Emil Lemkau, Caroline Reiche and Martha Böttger

I found these three photos at my local thrift store in Hamburg. I picked these cause they were identified, and it seems to be the same handwriting on all three. But how were they connected? They show “Emil Lemkau as a groom” (photo taken in Berlin), “Martha Böttger” (photo taken in Elberfeld) and “Aunt Caroline Reiche” (photo taken in Altona-Hamburg).

I started with Emil Lemkau. His detachable collar and cuffs were perfectly starched. He was wearing cufflinks and a wedding band, and another ring on his pinky finger. I wish I could zoom in on the ring to see if it had any symbolic carvings. His hair was very correctly slicked down with central parting, only his handlebar mustache could have used a bit of a trim on the edges. His gaze was warm and his smile welcoming. Maybe the man was in love, if it says the photo was taken when he was a groom.

I looked for Emil Lemkau from Berlin, but soon made the discovery and the connection that he was instead from Hamburg. Carl Johann Emil Lemkau had been a police inspector. He had been born on February 19, 1875, in Altona-Hamburg, to parents Johann Hinrich Lemkau and Wiebke Maria Elisabeth “Betty” née Schütt. His father Johann Hinrich had been a seafarer and perished during a sea passage from Hamburg to Leith in Scotland. Emil had an older brother Johann Albert Ferdinand Heinrich Lemkau (1872-1950).

Emil passed away on February 6, 1937, in Hamburg. The person to report his passing was one Heinz Hubert Karl Heinrich Lemkau. Perhaps his son? And his death certificate also reveals that Emil had been married to Emma née Böttger. Böttger – the surname of Miss Martha in our second photo below!

I wonder if Martha Böttger in this photo was Emil’s sister-in-law, his wife Emma’s sister? The photo was taken in Elberfeld which lies in Wuppertal, almost 380 km away from Hamburg. Were Emma and Martha born there? There were very many Böttgers living in Elberfeld in the 1950s, and even today, so I’m inclined to believe that the sisters might have been from that corner of Germany, but unfortunately, I don’t know for sure. I have not found a connection that ties Emma and Martha together as sisters (or as more distant relatives, or perhaps even as one and the same person Emma Martha?!).

And then we have our third photo, of “Aunt Caroline Reiche”, taken in Altona-Hamburg. She, turns out, was Emil’s maternal aunt! Caroline Margaretha Schütt and Emil’s mother Wiebke Betty Schütt were sisters. Caroline, born on January 13, 1837, married a businessman Wilhelm Heinrich Reiche and they had two daughters: their firstborn Betty Henriette Marie Reiche sadly only lived a short life between 1876 and 1880. Carolina’s second daughter Mathilde Helene Catharina Reiche was born in May 1878, she married twice (divorced her first husband Mr. Imkemeier and married Karl Albert Nebel in 1908) and passed away in 1956.

Carolina was widowed in 1900, so perhaps this photo was taken during her mourning years. Carolina passed away in July 1927 in Altona-Hamburg.

And that is all I have for you today. Three strangers to me who were not strangers to each other. Please let me know if you’re related to the Lemkaus, the Schütts or the Böttgers.

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