Smile for the Camera - 19th Edition: Gift  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , , , , ,

footnoteMaven has tasked us once again with finding something unique to share with our readers: "It is the holiday season and a time for giving. So give Smile readers the gift of sharing, sharing a family photograph. It can be a gift given or received, it can be the gift of talent, it can be the gift of having the photograph itself. The interpretation of gift is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!"

I decided to focus on family pictures and look for the oldest ones I have. As usual I will have two submissions, one for my ancestors and one for my wife's.

The Smorgonski Family - Dolhinov, Poland (about 1932)

I've written about this picture before, but thought it was worth displaying again. This is my great-grandfather and his family (without the oldest sister, Hanna, who was probably in Israel by this time). Everyone in the picture except for the top row of older siblings perished in the holocaust. They were murdered by the Polish villagers in their town of Dolhinov by being herded into a barn that was then set on fire.

Top row (left to right): Zipora (my grandmother), Shlomo and Pesia
Bottom row (left to right): Ida (Ita), Henia Segalchik, Joseph Haim, Avraham Smorgonski and Haya.

Hanna, Zipora and Pesia were the daughters of Avraham Smorgonski and Ester Segalchik. When Ester died, Avraham married her sister Henia and they had Shlomo, Ida, Haya and Joseph Haim.

I am not sure where this photo was taken or who saved it. Since The three oldest sisters left Poland with the Jewish youth movement before WWII, I suppose one of them brought it with her.

The Rightmire Family - Parsons, West Virginia (about 1906)

This is the the family of Thomas Ward Rightmire and Edith Mae Conley, my wife 2nd-great-grandparents. The family lived in Parson, West Virginia and from census records I suspect the were tobacco farmers. In the 1900 Census the three oldest children are listed as having an occupation of Stogie Rollers.

I believe this photo was taken after 1906 which is the year that Pearl Alta Rightmire was married and left the household to live with her husband Saul Isaac Hytowitz in Pittsburgh. I still need to figure out how the son of Jewish/Russian immigrants who lives in Pittsburgh married a girl from West Virginia, who was definitely not Jewish. But that's a story for another post.

This photo is on a postcard, which probably will give me more clues. In it we see Thomas and Edith, the parents, as well as their three sons, Myron W. Rightmire, Dale Mannington Rightmire and Otto Kent Rightmire. It is the oldest family photo I have on my wife's side of the family.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 10:52 PM and is filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


You are absolutely right Abba-Dad. It would be very much easy to portray or illustrate on something if you visualize them. Just like “out of sight out of mind”. I can bet you that thousand of ancestors have been faded away due to the absence of their photographs. You have done exceptionally a good work.

December 16, 2009 at 5:35 AM

I am glad that some one managed to keep this wonderful photo. Thank you for sharing it and their story.

December 21, 2009 at 6:43 PM

What a beautiful photograph of your great-grandfather and his family, and what a sad, sad story of how they perished. I'm so sorry.

December 25, 2009 at 1:03 AM

I always Smile when I see old family photos!

Thanks for sharing!!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

December 27, 2009 at 9:22 PM

Happy new year.
Very nice website.
I am impressed.
I like it very much.


December 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I've given you the Happy 101 Award!

January 10, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Miriam beat me to it, but I gave it to ya, too! Now you HAVE to follow suit!

January 10, 2010 at 9:48 PM

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