Mastodon Great Great Aunt Irma —

Great Great Aunt Irma

Chloe and I got a bunch more scanning done on Friday and Sunday. On Friday we finished up the last of the Grandpa slides. His thousands of obsessively organized and labeled color slides gave us pictures of our family from 1942 to the beginning of 1964. (See them here:

Then we got a start on one of the many boxes of actual photographs and family documents. Here’s a photo that we *think* is our Great Great Grandfather Franz Christian Max Roege, but it’s unlabeled so we’re not sure.

Max was born in 1854. The photo was taken in Schleswig in Germany. Does anyone out there in Internet Land know what kind of a uniform that is, and if it could have been worn around, say, 1874?

Another wonderful family treasure is little notebook filled with handwritten recipes that belonged to our Great Great Aunt Irma, Max’s eldest daughter, born in 1876. Irma wrote out the recipes in 1896. She died in 1916 of the flu. Her niece, our Grandma Jean, was born in 1922 so never met Irma, but was always interested in her and saved some of her things all these years — the recipe book, an autograph album, a book of German poetry, and a large portrait.

Here’s a page of Irma’s cookbook:

Already a friend who loves old cookbooks has begun transcribing it for us! And here is lovely Irma herself:

This portrait has been in a pile of family stuff for years. It’s a miracle the convex glass never broke. Dan took the frame apart, cleaned the glass inside and out, and hung Irma on the wall for us. He also used his good camera and tripod to take digital photos of the stuff that was too large for the scanner — Irma, and several other big old photos.

We thought we had come to the end of the slides, but then Chloe discovered that several wheels full of slides that we *thought* were just scenery actually had family photos in them from the late 60s and early 70s! We made a good start on those on Sunday. We found photos that none of us had ever seen before — Uncle Scott’s 10th birthday, Susan’s wedding day, newborn Jon! Very exciting.

Category: Blog 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Great Great Aunt Irma”

  1. Elli

    Old pictures are so interesting! You’ve the best looking Aunt Irma I’ve ever seen! ;)

    Your Great Great Grandfather’s uniform is very likely from the Imperial German Army (kaiserliches deutsches Reichsheer)… some kind of “Leutnant”, I’d say!
    I’ve found a pic of one pretty much like it (judging by the sleeves and buttons): and lots of info:

  2. Annie

    It’s so fantastic that your family has preserved these things through the years!

  3. Jan van Zanten

    It would seem to me that the gentleman on the photograph is either wearing the uniform of a Wachtmeister of the policeforce during the reign of the Emperor Wilhelm, or an infantry soldier of the same era. The police uniform is the most likely, as he is wearing a side-arm. Unfortunately someone has tried to ‘pimp’ the picture with red ink and this does not help at all as the insignia of rank and corps are now disquised. The colour red is unually reserved for general officers and their uniforms generally have a number of bling-bling items and they would certainly have boots and swords! Soldiers in those days would have been proud of their spiked helmet and certainly have carried them along for the photo.
    Regrettably there is quite a discussion going on in Germany about the imminent change from green to blue uniforms (and cars) sothat it is difficult to filter through all the internet posts in german at this time.

  4. Aileen Fiese

    I know that Max Roege was with the Kaiser of his day. Why he left I do not know. He met my grandmother Mary Seamen on the way over and they married — possibly on the ship.

  5. kara

    Oh my goodness! Mary Seamen Roege was my great-great-grandmother! (Born August 16, 1854
    Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) So… are you and I cousins of some kind?

  6. Aileen Fiese

    May be that Grandfather Max was not really who he said that he was — interesting!

  7. Aileen Fiese (married name)

    My father was the brother of Bert Roege and his daughter Jean is my cousin! I will be 90 years old on April 7th.

  8. Aileen Fiese (married name)

    You must be Jean’s grandaughter

  9. kara

    Yes! And you are my first cousin twice removed, according to, where we have recorded our family tree. I’ll send you an invitation!

  10. Aileen Fiese (married name)

    A Max Roege was on the Davenport Police Dept. in 1900!

  11. Aileen Fiese (married name)

    Any more information on Max Roege father of Herman and Bert?

  12. Aileen Fiese (married name)

    Anymore information on Max Roege?

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