this morning. The party were on their way to Indianapolis, where Mrs. Wolfe will be placed in the hospital for the insane. They were met here by Sheriff Ringo and W. B. Schwartz, who is a brother of Mrs. Yegerlehner, who accompanied them.

“Local News of the Week,” The Brazil Democrat (Brazil, Indiana), 29 March 1894, p. 1, col. 5; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 26 February 2014).

Photograph courtesy of Eric Graham

Rosina (Yegerlehner) Wolfe
Photograph courtesy of Eric Graham

Mrs. Yegerlehner

Schwartz, W. B. - 1892-04-14

W. B. Schwartz, Brazil, spent Sunday with his sister, near this place, Mrs. Yegerlehner.

“Clay City,” The Democrat (Brazil, Indiana), 14 April 1892, p. 2 , col. 4; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 10 February 2014).

A New Story

For the last 10 days, I have shared the story of Roberta Van Sickle’s tragic death. The process of searching for and then finding contemporary newspaper clippings is exciting. I found that I really like telling stories this way, giving little bits at a time, like an old newspaper, radio or television serial. Yesterday, I reached the end of this part of Roberta’s story. Any good historian or genealogist will tell you that the story is never over. There are always new documents and discoveries to be found. So today, I am picking up a new thread to weave. This one takes place over several decades as the pieces of one man’s life were woven into place. Like Roberta’s story, I will let the documents, clippings and book excerpts tell the tale in chronological order.

My new story tells the tale of William B. Schwartz, also known as W. B. Schwartz. He was the son of Niklaus Schwartz and his second wife, Anna Barbara Kunz, emigrants from Switzerland. William was one of the younger children in the family so he had the privilege of being born an American. William’s older sister, Elizabeth, became the wife of Christian Yegerlehner. I hesitate to call them half siblings as Niklaus’ two wives were sisters. So even though William and Elizabeth had different mothers, they had the same grandparents. Until 1880, William lived in Holmes County, Ohio where he was born. By 1883, he was living in Clay County, Indiana near his sister Elizabeth and her family. He was a school teacher, teaching his nephews at the local school in Harrison township. This is where my story begins.

Schwartz - 1880 census detail

1880 Census detail from Holmes County, Ohio – Household of Nicholas Schwartz

The first newspaper clipping to mention William was posted several weeks ago in the post School Grades.

©2014 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2014/01/08/a-new-story/

Sunday’s Obituary – Roberta E. (Yegerlehner) Van Sickle

??????????????????????We are indebted to C.C. Yagerlehner for the following account of the death of his niece, who had moved to Akron, Ohio, a week before the tragic accident, which was the first serious accident that has ever occurred in the Yagerlehner family. Mrs. Robert [sic Roberta] Van Sickle was the oldest daughter of George F. Yagerlehner and was 26 years old. Mr. and Mrs. VanSickle with a party of friends were amusing themselves by making trips over a new giant roller coaster styled “Over the Top,” at Akron, Ohio. The men and the children had just finished a trip. The ladies had just started over the top on their trip and the car was plunging downward when a forward wheel broke, causing the car to leave the rail and plunge about 50 feet to the earth, killing three and fatally wounding several others. Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery, Indianapolis, Wednesday afternoon. Those from a distance attending the funeral were Grandmother Yagerlehner and Mr. and Mrs. John Yagerlehner from Clay City – Clay City News.

“Death,” Brazil Weekly Democrat (Brazil, Indiana), 24 July 1918, p. 4, col. 4; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 28 December 2013).

Van Sickle, Roberta - Three Killed When Roller Coaster Drops, 1918-07-08THREE KILLED WHEN ROLLER COASTER DROPS

Akron, Ohio – Three persons were killed, and three fatally injured and eight seriously hurt when a train on “Over the Top” a giant roller plunged 50 feet to the ground at the local amusement park last night. The front wheels of the first car broke while making the ascent where the thriller commences. The crowd yelled in derision as the passengers frantically called for help. An infant in its mother’s arms escaped injury.

The dead and injured are: Mrs. Roberta W. Van Sickle, Ralph L. King, of Akron, and General Bailey, Tariff, W. Va.

Probably fatally injured: Clyde Keen, address unknown; Otis Smith, Akron; Dennis Glassford, Rockport, N. Y.; Harvey Biggins, formerly of Athens, Ohio, was injured.

The body of Mrs. Van Sickle, who recently moved here with her husband and child will be taken to the home of her parents in Indianapolis.

“Three Killed When Roller Coaster Drops,” Lima Daily News (Lima, Ohio), 8 July 1918, p. 2, col. 4; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 28 December 2013).


Roberta Elizabeth Yegerlehner was the oldest daughter, and second child, of George and Elizabeth (Klein) Yegerlehner. She was born 15 July 1892 in Indiana, most likely in Indianapolis. George was a blacksmith employed by the railroad, so he moved around a bit before settling permanently in Indianapolis. George and his brother Charles shared an address in Indianapolis as early as 1893.

Roberta married Floyd W. Van Sickle on 17 September 1909 in Indianapolis. They had one daughter, Charlotte, who was born in 1912. Floyd was a truck driver and a mechanic. He worked with his father and brother at Vansickle and sons on Hamilton Street in Indianapolis. The reason why Floyd and Roberta moved to Akron is unknown, but the result was tragic.

Image courtesy of Family Search

Image courtesy of Family Search

Roberta is buried at Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis with her parents. Floyd later remarried and is buried with his second wife.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/12/28/sundays-obitua…ner-van-sickle/

Friday’s Faces From the Past – Elizabeth Yegerlehner with family

Yegerlehner, Elizabeth (Schwartz) with possibly Mary Anna (Wolfe) Snedeker and children - c1919

Several years ago when my great Uncle Floyd was still alive, we corresponded fairly regularly over the family genealogy. I was just beginning to receive some of the pictures from Gladys’ collection and I didn’t know who everyone was. Email wasn’t too convenient then (I didn’t own a computer!) so our correspondence was done via snail mail. I would photocopy several pictures and then mail them to Floyd. He would look the pages over and let me know if he recognized anyone, then mail them back with his notes written on the margins. I still have these pages in my research binders. It is probably a good thing that we didn’t have email as they would have probably been lost or deleted at this point.

The older woman in the photograph is Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner. The other woman and the children are unknown. Floyd’s comment on the photograph was that they likely belonged to the Wolfe families. Elizabeth’s oldest daughter (and Floyd’s aunt) was Rosina (Yegerlehner) Wolfe. Rosina had eight children. The only child of Rosina’s that would have had three children before Elizabeth died in 1922 was Mary. Assuming that all three children in the picture were Mary’s, then the picture was probably taken about 1919. But I will never know for sure until my cousin bait trap catches something….

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/21/fridays-faces-…er-with-family/

Tombstone Tuesday – Niklaus & Barbara (Kunz) Schwartz

Schwartz, Nicholas & Barbara - gravestone

Photograph by Madeline Troyer

Nicholas (Niklaus or Nickolus) was the father of Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner. The Schwartz family emigrated from Switzerland in 1852. Upon arriving in America, they traveled to Berlin, Holmes County, Ohio, and there Niklaus and several of his children stayed. Niklaus had a very large family. He had fifteen children between his two wives. Some of the children moved around Ohio, while two traveled further west into Indiana. Elizabeth moved to Clay County, Indiana after she married Christian Yegerlehner. Her younger brother William B. Schwartz also settled in Clay County.

Niklaus married Elizabeth Kunz who bore him six children: John, Jacob, Christian, Elizabeth, Anna Barbara and Niklaus (d.y.). After Elizabeth died in 1846, Niklaus married his wife’s younger sister Anna Barbara. Their children were Nicholas F., Gottfried, Samuel, Charles, Sevilla, Henry, William, Sophia, and Henrietta.

Niklaus and Barbara are buried at Berlin Cemetery in Berlin, Holmes County, Ohio.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/18/tombstone-tues…-kunz-schwartz/

Wordless Wednesday – Three Generations

Yegerlehner, Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner with Russell & Sophia (Yegerlehner) Thatcher - c1910

Click to enlarge

Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner with her youngest daughter Sophia (Yegerlehner) Thatcher and grandson Russell Thatcher, circa 1910. Photograph was possibly taken in Indianapolis, Indiana where Sophia lived or in Clay City, Indiana.

The original photograph comes from a photo album that was scanned by Eric Graham. He was visiting relatives in California when he discovered this album in their possession, and (thankfully!) he had the foresight to ask if he could copy the pictures.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at:https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/04/wordless-wedne…ee-generations/

Wordless Wednesday – The Mother-in-laws

The Two Elizabeths

Click to enlarge

Elizabeth (Krieble) Schiele and Elizabeth (Schwartz) Yegerlehner, the mothers of Lovina J. (Schiele) Yegerlehner and John H. Yegerlehner. Both were widowed around 1900. They died in 1922 within four months of each other.

Original image from the private collection of the author, Deborah Sweeney

©2013 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/10/30/wordless-wedne…mother-in-laws/