mamamusings: February 1, 2006

elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

flickr/family serendipity

The Löbmann FamilyIn the fall of 2004, I posted on Flickr a series of century-old photos of my father’s side of the family that he had scanned into digital form. One of them was a beautiful formal family portrait of my grandfather, his parents, and his four siblings—that photo actually won an informal award from the “old photos” group on Flickr.

In the caption of the photo, I noted that my grandfather’s younger brother had emigrated to Brazil, and that the last my father had heard of his three aunts was that they’d gone to Australia. I had pretty much resigned myself to not ever knowing what became of that whole side of my family, because I really had no starting point for doing that research.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a new comment on the photo—from a Daniel Loebmann in Brazil. I suspect that he searched Flickr for the term Loebmann…and up popped three of my old photos. I followed up with a message to him asking what the family connection was, and he turns out to be the grandson of my grandfather’s younger brother Salo—which makes him (according to Gerald, my most reliable family tree decipherer) my second cousin.

Even more exciting, he had information about all of Salo’s descendants, and even about the three mysterious aunts—whose names, it seems, were Vali, Erna and Ruth, and who also eventually relocated to Brazil.

My dad and I are totally astounded and delighted by this Flickr-fuelled family reunion, and I’m thinking about trying to find a time to take a trip down to Brazil to meet some of my long-lost cousins.

So, how cool is that?

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Liz sipping melange at Cafe Central in Vienna