Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mehrtens Family Photos

I have two photos in my photo collection which I know to be from the Mehrtens family as they have things written on the back.  One is of Eunice Evelyn Mehrtens aged one.  She was born in 1916.  Her photo has the most information on the back and is a good place to start.

Eunice was the daughter of Robert Mehrtens and Sarah Ann Burgess of Ohoka/Kaiapoi area.

Robert's parents were Jurgen Mehrtens (known as George) and Catherine Dietjin who lived in Ohoka.

They must have been neighbours to my ancestors, the Meng family who were also German.  I'm guessing that they all travelled to the German Church at Oxford and helped each other on their farms and were generally good friends.  I am also guessing that we have many unnamed photos of them in our vast photo collection.  I have managed to find some that match from the one named photo that I have.  This photo was named by my great grandma who was born in 1900.  My Mum has written "Mehrtens Family" on the back.  Could the man be Robert, the father of the young Eunice Mehrtens.  I am unsure however who the two women are.  They look rather young but too young to be his daughters. (update:  This is likely to be Robert with his sisters Anna Maria Mehrtens and Jeanne Catherine Johanna Mehrtens who was a spinster who lived until 29 years old, dying in 1915.  She was a lot younger than the rest of the family)

There was another photo with the same man in it.  What do you think?  Robert Mehrtens had three sisters that lived to adulthood.  His parents lived until they were quite old.  I'm pretty sure now that this is a portrait of Jurgen Mehrtens and his wife Catherine and four children, taken circa 1910.

UPDATE:  Since posting this, my surmising has been proven correct.  The lady in the top right corner has been identified as Anna Margaret Mehrtens born in 1869.  Her brother was Robert Mehrtens (bottom right) and her parents Jurgen and Catherine Mehrtens.  This is exciting stuff!  The lady in the middle appears to be a bit younger than the other two.  Could this be Anna Maria MEHRTENS  born 1875, so what happened to her - appears she died a spinster in 1927?

There was an older sister to Anna Margaret named Catterina Christina MEHRTENS born in 1867.  Could this be the lady on the left.  Highly likely

One of their children was born about 18 years after Anna Margaret.  She was named Jeanne Catherine Johanna MEHRTENS  born in 1885.  I think she may be in the photo with Robert and his other sister Anna Maria above.   Could this photo have been taken not long after Jeanne's passing as they are all wearing black, so circa 1915? There are still a few unanswered questions, so if anyone can identify the people in the photo positively, I would love to hear from you!

The photo below, if you look at the three sisters closely there are similarities, could this be a photo of the three oldest sisters? I'm pretty certain this is them as the girl on the left looks like Anna Margaret, the one on the right like Catterina and the middle one is the youngest of the three Anna Maria.  They are a lot younger here.  There is nothing written on the back of this photo.   Further research needs to be done and a positive identification needed on the photo!

I also have another photo of one of the women in the above photo (who again looks a bit like Anna Margaret), taken even earlier, about early 1880s.  So if anyone is related to this family, please contact me so I can confirm whether these are the correct people!

Please click here to also see my blog on my German photo album which may have photos of the Mehrtens family.  The third photo down could again be Mehrtens related!  Of a young girl standing in a 1870s style dress.

And there is yet another photo which  I feel could be the Mehrtens family as well.  However this is very hard to prove.  This man has the same style of beard as Jurgen Mehrtens when he is older, however his wife doesn't look anything like the old lady sitting next to old Jurgen.  It could be the same person who has changed so much due to old age.  She appears to have lost her teeth in later life.  Could this be them in 1866 after they married.  My ancestors had a similar photo.  Often clothing was hired for photos and this dress is quite unusual.  I may be completely wrong here and this needs documented proof.

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