Importance of Blogs in Genealogy – A Mystery Solved!

A Mystery Solved!

A few years ago, my siblings and I were going through a pile of pictures belonging to our grandmother, Rose Spiegel Lichtenthal. Included in the group was a picture of four women, two of whom were obviously our grandmother and her mother, Sophie Spiegel. But who were the other women? We didn’t have a clue.
Thanks to a recently-forged connection with Luctor Herwig, the mystery is solved!!

Here is his recent email, dated September 4, 2013:
 Today I visited Evelien. She showed me the picture I hereby enclose. You see from left to right Jacqueline Bäck (a daughter of Ignacz Bäck ), Roosje Spiegel, Sofie Spiegel and Henriëtte Bäck (mother of Evelien).”

Photo taken at Scheveningen  – a resort in The Hague (Holland) 

A bit of background: 

Back in January 2012, I was actively searching for information on my great-grandfather’s business in Semarang, Java. I conducted a few random searches on Google and came across the blog “Semarang, a City Walkthrough” ( where pictures of the Spiegel building were posted. I left a comment for the author, sharing my information and asking for permission to use his photos in my family research. 
Fast forward one year. On January 3, 2013 I received an email from an unknown person, named Luctor Herwig who resided in Holland. He wrote that his great-grandfather, Ignacz Bäck was a business partner with my great-grandfather, Herman Spiegel. The two had a third partner and owned a number of tokos (stores) in Semarang, Java from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Luctor was interested in knowing more about our ancestor’s business ‘Toko Spiegel’.

By the next day, Luctor and I had determined that not only were our great-grandfathers business partners, my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had lived with his family in Holland during their escape from Vienna in 1938.

The photo above shows my grandmother, Rose (referred as Roosje by the Bäcks) and my great-grandmother, Sophie Spiegel (wife of Herman Spiegel) flanked by two of Ignacz’ daughters, Jacqueline and Henriette. Henriette later becomes mother of Evelien, Luctor Herwig’s aunt.

A new research connection was made simply because someone decided to create a blog sharing their thoughts about a place important to them. Had I not found and posted to that blog, Luctor would not have found me. Together, Luctor and I have found much more information on our great-grandfather’s businesses.

More on that in a future blog post!!

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