|Alöisia (Luisa) Woschkeruscha - circa 1901|
~age 15 - Born May 4, 1886
I first wrote about Luisa in a Carnival of Genealogy blog for Women’s History Month (see Dressmaker Extraordinaire).
In that post we learned that Luisa (as she was called, and later, Louise, in America) had smallpox as a child, which disfigured her face and made her feel she was ugly. In fact, some of her own identification papers reinforced the idea that she was “scarred.”
We can learn a lot about Luisa's appearance from the first page of this book, and the way a simple piece of identification can serve to undermine a young woman’s self- esteem.
Along with her name, place of birth, birthdate and political region (Bracic) the document includes the following information:
Married or single: single
Hair: dark blond
Mouth and nose: appropriate
Dated: September 26, 1906 -- she was twenty years old.
I can’t help but imagine how embarrassing it must have been to have to present her Arbeitsbuch to potential employers and have themn search her face for the pockmarks so unkindly included in her description.
About seven years after this book was created, Luisa would leave for America. I have one letter she wrote, which reveals a young woman of remarkably good humor and confidence as she makes her way in a new country on her own. Coming up in future posts.
But first I want finish the Travel Tuesday posts about Sam Ebner's death in World War I and the unexpected connections I discovered between my grandparents in America and the monument built in Romania to honor the fallen.