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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, March 30, 2009
Picture Origins: Overseas or in America?
Posted by Maureen

In response to last week's column on tinted pictures, Barbara Stone sent in this oversize hand colored photo of a young woman.

barbaraIMG_4138.jpg

It's on canvas and framed in a gorgeous gold setting. According to Stone is was found in a collection of pictures of her father's Irish relatives who lived in Ansonia, Conn. The problem is: Where was it taken and who is it?

I own a similar type image of my great-grandfather. His picture and the one owned by Stone are charcoal-enhanced photographs. Each is likely based on a much smaller original photograph.

In the late 19th century, photographers advertised that they could produce this enhanced enlargements. The wide upper sleeves on her dress, the design of the bodice and her hairstyle all provide a time frame for the image of the late 1890s. Stone wrote that it might depict Jane (Lomasney) Coppinger from Kilworth, County Cork, and wondered if it was made it the United States or in Ireland.

Figuring out if this is Jane is a matter of finding out her birth date to see if she's a young woman in the late 1890s. If that's the case, verifying her immigration year could identify the place of origin for this picture. It's a case of adding up the facts. Do the details of her life (i.e. her age) and immigration information support Stone's hypothesis? I'll let you know if I find out.

BTW, there is a new Web site for English photo reunions. You can watch my YouTube video about it. If one of your ancestors lived in Hull, England, you'll definitely want to take the Hull Challenge.

1890s photos | enhanced images | women
Monday, March 30, 2009 2:15:39 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Sunday, March 29, 2009
Picture Origins: Overseas or in America
Posted by Maureen

In response to last week's column on tinted pictures, Barbara Stone sent in this oversize hand colored photo of a young woman.  It's on canvas and framed in a gorgeous gold setting.  According to Stone is was found in a collection of pictures of her father's Irish relatives who lived in Ansonia, Connecticut. The problem is: Where was it taken and who is it?

# Monday, March 23, 2009
Hand-Colored Photographs
Posted by Maureen

Do you own any photographs that are hand-colored?

These tinted enhancements range from delicately shaded pink lips and gold jewelry to elaborate coloring that obscures the image and transforms a photograph into a painting.

Powders, paints, crayons and pastels were all used to make photographs look more lifelike. Some photographers hired artists to apply the color, while others attempted to do the job themselves. The final results were mixed based on the skill of the person laying down the color.

The history of photography is full of examples of hand-colored images from the early daguerreotype period to the digitally colored images of today.

firemenedit3g06607v.jpg

Here's an example from the Library of Congress. It's three men from the Phoenix Fire Company and Mechanic Fire Company of Charleston, SC.  Isn't it beautiful? The photographer tinted their jackets, but the red color most attracts the eye.  

It was taken c. 1855 by Tyler & Co. Additional information on Tyler can be found in Craig's Daguerreian Registry.

In John Comstock's A System of Natural Philosphy (1852), there are details about how this tint might've been added and a bit of background on coloring in general:
Coloring daguerreotype pictures is an American invention, and has been considered a secret, though at the present time it is done with more or less success by most artists. 
The color consists of the oxyds of several metals, ground to an impalpable powder. They are laid on in a dry state, with soft camel-hair pencils, after the process of gilding. The plate is then heated by which they are fixed. This is a very delicate part of the art, and should not be undertaken by those who have not a good eye, and a light hand.
Comstock received these details from a Mr. N.G. Burgess of 192 Broadway, NY, and claimed that "he was an experienced and expert artist in this line." Nathan Burgess also is in Craig's Daguerreian Registry. It appears he was one of the earliest daguerreotypists in this country.

Note: If you were looking at the original of this image, you'd have to view the image at an angle. This is a key characteristic of a daguerreotype. They were also reversed.

If you have a hand-colored image you'd like to share, see the photo submission guidelines.


1850s photos | enhanced images | men
Monday, March 23, 2009 2:07:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]