At Play In The Archive
Can you believe it? In all the photos that I’ve unearthed and scanned, I have yet to come across a definitive wedding picture of my great-grandparents, Franz Georg Leopold Lessiack and Margaret Spielmann Lessiack. I do know that the wedding happened on Wednesday, September 24, 1919 at 237 Palisade Avenue, West Hoboken, NJ, because I found this charming note from the person who officiated.
Here is a scan of the rather magnificent marriage certificate which certifies that, “…Mr. Leo Lessiack of Hamburg, Germany and Bogota, NJ and Miss Margaret B. Spielmann of Vienna, Austria and West Hoboken, NJ were united in MARRIAGE according to the ordinance of GOD and the laws of the state of New Jersey and West Hoboken, NJ on the twenty-fourth day of September in the year of OUR LORD one thousand one hundred and nineteen. Witnesses Miss Lillian Spielmann and Mr. Ernst Spielmann, 237 Palisade Avenue, West Hoboken, NJ.”
Unfortunately, I can’t make out the name of the pastor who performed the ceremony, nor does the certificate reveal any particular church or denomination. This is interesting mostly in light of my earlier discovery that, prior to emigrating to the United States, Herman, Fanny, Margaret, Ernst, and Hilda Spielmann were all registered with the Jewish community in Vienna, Austria. There is ample evidence that Leo was a cradle German Evangelical Lutheran, so perhaps this non-denominational ceremony was a happy medium for the two families.
The 1920 census shows the Spielmann family living at the same address where the wedding took place — 237 Palisade Avenue — and we have the additional evidence of Ernst Spielmann’s many postcards home from WWI to support that home address. Because the wedding took place in the Spielmann family home, it’s possible that I have seen actual wedding pictures and just not realized it. I’ll be on the lookout from now on.
According to Wikipedia, “West Hoboken was a municipality that existed in Hudson County, New Jersey…from 1861 to 1925. It merged with Union Hill to form Union City on June 1, 1925.” According to Google Maps, here is what 237 Palisade Avenue looks like today.
The following images were taken in the year before the wedding, I love how they illustrate the blending of the Lessiack and Spielmann families.
Until next time, People.