The Sepia photo prompt for this week shows a pair of photos that have been double exposed. The first one is supposed to be paranormal in nature in that the “ghost” image in the back is supposedly the subject’s father. The second has a woman’s face superimposed on the gentleman’s left shoulder. Again, there’s supposed to be some supernatural explanation for this. Just plain double exposure though.
This week, I’m featuring cards from Aunt Sadie’s Shirley Temple Scrapbook that have duplicates; the same card sent by two different people. It’s a good jumping off point to highlight some twins found in my family tree.
The first card is lovely, flower-laden cottage and the card celebrates the birth of a baby. The poem inside reads:
“A stranger’s come to your house, a baby, wee and new,
I’m very glad, for well I know what joy it brings to you.”
Falling even more into the double theme is the fact that both cards were sent by two women with the same first name (or nickname), one named Kitty Irwin and the other named Kit. Kit is most likely Kitty Smith, friend of Sadie’s mother Beatrice and wife-to-be of Sadie’s uncle Adam. Kitty Irwin was most likely a friend or neighbor.
The second card was sent for Aunt Sadie’s 6th birthday in 1942. It features two children sliding down the banister while their dog chases them down the staircase. An embellishment on the card is a bit of lace attached as a frilly slip under the little girl’s dress. Here’s hoping that there’s not some big newel post waiting for them at the bottom of the steps! Either the selection of cards in 1942 was slim or Beatrice and her sister Helen think alike. Either way, they both sent the same card to Sadie. It was most likely the only one available that was 6th birthday specific.
The poem inside reads, “School doors open now to you, Books and many joys quite new, Lots of playmates, games and tricks… Aren’t you glad that you are six?”
Looking into the family tree, I find a number of sets of twins. (I could’ve sworn that my Grandma Westra told me that she had triplets as siblings, but nothing I’ve found in my research has confirmed that.) The earliest set of twins I have right now occurred on 25 July 1743 when fraternal twins Phebe and Ezekiel Day were born to father Samuel Day. They are not closely related to me in that they’re my 1st great uncle and aunt of the husband of a first cousin. It’s better not to think about that one too hard. Twins ran in this family because Samuel Day and his wife had another set of twins just 10 years later. Abraham and Samuel Day were born on 07 April 1753. The source doesn’t say whether they were identical or fraternal twins.
Another set of 18th century twins occurred in my Repsher line. Johann Georg and Georg Wilhelm Rebscher were born on 25 January 1793 to parents Catharina Margaretha (Willenbucher) and Georg Niclaus Rebscher. Johann and Georg are my 2nd cousins seven times removed. Unfortunately, these poor twins did not live very long. Johann died at two months old and Georg died at seven months old in 1793.
Moving into the 19th century turns up six sets of twins:
- 26 September 1824: Jacob and Abraham Pollison – sons of Elizabeth (Mowerson) and Isaac Pollison – They are uncles of the husband of my 1st cousin 5 times removed.
- 17 August 1831: Phebe and William A. Kimble – children of Elizabeth (Vanderhoof) and Abraham Kimble – Phebe is the sister-in-law of the nephew of the husband of my 5th great aunt and William is the husband of the niece of the husband of my 5th great aunt.
- 26 January 1847: Charles and David Henderson – sons of Charlotte (Pollison) and James M. Henderson – David is the husband of my 1st cousin five times removed and Charles is the brother-in-law of that same 1st cousin 5 times removed.
- 25 February 1849: Phebe Ann and Charles Augustus Benjamin – children of Susan Breese (Day) and William Benjamin – They are the niece and nephew of the husband of my 1st cousin five times removed. Phebe only lived to be seven years old.
- 28 May 1850: Sidney and Samuel Kimble – sons of Anna M. (Dunn) and John Nelson Kimble – They are the nephews of the husband of my 5th great aunt.
- 24 November 1899: Lillian May and William Frederick Repsher – children of Caroline (Bonser) and John Joseph Repsher – They are my 2nd great aunt and uncle. Lillian passed away in 1952 and William in 1970.
More contemporary sets of twins within the family were born in the 20th century and some are still living so their specific birth dates won’t be posted here.
- Robert M. and Roberta Otto Predmore were fraternal twins born to Florence (Heller) and Luke Predmore. Robert passed away in 2003. Robert was the husband of my 1st cousin two times removed and Roberta is the sister-in-law of my 1st cousin two times removed.
- Keith Edward and Kenneth Repsher were the sons of Agnes (Filan) and Carlton Thomas Repsher. Keith passed away in 2013. They are my 3rd cousins one time removed.
Now we move into twins that my father and I actually know within my family tree. Judy Lynn and Sharon Lynn Repsher are first cousins to my father Bill and his sister Sadie. They are the daughters of Bill and Sadie’s uncle Art and his wife Margaret. The twins are shown in this photo with their brother Ronald (Ronnie) and Mercedes and Bill. Ronnie was the boy on the right, Sadie was squatting and Billy was leaning over with his hands on his knees in the back. We still see Sharon (and her family) at the annual Repsher family reunions that take place each July.
Bill and Sadie had another set of twins as first cousins, Timothy and Thomas Repsher, sons of Bill and Sadie’s uncle Hank and his wife Eleanor. While they were attending grammar school in Stanhope, a newspaper article ran showing all the twins going to school there in 1959. Please excuse the quality of the photo, it’s a photo of the original article not a scan.
The caption reads:
“Seeing Double… Stanhope – Teachers in the Stanhope Elementary School should certainly be having trouble this year telling students apart with nine sets of twins currently attending the school. Another problem for school officials to keep straight is that two sets of twins, the Chanda boys and girls are from the same family. They are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chanda, of Main street, Stanhope.
The pairs of twins are rather evenly distributed in school classes with three sets in kindergarten, one set each in the first and third grades and two sets in the fifth and eighth grades.
The children are, first row, left to right, Clark and Mary Best, age 5, Tom and Tim Repsher, 5, and Mickey and Bob Chanda, 5. Second row, left to right, Eric and Charles Kranz, 11; Jerry and Larry Lewis, 7, and Karen and Richard Chanda, 8. Third row, left to right, Barbara and Sandra Leavy, 13; Bob and Art Beckwith, 13, and Bill and Janet Tick, 10. (Poots Photo)”
The newest set of twins in the family come from the Westra (maternal) side of the family. My 1st cousin one times removed, Becky, has a set of twins that were featured in the newspaper as they were the 5th generation within their family.
The caption reads:
Five generations of the Sutton family recently celebrated the birth of twin daughters to Michael and Rebecca (Sutton) Holt of Hampton. Standing, from left, is grandfather Richard Sutton and Rebecca Sutton Holt, mother. Seated are Arthur Sutton, great-grandfather, holding Maura Grace, and Florence Sutton great-grandmother, holding Bronagh Li.”
I suspect that Florence should be listed as the 2nd great-grandmother, as that would make her the fifth generation in the picture.
So, there you have it. No double exposure photos, just some sets of twins in the family tree for seeing double.
 J. Percy Crayon, “The Day Family,” Rockaway Records of Morris County, N.J. Families (Rockaway, NJ: Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902), 281-285.
 Donald R. Repsher, Repsher Origins (Knoxville, Tennessee: Scribes Valley Publishing Company, 2004), 110.
 J. Percy Crayon, “The Pollison Family,” 152-153.
 1850 U. S. census, Passaic County, New Jersey, population schedule, West Milford, p. 169 (stamped), dwelling 168, family 168, Abraham Kimble; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 November 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 461.
 J. Percy Crayon, “The Pollison Family,” 152-153.
 J. Percy Crayon, “The Day Family,” 281-285.
 J. Percy Crayon, “The Kimble Family,” 139-140.
 Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr. and Caroline Repsher nee Bonser“; (Handwritten family group sheets, Netcong, New Jersey, 1911-1970), p. 114.
 Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, p. 132.
 “Robert M. Predmore,” obituary, Morning Call, 07 June 2003, online obituaries (www.legacy.com/NS/ : accessed 07 September 2013).
 “Keith E. Repsher,” obituary, Times Leader, 31 May 2013, online obituaries (www.legacy.com/NS/ : accessed 28 July 2013).
 “Seeing Double,” article, Sussex County Independent, 02 April 1959.
 “Five generations,” article, New Jersey Herald, May 2005.