All My Grandparents on Their Wedding Days

This first picture is of my maternal grandparents, who I never met. They both died before I was born, alas. They were the blue collar side of the family. Walter worked for Con Edison his entire life, and died on the street on the way to work. My mother told me his co-workers joked, “Walter didn’t come to work today, he must be dead!” And he was! They were married in 1927.

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This second shot is my paternal grandparents. I didn’t have the original, so the quality isn’t great, but I love the top hat! They were married in 1926. My father’s side of the family was more affluent. His father was a judge who was appointed by Mayor La Guardia. They were neighbors of the Trumps, and my father’s sister used to babysit Donald. I remember my father telling me that no one in the neighborhood liked Donald.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “All My Grandparents on Their Wedding Days

  1. I think you look very much like your paternal grandmother!

    I’m doing my family genealogy. An early surprise was my fourth great grandmother on my paternal grandfather’s side. She was an African American slave in Virginia. Her son, my third great grandfather, was emancipated on his father’s death (he was the slave owner) and went to Connecticut. In the 1850 census, he was labeled as Mulatto; by the 1860 census, he had moved and as identified as White. I know my grandfather and his family never knew.

    Two days ago, I found out that a first cousin three times removed murdered his wife and then committed suicide while his daughter was upstairs. It was the biggest scandal in southern Ohio in 1934.

    Genealogy can be eye opening sometimes.

  2. Jesus, wow. How exciting, (and sad) but you must write about this!!

    If I’m understanding correctly, you are descended from both a slave and a slave owner?

  3. I love these pictures. Love the top hat and the tails, but love the women’s wedding dresses most of all. My grandmother was married in this era too and my mother had her dress-we were able to get it cleaned and fixed (for a cool $100) so I could wear it to get married in. Same neckline, same style as these–it was so comfortable and yet formal. The material was like nothing we have anymore–it actually felt good to wear (and I never say that about dresses).
    I was not able to get my groom into a top hat, though, alas.
    Classic joke about your grandad not being at work for a reason–if he was still working he must have died when he was not very old? Your mom must have lost her parents when she was quite young.

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