Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
July, 2015 (1)
June, 2015 (5)
May, 2015 (4)
April, 2015 (4)
March, 2015 (5)
February, 2015 (4)
January, 2015 (4)
December, 2014 (4)
November, 2014 (5)
October, 2014 (4)
September, 2014 (5)
August, 2014 (4)
July, 2014 (4)
June, 2014 (5)
May, 2014 (4)
April, 2014 (4)
March, 2014 (5)
February, 2014 (4)
January, 2014 (4)
December, 2013 (5)
November, 2013 (4)
October, 2013 (4)
September, 2013 (5)
August, 2013 (4)
July, 2013 (4)
June, 2013 (5)
May, 2013 (4)
April, 2013 (5)
March, 2013 (4)
February, 2013 (4)
January, 2013 (4)
December, 2012 (5)
November, 2012 (4)
October, 2012 (5)
September, 2012 (4)
August, 2012 (5)
July, 2012 (5)
June, 2012 (4)
May, 2012 (4)
April, 2012 (5)
March, 2012 (4)
February, 2012 (4)
January, 2012 (5)
December, 2011 (5)
November, 2011 (4)
October, 2011 (5)
September, 2011 (4)
August, 2011 (5)
July, 2011 (5)
June, 2011 (6)
May, 2011 (7)
April, 2011 (4)
March, 2011 (5)
February, 2011 (3)
January, 2011 (5)
December, 2010 (4)
November, 2010 (5)
October, 2010 (4)
September, 2010 (4)
August, 2010 (5)
July, 2010 (4)
June, 2010 (5)
May, 2010 (4)
April, 2010 (4)
March, 2010 (5)
February, 2010 (4)
January, 2010 (4)
December, 2009 (3)
November, 2009 (5)
October, 2009 (4)
September, 2009 (4)
August, 2009 (5)
July, 2009 (4)
June, 2009 (5)
May, 2009 (4)
April, 2009 (5)
March, 2009 (6)
February, 2009 (5)
January, 2009 (5)
December, 2008 (4)
November, 2008 (4)
October, 2008 (6)
September, 2008 (5)
August, 2008 (5)
July, 2008 (4)
June, 2008 (6)
May, 2008 (5)
April, 2008 (5)
March, 2008 (4)
February, 2008 (4)
January, 2008 (5)
December, 2007 (4)
November, 2007 (4)
October, 2007 (6)
September, 2007 (4)
August, 2007 (4)
July, 2007 (5)
June, 2007 (4)
May, 2007 (3)
April, 2007 (2)
March, 2007 (1)

Search

Archives

<July 2015>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2829301234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678

by Maureen A. Taylor

More Links










# Monday, July 06, 2015
Triple Tintype Mystery
Posted by Maureen

Most of us feel lucky to have one picture of an ancestor, but imagine finding three images of an identical person in a family album and not knowing who they are.  Obviously this man was important to someone in Kyndahl Carlson's family.  This triple mystery appears in a family photo album.

Here are the three pictures:
 




In this image he's posed between two men.  He wears the same watch fob in both images.  The two men each rest a hand on his shoulder showing a close relationship. Kyndahl has no idea who they are.  One could be the young man's father and the other a brother or they could be other relatives.  The young man wears a suit from the 1860s with velvet collar and wide lapels.  The other two men also wear suits from the 1860s, but the tie on the man on the right suggests a date of circa 1870.  There was a market for second hand clothing, so it's possible that the young man's suit is a hand-me-down.

The man on the left has light blue eyes.  A few weeks ago I wrote about Spotting Light Colored Eyes. This could be an identification clue if there are family stories about this man and his blue eyes.

The final tintype is very interesting!



In this image he's posed with pants tucked into boots, no jacket, a fiddle, a pipe and an old hat.  He's ready to perform.  Is he really a performer or was this arranged by the photographer?  Fiddler's often tucked their pants into their boots and wore hats but not necessarily this style.

When faced with three images of the same person it's helpful to arrange them in a timeline. In this case, that's difficult since all three images were taken around the same time. He doesn't age from picture to picture.  Here's the order that I think makes sense.


A side by side timeline of images often reveals details overlooked when examining the images individually.  What's apparent from this collage is the expression on his face.  He's a solemn person with no smile and sad eyes. 

Kyndahl's family lived in Maine, Wisconsin, Montana, South Dakota, Oregon and Idaho.  It all depends on his branch of the family.  At this point, that's unclear. I'd start by figuring out the following:
  • He's a teen. So who's about the right age to be in his mid teens in  circa 1870. 
  • Compare other images in the album to see if he looks like anyone else. There could be another picture of him at an older age in the album. He has a slim nose, a small mouth with narrow eyes and thin brows. Watch for men with similar features and facial shape.

I'm hoping these additional details help Kyndahl figure out his identity.



Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1860s photos | 1870s photos | hats | men | unusual clothing | unusual photos
    Monday, July 06, 2015 6:05:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, June 29, 2015
    Our Ancestors' Fourth of July Celebrations
    Posted by Maureen


     
    How did your ancestral town celebrate the Fourth of July? In this image by John Lewis Krimmel, the citizens of Philadelphia honor the day in 1819.

    Researching Fourth of July celebrations in historical newspapers published in your ancestral hometowns can tell you how your family marked the occasion. I learned that in my city, the day started with cannon fire at dawn. Later in the day, a balloon ascension was held in the downtown.

    Providence, RI, was well known for featuring balloon ascensions on Independence Day. In the first such ascension, in 1800, the passengers in the basket were a dog and a cat. Local celebrity Prof. James K. Allen and his son experimented with balloons in Providence before and after the Civil War. During the war, the Allens flew surveillance balloons for the Union Army, under the command of Gen. Ambrose Burnside.

    Each generation celebrated the Fourth of July differently.

    In this Library of Congress print from circa 1875, families gather for picnics. Today, July Fourth fireworks, parades and concerts are common activities.

    Patriotic symbols like flags often appear in family photos. Count the stars in the flags to pinpoint a time frame for the image.  The number of stars changed throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries as new states joined the union.

    One of my favorite photos featuring patriotic symbolism is a stereograph of Fontanella Weller. Her father posed her as Columbia in 1876.

    If you want to learn more about how and why we celebrate the 4th of July, Peter de Bolla's The Fourth of July (2007) is an good read. 

    Happy 4th of July!


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 4th of July | patriotic
    Monday, June 29, 2015 3:23:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, June 22, 2015
    Twentieth-Century Childhood Fashion
    Posted by Maureen

    Kyndahl Carlson's aunt is writing down all the family stories she can remember. A family photo album in a cousin's collection may contain key details to add to those tales.

    The album may have belonged to the cousin's grandmother, Ruth Scrivner Laughter. The photos are laid out with the elders first, followed by images of Kyndahl's grandmother and Ruth's children and grandchildren.

    The context of the way all the images in an album are presented can tell you about who's important to the person who created the album, and can yield identification clues based on which photos are on which pages. I haven't seen the whole album, but I can add a few details about the individual images.



    This timeless photo of three children lacks any information about the photographer, but the clothing clues and chair help date the picture.



    The boys wear suits popular from about 1899 to World War I. There were subtle variations in the design of these suits over time, including ties, belts and different insignia. The insignia here is an abstract flower-like design, but I've also seen nautical anchors stitched into the placket of these sailor-collared outfits.



    This style was also popular for girls' dresses. The Sears Roebuck's catalog (searchable on Ancestry.com) sold suits similar to these for approximately $2. 

    Because these suits were common for more than a decade, it's hard to pinpoint a more-specific year without extensive research. 

    Wicker chairs as studio props first appear in the 1890s and continue in use for several decades. I own a wedding portrait from 1916 of my maternal grandfather leaning on a wicker chair.

    Posing three children together suggests a close relationship between them. I think this photo shows siblings, though I've also seen cousins posed together. Add up the family facts first before jumping to conclusions.

    Kyndahl can look at her family tree for a family with two brothers and a sister (or a brother) born close together. In the 19th century, girls wore center parts and boys wore side parts, but that's not so clear for the 20th century. All three children in this image part their hair in the center.

    The oldest boy could be about 5 years of age, the younger light-haired boy close to 3, and the baby could be 1 or 2. 

    Photo albums are collections of close family pictures, as well as images from friends and other relatives. There is no guarantee that these three are on the family tree. Fingers crossed!


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1900-1910 photos | children
    Monday, June 22, 2015 1:34:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]
    # Sunday, June 14, 2015
    Spotting Light-Eyed Ancestors in Old Family Photos
    Posted by Maureen

    Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Craig and other Hollywood actors and actresses draw attention with their variously shaded blue eyes. Eye color is easy to spot in contemporary color pictures, but how can you tell if you inherited your baby blues from your maternal or paternal great-grandparent? The proof may be in a family photo. 

    Here's a quick identification tip: Look at your ancestor's eyes. Do their irises look dark or are they ghostly in appearance? Blues and light greens often appear pale and ghostly in old pictures. The lighter the eye color, the whiter they appear.

    Here's an example:



    This is one of my favorite images from the Library of Congress website. It depicts Maria Boyd of Warwick, RI, holding a weaving shuttle in the mid-1800s. Take a close look at her eyes. 



    Her irises are pale in color, suggesting blue or light green eyes. This one detail can help you identify the right ancestor if you have additional information such as:
    • a family story about the blue-eyed greatgrandmother
    • a pension or military service papers that mention eye color 
    • an already-identified photograph of a person with similar facial features and the same eye color

    However, identifying a person based on eye color comes with a warning. Not everyone liked the appearance of their light-colored eyes in pictures, or sometimes the pale eyes need additional definition to be clearly seen in a photo. Photographers sometimes added color in hand-colored images, or darkened the eyes in enhanced black-and-white pictures. 

    On a somewhat-related note, blue eyes and DNA have been in the news. Scientific studies suggest all blue-eyed people descend from the same ancestor. Interesting!



    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1850s photos | occupational | women
    Sunday, June 14, 2015 1:10:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Sunday, June 07, 2015
    Finding Your Ancestors' Graduation Photos
    Posted by Maureen

    This time of year makes me think about graduations. I live near two universities and often see graduates in cap and gowns smiling for pictures. Our ancestors also posed for school pictures, whether they were graduating from eighth grade, a trade school, high school or a college/university.

    In the mid-19th century, class books included actual card photographs of the graduates. The yearbook format we're familiar with debuted in the 1880s.

    Here are some tips on locating images of ancestral graduates in your family.
    • Contact the public library or historical society in the town where they lived to see if either institution has a yearbook collection. You can also try the local department of education, but usually older records are donated to a local historical society.

    • If your ancestor attended a private school, try contacting the school library to see if it has an archive. Most colleges and universities maintain an archive with yearbooks and other items. In some schools, incoming freshmen posed for pictures, not just when they graduated. Don't forget to check the school website in case there is a digital collection.

    • Try searching for yearbooks online. For starters, here are some websites with yearbooks:

      • Genealogy Today has a large collection of yearbooks and school materials. Search this list to see if a school your ancestor attended is mentioned.
      • Search for yearbooks and school materials published before 1922 on the Internet Archive. Enter the name of the school in the search box and narrow by year. 
      • Looking for a more recent yearbook? It might be worth subscribing to E-Yearbook.com. The cost is $19.95 a year or $4.95 for a month. 
      • The Library of Congress collection has a few graduation-related photographs. Search by surname and by school. 
      • Cyndis List.com has a category for Yearbooks and Annuals.

    In my book Searching For Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now! you'll discover other research tips for locating family photos.

    You may have a graduation photo and not know it. Watch for clues such as rolled-up diplomas. Some studio photographers used these as props.


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • photo-research tips | school photos
    Sunday, June 07, 2015 6:51:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, June 01, 2015
    Head-to-Toe 1920s Wedding Fashion
    Posted by Maureen

    June is a popular month for weddings, so Diane Smith's submission of a mystery photo is a perfect way to start off the summer bridal season.



    Her maternal great-grandmother owned this picture. Could this be a picture of Diane's great-grandfather's parents, who married in Poland in 1876?

    Diane's in for a surprise! This image dates from the 1920s, not the 1870s.  It's a head-to-toe wedding portrait. Here's how the clues stack up:



    The young man's hairstyle was called a "boyish pomadour" by the Tonsorial Artist magazine (tonsorial meaning "of or related to a barber or barbering") in 1924. It would be easy to jump to conclusions based on a single clue, but it's important to add up all the facts first.

    Short hair was very fashionable for young women in the 1920s. The bride wears a variation of the wavy shingle, or short hair with waves. Those waves could be created by a permanent wave treatment or using a curling iron to "marcel" it. A few weeks ago I wrote about wavy hair in old photos and showed a picture of an 1870s Marcel wave, named after a hairdresser.

    In the 1920s, bridal bouquets featured long trailing ribbons, like the one shown here.

    Shoes are rarely visible in 19th century images, but are a prominent photo- dating clue in the 20th century. There were three basic shoe styles for women in the 1920s:
    • pumps
    • t-straps
    • ankle straps
    In the early 1920s, heels were thicker, but by the later part of decade thinner heals were common. This woman's shoes feature a cuban or spike heel. To view more examples of shoes from the 1920s, click here.

    Let's take another look at the picture and their wedding outfits.



    The bride wears an ankle-length satin dress with a bias cut and full sleeves. The groom's suit likely features a two-button front. He's wearing a formal shirt and a light-colored (perhaps white) bow tie.

    While his haircut came into fashion in the early 1920s, it likely remained popular for several years. Their wedding outfits, especially her shoes and sleeves, date from the late 1920s, probably between 1927 and 1929.

    To determine who's in this picture, Diane needs to re-check her family history for any weddings in that period. Because the picture was owned by her maternal great grandmother, the bride or groom probably has a connection to her. 

    There is one more clue in the picture: The groom has light-colored eyes, which might help in finding him in other, already-identified images.


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1920s photos | men | wedding | women
    Monday, June 01, 2015 4:57:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, May 25, 2015
    A Memorial Day Tribute
    Posted by Maureen

    Today we equate Memorial Day with the start of summer, but it's important to recognize it as a somber occasion as well.

    A few years ago I wrote about the roots of the holiday in Decoration Day  1868.

    First Decoration Day.jpg

    This stereograph from the Library of Congress shows the first Decoration Day, held at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868.

    Create A Memorial Day Tribute
    One of my favorite parts of the Fold3.com website in their Honor Wall. It's a simple concept with a powerful impact. Upload a photo of an ancestor who served then add a biography of the person, records that mention them, stories about them and personal details. You've created an online memorial for your men or women in uniform. Click the green button at the bottom of the screen to link the profile you've created to Ancestry.com.

    Before starting a new memorial search the site to make sure someone hasn't already created one for your ancestor.  Search by name or narrow by war/conflict first.

    Search for Photos
    My family has been lucky. A number of our ancestors served in the military from the Civil War to today, but they all came home safely. I have images of the men in my family that served from World War II to the present, but lack pictures from earlier conflicts. Here's a few strategies I use to try to find those missing pics.
    • Know where my ancestor was living at the time he (or she) served. This allows me to check local and state archives for documents and records.

    • Find proof of service. Whether it's a book that lists Civil War soldiers or a pension record, knowing the name of the regiment in which they served is helpful.

    • Search. Service details provide specific detail that allow you to search on Google for images taken of that regiment/unit, search auction catalogs online or find re-enactment groups. Amazing items turn up at auction including an album of every member of a Maine regiment.  (Still wonder who bought THAT!)  Members of re-enactment groups often research the men that served in the group they are recreating. This can lead to new information and perhaps a photo.  

    • If at first you don't succeed try again...  About once a year I run all the names of the people I'm looking for through databases like Ancestry.com, do another Google search and try local historical societies again. Why?  New material turns up everyday so it's worth a second look.

    I'm still hoping to find a picture of the red haired ancestor described in a pension record who served in the Civil War. 


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • Civil War | Military photos
    Monday, May 25, 2015 4:42:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Sunday, May 17, 2015
    The Wright Brothers and Old Photos
    Posted by Maureen



    In the early part of the 20th century, three members of the Wright family were among the most famous individuals in the country (if not the world).  Orville and Wilbur's patented flying machine demonstrations on both sides of the Atlantic brought thousands of people to fields to watch them fly.

    Their schoolteacher sister Katherine flew more than any woman of her generation. The three of them stand together in this 1910 photo from the  Library of Congress. If you want to see the Wrights' original patent drawings, they're avilable online through the Google patents search. Their aerial demonstrations mesmerized the public and made our ancestors believe in the future. 

    David McCullough's new book, The Wright Brothers, presents the brothers as ordinary men with extraordinary focus, determination and passion. Many men of their generation tried to perfect manned flight, but Orville and Wilbur Wright were first to actually do it.

    Their exploits even influenced a fashion trend. When Mrs. Hart O. Berg accompanied Wilbur Wright on a flight in 1908, she tied her scarf around her dress at the ankles to keep it in place.  It's possible that the French fashion designer Paul Poiret saw Mrs. Berg and Katherine Wright tie down their skirts. He created a short-lived style known as the Hobble skirt.



    It was difficult to walk in these narrow skirts. This postcard calls it a speed-limit skirt because women could take only baby steps. If you see a photo of an ancestor wearing a skirt of this design, you'll have a narrow time frame for an image of 1910 to 1913.

    Our ancestors had fashion icons that influenced everyday dress. Both Orville and Wilbur Wright dressed neatly for their flights. Wilbur always wore a high-necked collar with a tie, a jacket and a cap. While full-crowned caps were available before the Wrights took flight, they increased in popularity throughout the second decade of the century and beyond. The style of the brim and crown changed in later decades.

    Watch for these fashion trends in your family photos from the circa 1910 period. If your ancestor passed on stories of seeing the Wright brothers in flight, please let me know.


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1910s photos | Airplanes | unusual clothing | women | Wright Brothers
    Sunday, May 17, 2015 2:53:55 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, May 11, 2015
    A Click Away: Eight Years of Photo Identification Clues
    Posted by Maureen

    Every week I sit down to write a new blog post about picture mysteries.  On this blog that archive goes back eight years. That's a lot of photo clues and picture facts!  It's easy to use this blog as a free resource.  Here's how.

    • Below that is a list of categories. It's a list of blog posts by month and year in reverse order from the most recent all the way back to March 2007.  The number in parentheses refers to the number of blog posts in that month. Click any of the months to see all the posts for that period.
    • Scroll down past the dates and you'll find a list of subject headings used with each post.  Click any of those to go to all the columns that cover that topic such as 1840s to World War II.
    • Use the search box at the bottom of the sidebar to find more specific articles. I always include the name of the person who submitted the photo and the name of their ancestor.  Online family reunions are possible. Why not search for your surname using the search box to see if there are any hits?  A distant cousin may have submitted a photo mystery. 
    • You can also Google it!  Search "Photo Detective blog [and the surname you're looking for].   

    Over the years I've covered common photo identification clues, popular ID mistakes and written about how even the tiniest details can reveal family history. Take a look at past columns and let me know which one is your favorite.

    Thank you for reading!



    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • photo news | photo-research tips
    Monday, May 11, 2015 4:22:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Sunday, May 03, 2015
    Old Photo Mysteries and Genetics
    Posted by Maureen

    At the recent New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) I met Pat McHugh.  She told me about a very interesting image in her family collection.  The name of the couple is currently unknown.



    Their clothing and the studio setting suggests it was taken in the late 1860s. The pair was likely born in at least the early years of that century.  It's not their attire or the setting that makes this image stand out.

    Take a good look at the woman in this carte de visite

    Have you spotted anything unusual about her hand?



    She has six fingers on her right hand. The extra digit is on the outside of her hand, so according to the Wikipedia page on polydactyly, her condition is known as postaxial polydactyly. The incidence is only .6 per one thousand births for female Caucasian births, and it's considered an autosomal recessive trait. 

    This woman wasn't alone. There are many famous individuals who were born with an extra digit and a good number of fictional characters as well. Anne Boelyn's extra finger may be a myth.

    I'm hoping that armed with a date, Pat can determine who they are on her family tree. Unfortunately, the additional digit is unlikely to be mentioned in any documents. There don't appear to be any stories passed down in the family about this woman either. 

    This one image is a reminder to study all the details in a picture very carefully for unusual identification clues.  What's the most unusual thing you've found in a family photo?


    Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now


  • 1860s photos | unusual photos
    Sunday, May 03, 2015 10:55:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [3]