Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Machs, Manuels, and Krugers, Oh My!

On my mom’s mom’s side of the family, the Manuel side, family photographs have been passed down from generation to generation to the point where photos are familiar, but no one knows the history of who this woman really was.

My mom’s aunt Irene Ahrens said this was HER great-aunt who worked hard on the family farm in southern Minnesota where family settled around Brewster.

I am intrigued with this image as her face is not clearly seen due to the large bonnet shading her from the sun as she worked.  I love that the family dog is seen in the field with her as she dug potatoes to stock the farm’s root cellar for the long Minnesota winter months ahead.


Mom’s guest room!

These precious family photos are hung in groupings all along the guestroom wall at mom’s. You can see I made myself right at home by putting the Garden Party quilt on my bed!

Being surrounded by family who have passed on is important to me and I took these photos with my phone and then sat with mom to get the history behind each photo so I would have it here as part of my history.  

This blog is my journal so I hope you will find this interesting as well.

My mom's maiden name is Mach.  Her mother's maiden name is Manuel.  So we have the Mach's the Manuel's and the Krugers.


My great grandmother and her sisters

My great grandmother Frances Kruger Manuel is on the right next to her two sisters.  LOVE the outfits!  I did know her when I was a little girl.  Seeing her like this is so fun for me!


More family!

Left to right: The Manuel Family: Morva (Wildanger), My great grandpa George Manuel, My Grandma Verna Fern Manuel Mach, My great grandma Frances Kruger Manuel, My Great uncle Arthur Manuel, My great aunt Irene Manuel Ahrens.  Auntie Irene was also a quilter and I have inherited some of her pieces.


My Great Grandma Frances Kruger Manuel

This is the photo that always hung in our home as far back as I can remember.  This is what I think of when I remember my great grandma.


My grandfather George Manuel was a barber!

He worked in this barbershop in Brewster, MN for many years.


Great Grandpa’s barber shears!

(And my grandpa’s dental tools!)


My great grandma Martha Ronish Mach and great grandpa Adolph Mach  on their wedding day.

They are my mom’s dad’s parents. They were married on June 19th, 1912 in Rapid City, South Dakota.The frizzy fabric on the bottom left of the photo is a piece of her wedding dress.


Mom’s great grandfather, August Ferdinand Kruger
and great grandmother Emilie Sophia Theise Kruger

From Kruger Family History:

Emilie Sophia Theise was born July 15, 1859.  The story has some date conflicts as it has been passed through generations, but as far as I can surmise, after Emilie’s mother died in childbirth, Emilie was left in the hands of the Theise family while her father served in the civil war. The Theise family had no children, and took on Emilie as their own.

After the war, her father came back to reclaim Emilie as his daughter, bringing along a woman he was to marry. He asked the Theises to have Emilie ready to travel the next day.

According to the story, the Theises could not bear to part with her so they gathered up their belongings and left with Emilie in the middle of the night.  Emilie never heard of  or saw her father again.  She grew up as the Theises daughter, taking their name.

She knew they were not her “real” parents and lived with the promise she would be told her name and about her parents some day.  Dorthie Theise became ill suddenly and passed away before she told Emilie what she knew about her parents.

Emilie knew she was of French descent and came from the Louisiana Territory.  The name Stillet is written in her daughter Freda Kruger Philpott’s family bible.  Freda related this name to her mother, believing it to be her mother’s birth name.

Interesting story, right?  We are still searching for more information on Emilie (Stillet) Theise Kruger.


My great aunt Irene Manuel Ahrens and great uncle Roy Ahrens

Love the hat!


Great Uncle Roy and mom’s cousin Carol

((He looks like James Taylor to me!!))


Mom’s cousins Carol and Gaylord Ahrens

Mom says that Carol was about 6 years older than she was and she idolized her so much!


My grandma Verna Fern Manuel Mach
My mom’s mom.

We lost my grandma when I was only 5 years old but I remember her so clearly!

When I was little she gave me a little poodle pin that had rabbit fur for fluff and green crystal eyes.  Oh, how I loved that pin. It’s wonderful to have photos to see what she was like through the years.  Such a beautiful lady with a winning smile.  I was her first grandchild.


This is the Grandma Mach I remember.


My grandpa – mom’s dad.

Alvin Kenneth Mach.

It’s been wonderful to write this with mom sitting right beside me giving me once again the background on these photos so I don’t forget.

I’m on my way back home to North Carolina in the morning.  It was way too short of a trip, really, but we fit in time whenever we can wherever we can.

I’ll be back, Garden Valley –catch you next time!

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  1. Every Picture tells a story. Gla dyou could get it down from your Mother to the Blog today. I have a few pictures of an English ancestor that I'm not sure of who it is. I presume that it is a Great, Great Grandma. I love it!

  2. Beautiful and interesting story, you should be very proud. By the way I think you should leave that quilt on the bed, it looks perfect there.

  3. Interesting! My maternal grandmother was a Manuel also! My grandmother, Amy Manuel, was from Newfoundland. I am not one of the folks who does genealogy in our family, but I believe the name originated in Portugal. Of note, Ruth McDowell in her book "Fabric Journey" on page 59 refers her great grandparents, Percival and Luciana Manuel leaving Newfoundland.

  4. love your post. you come from a line of beautiful women!

  5. Your Mom ought to do the DNA test from Ancestery. She might find some of Emilie's relatives. Love the pictures.

  6. You should get on family search.org! You'll find amazing things, way fun! !

  7. Glad to hear about the stories of your family. The DNA testing might really answer some questions. I have done the testing and have found a cousin I never knew about. Loved the photo!

  8. Fabulous family photos! I only have a few snap shots of my mom's family and even less of my dad's. I have been working on my and my husband's genealogy for about 3 years and have come up with far more questions than answers. My husband has tin types of some of his mother's family; unfortunately we have no idea who any of them are and there is no one left to ask. It is all fascinating. Thank you for sharing your photos and story.

  9. You have some amazing family pictures. I do genealogy and treasure each photo as photos can get lost so easily. Thanks for sharing.

  10. How wonderful that your mother has all those old family pictures. Will she pass them on to you? My mom's side of the family had pictures taken fairly regularly, but neither side of my dad's family did. I have wedding pictures of his sisters & brother, a couple of his parents & aunt, uncle & cousin. I so wish I had pictures of my paternal great grandparents but haven't been able to find any.

  11. Anonymous9:48 PM EDT

    This is so great... as your mom I'm tickled that you care enough to want to know about your family history. These were wonderfully kind people and I loved very much. Thanks for going out of your way to visit for a few days it... it meant a lot to both of us. Thanks also for teaching me to post photos on face book! and help organize my sew room hahaha. love you . mom.. Anita Sherwood

  12. My daughter has set up an account filled with pictures from an old blue suitcase and a couple of beer boxes(old beer boxes were apparently corrugated and then waxed) his side of the family and my side of the family, her husband's parents and grandparents, sister and brother-in-law. She has done a family tree and is documenting stories. We have contacted distant relatives and lots of family have viewed the pictures and even supplied a few more. Stories and family growing together - history does that.

  13. Just a suggestion: give your family a DNA kit from ancestry for Christmas; or have one done on yourself & give the results to family for X-mas........Also check out the county history books of the area; ask your library to help you find the book,. You said you had a relative married in Sioux Falls, ask the library for the history book of the area the year they were married for ex; I just had my local lib get me the book abt Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha county; as that is were I was searching for names....I just returned the book otherwise would of look up info for you I think it had close to 1,000 pages on the history of the area....

  14. Anonymous11:31 PM EDT

    Thank you for sharing your family history. Next year when you do a workshop in NW Iowa, Spirit Lake, you will be close to Brewster, Minnesota. Perhaps you will be flying in to Sioux Falls or Minneapolis. It would be nice if your schedule allows you time to do some touring of the Brewster area.

  15. Loving the post about your family and pictures!

  16. What a great way to save your family history! Thanks for sharing.

  17. We just had a family reunion in Fairfield, ID. We gathered many family photos. It was so fun to look at them with my cousins. How did your mom end up in Garden Valley? I love it there!

  18. We just had a family reunion in Fairfield, ID. We gathered many family photos. It was so fun to look at them with my cousins. How did your mom end up in Garden Valley? I love it there!

  19. So the mystery is solved: the real Sunbonnet Sue has finally been photographed and partially identified. That she happens to be a member of YOUR family tree is certainly no surprise!

  20. My grandparents were married in Rapid City, SD in 1933 I believe. It's a small world.

  21. It is great that you took the time to document the information. Our family history is so important and after you retire you will love delving into the past more and more in order to leave the history to your family!

  22. Anonymous9:33 AM EDT

    I had a Great Great Grandpa Adolph as well. What is the odds of that LOL jean Hudson UP of MI hudsonzoo@charter.net.

  23. Loved finding this page, and you! Maybe one of these days, we will find the answer to the mystery of Emilie!


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