Friday, March 26, 2010

Sepia Saturday Week 17 (Click here to find others Sepia postings)

Mystery Boy

Last week I introduced my granpap, Teofil Kochanowski. When I refiled his photos, I found three photos of the same little boy (at least I think it is) whom I believe was Teofil’s nephew and likely lived in Illinois where Teofil’s brother Charles Krolicki lived. Remember I said how my Polish ancestors changed the spelling of their names, well there we have it again, Krolicki from Kochanowski.

 No identification, name or date was written on the back of these photos. My aunt Virginia, who had the photos in her album had written, “I don’t know who this boy is.” I kept the photos when I cleared her house last year because of their age, which I am guessing to be early 1900 to about 1920. He looks like such a precious little boy and I can see my granpap’s blue eyes in this boy’s face. Someday I might solve this riddle but meantime, here is the mystery boy. This photo as you see, is inscribed to “Uncle Teofil” and says “Charles E 2 years old.” Look at him with hands in pockets of the over skirt bib type covering over his pants.

I suspect he may be the child of one of Charles Krolicki’s children. Among Granpap’s funeral memorials, was a memorial from H.M.Seagle in West Frankfort, Illinois. My attempts to trace this on Google located a Hubert Marion Seagle who married a Mary Louise Krolicki in December 1940 in Perryville, MO and died in W Frankfort, IL February 2008 at age 90. I can assume that Mary was Grandpap's niece,  Charles’ daughter.

There were two children of that marriage, Charles Edward and Patricia M. Somewhere on Ancestry or other records there may be a tie to this. Hmm, Charles Edward sounds like it might be this boy, but if they married in 1940 and Charles was born later, the photo would not be as old as I’d assumed. As happens with this genealogy, a possible answer often produces more questions. H M Seagle’s obituary reports that his son Charles Edward died April 1985.

Well if this is Charles, here are two more photos.

 If not Charles, then it is another mystery boy. I am speculating that this is the same little boy perhaps at four or five years of age. These two photos are postcards made by Flett in Atlantic City NJ as indicated on the back.

The boy is dressed up in what appears to be a sailor suit made big enough to allow room to grow, or perhaps a hand me down into which he has not yet grown. The high button shoes that show in the standing pose make me think this photo is way before 1940 as I first suspected. Iis it the same boy or not?

I have gone full circle, lapping myself, and come back to not knowing anymore about this little boy. Unless some unknown relative pops up, the mystery is all mine.   Here he is


  1. Awww...he is just adorable! Love the sailor suit! My oldest had several.

  2. He's a handsome little lad, whoever he is. As you rightly say, "As happens with this genealogy, a possible answer often produces more questions."

  3. What a cutie! He looks full of mischief!

  4. Teofil is an interesting name. I actually have many, many "Theophile"s in my extended Canadian French lineage.
    Most of my ancestors were Catholic and they all carried the names of Joseph or Mary or a Saint. Theophile was actually a rather interesting saint because he was said to have made a "deal with the devil" although he repented in the end.
    Since your ancestor was Catholic I'm wondering whether your family tree is also full of Josephs, Marys and Saints'names!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  5. It looks like the same boy. He is absolutely adorable.

  6. Cute the youngest picture he looks like quite a rounder. I bet he was a handful!

  7. I found this in the W.W. II draft records. But I'd think that the photo was taken around 1900 - 1910, too late for it to be this same Charles.
    Name: Charles Krolicki
    Birth Date: 18 Dec 1883
    Birth Place: Rsymanof
    Residence: West Frankfort, Illinois
    Race: White
    Roll: 30955_165854

    If you have any more clues, I'll do a bit of checking in my data sources.

  8. Wonderful photos. I believe it was common among many families coming to America to change their surnames to a more acceptable pronounciation. Our Sophers became Sobers.

  9. Boy you are right. One question just leads to several usually. I was so fortunate to have 2 educated genealogists in our county society at our library that knew how to take clues and find things. I have been watching "Who Do You Think You Are." on Friday nights about genealogy and love it. Of course the folks are all stars who have plenty of money to go all over the world looking for answers. I loved your narration on this post.

  10. All three of them are great photos. The top photo shows a really unusual outfit to me. The sailor outfits are so cool.

  11. That little Charlie is just adorable. Hope you eventually solve your mystery!

  12. very cute photos - whoever they are!
    I have several of those mystery photos too.

  13. All are great photos, but the first one's my favorite.

  14. Certainly a cute little guy. And an interesting mystery. Who could ask for more?

  15. Wonderful set of photographs and I think it must be the same boy. I love the way that all the photos seem to feature that good old photographers' stand-by - the chair.

  16. Very nice :D
    You have a lovely blog
    Well done!

    Short Poems