Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A Favorite Family Photograph

I've missed the past couple of weeks, but I'm catching up with today's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver.

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

(1) Show us one of your favorite photographs of your family — a group, yourself, your mom, your dad, your sibling(s), your grandparents, etc.  Tell us about it — the date, the event, the setting, the persons in the photograph.

(2) Share it on your own blog, in a comment on this blog, or on Facebook.

The photograph I've chosen is definitely one of my favorites, even though I still don't know who is in it.

This is a photo of a family celebrating a bris.  I'm pretty sure the mohel is the man in the middle wearing a white jacket.  The man to his right is probably the rabbi or possibly the male relative given the honor of holding the child for the ceremony.  I'm guessing the bris has already taken place.  The table is loaded with food, ready for the party.

I've always particularly liked the matching dresses on the two women in the lower left corner of the photo, plus the girl on the right side of the photo.  You can see that several people in the photo resemble each other, supporting the idea that it's a big family get-together.

Yet I have no idea who these people are!

I received the photo from the widowed husband of my cousin.  About a year after she had passed away, he wrote to me.  He had gone through the photos in the home and had set aside those that were not from his side of the family.  He was asking if I wanted them.  Of course I said yes.

Most of the photos were unlabeled.  I was able to figure out some because the people in them were named in other photos.  I also did a massive scanning project and shared the images with cousins from that side of the family, and they were able to identify a good number of the rest.  But no one knows who the people in this photograph are.

Because of the cousin it came from, I believe the people are on the Novitsky side of my family.  I'm hoping one day to learn the names of these cousins.

But I love the photo anyway.

Update, January 11, 2020:

I now know who some of the people in the photo are!  My cousin saw my blog post and recognized her grandmother and grandaunt, the two women in the lower left corner in matching dresses, and her grandfather, standing just behind them and laughing.  My cousin thinks the bris may be that of her father, which puts it in Cuba in 1935.


  1. What a wonderful photo. I'm sure you'll figure it out someday. Why are those two girls covering her ears?

    1. Good question about them covering their ears. I have no idea. The baby doesn't look like he's crying, so that shouldn't be it. Maybe they played really loud music?

    2. Maybe they were worried the flash would make noise. The old style one-time use bulbs did make a loud pop.

    3. I never thought of that. Do you know how late those were used?

    4. In the 50s and into the 60s for sure. Mid-60 Kodak came out with flash cube for their Instamatic. There were earlier electronic flash but probably too expensive for hobbyists. Can you guess on the date of the photo? 40s? 50s?

    5. I didn't realize those flash units were used that late. I've estimated the photo to be 40's or 50's because of the women's dresses, but I'm not too sure about it.


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