An amazing find via Google

In my recent post about my maternal grandmother, Anna Sabol Agin, I wrote about meeting my great aunt Hermina. So today I decided to google Hermina, thinking that the name is unusual enough that something interesting might turn up. Turns out I found an amazing treasure.

The first hit for “Hermina Sabol” linked to an Excel spreadsheet of images in the photo archive of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Raritan, New Jersey, the hometown of the Sabol family. I learned that the church was originally known as the First Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church which was founded in the 1890s to cater to a growing Slovak immigrant population that included my great grandparents.

The 41 photos in the archive are a random collection of photos from weddings, confirmations and other church ceremonies. Skimming through the entries I saw the name Anna Sabol included in a 1919 confirmation class photo. I clicked on the link and found my grandmother as a 14 year old girl! She’s standing in the back row directly behind the minister.

1919 Confirmation Class at the First Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church, Raritan, New Jersey. Dated July 31, 1919.

I have never seen a photo of my grandmother before she was married. So this is a truly amazing find. It’s easy to see why she was called the prettiest girl in Raritan.

Needless to say, I need to go visit that church and see what else they have. At a minimum, it would be great to get a high resolution scan of this photo.

As a bonus, I found some of Anna’s siblings in the photo archive. I’ll post those at a later date.

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