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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# 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, June 22, 2009
Photo Craft Directions
Posted by Maureen

Several readers wrote to me after the article Photo Crafts From Our Readers. They wanted to know how to create those lovely photo tins and bookmarks.

Carol Norwood shared how she made her photo bookmarks:
The bookmarks are very simple. I just make them in Microsoft Publisher. I create several long, skinny strips on a page (I find three fit nicely on an 8-1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper). I drop in a photo and then the appropriate text regarding that person. After printing three to four on card stock, I cut the bookmarks on a paper cutter. 
I don't know about you, but this is something I definitely want to try!

Carolyn Natsch wrote to tell me that those lovely photo tins were sold by a company named Maya Road, but are not currently available. Both of us searched and couldn't find another supplier. She suggested looking for similar items at scrapbook and craft stores. You can also make personalized photo tins using the online photo processing site Snapfish.com.

In fact, most of the photo processing sites now offer product lines you can personalize with family pictures. If you're planning a family reunion and want to produce a large quantity of items, check out the offerings on CafePress.com. Shirts, mugs, aprons and bags are all possibilities.

June 26-28 I'll be at the Southern California Genealogical Society  Jamboree in Burbank. I hope you'll stop by my booth (#117) and say hello!


Photo fun
Monday, June 22, 2009 4:30:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, June 15, 2009
The Trouble With Captions on Old Photos
Posted by Maureen

 

Barbara DeCrease found a photo in her grandmother's belongings with a one-word caption on the back: Grandfather. The trouble with captions like this is the lack of other identifying information. She doesn't know who wrote it, so she's puzzled. 

Her grandmother's grandfather was William James Elmore Jr., born circa 1860 in Panola County, Miss. The family has no record of him after 1910. This Elmore's father was also William James Elmore, born circa 1842 in South Carolina. No record of this man exists after 1880.

This is a wonderful picture of a hard-working man. Note the dusty work-boots. So which man is he? Barbara is fairly certain it's Elmore Jr., but does the proof add up?



Let's look at the caption again.



This is a postcard. The first photographic postcards were introduced in 1900, so it's clear this image dates from after that year.

The "when" is also simple: The stamp box in the upper right corner is an AZO design with triangles in the corners. This particular design was first introduced in 1910 and remained common until 1930. If you have a photo postcard in your collection, try matching up the stamp boxes with the one's on the Playle Web site

On the front of the image, someone wrote William Elmore and then erased it. It's barely visible even when I enlarge the photo on my computer, so I'm not going to zoom in here. The erased writing didn't indicate which Elmore this is.

In the 1890s and the early part of the20th century, photographers often used wicker chairs as props. This is another detail that helps firmly set this image in the 20th century.

I agree with Barbara that this is likely William Elmore Jr. in his middle years, about 1910.  Elmore Sr. would have to be older than 70 to be in this picture.

Labeling images is tricky business. Identifying this photo would've been a cinch, if the person who wrote grandfather had added a bit more information. I'm beginning to believe that when you caption your photos with the name, date, etc., you should include your name as the person who added the information. 

If you're looking for tips on how to label digital images for the Web to maximize their search potential, the Footnote Maven's Search Engines Can't Read Your Mind or Your Images is mandatory reading.


1910s photos | men
Monday, June 15, 2009 4:08:24 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, June 08, 2009
Photo Crafts From Our Readers
Posted by Maureen

Several readers of this blog sent in examples of their creative endeavors that use family photos. You don't want to damage original images by using them in picture-perfect projects, but you can use copies. Here's a gallery of their projects. 



Carolyn Natsch sent in the above picture of her memory tin.

Norwoodbookmarks.jpg
Carol Norwood creates these lovely photo bookmarks that include information about the person depicted.

Van KirkWall1.jpg

Jarrod W. Van Kirk created a pictorial family tree on a wall in his home.



Tillie Van Sickle sent this picture her beautiful Miller Family Quilt.

Hope you enjoy (and even get inspired by) these examples!
Photo fun | preserving photos
Monday, June 08, 2009 2:19:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, June 01, 2009
Photo Crafts From Our Ancestors
Posted by Maureen

So far, no one has answered my call in last week's column for pictures of creative endeavors using family photos, but I found an example of a historic photo craft attached to an email from Candace Fountoulakis. She received this photo from her maternal aunt.

060109wATTS0001.jpg
It's a lovely piece of needlework, but no one knows the name of the couple in the center. Candace thinks they could be from either the Watts or the Boohler side of her family from Ohio.

This image was taken by the Grand Central Gallery of Omaha, Neb. German immigrant Herman Heyn was the owner of the studio, according to the 1883 city directory for Omaha (available on Ancestry.com). In subsequent years Heyn is at the same address until his photo business becomes James & Co., circa 1900.

Given the style of their clothing, this picture is likely a copy of a much earlier image taken in the 1860s. The couple is dressed in everyday work attire; notice the apron worn by the woman.

Figuring out who they are requires examining family history. Fountoulakis can see who lived in Omaha in the 1880s or 1890s, then look at the birth and death dates of their parents.

A woman created the frame using cross stitch. Don't jump to the conclusion that this couple is necessarily on a maternal line. During the 19th century, it was customary to call your in-laws Mother and Father as well as your own parents.

Although the identity of this couple is a mystery for now, it's no secret what happened to Heyn. He later became famous for taking pictures of Native American tribal personages during the Indian Congress of 1898.  You can view some of his stunning handcolored pictures on the Library of Congress Flickr site.


1860s photos | Photo fun
Monday, June 01, 2009 7:23:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]