Great Aunt

Back into the Sepia Saturday fray with: Sophie Singer. 

Sophie was born in Russia in 1875. The eldest of four sisters, she was nearly 20 years older than her only brother, Arthur, my grandfather. Until recently I had only seen a couple of photos of her, taken when she was in her eighties. Via Ancestry.com and some other sleuthing I was sent these photos of her, from descendants of her sister Ida.

Here's a photo I am given to understand is Sophie with her husband Louis R. Gold, who was born in 1871 in Rumania. They apparently met in Minneapolis after she had settled there with her parents in 1887. My guess this was taken around 1890. Louis Gold was a furrier - as in fact Sophie's father Isaac Singer was, which would suggest that if Louis didn't actually work with him, they might have known each other professionally. There is plenty of fur in evidence in these outfits - as good for the Midwest winters as they would have been in Eastern Europe.

  A few years later, Sophie models what I assume is a gorgeous example of her husband's handiwork. I wonder what, if anything, she's wearing under it! Notice that she seems to have bleached her hair.

Here is Sophie with a twentyish Arthur, which would put the date around 1915 and her age around 40.

Here in 1915, Sophie dandles her granddaughter Winifred, whose mother Ida (born in 1892 and named after Sophie's sister) was the eldest of Sophie's three children.

And after a long photographic lapse, here is Sophie in the 1940s, having moved to Los Angeles, with daughter Ida. I had thought the man was Louis, but there is some suggestion that he might have died as early as 1921. She still has a beguiling smile.

And here in the 1950s, in the foreground, we have another of grandpa Arthur's sisters, Annie, in the striped dress, and Sophie in the black dress, with my grandmother Helen. (One of Annie's daughters is standing with Arthur.)  Alas, I never met her, although she was still around when I visited L.A. in 1975.


  1. It's good to have you back - and what a collection of images you have for us. Old images at their best.

  2. Isn't it a miracle that you found family pictures?

  3. You must enjoy having such precious photos.

  4. That first photograoh, despite being battered, torn and, in your image, cropped, is indeed beguiling.

  5. Thank you for sharing such special photos. In 1915 wrapped in fur she looked like the photo could have been taken more recently- if you didn't know better. Very lovely treasures you have here!

  6. Hi Sean! I haven't seen you on here for a long time, welcome back to S.S.! Lovely photos. She looks like a wonderful and happy woman.

    Kathy M.