Sepia Saturday #326: Sitting Pretty








This is a Valentine’s Day card that my Aunt Sadie got from her maternal grandmother, Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher in 1940 in celebration of Valentine’s Day before her 4th birthday in September.

The cute kittens are sitting in a big, wingback chair. No golden curls in this one, just grey fur, flowers and hearts.

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Also sitting in a big chair is Audrey Romine Hunt, Mercedes’ grandmother on her paternal side. I have to say, it is one of the few photos of Audrey in which she’s actually smiling! The photo was taken around 1889 or 1890.

Audrey was sitting in a fancy chair, undoubtably a prop at the photographer’s studio. It had some patterning to the upholstery and the top of the chair back was slightly ornate, almost oriental in style. Audrey was wearing a white outfit with a ruffled bonnet surrounding her cute, pudgy cheeks. She was focused on something in front of her which gives her a great expression. The photo was taken in Sussex County, probably in Newton or Branchville.

Audrey’s middle name of Romine has always interested me. “Romaine” or Roman is a common first name for a man but the variation in spelling for her middle name suggests a family name coming down through the mother’s line. Often, to keep their maiden names from being lost, the children were given the maiden name as a middle name. But, so far, there are no other Romine’s in the family.

I think the clue to her middle name has to do with some of her siblings middle names…

  • Charles Lincoln Hunt, born 11 August 1871
  • Samuel Wilson Hunt, born 29 May 1874
  • Nellie Garfield Hunt, born 12 April 1880

Lincoln is fairly obvious in that Audrey’s father, William Henry Hunt, fought in the Civil War. Charles would have gotten his middle name in honor of President Abraham Lincoln. 

In Samuel’s case, the middle name of Wilson came from a family name. Audrey’s grandmother, Hannah Eliza (Willson) Longcor, had a maiden name of Willson. Samuel’s middle name was a variation of that name.

James Garfield became the 20th president of the United States on 04 March 1881 and would have been campaigning during 1880 when Audrey’s sister Nellie was born. Most likely Nellie’s middle name of Garfield came from this president.

But wait, there’s no president named Romine… I have to wonder if there was someone that William served with during the Civil War that had the name of Romine, a captain or a close friend he made while serving. Some further research into this hypothesis is in order. I’ve put it on my list!

Dang, that list is getting longer…

The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo: Baby in a chair.

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