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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, April 25, 2011
A Picture Pile-up
Posted by Maureen

I love unusual surnames. It's probably because my last name and many of my ancestral surnames often end up on those top 10 lists of popular names.

Laurie Clement has a great chance to identify the folks in her unidentified image. She thinks this large family group shares the surname of Burkepile.

All she needs is a date and she's on her way.

burkepiles.jpg

I think this could be an impromptu itinerant photo studio shot. The whole family is standing in front of a white backdrop that looks suspiciously like a sheet. Mom, Dad and seven children stare directly at the camera. There's a single boy in the back row. Finding this family in the census should be possible. 

The tight dress sleeves and hairstyles suggest a date of circa 1900.  It's a great picture of a family caught on the cusp of a new century. 

A quick look at the 1900 federal census using HeritageQuest Online (available through many libraries) found families of Burkepiles living in Kansas, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  I didn't find any obvious matches, but Laurie and her distant cousins are working on a solution.

My fingers are crossed!


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

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

  • 1900-1910 photos | children | group photos
    Monday, April 25, 2011 8:39:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, April 18, 2011
    Help a Fellow Genealogist (Civil War-Style)
    Posted by Maureen

    Two weeks ago, I attended the New England Regional Genealogical Conference in Springfield, Mass. A lot of folks stopped by my booth to talk about Civil War images in their family. Several told me about locating images of their Civil War soldiers in unlikely places. If you have a story to share, please e-mail it to me or add your thoughts in the Comments section below.

    One woman said she found her ancestor’s picture in a town hall. The entire unit died in battle and someone in that town collected photographs of those men from each family. The end result—a framed memorial with portraits of every man in that unit. You can look for photos of Civil War ancestors by following the tips offered in my column, Drum Roll For the Civil War

    A few months ago, I featured photos submitted by readers in Civil War Roll Call and in Civil War Roll Call Part 2

    One of those photographs was found on eBay and matched an image already owned by the family. You’ll have to look to find out which one though .

    If you have a photo of your Civil War ancestor you might find my column, Deciphering A Photo, Civil War Style, helpful to learn more about the image. 

    I’m still trying to solve the cold case file for the pictures posted some time ago of the two men in embroidered shirts and I’m hopeful that with all things Civil War related in the news, that someone can answer the questions posed by the images in the columns Two Texas Mysteries and Texas Twosome Revisted

    Want to know more about your family's Civil War photos? Maureen A. Taylor's book Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album is available from ShopFamilyTree.com.


    Military photos
    Monday, April 18, 2011 2:59:42 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, April 11, 2011
    Bad Hair Day Winner!
    Posted by Maureen

    Thank you for voting in the Bad Hair Day Contest and for sending in all those great hair photos. There is a winner!

    Here's how the votes stacked up.

    83.7 % of the voters selected this photo. Congratulations go to Pat Daughtery for winning the contest and a copy of Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900.

    editdaugherty0157.jpg

    The runner up is ...
    editSophie Bentley.jpg
    71 % voted for this photo.

    I promised a few more photos this week so here goes.

    editpeirceHunterCWhite9andHalfYearsOld.jpg




    Rachel Peirce sent in this before-and-after picture of her ancestor Hunter Carson White at 9-1/2 years old during the Civil War. She owns a picture of the boy's father with his hair standing up on his head and wonders whether the second photo was taken to make the boy look more like his father.

    editchaseimg501.jpg

    Photo collector David Chase sent me this photo. It proves that man's best friend also can have bad hair. <smile>.

    Last weekend I was at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference. I met Janine Penfield who showed me this unusual photo in her family album.

    SCAN0136.jpg

    It depicts a female performer known as Illavaro at age 14. She was photographed at several different times by Charles Eisenman of New York City. She would have been very comfortable in the late 1960s when this hairstyle was a fashion statement.

    Hope you've enjoyed this look back at 19th-century hairstyles!


    1860s photos | 1870s photos | 1880s photos | african american | children | Civil War | hairstyles | unusual photos
    Monday, April 11, 2011 5:08:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, April 04, 2011
    Vote for Your Favorite Bad Hair Day
    Posted by Maureen

    It's time to vote! My inbox is full of photos from readers and and Facebook followers. So which photo will win? You decide. I've create a survey form on SurveyMonkey.com. Click here to see the photos I selected for the survey and to vote for your favorite. The person who submitted the winning photo will receive a signed copy of my Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900. Photos 1 and 2 are from the 1870s, 3 and 4 from the 1880s and photo 5 dates from 1900.

    Drum roll please...the finalists are:

    editSanders Sylvia (pix found in album of DHSaunders).jpg
    Linda Greff submitted this photo of Sylvia Sanders sporting a combination of extremely curly hair and the full hair styles of the 1870s, making an extreme fashion statement. 

    editSophie Bentley.jpg
    Another 1870s full head of hair. Sophie Bentley was born Dec. 6, 1849. Thank you to Katherine Maddox for sending in this image.

    editdaugherty0157.jpg
    Oh, those flat greased hairstyles of the 1880s were a dramatic contrast to the previous decade's look. Molly (Mary) E. Banning Ross (born 1867) was an older teenager in this photo, submitted by Pat Daugherty.

    editNorwood1880sUnknown.jpg
    Carol Jacobs Norwood sent in this unidentified family photo. It's a variation of that earlier 1880s picture.

    editdavisonMinnie  Everell Dutton Smith.jpg

    It's not the woman in this picture that has the hair problem. It's her companion. His natural wave and longish hair combine to make the style standout from the top and sides of his head. This circa 1900 image is lovely. He was a teacher in Kansas. The couple is Anne Davison's great grand aunt and uncle.

    O.K...Please vote for your favorite here.

    Next week I'll be back with some other photos -- a before and after hairstyle and proof that not just humans can have a bad hair day.


    1870s photos | 1880s photos | 1890s photos | hairstyles
    Monday, April 04, 2011 9:27:57 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]