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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, March 16, 2009
Irish Pictures
Posted by Maureen

Before I launch into a list of Web sites handy for finding pictures of your Irish ancestors, I need to thank genea-blogger Randy Seaver for naming last week's video of hairstyles to his best blog posts of the week. Thank you, Randy! 

Now on to sites with images of the Emerald Isle and its people.

National Library of Ireland
These digital collections are searchable by keyword. Select images are available in digital form for browsing. Unfortunately, only a small portion of their collection is available online, the majority must be used in person. Need an excuse to go to Ireland?

Old UK Photos
According to the home page, "this Web site was launched in July of 2006, with the idea of preserving old pictures in perpetuity and displaying as many old photographs as we can of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands." You can look for free, but none of the images is available for purchase or use.

Francis Frith
Search the Web site of this photographic publisher for images of England, Eire, Norhern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It contains an interactive feature that allows you to add your own story. If you see an image or collection of images that you'd liek to save, create an online album.

Don't forget to check collections in the countries in which your Irish ancestors settled. For instance, the Library of Congress collection has pictures of Irish immigrants.


photo-research tips
Monday, March 16, 2009 3:11:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, March 09, 2009
Hairstyles!
Posted by Maureen

A few months ago, I asked for family photos of interesting hairstyles. I was overwhelmed with the response.

So many photos presented a problem. How could I present them?  A slide show was the answer. I used Picasa, a free photo organizing tool from Google. I included a musical track just for fun.

Credits are at the bottom of each slide. There's some additional information as well. If a photo was submitted without a date, I tried to add a date to it. Enjoy!

(Here's a viewing tip: To watch the slideshow in full-screen mode so the captions are easier to read, look at the bottom gray bar of the video screen and click the rectangle button, located on the right side next to the up arrow button.)


Look for my ancestral hairstyles article in the May 2009 Family Tree Magazine (on sale now!).
 


hairstyles | Videos
Monday, March 09, 2009 12:55:20 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [4]
# 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]
# Friday, February 27, 2009
Wish I Were There!
Posted by Diane

Hope it’s OK if I butt into the blog for a second. Maureen’s on a whirlwind trip to the Who Do You Think You Are? Live family history show in London, where she’s staying with genealogy Facebook friends.

She says hi, and she sent a picture of the group queueing up to get in. More pictures and some words to go with them next week.



Mind the gap, please!


Photo fun | Photos from abroad | women
Friday, February 27, 2009 9:24:29 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, February 23, 2009
Two-Sided Mystery: On the Flip Side
Posted by Maureen

I love a good mystery. Last week I analyzed a group portrait and provided a time frame of the early 20th century. It was on one side of a sheet of pink paper. Before I divulge the family information behind this image, let's look at the other side. It's a two-sided mystery.

Over the years, I've seen photographs used for doing math homework, writing grocery lists and even sketching embroidery patterns. In this instance, the two photographs and the pink sheet of paper form a single scrapbook page.

cohen1.jpg

In the upper left hand corner of the flip side of the page is a picture of a young man dressed for work on a ranch--cowboy hat, tall boots, heavy gloves and riding pants that are wide at the upper legs and hips and narrow at the lower leg.

To the right of this image is a valentine.
cohen 2.jpg

The lower half of the sheet is a child's drawing of a flower with one of the petals ripped off.

cohen3.jpg

It's the final piece of evidence of this collage that so's interesting. It's a bit of a printed page.

cohen4.jpg

It turned out to be a piece of a music catalog for Conqueror Records. Carson J. Robison and his trio recorded Moonlight on the Colorado and Oklahoma Charley in 1930.  You can view an online catalog for Conqueror. Just below that listing is another song, My Blue Ridge Mountain Home, a tune that Robison wrote in 1927. If you're interested you can still purchase the sheet music from eCrater.

Wikipedia has a short biography of Robison with links to sites for more information.  He was very well known as "the granddaddy of the Hillbillies." In the early 1930s he formed his own band and travelled around the U.S. and the British Isles playing country music.  He was posthumously named to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  He died in 1957.

I have to admit that I couldn't do all this research without listening to his music. You can a recording of Going to the Barn Dance Tonight on YouTube and find a picture of him and a clip of I Don't Wanta Be Rich on Hillbilly-Music.com. It's foot-tapping music.

The pieces add up to suggest that sometime in the early 1930s, a person (perhaps a little girl) decided to piece together a few of her favorite things--a couple of pictures, a valentine, and a drawing. Maybe she was a country music fan.
cohen5.jpg
Next week I'll be back with the family details.


1910s photos | 1930s photos | men
Monday, February 23, 2009 3:36:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Two-Sided Photo Mystery
Posted by Maureen

This photo will have to be covered in several installments. It's a complex mystery that involves dating the picture, figuring out where it was taken and deciding who's in it. What's on the back of the image is a whole other story.

Let's tackle the simple part this week—assigning a date.



The 15 people in the photo wear everyday clothing. Only one man (on the far right) wears a jacket; the rest are attired in work shirts and pants with wide-brimmed hats to shield their faces from the sun. The little boys wear short pants and wide-collared shirts.

The outfits on two of the women suggest an initial time frame for this group portrait. The smiling woman on the far left wears a dress with full sleeves, a pouched bodice and a wide double collar. Her skirt has fitted tucks at the hips.


The woman on the right in the back row wears a loose tie around her neck with a pouched front blouse and full sleeves.

Their topknot hairstyles clinch the time frame: The group probably posed for this portrait circa 1900 to 1906.

Next week I'll be back to discuss how the rest of the facts add up.

BTW, the creases on the image suggest that this image was folded and unfolded multiple times. The paper has actually worn away at the center. The staining you see is due to the glue used to adhere it to the paper.


1900-1910 photos | group photos | hairstyles
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:16:12 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Pets in the Family on YouTube
Posted by Maureen

It's not hard to believe that the three installments of this blog on ancestors' adorable pets were among the most read. After all, it's family history from a different perspective—pets in the family. Since this week is the Westminster Dog Show, I thought I'd try a different presentation method for the photos.

I've received a few more pictures for this album, but instead of posting them individually, I incorporated them into a video.

I'm going to tweak it some more and see if I can boost the quality. I produced it in high definition but uploading it to YouTube compressed the files resulting in some blurring.

Just in case you missed the series: 

Pets in Pictures

An Album of Ancestors' Family Pets

Pet Photos: Our Ancestors Loved Their Dogs, Too!

I'd like to thank everyone who sent in pictures! 

(For more genealogy videos, see the Family Tree Magazine YouTube channel.)

BTW—I have a new e-newsletter that lists my speaking schedule,and contains a link to the Photo Detective video podcast. It's absolutely free. Sign up is on my Web site.


1870s photos | 1880s photos | 1890s photos | 1900-1910 photos | 1910s photos | 1920s photos | candid photos | children | men | Pets | Videos | women
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:13:17 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, February 02, 2009
Summer in the Family Album
Posted by Maureen

I live in New England. Winter started early this year and with more snow on the way, it isn't leaving anytime soon. It's one for the record books. 

The lack of a January thaw has me daydreaming of summer—sunshine filled days and the beach. Obviously, I'm not alone. Derek Sundberg of Essex, in the United Kingdom, sent me this photo. It's part of a series of 14 snapshots that all depict the same people.

20210young emily 3rd pic.jpg

The woman in the belted bathing suit on the right is his mother, Emily May. (I'm withholding her last name for privacy purposes.) Derek believes that one of the group members is the photographer. So who are the six other people shown above? He has no idea.

It's a lovely group snapshot taken at the beach in the late 1920s to about 1930. The girls' bobbed cuts and shapeless bathing suits confirm the time frame. I love the canvas bathing pavilions that surround them. 

In this picture, Emily (b. 1905) would be in her 20s, but I think some of the women look like younger teenagers. Derek wrote that his mother spent her entire life in Thurrock, Essex, and that she once worked at Thames Board Mills, in Purfleet, Essex. It's possible these folks are her friends from work, friends from town or a couple of younger relatives.

It's an identification mystery. Here are some suggestions:
  • I'd start by showing the images to relatives to see if anyone recognizes the man and the women. I'd also ask if anyone remembers his mother's friends from her job. Another relative might have other pictures of this group. The unknown photographer likely would''ve taken other pictures that summer.
  • Next, I'd compare their faces to other images in family albums. If these individuals were Emily's friends or family, they'll appear in other pictures.
If anyone recognizes these young people, send me an email and I'll forward it to Derek. I'm going to link this to my FaceBook page because it's possible one of my FB friends from overseas will know these folks.

Guess what? Next week I'll be back with more ancestral pet photos. I've found a way to show them all at once. Let's hope it works.


1920s photos | hairstyles | women
Monday, February 02, 2009 3:23:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, January 26, 2009
Pets in Pictures
Posted by Maureen

For weeks the media have been focused on which breed of dog our new First Family would pick for their family pet. Turns out only two presidents have never had pets in the White House. 

You can read all about famous presidential pets in this article on the Mental Floss blog, from Calvin Coolidge's pygmy hippo (no joke!) to Franklin Roosevelt's adorable terrier named Fala.

I'm bringing this series of pet photos to an end with these final three pictures. The two previous installments can be viewed on this blog: An Album of Ancestor's Pets and Pet Photos: Our Ancestor's Loved Their Dogs Too.

Carol Norwood sent in one of her favorite family pictures. It was taken in Gottingen, Germany in 1892 and shows the Agricola family. Agnes Agricola and Hermann Simon (Carol's great-grandparents) are seated in the center of the front row.

pet1892Agricolas01 (2).jpg

Claudia submitted a picture of her mother tending geese. She told me that her mother always said they would chase and bite her. She estimates this picture was taken circa 1933-1935.

petpicturesbyclaudia 301.jpg

One other reader sent an image for posting here. It depicts her grandfather's older sister Margaretha Petersen, known to the family as Maggie, with their pet dog. The dog's name wasn't recorded. Maggie was born in 1888.  According to the submission, Maggie was the family "pet" herself, the only daughter until her sister was born in 1899.

The red discoloration is due to dye transferring from a paper sleeve to the image.

maggiecirca1892.jpg

Anyone have a clue about the breed of this last dog?

Thank you for sharing all these pictures.


1890s photos | 1930s photos | children | men | Pets
Monday, January 26, 2009 7:07:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, January 19, 2009
An Album of Ancestors' Family Pets
Posted by Maureen

Thank you to everyone who sent a photo of a pet in the family! This week, I'd like to share what was e-mailed to me. I'm so glad that each picture came with a story, too. This was a lot of fun!

Jim Musso wrote "First, this is my mom with her family's pet pig, Spud. Mom grew up on a farm in Sheboygan, Wis.; she was born in 1925, so this photo must be from the early 1930s."

spud.jpg

He continued, "according to Mom, Spud would only eat from the hands of family members, and preferred standing on a chair with his front hooves while being fed. She recalls Spud walking under the kitchen table and carrying the table on his back as he walked away. My grandparents, Vincent and Hattie Fee, obviously liked animals.

In the foreground is the family's dog, Jigs, no doubt waiting for a morsel to fall his way. Jigs preferred travelling in a wheelbarrow, as can be seen in the second photo."

jigs.jpg

Bethany Klus wrote that the photo below is "a cabinet card-style photo from an album of photos taken in Alpena, Michigan from the late 1800s. Most of the photos are unlabeled, including the one I'm sending to you. The dog in my photo could be siblings with the one in the blog photo, they look that similar."

klusdog2.jpg

I have to agree that it definitely is a Terrier, possibly a Cairn Terrier although they tend to have darker fur (I'm a veterinarian when I'm not a genealogist!).

"The second photo," she added, "is my great-grandfather Royal Frederick Flock who was born in 1892 in Edenville, Mich. It was probably taken in the early 1920s when he lived in Detroit. With him is the pet cat."

kluscat2.jpg

Not all the pet pictures submitted show a real, live pet. Kathy Amoroso wrote that the photo below is, "my grandmother and her family. She's the one on the fake pig. They are in Germany in 1913 and this is from one of those postcard photos."

1913_wahl.jpg

I'll be back next column with a couple more!


children | group photos | men | Pets
Monday, January 19, 2009 4:46:12 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]