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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, November 24, 2008
Don't Do Thanksgiving Without These Essentials
Posted by Maureen

Before you think I'm going to divulge my secret pie recipe <smile>, I should clarify that the treats in the title are genealogy-related, not culinary. 

When you think about what you're bringing to the Thanksgiving food fest, do you include your family history materials?  I know that at my table, there will be a turkey with all the trimmings, but that along with feast there will be a dose of genealogy talk. 

Here are some ways to introduce photo identification and family history into the conversation.
  • Bring photocopies of your unidentified pictures. Leave the originals at home so the copies suffer any gravy stains. Make an extra set of copies—one for notes and the other for showing off.
  • Put them in an album or just pass them around and see if anyone recognizes the scene or the people.
  • I recently bought a small digital voice recorder. It was an inexpensive purchase.  If you have one, tape the conversation so you don't have to take detailed notes while everyone is talking. 
  • If you're going to take pictures on Turkey Day, make sure your camera is in working order beforehand. Have you recharged the batteries? If you still use film, remember to bring along an extra roll. 
  • Invite your family to participate in a social networking site, such as FaceBook, and create your own group for the gang. My husband's family has done it.  It's a great way to share pictures and keep track of everyone until the next gathering. 
If you sign up, I'd be happy to add you to my list of Facebook Friends. There's an enormous number of genealogists of all ages on FaceBook. Try it and see! 
As for that secret pie recipe... I'll share it with family. My husband's grandmother took her chutney recipe to the grave and we really miss it. If you've inherited a family recipe, ask around the table and see if anyone wants to create a cookbook. It's not that difficult and with self-publishing sites like Lulu, it doesn't cost much, either.

Happy Thanksgiving! If you've got a picture of your ancestors gathered around the Thanksgiving table, send it to me.  I'll post it in this blog.

Thank you for all the hairstyle pictures! Now I have to figure out how to incorporate them all into this space—it's a good problem to have. 


photo-research tips
Monday, November 24, 2008 4:35:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Hairstyles and History: A Call for Photos
Posted by Maureen

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm relieved that the mystery of the One Glove has been solved and a reunion is underway. I'm not going to include links here because instead of the usual one-column post, the glove tale stretched to four whole columns. Scroll down in the blog to read them all.

This week I'm asking for your help.

I've been hard at work tracking down all the little details about hair and why our ancestors chose to follow particular styles. It's for an upcoming issue of Family Tree Magazine.

I don't want to give too much away, but I'll tell you right now...the story behind the puffs, ringlets and bangs on our ancestor's heads is fascinating. I haven't left out the men—facial hair of all sorts will be featured.

But here's where I could use some help: Do you have a photograph of an ancestor with an interesting hairstyle, beard or mustache? E-mail it to me and you just might see it in the magazine or in this space.

Can't wait to see what you've got!


hairstyles
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:04:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, November 10, 2008
A Reunion for the One-Gloved Mystery
Posted by Maureen

Here's a bit of proof that you should not only read the comments for each blog column but add one yourself. Imagine my surprise when Denise Damm commented on the one-glove mystery. (This makes the fourth post on this one photo!) 

Denise wrote "I am quite sure that the two men in the back are Samuel Wingfield (born in 1895) and his brother William Garretsmoke Wingfield (born in 1897)." She's speaking of the two men standing in the back of this photo:

According to Denise, the two men were cousins to the Melson boys Joel and Elmore. The Melsons' grandmother was the sister of Sam and Garret's grandfather. I'm so happy to have a reunion to feature in this spot!

Denise sent pictures of Sam and Garrett for me to share with you. Take a look and see what you think. Here's a picture of William taken in 1921:Sam Wingfield 1921 001.jpg

And here's a picture of Sam:
Wingfield 001edit.jpg

There is some confusion in the labeling of the first image. It says "Sam and William." Diane thinks it's William. 

Both men were born in Arkansas and later moved to California. I'm going to facilitate a reunion between the women. Denise really wants to talk with her long lost cousin Sue Stevenson. Wish I could be present when they start exchanging pictures and stories.


1920s photos | men
Monday, November 10, 2008 6:49:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, November 03, 2008
What Does the Future Hold For Your Family Photographs?
Posted by Maureen

I saw a very sad sight yesterday. I attended an collectibles show and saw a collection of daguerreotypes for sale. The mournful moment came when I realized that every single one of these images was identified.

As you probably know, daguerreotypes date from 1839 to the early 1860s. The majority of these images were from the 1850s. I really didn't want to leave them on the table, but at close to $1,000, the cost was too high for my budget. 

As a genealogist, you're aware that skills honed researching family back in time also can be used to track family forward. It's part of the whole orphan photo movement to reunite folks with their "lost" family pictures.

I purchased a couple of identified cabinet cards at the show and will try to reconnect them with relatives. I'll post my progress on this blog.

It broke my heart to see all those images sitting in that box. I see it all the time and it never gets any easier. The big question is: What's going to happen to your photos? Have you identified someone in your family to take care of your archive?

Before your pictures end up in a dumpster or split up at an antique show, start thinking about their future. Then write it down. Make sure your executor has a copy of the document so the collection you've cared for doesn't become someone's instant ancestors. 

In the words of one dealer: "I keep what I can sell and throw away the rest."  This was in response to my request for matrimonial images. Yup! They weren't worth saving. 

If you've reconnected a photo with a long-lost relative, please add your story to the Comments section. Each one of those reunion tales is heartwarming. Can't wait to hear from you!


preserving photos
Monday, November 03, 2008 7:45:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [8]