Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Grandma as a Young Lady

Grandma Hermina Farkas Schwartz (1886-1964) arrived in New York City from Hungary two days after her 15th birthday. She was accompanied by her older brother Alex and two younger sisters, Ella and Freda.

The photo at left was taken about 1910, by Gustav Beldegreen, the photographer who served as official photographer for the Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society--a group that my Farkas relatives helped to found in NYC.

This photo is now featured in a book about Hungarian photographers who came to America, including Beldegreen.

At right, another Beldegreen photo of my grandma, possibly the same day but certainly around the same time as the photo above.

Given that Grandma was an expert seamstress and made her living sewing silk ties, she might even have stitched the stylish dress she's wearing.

She makes quite the fashion statement with her scarf, hat, umbrella, gloves, and shoes!

These photos were probably taken the year before grandma married Theodore (Tivador) Schwartz (1887-1965), who was from Ungvar, Hungary and who encouraged both his brother Simon (renamed Samuel) and his sister Mary (Marushka) to come to America.


  1. Marian,
    Lovely photographs of a very lovely lady! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks so much, Deb! This grandma was a talented seamstress and cook--her Hungarian Apple Strudel was out of this world, with phyllo dough made from scratch, of course. When she made chicken soup, she made the egg noodles from scratch and dried them over the backs of kitchen chairs :)

    1. Hi,

      I am a Beldegreen too! Happens I’m in Budapest finding your research on the internet.
      I’d love to connect.

    2. Dear Alecia,
      being a Hungarian historian I'm researching Hungarian photographers in the US. I's love to find Gus Beldegreen's relatives to get to know details about his studio. Would you share your knowledge with me?