Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sepia Saturday - A Summer Wedding in the Autumn of Their Years

"Anna Zynda Weds, 1920's. The Wedding photograph of Anna Zynda and Edmund Grocholski took place at the Bellvue Avenue home of her father, brewmaster John Zynda. The grand home is draped in patriotic bunting. The house included a chapel where mass was offered by visiting priests. (Frank Zynda)"


I posted this picture from the book Detroit's Polonia by Cecile Wendt Jensen several months ago along with a lot of who's who and how does this fit into my family tree questions. I did several searches through documents and records on Ancestry.com, looking for Edmund Grocholski, the purported groom, but with no success. It just didn't fit that Edmund Grocholski was the groom based on other information I have. I tried one more time, tracing records (yet again) for Anna Zynda and finally found the connection! The difficulty in finding answers: The groom was identified as Edmond. He is actually my paternal great uncle, Ignatz Grocholski, Edmund's father.

I hope Ignatz enjoyed this day of celebration and had a happy marriage. He certainly deserved it. This was his second marriage. His first, to Helen Goike, produced seven children. Five of their little ones died at birth or in infancy. I found each of the death certificates on http://seekingmichigan.org. Ignatz signed every one of them. Shortly after the 1920 census was taken, Helen died, leaving him with their two remaining children, Lester and Edmund. The census page that I viewed was written and signed by Edmund. He was a clerk for the government, and he was the Census Enumerator for his neighborhood.


Ignatz either had his own beer and soft drink business or worked with/for Brewmaster John Zynda. In 1927 he married John's eldest daughter, Anna. She was 43 at the time of the wedding and this was her first and only marriage.

With no further clues about the wedding, I was able to make some educated guesses about the participants in the photo:

Ignatz the groom is standing just to the left of his bride. The young boy standing next to him appears to be about 10 years old and is probably his young son, Lester.

I've circled five suspected Grocholski's seated to the right of the bride. As you look from your left to right these are my guesses: Ignatz - nephew of the groom and youngest son of Stanilaus; Stanislaus, brother of the groom and my paternal great grandfather; Rozalia Stanley's wife, my great grandmother; Frances my maternal great grandmother or perhaps a sister of Ignatz; Edmund, the eldest son of the groom.

The young man sitting in the first row may be also be a Grocholski, but I'm not even guessing who he might be. He may be a brother of the bride.

I've also circled Anna's father, John Zynda and his 2nd wife. John's first wife, and the mother of his 9 children died. He traveled to Poland and met and married his 2nd wife.

I've mailed a letter to the Zynda decendent who is the current owner of this picture. I'm hoping that someone wrote names on it. Based on my own experience of hundreds of unnamed and undated photos I'm not very optimistic, but it's worth a try.

A final word about Anna and Ignatz: I found them in the 1930 census. They were living in Detroit, and Lester - now 13 was living with them. They also listed a 2 1/2 year old daughter, Delphine. I found a passport application for the family. They were planning to travel to Poland to visit relatives of both their families.

I'm pretty sure this was a marriage of love and not of convenience, as many 2nd marriages were back then, and I hope they enjoyed many happy years together.

Stop by Alan Burnett's place for more Sepia Saturday links

17 comments:

Bob of Holland said...

Heelo Muse, I loved the thorough research you did on this picture. So good that you discovered who the groom actually was. Through your post he and his bride really became alive again for me.

Alan Burnett said...

You dissect the photograph with all the skills of an anatomist and you well illustrate the fact that family history is always about possibilities rather than certainties. But that is what makes it so interesting.

Cad said...

You would rival Sherlock Holmes! LOL

imagespast said...

Well done on your sleuthing and fingers crossed that the original photo has some names on the back :-) Jo

Pat transplanted to MN said...

An amazing photo! And so much information you pulled together. I love that kind of family history. I have found many errors in census documents, names misspelled, etc, depending on who wrote them, so this was fortunate to have your own ancestor the clerk. Keep digging and share more with us. Did they ever go back to "the old country" to visit?"

Kristin said...

Good detective work. I'm glad they had little Delphine.

Karen S. said...

So skillfully mastered....but mostly what a happy looking charming bunch! What a day they had I'm sure!

Nana Jo said...

The picture is gorgeous. You have a true detective's gift for delving and dissecting the Sepia! It's wonderful how all the little snippets of info create a whole tapestry.

TICKLEBEAR said...

putting sherlock to shame, are you?!?
:D~
interesting post. i wish we could enlarge the pic for a better view but the quantity of infos you have provided largely compensate for the lack of pixels. hoping you'll get some good answer to your message to the Zynda family.
:)~
HUGZ

Lisa B said...

Wonderful photos, I hope you are able to find the answers to the remaining questions, I find that although family history may answer 1 question, it always poses at least another 3!

acadianeire said...

Excellent photo and great digging! I was hoping the pic would be larger when I clicked on it. Could it have been the Fourth of July (or did I miss that detail)?

Kat

Christine H. said...

I remember this photo, because I loved it so much the first time you posted it. I'm glad you brought it back with more information. You have done some amazing detective work here!

Mel said...

Love the photo of the grand wedding party, and your detective work to unravel the past. Happy hunting!

linda said...

What a day that must have been!
Your detective skills are super...
this is a very nice post.

MuseSwings said...

Kat - it could have been on or around the 4th of July based on the bunting. Perhaps they just put it up to decorate for the wedding. If I ever find out the date I'll let you know!

Dorincard said...

We should emulate you (no connection with the emu bird, or latte) and do our own clever research and savvy photo-editing! :)

L. D. Burgus said...

I love the names and it is so neat that you have relatives spotted in the great photo.