Breaking Through the Brickwall

There were two very surprising finds in the package of photos. 
1)  A photo of my great-great-grandmother, Sophia (?) Spiegel. Her maiden name is unknown (or is it?) Picture was taken in Savannah c. 1870 2) And what appears to be a photo of Sophia’s father!

What I know about Sophia is that according to the US Census of 1870 Sophia’s birthplace was New York and her parents were been born in Bavaria. Her maiden name is not listed in any records I have seen.  Sophia appears in the US Census 1880. Then sometime between 1880 and 1887, Sophia died. 

In 1887, George C. Spiegel married Katherine Greuloch. The census of 1900 shows that Katherine had two sons with George. In 1900, Helen (Nellie) is shown living with her father and her stepmother.

In 1901, Helen marries James Monroe Dobbs, Sr. in NYC. This is according to the society page of the Atlanta Constitution. Although James was born in Marietta, the family relocated to Atlanta after the Civil War. 

Helen’s family originally lived in Savannah and Helen was born in Dallas, Texas. 

Yet, knowing that Helen’s mother (and family) were from NYC is not enough to explain why Helen & James were married there, but one of the photos might be a clue. 

It is a picture of a man standing in a pose common for the latter half of the 19th century. On the back is written, “Precht, grandfather of Helen D. Spiegel” –in other words, the father of Sophia. The photographer’s stamp on the back of the card gives the address as No. 13 Avenue A., NY

So, now it seems that I have a last name for Sophia. Next stop census records for NY to look for a Precht family. To make the connection, I need to find a Sophia Precht age 14 in NYC 1860.

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