Years ago I was digging into old family boxes that were filled with envelopes and haphazardly placed photos of seemingly outlier family connections. As I was sifting through them I found a grouping of photos labeled Elda Kuntz. I wasn’t familiar with this surname at the time. Later, after more research, I soon realized that Elda was my Great Grandma Lillian’s sister and my Great Aunt.
Even though Elda isn’t my direct ancestor her pictures provided me with a wealth of information I didn’t have before.
Don’t ignore your outlier family connections.
I went back to the stack of photos and was instantly drawn to her wedding photos from 1925. What I discovered was that a few of these wedding pictures were quite unusual. Normally, as I come across older wedding pictures, I get a posed bride and groom and traditional wedding party group pictures. Elda’s small series of pictures blew me away.
Not only did the pictures showcase the wedding style of the time but one picture in particular was quite the treasure.
The picture above was a goldmine in genealogical discovery. My paternal grandma, her parents, both sides of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and location of the picture are listed. Even the person who delivered my Great Aunt June are all in this one single picture. It is all here. The house behind them was my Great Grandparents home and was where the wedding took place.
mind blown. I have a picture of so many Direct and outlier relatives all in one place. It was Taken during a wonderful moment in time where everyone was happy and together.
It seems like my Grandmother Jeannette, front row child to the right with feet on the ground, labeled this photo at some point. I am so thankful for that! After later research the names and people were a match so that was bliss to me.
So, onto the wedding details!
My Great Aunt Elda Ida Amanda Gau (whew!) was 19 years old at the time of her wedding. Her Application for License to Marry was amusing because her mother Ida consented to the marriage but below the legal formality on the form it states ‘Father Living – Father Satisfied.’ In 1925 a fathers consent was still desired for their daughters marriages even if the form didn’t allocate for it.
Into the 1920’s the style for wedding dresses really took on a whole new look. With the influence of the flapper trend the wedding dress fashion was no longer a layered and long gown style. By 1925 shorter dresses, like Elda’s below, were all the rage. She even had the very trendy handkerchief style hemline. Headdresses worn were elaborate and decorative with long attached veils. Bouquets were full of greenery with white roses and a waterfall effect of white ribbons.
The final picture below really got my attention! I was able to see the inside of my Great Grandparents dining room (which is unbelievable). This picture gives us all a peak into the wedding reception and glean how they decorated the table and delight at the sight of the beautiful wedding cake. It seems so relevant and tangible being witness to this luncheon. The timing and angle of the picture is candid and not staged. I can’t get over it.
For goodness sake my Great Great Grandparents are sitting at this table.
This post is a reminder to breakaway from your direct lineage in your family tree and spend some time focusing on your outlier relatives.
By researching and spending time focusing on the other branches, your outliers, you can learn a great more than you ever would have thought. If I dismissed the importance of Elda I would never have found pictures of so many family members and been a witness to a beautiful home wedding so many years later.
Do you have old wedding photos that are as candid from this time period? I would love to see your interesting ancestral wedding photos!
Have you had a breakthrough or amazing find in your genealogy research by focusing on an outlier ancestor?
Wouldn’t these cookies be perfect to serve at a Wedding Luncheon?
Auntie Jen says
Ah!!! I love this!! Such beautiful photos!! Oh the 20s are so prevalent in the clothing and hair styles. It is so important to research wide in your tree. You will find things you never would have otherwise. If I wouldn’t have researched wide, I wouldn’t have gotten in touch with a cousin who had a ton of photos of my family, including one that I could not figure out that was in my collection. Turns out it was one of the only photos of my great-grandma. She died when my grandpa was just a baby.
Pioneer Flunkies says
Right? That style was short lived but they gave it their all 🙂 That is so amazing you connected with a cousin and got photos and some identification on your Great Grandma.