Photo365: July 15, 2009

I am the family historian for my family, and every once in a while, something hits your desk that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about the past.

On 31 July 1906, my great grandfather Hermann Eduard Geissler witnessed the marriage of his daughter Martha Pauline Geissler to Paul Alfred Benschura in Gera, a town in Thüringen, Germany, then part of the principality of Reuss Jüngere Linie. I never met my great grandfather, or his daughter Martha, or even his son, my grandfather. They were all dead before I was born.

But today, just about 102 years after that ceremony, I received in the mail a copy of the record from the State Archives in Gera… with the signature of my great grandfather on it. It was as if he had reached out over the years to touch me.

Signature of H.E. Geissler

Signature of H.E. Geissler

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