Sepia Saturday 314

Sepia Saturday 314


For this week’s Sepia Saturday, the prompt image was a fairly old family photo.  While mine is probably from about 1924, the family history here is a pretty neat story that I’ve been researching heavily over the past couple of months for my husband’s side of the family.  Before I get too far, let’s introduce the people in the photo.

L to R, Back Row:  Cornelius Herman Tanis, Gertrude Meyer, Jessie Meyer, Harry Meyer, Jeanette Tanis, Jenetta Meyer
L to R, Front Row: Josephine Tanis, Alida Meyer, Johannes Meyer, Jacob Meyer, John Meyer Jr., Richad Meyer, Alida Grootveld,  Helen Tanis, Gertrude Tanis.

Johannes Meyer was born 3 August 1878 in Stiens, Leeuwarderadeel, Friesland, Netherlands.  He came to the USA, arriving on 4 May 1893, with his sister Grietje, her husband Frans de Haan, a sister Willemke, and Grietje and Frans’ two children Pieter and Jan de Haan.  The rest of the family followed later and they ended up living in Passaic County, New Jersey.  On 26 November 1902, Johannes married Gertrude Lena Catherine Grootveld and had 7 children seen in the photo above with the last name Meyer.  Sadly, Gertrude died on 18 May 1916.  Just a few short months after Gertrude’s death, Alida Grootveld, sister of Gertrude, lost her husband, Herman Tanis on 15 August 1916.  Alida and Herman had been living in Wisconsin for a number of years, and in 1920, the census shows she was living as a widow in Illinois.  Shortly after the census, Johannes Meyer married his deceased wife’s sister, Alida on 10 September 1920 and brought her and her children back to New Jersey to make one big blended family.  Together they had one son, Richard Meyer, born 1 September 1922 (the baby in the photo).

I suppose circumstances lined up just right, with Alida’s husband and Johannes’ wife passing away around the same time, that  it made sense for two large families to join together and combine resources to support each other and since they already knew each other, so hey, why not?  Getting into the details of the photo, the girls are all wearing basically the same dress or variations on the same dress.  The older three boys are in suits, and John Meyer Jr. is in a lovely sailor outfit, tying us neatly into the prompt photo this week.

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