Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Cousins" reunited in 1979

While we’re tempted to say this was a gathering of German-Russian “cousins” – and a couple of them are – there’s really a mixture of relationships reflected in this August 1979 photograph.

It was taken at the home of Katie (Steinbrecher) Behm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Shown left-to-right are: Pauline (Behm) Greenhalgh, Marie (Behm) Hergenrader, Marie (Miller) Derrick, and Katie (Steinbrecher) Behm. Click on the photo to see a slightly larger image, or visit our Miller Gallery.

Pauline and Marie – both born in Unterdorf, Russia – were the daughters of Pete and Eva (Miller) Behm. Marie (Miller) Derrick was a cousin to Pauline and Marie. She was born in Longmont, Colorado to Pete and Dora (Eckerdt) Miller. Pete Miller and Eva (Miller) Behm were siblings. At right is Katherine “Katie” (Steinbrecher) Behm, who was married to Alex Behm, an older brother to Pauline and Marie – shown on the left here. So…..Katie was a sister-in-law to Pauline and Marie (Behm), and a wife of the first cousin to Marie (Miller) Behm.

Confused? So were we for a while, but it’s finally beginning to make sense after all these years!

Sisters Pauline and Marie Behm were both born in Unterdorf, Russia. Marie was born in October 1901, some five years before the family chose to emigrate to the United States. By late 1906, the family was settled in Longmont, Colorado, where sister Eva (Behm) Lei was born in March of 1908. But within two years, Pete and Eva Behm pulled up stakes and returned to Unterdorf, and that’s where their daughter Pauline was born. By late 1911, they chose to return once more to the United States.

Such migration was surely a formidable task, even in the best of times. But we believe that Behm’s were not a well-to-do family, which makes their adventures all the more remarkable.