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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Sunday, January 26, 2014
Who's Who in a Photo? Strategies for Finding Out
Posted by Diane

Last week I discussed Karen Perry's unidentified photo



Today I called her to chat about what she's learned about it since she submitted the image last summer.

She told me showed it to a distant relative, who said he recognized the man in the center but couldn't remember his name.

perry3.jpg

Since this relative descends from her paternal grandmother's side of the family, Karen thought maybe these folks were McClures who lived in northwestern Ohio.  

Karen decided to take the picture to her class reunion. The Grover Hill school has a reunion where graduates from all classes gather in one place.  Unfortunately, no one recognized anyone in the picture.

She then tried to upload the photos to an Allen County, Ohio, genealogy page, but doesn't remember which one. The Allen County Genealogy group has a Facebook page that she could join. That's a good next step. She'd then be able to post the photo.

Members of her Stout, McClure, Parker and Stratton families lived all over northwestern Ohio in Allen, Van Wert, Paulding and Hancock counties. The Ohio Genealogical Society is an active group with an annual conference and chapter meetings. Karen could reach out to chapters in those areas and see if they could show the photo at meetings. 

While connecting with someone locally could be helpful in her quest to identify these folks, she could also try posting it on sites such as DeadFred.com and AncientFaces.com. In the description, she can list all the possible surnames and locations.

Her mother identified all the other family pictures except this one. Why didn't she recognize any of these people? That's a big part of this puzzle. Since this photo dates from circa 1920 and there are likely individuals in their 20s in this picture, several of them could have lived long enough for Karen to meet them as a child.

  • Were they distant cousins who didn't remain in contact with Karen's family?
  • Did they live further away and thus weren't part of the larger family circle for gatherings? 

Karen says the man in the middle looks familiar but can't think why he does. It's possible he resembles someone else in the family. She wants to figure out who they are and wished she'd asked her mother more about family history. Her sentiment is a common one.  

Of course, there is no guarantee that these individuals are family. Our ancestors often sent photos of themselves to friends. Until this mystery is solved, she won't know if they are relatives or acquaintances. 


Solve your family photo mysteries with these books 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
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1920s photos | Genealogy events | group photos
    Sunday, January 26, 2014 6:40:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Sunday, June 17, 2012
    Family Photos Shared at Jamboree: Threshing Wheat
    Posted by Maureen

    I love going to genealogy conferences. The people, the photos and the stories all add up to a fantastic experience. For the last four years I've trekked out to California for the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. It's a regional conference with a national feel—a big program with nationally known speakers.

    Every year, folks stop by to show me their photos. Some people come back each year and as you might expect, friendships develop. 

    Here's a picture of Mildred "Millie" Vander Hoeven and me at Jamboree in 2010.

    millie.jpg

    Millie stops by to chat and share stories of her childhood. She's sent me pictures of her childhood and her parents.

    Family photo collections are an amazing array of people portraits and other types of pictures. These next two images of Millie's show men threshing wheat. I need to chat with her to get a bit more information. 

    millie1.jpg

    millie2.jpg

    Can anyone—perhaps someone familiar with farming—comment on what the crews are doing in these photos? Click Comments below to share your thoughts.


    Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • Genealogy events | occupational | unusual photos
    Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:57:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [6]
    # Monday, August 16, 2010
    It's Time for FGS!
    Posted by Maureen

    Oh boy...it's time for another national genealogy conference. This time it's sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  I can't wait!

    This year I've partnered with Family Search to provide free photo consultations in the exhibit hall. I'm really looking forward to meeting all the folks (and seeing their photos) that signed up for a slot. Unfortunately, all the spaces are now filled on the Event Brite site.  My fingers are crossed that I'll be able to do this again.

    If you're at the conference, wave and say hi.  I'll be in the Family Search booth space.

    Back next week, with a photo mystery!


    Genealogy events
    Monday, August 16, 2010 6:47:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Monday, March 15, 2010
    London Report Part 2
    Posted by Maureen

    On the last day of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! family history show in London, I spent time in the military pavilion. The booths in the event are grouped by type of vendor. That means all the Irish vendors are in one area, Scottish in another, and all the general larger vendors are in the center of the hall.

    This year the military booths were all upstairs on the balcony. There were specific experts there to look at military memorabilia—badges, uniforms, and swords for instance. This is an interesting concept.  I'd love to see more military groups involved at US genealogy conferences.

    First stop was the Royal British Legion which had a display of poppies. This group has a travel group, Poppy Travel. They coordinate tours of military sites. Folks show them pictures taken during a war and they can put together a tour based on the locations in the images. I had a nice chat with Frank Baldwin of Poppy Travel standing next to the man constructed out of poppies.



    Next, I spent time in The War Graves Photographic Project speaking with Project coordinator Steve Rogers (below). If you have an ancestor who died in an overseas conflict and was buried there, this is a website worth a second glance. They are photographing all the non-US military graves. The website explains:
    The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database. 
    It's an ambitious project with the goal of documenting 1.75 million graves!



    The Royal Air Force Museum also had a booth. I collected information that may solve a friend's research dilemma.

    The Western Front Association booth drew my attention because of a large poster of the Missing Men of the Somme. It's a collection of pictures of men missing in action from World War I.



    This booth also had an online database of World War I cemeteries.



    I spent the rest of my trip visiting friends who took me to Windsor Castle and the area around Stonehenge. They've been recently bitten by the genealogy bug (gasp!). It's turning into a one-name study of their last name—Chun. Turns out there were only 40-something people with that surname in the 1881 British census. If you're researching anyone with the Chun surname, e-mail me.

    What a trip! I looked at lots of picture, gave a lecture, finally got to see Windsor Castle and learned a lot of new things.  I also bought new images to use in my lectures and articles. <smile> 

    I'll be back next week with a picture submitted by one of you.

    Genealogy events | Military photos | organizations | photo news
    Monday, March 15, 2010 12:41:12 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Monday, March 08, 2010
    Who Do You Think You Are? Live London 2010
    Posted by Maureen

    Last week, as you know, I was in London for the Who Do You Think You Are? 2010 event.  It was fantastic fun, just like last year.

    I was on the job meeting British fans of this column and looking at lots of pictures. There are subtle differences between photos taken here and overseas. For instance, tintypes weren't very common in the U.K., but ambrotypes (images on glass) were in abundance.

    I have a few photos of the event to show you and I'll have another report in a week or so.



    This year there was a North American section in the exhibit hall. Guess who was there? Josh Taylor of the American "Who Do You Think You Are?" program, and Michael LeClerc, both friends from Boston's New England Historic Genealogical Society. Traffic in their booth was steady. It appears that many Brits were looking for information on family who ended up in America <smile>.



    The folks at FindMyPast.com used costume guides to help visitors search their site.



    It wasn't strictly genealogy. Marks and Spencer staged an exhibit of material from its corporate archive. If you're not familiar with the name, it belongs to one of England's largest department stores.



    Family Tree DNA had another huge booth this year and business was brisk with lots of folks taking DNA test kits. I stopped by (in my new English woolen sweater) to chat with Emily Auclino, a Facebook friend. I'm a bit jet-lagged in this picture.



    Sunday, I spent a couple of hours in the military pavilion talking about photo projects. I'll have more to share next week. It was fascinating.  I loved the mix of history and genealogy at this event.

    Organizers of this London event estimate that at least 15,000 people attend this three-day trade show. There are lectures, too. Attendees pay a per day ticket price of about $33. This includes admission to lectures, if you're lucky enough to get one. You have to wait in a line for tickets for specific lectures.

    With Friday's successful launch of the American version of "Who Do You Think You Are?", I predict that a similar event in the United States is in our future.

    Genealogy events
    Monday, March 08, 2010 4:34:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
    # Monday, June 29, 2009
    News from California and Chicago
    Posted by Maureen

    This past weekend I attended the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree. What an experience! If you've never been, think about attending next year. You'll be glad you did. It was perfect.

    The conference was held at the Marriott at Burbank Airport, a beautiful hotel with great rates. The convention center is connected to the hotel. 

    In the exhibit hall I sat next to Lisa Louise Cooke of GenealogyGems. Lisa scheduled interviews throughout the conference for both her own podcasts and those she produces for Family Tree Magazine. You'll definitely want to listen in.

    Lots of folks who read this blog and my articles in Family Tree Magazine stopped by to say hi and show me pictures. For an upcoming Photo Detective column in the magazine, I wrote about one family's picture of an ancestor in his fraternal organization regalia. The owners came by to show me the original tintype.

    (I'm actually still in California. Since I live in Boston, any trip to the west Coast includes a little vacation time.)

    If you live in the Chicago area, there's an art show over 4th of July weekend at the Flat Iron Building you might be interested in. A couple of weeks ago the show organizers contacted me to ask if they could include two of my video podcasts. Of course I said YES!

    The show is called Salute! and it celebrates patriotism. They'll be showing my video on the history of flags in photographs and one on veterans at Mount Vernon. I wish I could be there. You can see those videos you can watch them on my PhotoDetective channels on YouTube and Vimeo.


    Genealogy events | Videos
    Monday, June 29, 2009 4:40:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [3]
    # Monday, March 02, 2009
    London Wrap-Up Part 1
    Posted by Maureen

    A big thank you to Diane for posting a couple of pictures in this space last week.  London was fantastic! I'm a bit jet-lagged from the travel and tired (but excited) about all the things I saw at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show last weekend.  This is an event I've wanted to attend for a couple of years, but the timing was never right.  However, this year's schedule was perfect. 

    While WDYTYA is really a trade show, there are a few different lecture tracks. Some are even free.  At American genealogy conferences you pay a general admission fee, but at the London event you only purchase tickets for specific lectures on a first-come first-served basis.

    If you took a look at the two pictures you get a sense of just how popular this event is. The Facebook friends I posed with wanted to get there early. We waited in line for about an hour, but it was worth it.  Guess who secured the number one spots in the queque?  We did.

    When the doors opened we were ready. Estimates for Saturday's attendance were as high as four thousand people. On Saturday the crowds were even larger and the line continued around the building even at noon. Each new Olympia/Kensington train brought loads of new folks to the event.  I have lots to share over the next few weeks. 

    I'll start with a few photos so you can get a sense of the size and scope of the show.

    IMG_3292.JPG
    Here's one of the free lectures taught by FindMyPast.com.

    IMG_3290.JPG

    2009 is the year of the Gathering in Scotland. I spend some time in the booth talking about my McDuff line. He told me that there currently isn't a Chieftain of the McDuff clan. The Gathering brings all the clans together for events. I put my name in for a free drawing. My fingers are crossed.<smile>.

    IMG_3306.JPG
    The crowds on day 2.

    I'll be back in the next few weeks with more.  I'll also post an album on my FaceBook profile.

    I can't wait until next year!


    Genealogy events | photo news
    Monday, March 02, 2009 4:03:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]