Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday's Faces from the Past: Cousins Try to Name Names

Now that I'm in touch with more descendants of my paternal Burk family, I'm asking them to help identify who's who in this party photo from the late 1930s or early 1940s. I can't tell when, where, or why this party took place.

At far right in the foreground is my father, Harold Burk (#3). Seated near the center is his mother, Henrietta Mahler Burk (#1) and his father, Isaac Burk (#2).

My grandfather Isaac's family had distinctly different ways of spelling their shared surname when they came to America from Lithuania, reminding me to be flexible when I search and consider Soundex variations:

Berg, Berk, Birk, Burk, Burke


  1. Hi Marian! I cannot offer any help on your attempts to identify people in the photograph, BUT it occurs to me that there might be a clue hanging on the wall under the lighting sconce to the right in the photo. It looks like some kind of plaque or certificate that MIGHT provide some clue as to where the banquet hall is/was. Do you think there is any possibility of having the photo enlarged enough to make out what the plaque/certificate says? Probably not, but maybe worth a try to find out the location of the photo that you can then research further. Just a thought.


  2. Hi John, What a great idea. I'm not sure the resolution is high enough to survive being blown up to that extent, but it's definitely worth a try. Thank you for reading and leaving a can be sure I'll post any updates!