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Thread: old military uniforms help identifying

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    old military uniforms help identifying

    I recently came across these old family photos and sadly I have no information about who is in them or when they were taken. I only know they are from my paternal grandmother's side of the family, and were taken in Lwow.

    Can anyone tell anything from the military uniforms? Or any other clues hidden in the photos that might help identify the time period?



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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    It 's tricky.
    The kind of cap and collar on the second photo is typical for Austria-Hungarian Empire. The medal looks like one of The Crown Jubilee Crosses of 1908.
    First photo probably is a kind of civil service uniform.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    They definitely look like they are from the Austrian-Hungarian empire.

    Lvov is in the Ukraine, isn't it? It's a bit of a clue that you used German spelling of the city name too. I have no idea why your forebears would have lived there, but been associated with the Habsburg empire. Maybe I am lacking something in my history skills.

    Did they emigrate to the USA?

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    Lwów is Polish spelling. It was called Lemberg when it was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1772 to 1914. It's a city with very turbulent history. Under Austrian rule it was an important center of Polish and Jewish culture (but with German-speaking authorities). Lvov (Russian spelling Львов) was given to the Soviet Union, according to the Yalta conference agreements, and now its population is predominantly Ukrainian. Btw, Ukrainians call it Lviv (Львів)

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Lvov is in the Ukraine, isn't it? It's a bit of a clue that you used German spelling of the city name too.
    hahaha... I had to learn all about that too. If you look at the bottom of the frame of the first photo, you will see that it says Lwow. Some of the other photos have preprinted things on the back and they also have it spelled Lwow. So I did some asking about this and found out
    Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів L’viv, IPA: [lʲwiu̯] ( listen); Polish: Lwów, pronounced [lvuf]; Russian: Львов, L'vov; German: Lemberg and Yiddish Lemberg. Nowadays city of Lviv is called Lviv by the Ukrainians, Lwów by the Poles, and Lemberg by the Austrians
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I have no idea why your forebears would have lived there, but been associated with the Habsburg empire. Maybe I am lacking something in my history skills. Did they emigrate to the USA?
    My grandmother was born there when it was still Austria. She moved here in 1907. Several of her aunts and an uncle moved here as well, some before and some after her. After she died two years ago, we found all these letters that she had kept that were written in German and a number of photos had writing on the back too, like postcards... others had no information at all and we are clueless as to who the people in them are. It's really sad as she had gone over most of the photos with me several times over the years and I tried to document them, but then after she died, we found all of these and even my dad had never seen them before and now there is no one left around to ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    It 's tricky.
    The kind of cap and collar on the second photo is typical for Austria-Hungarian Empire. The medal looks like one of The Crown Jubilee Crosses of 1908.
    First photo probably is a kind of civil service uniform.
    it-ogo, wow, that looks very close to what he is wearing. it is a shame the photo is not in color so we could match it up to the grid. I did not see anything on the page about his belt.

    About the medal, you also seem to be correct.. I found this out:

    Het kruis voor militairen


    Voor de strijdkrachten was er het “Militär-Jubiläumskreuz.
    Het Kruis voor militairen werd ingesteld op 10 augustus 1908. Het decreet werd op 18 augustus 1908 gepubliceerd. Het kruis was bestemd voor alle officieren, onderofficieren en soldaten van de Oostenrijks-Hongaarse strijdkrachten. Ook de militaire ambtenaren op het ministerie in Wenen en bij de verschillende staven kwamen in aanmerking voor het militaire kruis. De reserveofficieren kwamen niet voor het kruis in aanmerking.
    In het zeer sterk in rangen en standen ingedeelde Oostenrijk waren het leger en met name de officieren die een eigen "kaste" binnen de maatschappij vormden zeer in aanzien. De monarchie van de Habsburgers steunde op de trouw van deze officieren omdat de landen van de Habsburgse keizer politiek en maatschappelijk zeer verdeeld waren.
    Het criterium voor verlening was een periode van drie jaar in dienst van het leger of de marine in de periode tussen 2 december 1898 en 2 december 1908. Er was nog geen luchtmacht.
    Ook de overlevende veteranen van de veldtocht tijdens de revolutie en burgeroorlog van 1848-1849 en alle personen, waaronder ook de civiele medewerkers van de verschillende militaire scholen, instituten en militaire weeshuizen ontvingen wanneer zij op de steekdatum 2 december 1908 in dienst waren het militaire Jubileumskruis.
    Het werd ook toegekend aan de derde en hogere leergangen van de verschillende Militaire scholen. Zij moesten om in aanmerking te komen voor het kruis ten minste 2 jaar militaire training hebben ontvangen.
    Ook de aspirant-officieren die als reserve-officieren werden opgeleid tijdens het vervullen van de militaire dienstplicht kwamen, in wat hun “Zweites Präsenzjahr”werd genoemd, in aanmerking voor het militaire kruis.
    In de Eerste Wereldoorlog werden nogmaals militaire kruisen toegekend aan reserveofficieren die in 1908 wel tot de reserve behoorden maar het kruis niet hadden ontvangen
    Google translate of the above...
    The Cross for soldiers

    For the armed forces was the "Militär-Jubiläumskreuz.
    The Cross for soldiers was established on 10 August 1908. The decree was published on August 18, 1908. The cross was for all officers, NCOs and soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian forces. The military officials at the ministry in Vienna and at the variousbars were eligible for the military cross. The reserve officers were not eligible for the cross.

    In the highly classified into ranks and positions Austria were the army and especially the officers who own "caste" in society were very much in appearance. The monarchy of the Habsburgs relied on the loyalty of these officers because the countries of the Habsburgemperor politically and socially very divided.

    The criterion for the grant was a period of three years in the service of the army or navy in the period between December 2, 1898 and December 2, 1908. There was no air force.

    The surviving veterans of the campaign during the revolution and civil war of 1848-1849 and all persons, including civilian employees of the various military schools, military institutions and orphanages when they received the knitting date December 2, 1908 were employed by the military Jubilee Cross .

    It was also awarded to the third and higher courses of the various military schools. They had to qualify for the cross at least 2 years of military training has been provided.
    The prospective officers as reserve officers were trained during the performance ofmilitary service were, in their "Zweites Präsenzjahr" was called into account for the military cross.

    In the First World War military again crosses awarded to reserve officers in 1908 it belonged to the reserve but the cross had not received








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  6. #6
    Hanna
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    edited: Rockzmom and I must have posted at the same time, I will now read her entry above!




    Oh wow, Lemberg and Lvov is the same place. Haha!
    I thought Lemberg was a place in Poland, now going under some tongue-twister name... Lol!
    Perhaps it's a similar situation to some places I visited in Belarus that had been passing around between several countries for centuries.
    There is something fascinating and a bit cosmopolitan about such places even though it must have been dramatic and disturbing too.

    I simply assumed it was German spelling because they usually replace v with w when transliterating Russian, whereas English doesn't
    .

    Ok, now we are waiting to hear what else Rockzmom knows about these intriguing relatives of hers!

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    How interesting Rockzmom!

    Did your grandmother ever explain why they decided to emigrate?
    I mean, there can be lots of reasons why someone does that... They don't look poor to me at least. Maybe it was politically or religiously motivated? Perhaps one of the people in the picture is your great grandparent, or great-great grandparent?

    From the European perspective, when we think of people who emigrated to the USA prior to say.... 1 st World War, we think of people who quite simply put was poor and oppressed - maybe close to starving - and looked for an opportunity to start over somewhere where they'd have better possibilities to get ahead...

    Or else, people who were religiously persecuted because they had some non-standard Christian views, or they were a political/religious minority that was persecuted.

    It's really fascinating when people both sides of the Atlantic do family research and find out what interesting links exist.. I have some very relatives (don't know them) who own a small sugar plantation in Georgia, and some others who live in the state of Utah, I think one of them is a teacher. In both cases it was the Americans who tracked down my grandfather. Neither was very stereotypical of a Swedish emigrant to the USA - supposedly most went to Minnesota and became farmers. But not mine! Funnily enough my other grandfather tried to do some research into a relative who moved to the USA, but was not able to find out what happened to him.

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post

    it-ogo, wow, that looks very close to what he is wearing. it is a shame the photo is not in color so we could match it up to the grid. I did not see anything on the page about his belt.

    So, he was a Feldwebel in one of "german" infantry regiments of AH. Assuming that the regiment was garrisoned in Lemberg according to the data from 1914 it can be regiment number 15, 30, 55, 80 or 95.

    Comparing colors, I believe that 15, 55 or 95 are too dark, so either 15 or 80.

    Infanterieregiment Freiherr von Georgi Nr.15
    Infanterieregiment Wilhelm Ernst Grossherzog von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, Herzog zu Sachsen Nr.80
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    How interesting Rockzmom!

    Did your grandmother ever explain why they decided to emigrate?
    I mean, there can be lots of reasons why someone does that... They don't look poor to me at least. Maybe it was politically or religiously motivated? Perhaps one of the people in the picture is your great grandparent, or great-great grandparent?

    From the European perspective, when we think of people who emigrated to the USA prior to say.... 1 st World War, we think of people who quite simply put was poor and oppressed - maybe close to starving - and looked for an opportunity to start over somewhere where they'd have better possibilities to get ahead...

    Or else, people who were religiously persecuted because they had some non-standard Christian views, or they were a political/religious minority that was persecuted.

    It's really fascinating when people both sides of the Atlantic do family research and find out what interesting links exist.. I have some very relatives (don't know them) who own a small sugar plantation in Georgia, and some others who live in the state of Utah, I think one of them is a teacher. In both cases it was the Americans who tracked down my grandfather. Neither was very stereotypical of a Swedish emigrant to the USA - supposedly most went to Minnesota and became farmers. But not mine! Funnily enough my other grandfather tried to do some research into a relative who moved to the USA, but was not able to find out what happened to him.
    I've been doing research on her family off an on for the two years now since she passed away and I must say, the more I find the more I am amazed. I always knew that she came with her mom here to New York when she was a child as her mom had been offered a job and that they came first class. I also knew that her mom hated it here as she thought New York was so, hmmm how should I put it, uncultured and filthy and just so different from the lifestyle they had back in Austria. So they actually went back to Austria. Well, her family was so upset with her mom that she did that and made her try New York again. So my grandmother and her mom came back yet a second time, again first class. This time they stayed.

    I finally found the 1909 ship manifest for the second trip, as there are no Ellis Island records, that said they were going to stay with a brother-in-law, so they already had relatives in New York.

    They were all sisters by the way, and one younger brother that came here. Why it is that they did come here to begin with, except for the fact that my great grandmother was offered a job, I have no idea. For as you correctly pointed out, they were all doing very well in Austria. Once they got here, their husbands did even better. They all started businesses and did very well for themselves. They really did the "American Dream" thing that you only read about or see in movies. One owned a children clothing store, one owned a candy store, one went into the diamond wholesale merchant business, one became a watchmaker/jewelry store owner, one a dry goods store and so on.

    It is interesting, I have only learned now that my grandmother gave up everything when she married my grandfather. She had a VERY comfortable lifestyle and he was, shall we say, from a not so well-to-do family. They actually moved to DC to start over again because he lost everything when he tried to open a business and it failed. Yet, I never heard my grandmother complain about not having the life she used to have. But I have heard from many people that he changed after that and became a very different man, a more bitter and unhappy man, maybe it was because he knew he could no longer give her that kind of a life.
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  10. #10
    Hanna
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    I find stories like this really fascinating.

    It is interesting to think about their reasons for emigrating. If it was not poverty or persecution, perhaps it was something like a serious professional mistake, career obstacles, a social embarassment or a scandal (if they came from different social backgrounds, then that really could be a possibility...) Or perhaps they just imagine that they'd have more prosperity in the USA (and this seems to have been true).

    Exciting to hear that they "lived the American dream".
    Emigrating in those days was so dramatic, I mean, travelling by ship for weeks, learning a new language "on the spot" etc. Imagine how she must have fretted the decision to return, then go back again.

    I can sort of imagine how your great grandmother felt - torn between two countries, ideals and expectations of how to live. This is going on in my own life at the moment.

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