Photo Mystery: Is this the same Bergmeister?

Bergmeister Wedding

My last “Photo Mystery” required some specialized knowledge. This one only requires your opinion! Coincidentally, I was preparing this when Jasia posted about using facial recognition software in photo identification. When I visited my Bavarian cousins, I took along a photo of my great-grandfather, Joseph Bergmeister. During the visit, I had the opportunity to look through several boxes of photos belonging to my cousins. Like many of our photos, they were not labeled, so none of us knew who was actually pictured in the photos. One photo stood out – it was the wedding photograph shown above. The groom is most likely Johann Bergmeister, my cousins’ ancestor. This is my educated guess based on later photographs they had of this individual (to see a photograph of this couple a bit older, with children, see the right hand column of this page). But the man (the “best man”?) to his right looks like my great-grandfather Joseph. A lot like him – at least that’s what I think! Here are the only photos I possess of my great-grandparents, Joseph Bergmeister and Maria Echerer Bergmeister:


My only concern is that if the wedding is actually of the Johann Bergmeister, specifically  my cousin’s grandfather, then the event took place in 1905. If this is true, then the other man is definitely not my great-grandfather – he was in the United States from 1900 and I have no other passenger record of a “visit” home.  Is it Joseph’s brother? I plan on conducting more research on Bergmeister family weddings around the years 1897-1905 to determine who the bride and groom were in addition to the rest of the wedding party. But, what do you think? Do you see a family resemblance at all?

Are they the same person?

8 thoughts on “Photo Mystery: Is this the same Bergmeister?

  1. Wow, the resemblance is striking! If I was a betting lady, I say yes, it’s the same person. If it’s not, it absolutely must be a close relation. But I think it’s the same guy.

  2. I think they look like two different men, but closely related – brothers or cousins – the nose and upper face of each is slightly different. Just my opinion…Could your ancestor have returned home for the wedding? I was surprised to learn how many of my German relatives in the early 1900s went back home to visit.

  3. I think they could very well be the same person. The mouth and chin and shape of the head look identical. It does seem as though he changed the part in his hair to the other side. Could one of the pictures have been flipped when it was scanned?

  4. Great photos! I’d guess the two men are related. That the photos are not of the same man is based primarily upon the fact that most men do not change the part of their hair over time — we plod along for a lifetime parting our hair exactly as we first learned in childhood. [Of course there are some exceptions!]

    One thing you might try — reverse the image of the known and compare it to the unknown. That would be interesting to see. I do not, however, see any indication that the photographer got one of his images reversed but that is always a possibility also.


  5. The eyes make me think that they are two different, but closely related men. Of course I’ve been way off on some of my family photos.

  6. Thanks for all the comments! I also thought that one of the images was reversed. I assumed it was the military photo because the eyes didn’t look quite right. But, I have found other photos online with men wearing the same uniform, and the jacket and which side it is buttoned is the same as my photo. The lapel/jacket in the wedding photo appears to be on the correct side as well. But, I do agree with Terry that most men don’t change the side in which they part their hair! Lidian, I haven’t found evidence of a return trip. In other instances where that did happen, I always found the person on the passenger list when they returned. I hope to prove this by finding out who witnessed the wedding – more on that in a future post when I do find out! Also a future post will give more explanation of the military uniform…would you believe that the color of the uniform is blue?

  7. I would be interested in what you find out
    about the uniform. I also have 1 photo
    from Ostermayer in Munich where my unknown
    relative is in the same uniform.
    I have a few other photos from this era also.
    I think they are two different men – eyes are
    deeper set and the nose is longer in the man
    in Wedding photo.

  8. This is something else. Keep up the good work. I am interested in following the bloodlines from my Mother, Stella Koruba. My grandmother Victoria Pater Koruba. My father Joseph S. Martino

    This is great,

    Bob Martno

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