52 Ancestors: So Far Away


I have written before about my mysterious great-grandfather, and my efforts to learn more about him. John August Gall has been a tough person to research. I know he was in the Prussian Army and had a photo taken in Danzig (now Gdansk).

John Gall in Prussian Army uniform
John August Gall.

However, we actually have a couple items that he brought with him to the United States, one being a steamer trunk. This trunk came from Germany to the U.S., ending up in San Diego, where it remained for many years. My mom had the trunk shipped to Oregon in 1990, where it now lives with us.


It is beat up, has a broken handle, and a quite lovely musty smell, but all those things have stories behind them.


But the most interesting part is the inside, where my great-grandfather glued photos, cartoons, advertisements, and even cigar bands throughout. If nudity offends you, scroll down past the first image.


My mom always wanted to display the trunk, but was afraid the parents of our friends would not approve.


We have no idea who the woman in the photos are. John Gall was divorced when he married my great-grandmother, so it may be her.


Some of the items have dates (and his name!), so we know that he was here for a while before he married by great-grandma in 1912.


My goal is to photograph and research each item, as one of them may hold a clue to who John Gall was.

This is just a sample of what is in the trunk! If you see anything that stands out to you, please let me know!

If you are interested, you can find the rest of my 52 Ancestors posts my clicking the tag at the top of the post.

Until next time,




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