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Theodore Bloom and Family: Theodore Bloom was my great-great-grandfather who emigrated from Westfalia, Prussia in 1848. For years, my father spoke of his grandfather (Adam Bloom, Theodore's son) being one of five brothers who came from Prussia through Canada to the United States. But that's all there was to this story--no names, no dates, no fates. In a 1901 biography of Adam Bloom (my great-grandfather) I learned of the immigration date (1848), links to Rochester, NY and Akron, OH, and Theodore's name. One of Adam's brothers is Charles H.--this is from the 1860 US Census; Charles died, however, in the American Civil War. Another brother is Frank T. Bloom (Blum). Robert Hoepner, one of Theodore's great-great-grandsons, did some great detective work and located an obituary that conclusively connects Adam and Frank. Another important discovery was that Frank spelled his name 'Blum' at one time--this is seen in his wedding certificate.
Robert also discovered an obituary for Adam Bloom in the Clinton Herald in which his mother is named Frances. Frances is the name of the first daughter of Adam (so Adam named his first daughter after his mother; why are none of his sons named after his father?). The obituary does introduce another mystery, however. Adam's biography says that his mother died in Rochester, NY. The obituary says that she died in Germany.

Mystery Photo in Washington State? This photo, from my father's collection, has "Mother (Yegge) and Joseph at Birds Nest Camp on Beckler River" written on the back. If it is Adeline Yegge with her son Joseph I guessed it would have been taken about 1885-- the child appears to be about three years old and Joseph (my grandfather) was born in 1882. But the setting is not Iowa--there appear to be conifers and a mountain in the background. Many of the trees in the photo appear to have burned. The two people in the photo may be sitting on a log on the gravelly bank of a river.
The only Beckler River I've discovered is near Skykomish, Washington. The river is about 12 miles long and flows into the Skykomish River just east of the town. The setting in the photo definitely could be Washington State. Even more interesting, however, is that Pat Smith learned that forest fires were widespread in Washington State in 1885.
There are many questions raised by the photo. Is it really Adeline and Joseph Bloom? Are they really in Washington State? Why are they in Washington State--it had to be a long and difficult trip. The nearby town of Skykomish wasn't settled until the railroad was built through the valley in the early 1890's. How did they get to this remote place? Were they on a business trip or a vacation?
Another possibility is that the baby is not Joseph Bloom. The family of James Conwell moved to Chewelah, Washington in the early 1910s. One of his sons is Reverend Joseph Conwell, S.J., who still lives in Spokane, Washington. I asked Fr. Joe about the photo and he says that the baby is certainly not him. Could there be another Joseph, perhaps not even a relative, who is being held in the picture?

Roy Austin's First Wife? In the 1930 US census, I discovered that Roy Austin, my maternal grandfather, was first married to a woman named Florence and had a child named Virginia before he married Phyllis Snyder, my maternal grandmother. My mother and her siblings never mentioned this. I cannot find any further information on this 'twig' of my Austin ancestry.

Paul and Lucy Tragni in Pennsylvania: More on the way.

  

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