Friday, October 28, 2011

 I've finally relocated the mystery photo of my Kramer family.

The backside of the photo contains some handwritten notes:

Using the following information, I've been trying to identify these people:

* Martin Cramer and his eldest daughter Clara lived with his widowed son-in-law, Stephen Nanke, at the 1900 NJ Census.  Martin is presumed to have died between 1900-1905 [I am told his daughter Clara still resided with Mr. Nanke at 1905, but there was no sign of Martin.]

*Their NJ address per the censuses was Grove Street Station, East Orange [matches location of photo per back side of photo].

* Stephen Nanke's wife, Carolyn "Carrie" Cramer Nanke, died in 1897 in East Orange, NJ.  There were no living children from this marriage. 

* Martin Cramer's eldest living son was Theodore Martin Cramer, born Aug 1858, married Alice Marie Morrell about 1888.  [She was also born in 1858.]  Their daughter Clara Cramer was born in 1888, and married in 1921.

*Martin Cramer's other son to survive childhood was Edmund Paul Cramer, born Dec. 1867, married Katherine Paige Hines about 1890.  She died before 1900.  Their eldest child, daughter Ruth Cramer, was born Jan. 1892.  Another dau. was born 1893, and a son in 1897.

I can't make up my mind about the identity of the man to the far right in the he Martin Cramer, or Martin's son Theodore Martin Cramer?

The woman standing beside this gentleman is definitely my maternal grandmother, Clara Cramer.  I don't see her husband in the photo, so this puts the date at prior to 1921.  The photo below of Clara and her father Theodore appears to have been taken at the same time.  I believe it is dated approximately 1905, which means that Martin Cramer's daughter Carrie could not be in the group photo as she was deceased; nor could her husband, who took the photo.  Clara would have been about age 17, Theodore 47.



In the above photo, Theodore Cramer is facing forward; he is bald and has no moustache. Both he and daughter Clara are wearing different clothes in the two photos. In the group photo, the man to the far right is in profile. That is definitely the Cramer nose! It appears at first glance that he has a moustache, but on closer look, that may be a large leaf between his face and the camera.  So - he very well could be Theodore Cramer.

The man in the far left in the group photo could be Theodore's brother Edmund Cramer.  He does not appear old enough to be Martin Cramer, who would have been 75 years of age in 1905.  The girl in front of Edmund may be his daughter Ruth; in 1905 she would have been about 13 years of age.  He also had a daughter Florence [12] and son Walter [age 8 in 1905]; neither appears in the photo.

The two women in the middle of the group photo ... it's possible the woman to the right is Theodore's sister Clara Cramer, and to her left her mother and Theodore's wife, Alice.  Both would fit age-wise, as well as fit my impression of the two women:  Clara understated her age by 10 years in every federal census as an adult; she was a piano teacher and seemed to flit between the homes of her parents and an aunt [the Geyer family].  I think she would have been somewhat lively and stylish, in keeping with her supposed youth.  In contrast, Alice [Morrell] Cramer was a woman dour in both appearance [my impression from other photos] and disposition [family rumor!].  However...I don't think she was that short. 

Alternately, the woman to the right could be Alice Cramer, meaning Clara Cramer stood between her parents in the photo. 
Edmund did remarry before 1910, to a woman at least 10 years younger than he; they also lived in NJ [another county].  She would have been age 25 in 1905; the "dowdy" woman in the group photo does not appear to be that young.

I haven't a clue as to who the young men in the background could be.  They appear to be perhaps in their 20's.  

So ends my first hypothesis on the mystery Cramer photo. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010


We have several family mysteries:
  • The passenger list found for Martin and his sisters - were they all sisters or was Charlotte their mother? [compare to 1850 NY census]
  • Martin's place of birth in Germany, and his parents/family in Germany - only one sister's death certificate to date names a parent - father John [probably Johan-something, in German].
  • Martin's date and place of death; perhaps his death certificate names his parents?  And where is he buried?  Not in GreenWood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY with the rest of his family.  Was still living with his former son-in-law through the 1900 NJ census; not found in 1910.  A distant relative searched [without success] for his death certificate in NJ under the surname Kramer; perhaps need to check under Cramer, which was the more common spelling by 1900.
  • Daughter Caroline's marriage to Stephen Nanke...appears to have taken place in the early 1890s; an unnamed child stillborn in the mid 1890s; "Carrie" appears in the NJ 1895 census but is deceased by 1900.  I'd assumed she died in childbirth--but there are quite a few years between the stillborn birth and her death.  Also need her date of death....FOUND date of death for Caroline [Carrie E.], 26 April 1897; and date of death of unnamed male child was actually 1889 [20 Dec], so marriage must have been prior to that...
  • The Mystery Photo [will be posted soon] - appears to have been taken by Stephen Nanke, husband of the deceased Caroline Kramer.  Martin and eldest dau. Clara Kramer lived with Stephen Nanke at the 1900 census; they were gone and he had remarried by the 1910 census.  Can't identify most of the people in the photo, which isn't the best quality - but I think the Kramers can be recognized by their rather protruding noses!    Possible subjects:

    Martin Kramer [age 75]
      his daughter Clara [age 49]
        his son Theodore [age 47]
        his wife Alice [age 47]
          their daughter Clara [age 17]

    [post this photo, plus one of Clara Cramer Bickerstaff, and Mom...]
  • Martin's oldest dau., Clara Kramer, was a piano teacher.  [Her namesake, niece Clara [Kramer] Bickerstaff, also taught piano...].  She lived with her father and the Nanke's in NJ from 1895 through the 1905 NJ census.  Afterwards lived with her maternal aunt's family, the Geyers, also in NJ.  Is not interred in their burial plot.  When did she die, and where is she buried?  This woman always understated her age by approximately 10 years in the federal censuses.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Basics...

This blog will introduce Martin Kramer, who emigrated from Germany to New York City with his sisters in 1849.  A fair amount of information has been found on his descendants in the U.S., but I have been unsuccessful thus far in finding his origins in Germany.

Martin Kramer married into the Barth family [Clara Rosina Barth, dau. of Charles Barth and Mary Elisabeth Zipp] in New York City, 1855.  I  was lucky enough to "meet", online, two cousins of this family, one of whom has done a tremendous amount of research on the Barth family back to the 1600s in Germany.  You will find this information posted by me on the WorldConnect website.

I would like to outline the info I've found so far on the Martin Kramer family, and welcome any suggestions or information as to his German antecedents. be continued...