Carte de Visite
Victorian Albums




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(click the image for a large version)


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1. John van der Veer (1837-1849).
2. Mary Valeria Gildersleeve (48) with her daughter Ella (6) in 1845.
3. Mary Norman van der Veer (18, left) with her niece Frances Elizabeth Upson (right) in 1849.

4. Ambrotype of Eleanor (Ella) van der Veer (17) in 1856.
5. Mary Norman van der Veer Rogers, married. Somewhere between 1857 (26) and 1862 (31).
6. Mary Valeria Gildersleeve, somewhere between 1857 (60) and 1862 (65).




The family "van der Veer" find their origins in the Netherlands, in Zeeland. They sailed from Alkmaar
to America on "the otter" in 1659. Their surname literally means "from the ferry". Around the same
time the Gildersleeve family sailed from England to America.

All 9 photos were labelled by Mary, Nellie, and Gertrude Dusinberre, the 3 daughters of Eleanor (Ella)
van der Veer (image 2 and 4). Only 5 remained together, and 4 were lost to other bidders at the auctions.
Those 4 images (above) have been taken from the internet.

Ella's mother was Mary Valeria Gildersleeve (image 2 and 6). Mary V. grew up on a plantage, as her
father (Cyrus Gildersleeve) was a cotton plantation owner, and a pastor. Her mother was the daughter of
a southern plantation owner.

After having 8 children, Mary's mother died when Mary was 10. Cyrus remarried, to another daughter of a
plantation owner, and had 8 more children. Mary's brother William Camp Gildersleeve was a famous abolitionist.
He's worth a google.

Mary was described as a woman of rare excellence of character, and she was greatly endeared to by the people
of the Church. She married Ferdinand Henry van der Veer, a pastor like her father. Ferdinand was a tall and
portly man, of great dignity of bearing, and of an impressive manner.

They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Henry was a field surgeon in the Civil War, Cyrus a gifted
pastor like his father and the grandfather he was named after, and John van der Veer (image 1) died young.
They also had 2 daughters, Mary Norman van der Veer (image 3 and 5) and the already mentioned Ella.

In 1849 Mary N. had her picture taken with her niece Frances E. Upson. Frances was the daughter of
Mary Valeria's sister, Sarah. Sarah died that same year, as did Mary Valeria's son John. John was only 11.
Perhaps it's the reason the 2 girls both wore black.

In 1856 Ella had an ambrotype taken, housed in a Brady swing case. Somewhere between 1857 and 1862
Mary Valeria had her picture taken together with her daughter Mary N. who had gotten married in 1857.
They both got tintypes and the same velvet oval case. Mary Valeria had several taken, perhaps to give to
her son as he was off to the war in 1862. He was a field surgeon at Gettysburg and later in the Civil War.

Mary N. had a son in 1863, but sadly she died 4 years later, in April 1867. She was 35. The following year, again
in April, her brother Cyrus died, aged 32. 4 months later their mother Mary Valeria Gildersleeve passed away at 71.

Ella had her first daughter the next year. She'd get 2 more with her husband Rev. Thomas Sproull Dusinberre. It was
at their home that her father, Ferdinand H. van der Veer passed away in 1881.

In 1885 Mary N.'s son was 21 when he went canoeing with a friend. It became dark and the boys never came home.
John Newton Rogers, his father, went out to look for them but the boys had drowned. The next month Mary N.'s brother
Henry, the field surgeon, died. John Newton Rogers died 2 years after his son, unable to cope with his loss.




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