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My Messer Mystery

Found among my mother's photos was this family portrait taken at Khudak Photography. A name is written on the back, "Johann Messer". Where does this name fit into my family?

Quite by accident, I discovered that Jim Messer of Arizona had this photo of his great grandparents - Jakob Messer, born 13 Mar 1846 in Karlsruhe, Beresan district, and Eva Eckroth, born 24 Mar 1848 in Karlsruhe, Beresan district. Their youngest son was named Johann, born 04 Feb 1889. Both Jakob and Eva are buried in Richardton, ND.

Carefully compare the two photos and you can see that it is the same couple. The second one is a colored and re-touched copy of the first. If the young boy is Johann, then this photo would have been taken about 1892 - coincidentally the year my grandmother Elizabeth Tichy was born. The Messers were from the Beresan district, and my Tichy family is from Crimea. So why was this photo in my mother's collection?

There must be a family connection, but what is it?


"We cannot say 'the past is past' without surrendering the future." Winston Churchill

"We cannot choose our family. They are God's gift to us, as we are to them." Desmond Tutu

"Wer die Vergangenheit nicht ehrt verliert die Zukunft. Wer seine Wurzeln vernichtet kann nicht wachsen." Friedrich Hundertwasser, Austrian artist-architect, 1928-2000