So Many Faces, So Few Names
For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid genealogist. I’ve been interested in genealogy research since I was 14 years old and it is still one of my greatest passions. It takes me a while at times to put all the details of a specific ancestral family or line together as I am a stickler for accuracy. I wont rest till I’ve exhausted all my energy into finding everything on an individual there is to be found, within reach of my resources anyway.
One of the things I am so thankful for in genealogical research, are people who volunteer to do look ups. I’ve often contacted individuals who could get to information I couldn’t and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of souls willing to try and help me in my research. Of course it has made me want to return the favor so I volunteer to do genealogy lookups on various sites and contribute in whatever way I can to helping others find more about their ancestors.
One of the most thrilling things I’ve discovered in my research, is finding a face to put to the name on paper. I have a book of antique family photographs that is one of my most treasured possessions. But I was devastated to find when I went through the process of carefully removing photos in attempts at identification, that only 4 of the nearly 50 photographs had names on the back. There are ways that I’ve narrowed down who might be in these pictures based on photographer information and dating on the back but it’s hard to know for sure. Anyway, I want others to be able to find photographs of their ancestors, if photographs of them exist so I’ve started collecting old photos with valuable information on them.
Yesterday a friend watched Angel Girl for me for a couple hours so I took the time to visit a local antique shop. You should never take kids into an antique shop for obvious reasons so it’s been over 8 months since I made my last trip there. But here are my finds from yesterday:
TEXT ON BACK: Emma Mayensclein
TEXT ON BACK: Goldie, 2615 13th St. N.W. Washington D.C. May 1st 1909
TEXT ON BACK: My little Nieces Bessie & Doris Jordan
TEXT ON BACK: Celia W. Knox 1888
TEXT ON BACK: Papa’s Sister, Aunt Sallie Houston, Died Feb 1932 age 82
Sometimes a photograph is just a wonderful keepsake to find. Other times there is enough information on the back to be very valuable in further research. Perhaps a descendant of Sallie Houston does not know her birth date. If they were to find the information I’ve listed above online they would now know that she was likely born in the year 1850.
So where do I post these photographs and the information they contain? Well besides putting my latest few on this blog, I’ve thought about creating my own web page devoted to the photographs I find. But so far I’ve stuck with simply uploading them to DeadFred.com. Dead Fred’s Genealogy Photo Archive is “a free, fun photo genealogy research web site devoted to helping you visualize your heritage!”
You can upload photos there of people that you hope someone else will be able to identify or upload photos of people you yourself have identified and hope it will help someone else who is looking. The photo must be of deceased individuals however. It’s a nice service that I hope continues to grow on the web so we can find those photos we desperately hope exist. And the lack of information on these old photographs is why I’m very diligent at writing information on the back of all my photos. We can’t just assume that people will always know when a picture was taken or who is in it. Somehow, that information if not written down either dies with the informant, is distorted or simply forgotten.
Want more great ideas? Visit Works for Me Wednesday