Pictured above are the Benz sisters. The baby in the chair is Helen M. Benz (1902-1970). Standing behind her is the next oldest sister, Hazel Benz (1897-1970). Big sister Alma Barbara Benz (1891-1909) is sitting. They were born and raised in Newark, NJ.
Their parents were George Benz (1866-1927) and Flora C. Hillert (1872-1953). All four of their grandparents were born in Germany and died in New Jersey.
Below is Alma as a younger girl. According to an obituary on her findagrave.com memorial, Alma died suddenly at home at 326 New York Avenue in Newark after being “in failing health for a long time . . . a faithful member of St. Stephen’s German Evangelical Church, its Society of Sunday School Teachers and Christian Endeavor Society, and the church choir . . . employed in the novelty department of the Celluloid Company.”
Here is a photograph of Alma later in life:
Hazel worked as a clerk and a seamstress and never married. Here she is in adulthood:
Below is a photograph of Helen as an adult. Helen married Roy Morgan (1891-1986), a mechanic born in Texas, and they had one daughter, Gladys Morgan (1936-1952), who died after a long illness at the age of 15. From the “In Memoriam” page of the Bloomfield (NJ) High School yearbook of 1954: “A vivid picture of Gladys’ small, quiet countenance can be recalled, curled up with a good novel or hiking on a brisk afternoon.”
Below is a photograph of the girls’ mother, Flora. Identifications written on the photographs in this batch and the available records cause some confusion about Flora’s maiden name. In official records of her marriage to George and Hazel’s birth her maiden name is listed as Leitlein. All other available records, including some findagrave.com memorials created in modern times by relatives, show her to be the daughter of Ernest G. Hillert (1855-1937) and Anna Shubert (??-1907).
Ernest and Anna had one other daughter, Frieda B. Hillert (1886-1947) who married Ferdinand H. Ehret (1884-1951). This batch includes three photographs of her:
My head started spinning when I came across the following two photographs of Anna C. Leitlein (1870-??) who married a machinist named Maxmillian Joseph Eberle (1870-??) in 1891. They lived many years at 349 Walnut Street in Newark. Her parents were apparently G. Leitlein who was born in Württemberg, Germany around 1843, and his wife Anna. I could find very little information on the Eberle and Leitlein families.
I’ve spent enough time on this post. Newspapers.com hasn’t made any Newark papers available and without obituaries it is just too difficult to get to the real truth from the comfort of my home office command center. I’ll just post a few more of the photographs contained in this batch and leave it to the Internet to fill in the blanks as time goes by.
Here are Albert Benz and Jessie Benz. I suspect these are Albert Russell Benz (1866-??) and his mother Jessie G. Howe (1866-??) who married Martin Benz (1855-??). I could not connect them to our known Benz family members.
Here is Christina Volz. Three people named Christina Volz died in Essex County, NJ during 1894-1895 and I was unable to determine which one of them this is.
Each of the following three photographs has a caption on the back rather than the front, and the handwriting is different from the handwriting on the other photographs. These might not be associated with the others for any reason other than I found them in the same box.
Samuel Yobe, brother of Uncle Will, is a mystery to me:
Below we have Rebecca Miller and her husband James Connell.
Frank and Silvia McDonald are genealogists and memorialists who allowed me to use the photographs they put on the findagrave.com memorials for the Benz sisters. Thank you! I provided the memorial number for Alma above. Hazel Benz’s memorial is #84386396, Helen’s is #74553594 and Gladys’s is #74554704. From there you can link to their parents and other relations.