Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan). Archives, Labels (tags), and other links appear at the bottom of the page.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Putting the Gene in Genealogy: Rosmer's Kin

click the image for a closer look
at the men in Rosmer Kerr's family tree

This chart shows how each of these men are related to Rosmer.

My great grandmother, Kate Pettis Kerr, had a lot of photographs from her side of the family. When my grandfather took possession of them, he and my grandmother made a little project of trying to attach identification to them, either writing on the back or, with the daguerrotypes in little cases, tucking in a bit of paper with a name on it. Not all were identified, and sometimes the identification was a little ambiguous (for example, "Grandma Efner"--whose grandma? and would that be the first wife or the second?).

A few photos have identifications which seem perfectly clear but can't be explained. For example, in the image above, the man in the bottom row, second from left, was identified as Lemuel Efner. However, to date I haven't seen the name Lemuel in any Efner record anywhere. In another example, I have a photo identified as "Chick Kerr" but this may be a nickname and, so far, I've been unable to determine her real name. I know only that she had a daughter named Betty (this from yet another photo).

In an attempt to identify the photo in the lower right corner of the image above, I discovered that I have not one but two copies of the same photo, one a tintype attached to an embossed paper mat, and the other in embossed metal under glass. What surprised me is that they are mirror images of each other. I found this disconcerting, because I often study facial features with a magnifying glass to match the face in an unidentified photo with a known photo, looking for little anomalies in eye or brow shape, or which side the hair is parted on.

Several years ago I took a few daguerrotypes to a photo restoration specialist to get prints made. One of them, a 1/6 plate (2.75" x 3.25") in a hinged case, was unidentified--the one in the lower left corner in the image above, the man now identified as Ezekiel Taylor Efner. Compare him with the photo of Rosmer diagonally above. Quite a resemblance, no?

The astute reader may have noticed something else about this photo of Ezekiel, something I never realized until this morning. This daguerrotype image is identical to the image on the carte-de-visite featured in yesterday's post, right down to the whiskers and stray hairs. (He looks much older in the darker image. Once again, I studied with a magnifying glass to be sure.) This, too, was disconcerting. I'd read a couple books about dating old photographs, one of which had a long and detailed discussion of when the various methods were used. Daguerrotypes were falling out of favor in 1860, around the same time albumen prints became popular. It would have been helpful to know that I had one of each from the same photo shoot.

The charts below show how the men in the above image are related. (To simplify for that purpose, I've omitted many other descendants from the charts, so these are not comprehensive Efner and Pettis descendancies.)

If you can provide any additional information about the people mentioned here, please use the Comments feature to contact me. All comments must be approved by me before being published, and those which include an email address or other way for me to contact you will remain private. Your personal contact information will not be published to this blog.

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Some Descendants of Ezekiel Taylor EFNER

1 Ezekiel Taylor EFNER 1801 - 1868
. +Salina BOUCK
........ 2 Kate EFFNER 1841 - 1914
............ +Darius J. PETTIS 1837 - 1883
................... 3 Frankie PETTIS 1862 - 1867
................... 3 Katharine E. PETTIS 1864 - 1937
....................... +Milton E. KERR 1863 - 1895
.............................. 4 Milton E. KERR 1891 - 1961
.................................. +Marie Clara LETTERER 1894 - 1958
.............................. 4 Rosmer Pettis KERR 1892 - 1969
.................................. +Evelyn Elvina HAUER 1894 - 1988
*2nd Wife of Ezekiel Taylor EFNER:
. +Eliza Ann DAVIS 1824 - 1879
........ 2 William A. EFNER 1853 - 1903

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Some Descendants of William M. PETTIS

1 William M. PETTIS 1770 - 1821
. +Ruth CRANDALL 1771 - 1837
........ 2 Zina Hitchcock PETTIS 1804 - 1869
............ +Amanda SEDGWICK
................... 3 Sedgwick W. PETTIS 1844 - 1894
........ 2 Micajah Petit PETTIS 1806 - 1881
............ +Tryphena SEDGWICK 1803 - 1842
................... 3 Irving Sedgwick PETTIS 1831 - 1903
....................... +Martha Ophelia TREAT 1834 -
................... 3 Lewis M. PETTIS 1833 - 1919
....................... +Sarah Jane MANDEVILLE 1830 -
................... 3 Tryphena Angeline PETTIS 1836 - 1924
....................... +George WILCOX 1834 - 1920
................... 3 Darius J. PETTIS 1837 - 1883
....................... +Kate EFFNER 1841 - 1914
.............................. 4 Frankie PETTIS 1862 - 1867
.............................. 4 Katharine E. PETTIS 1864 - 1937
.................................. +Milton E. KERR 1863 - 1895
......................................... 5 Milton E. KERR 1891 - 1961
............................................. +Marie Clara LETTERER 1894 - 1958
......................................... 5 Rosmer Pettis KERR 1892 - 1969
............................................. +Evelyn Elvina HAUER 1894 - 1988
........ *2nd Wife of Micajah Petit PETTIS:
............ +Mary Margaret MAXFIELD 1820 - 1895

2 comments:

Andy E. Wold said...

T.K.,

I believe that the "unidentified EFNER" gentleman in the lower right corner is "EZEKIEL TAYLOR EFNER..." on the bottom left corner.

If not, he is his brother. The two men look identical (except one slightly older than the other -- after his jawline beard filled in completely.) The hairline, shape and "color" of eyes, nose and mouth are all the same.

Andy

T.K. said...

Hi Andy,
Thanks for your comment. I agree that the two photos you mentioned could be the same person, and if they are not, then surely they are closely related.

I hope someday to hear from other Efner descendants who have photos. I'd like to see more examples of that Efner gene at work!

TK

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Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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