My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Thursday, June 7, 2018

WONDERFUL WORLD OF PHOTOS - Horst Family Mystery Solved, Part II

In the last post I explained how I had been able to confirm a photo as that of my 3x-great-grandfather Martin Horst (1830-1878), by using Photoshop and a photo of his portrait created before his death. The discovery was made after trying to figure out who the "4 Horst Men" were in an old Horst family photograph. After I had confirmed who was the Horst father, it was time to try the same Photoshop procedure to confirm the brothers' true identities.

Here's the original photograph (left) taken in Mobile, Alabama, where the Horst family resided. The picture is of the four Horst brothers: Charles (1856-1912), my 2x-great-grandfather; Edward (1858-1901); Henry (1861-1922); and Martin (1868-1928). I don't know if there's a date on the photograph (it's in the possession of a descendant of Henry Horst) but I'm thinking it might have been taken somewhere around 1884.  

Here's why: Henry had enlisted in the Naval Academy in 1879. If the photograph was taken before then Martin, the youngest brother, would have just been 11-years-old when it was taken and he's obviously older than that in the photo. Martin was out of the Academy by 1884 but sometime between 1883-1884 Charles and his young family had moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. [We know this because my great-grandmother Pearl Horst Flemming was born there in November 1884.] In 1884 Martin, the youngest brother, would be 16 years old, an age which seems much more likely of this young man. Maybe they had the photo taken before Charles left Mobile for Cincinnati, possibly as a gift for their mother.

In the "4 Horst Men" photograph I have determined the brothers are as follows: front row, left to right: Charles, age 28; Henry, age 23; back row, left to right, Edward, age 26; Martin, age 16.

I used a photograph taken of Charles at his saloon/bar in Birmingham probably around 1910. It is the only one I have where he is facing the same way as the young man in the early photograph. The two men are not holding themselves in exactly the same way, but it's close enough. There is an approximately 26-year age difference between the two photographs. Here are the results of my experiment, showing that Charles is the brother seated on the left.
Charles Horst c.1884-1910 [click to enlarge]
I used the Naval Academy photograph I have of Henry, taken in 1882, to compare with the brothers' photo. The two are posed similarly in both pictures. Here is the result of my experiment with the two photos proving why I found Henry to be the young man seated on the right.
Henry Horst 1882-c. 1884 [click to enlarge]
To investigate the young man standing on the left, I found the one photograph that I have that was labeled as Edward Horst, standing at his bar, the Palace Royale, in Birmingham, taken at the turn of the century. Edward died in 1901 at age 42, so it was obviously taken prior to 1901. In the photo at the bar, Edward is standing very similarly to how the brother in question is standing, twenty years earlier. Here are the two pictures' comparison.
Edward Horst ca. 1884-1901 [click to enlarge]
I have no other pictures of youngest brother Martin. He would have been about 15-16 years old  when the original photograph was taken. He died in 1928, leaving a wife and no children. [And apparently no photographs.] Another family mystery has now been solved using history, photography and the miracle of Photoshop.
Martin Horst ca. 1884

1 comment:

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