90th Birthday and Some Really Old Photos

I’m staying up late the last few nights — my scrapbooking stuff all over the dining table — working on a scrapbook that my mom and dad and I are making for my grandma (my dad’s mom) for her 90th birthday this week.

It’s fun to look at all the old photos, like this one of my grandma in high school: (Now that’s some lovely ’30s styling! She reminds me here of Elizabeth McGovern in Racing with the Moon.)

And here’s my grandma years earlier, making her first communion with her sister. This is in 1933. Love their matching dresses and veils:

There was even a picture of my great-grandparents, Rok and Mary Mihaly, on their wedding day in 1915: 

And even one of my great-great-grandfather! His name was Joseph Horvath. He was Mary’s father: 

It’s really amazing looking at these old photos — I’d never seen them before.

Have you ever had the opportunity to look at photos from your ancestors?

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5 thoughts on “90th Birthday and Some Really Old Photos

  1. Well Happy 90th Birthday Grandma! Those are really neat pictures – I love looking at old photos and the peoples expressions! I have some of my mom and her parents but have only seen a couple of any of the other family members. I love how everyone always look so stoic in the old photos. They usually look like they had better things to be doing then taking the picture and it makes me wonder…were they laughing before, mad they had to do it, grumpy people or just trying to look professional?? At any rate, it always amazes me that something can be taken so long ago and still be clear enough to see! And the ones they add the paint to the cheeks and lips, etc – the early “color photos”, those are great =)

  2. Laurie, those are wonderful photos, and it’s great that you are assembling them for your grandmother. The perfect gift. Do you see an resemblance to other family members as you look through contemporary photos? (We noticed a picture of my nephew in elementary school that looks a lot like his great-grandfather when he was a teenager.)

    We have a lot of pictures, furniture, wedding silver, civil war correspondence, wedding and birth certificates, etc. saved from my mom’s matrilineal side. It’s so fun to go and look back into our history, and I am glad that we were able to keep a few things in the family. I’ve always like going through one of my grandmother’s albums and seeing the clock mom has on her mantle today in pictures dating back through different decades in different homes. That continuum/thread is fun.

    A friend has her grandmother’s wedding photo, similar to the one you posted. She is tiny and petite, wearing a fashionable sleeveless wedding dress of the day, only we chuckled because as a farm girl, she has the biceps of body builder that are shockingly pronounced, almost incongruous, in the picture.

    One of my fave family photos, going only as far back to the 1940’s, is of my grandparents, relocated to Los Angeles, looking into each others eyes over a cocktail at the Florentine Gardens. Young and in love in an exciting new town.

  3. Since I have been doing genealogy, one of the greatest parts of that is finding old photographs of family members. I have a photo of my Dad’s sister taken when she about 8 or 9 months old. She died 9 days shy of her first birthday. I have a couple of my maternal great grandparents when they were married and one of my maternal great grandmother when she was a young girl. I have one of my maternal great grandfather who died 3 years before I was born. I have one of my paternal grandfather’s brother who died on his wedding day in 1917 at 25. I have one of my mother making her First Communion and one of her mother at 15. Also one of my maternal grandfather as a first grader in school. There is one also of my grandfather, his father, and other uncles and cousins at the pipe factory they worked at in the 1930. I also have one of my step grandfather in the early 1920s of a flying and mechanics school which coincidently also has Howard Hughes in it. In addition to the photos, I have copies of documentation of family members such as the records of my 4th and 5th greatgrandfathers as they served together in the War of 1812. I have a copy of the roster of the soldiers who came to the Alamo in 1802 before it was known as the Alamo and they were on the roster. I have copies of the births and marriages documentation of my 10th greatgrandparents in the early1700s in Spain. There is much more, this is just an idea of the beautiful finds I have come across. I not only was happy to make these finds, I also somtimes cried when I found them. These are also the ancestors of your children and is always available to them.

  4. Happpy Birthday to your grandmother. That is quite a milestone. Are you all going up there for her Birthday? Say hello to your parents for me.

  5. Thanks for the birthday wishes for my grandma, all! And I loved reading your stories of the photos you have! How awesome.

    Barbara, I loved your story about the farm girl arms! ha, ha. … And your comment about the clock being in several generations of photos is beautiful. What a great story concept that would be.

    Johnny, you have some AMAZING materials. The Alamo roster is so great, and the records from 1700s Spain? Wow.

    Debi, I think about that sometimes, too, with all the stoic pictures, and picture them having to stand there for so long for the “tintype” or whatever to “take.” Probably why they didn’t smile? (Who could hold an expression for that long?!) Funny, though — you’re right!

    Oh and Barbara — to answer your question, I see lots of similarities between Ricky and my dad when he was young — shape of the eyes, mostly. And also between my dad and brother, which I never noticed before, but when I see the young pictures of my dad I see it. But catching an expression or feature from way back is so great!

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