Postcards from the Past

elaine emma kathryn

The children of Erminia and Emmanuel Recla: Elaine Recla (1912-1982), Emma Recla (1899-1988) and Kathryn Recla (1909-?)

A few days ago, I received a beautiful portrait postcard from Don Lingousky. If you remember from previous posts, Don is the great-grandson of Angela Maddalena Genetti Recla (1865-1937), born in Castelfondo, Tyrol. She emigrated to Sheppton, Pennsylvania in 1882, (see previous post). During the past year Don has shared many family photos and stories with our website. Because our great-grandparents were siblings, Don and I our third cousins.

Don wrote to me: “I’ve had the attached photo sitting in my pile of ‘photos of unidentified people’ and I think I might now have an idea of who they are. I had always assumed that these were friends of my grandmother, but now I think they are Reclas. See what you think. Only close friends and family called my grandmother ‘Nela’. The back of the photo/postcard reads ‘Dear Nela, here is the picture of 3 ‘chicks’, Emma, Kathryn and the Baby Elaine. Emma has changed a bit since you saw her last, eh? Esther – Are you going to forget to write? I wrote you immediately but it looks as if you are mad.'”

Don continued: “I had a hunch that they might be relatives of my grandmother, so I searched for the names Emma, Elaine, Kathryn and Esther on the Genetti family tree and it looks to me like these could be Erminia Genetti and Emmanuel Relca’s daughters. The photo is stamped with the photography studio name Phelps in Spokane.” (end of email)

Great sleuthing job, Don! I agreed with him, but to be sure, we sent the portrait postcard on to Mary Russell for further verification. Mary is the great-granddaughter of Erminia and Emmanuel Recla and also a third cousin to Don and me (read blog post about Mary Russell). She wrote back immediately and confirmed that yes, it was Elaine, Emma and Kathryn Recla – Mary’s great-aunts. The portrait was also a nice surprise for Mary as she wrote: “Thanks so much for sending it. There are so few pictures!”

Another piece of the family puzzle found through cousin connections! This is the reason I love genealogy!

Visit our Photo Page to see both the back and front of this lovely heirloom. Many thanks to Don Lingousky for your gracious sharing and continuing support of our family website.

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