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Falling In

Last weekend we had guests so I cleaned up the back room and put all the family papers away in the closets. There is a lot of stuff – letters, postcards, photographs. This stuff tells lots of different stories. I can trace families or individuals. I can trace business transactions or birthdays. I can string […]

Cyrus J. Lawrence – Art Collector – Random Notes

Cyrus J. Lawrence’s collection was dispersed by his family after his death.  I have a copy of the sale catalogue somewhere.  The Daumier below, now in the Walter’s Gallery, Baltimore, is mentioned in the article announcing the sale. Cyrus J. Lawrence collections of Daumiers given to the New York Public Library, July 5, 1908 Announcement of sale […]

Uncle Darius: Darius W. Lawrence (b. d. 1885)

Lawrence Webster found Uncle Darius by searching the NYT archives.   We didn’t know anything about him from family stories.  This account of his suicide, apparently from dispair and delerium tremmens, suggests why.  As dypsomania is a family challenge, we thought it might be enlightening to make a link to this article, “Suicide in a Hospital,” […]

Henry C. Lawrence, Collector of Medieval Art

Here is information about Henry C. Lawrence’s collection of medieval art.   He is particularly important for collecting 12th and 13th century stained glass from the area to the north and east of Paris.  When his collection was sold after his death in 1919 much was purchased by Raymond Pitcairn of Bryn Athyn, PA, and is now […]


Elephants in Africa

Gumma said that one of Papsi’s brothers — Erich, I think — I’ll look in the files to find out for sure — had difficulty establishing himself.  Gumma remembers that he and his family went to South Africa to start a plantation in the bush.  Her uncle went on a hunting trip and was gone […]

I found this card with my grandmother’s handwriting  in a stack of photographs from the 1980s — Woodstock, NY to Anna Maria, FL.  The green 3 x 5″ card with loopy handwriting, is typical of Gioja’s filing.   What these particular odds and ends had in common, I do not know.  The card seems an appropriate image […]

Adie (Estebena Risse)

Adie was Estebena Risse, our great, great aunt.  She was Anita Risse’s sister – twin, I believe.  She brought up Gumma and Dita after their mother died.  They called her ‘Adie Dear,’  and she had been an intimate member of their household since their births.  Both Adie and her sister died of stomach cancer not too […]

Documents in Mary’s Archive

It occurs to me that I have a lot of information about the family in my head to go along with all the letters and photographs that I have snagged from the various house cleanings out that I have helped with over the years. I’ve been snagging things for years. And Gumma snagged things before […]

Stallforth Family Chronology 1912-1941

Timeline for Stallforth Risse Saga   Bernhard Stallforth born 1842 in Hertford, Germany; died 1893 in Chicago, IL   1910-1920 Mexican Revolution Stallforth Family in Mexico from 1870-1912 – Alberto (Papsi’s brother) was there through the 1920s.    1912    (May 20)  letter from Anita to Papsi from The Miramar, Santa Barbara, CA 1912    Female members […]

Gumma Said

Gumma said that when she was born her mother held her up in the rain (does it ever rain in El Paso, Texas?) and named her Gioja. This was just one of the many ways she was different from her very extraordinary sister, Dita. Her sister, Anita Estebana Cecilia etc., had seven names, seven attendant godmothers, […]

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