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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, January 30, 2012
Posting Photos Online
Posted by Maureen

This week genealogists from all over are gathering in Salt Lake City to talk technology at RootsTech. Unfortunately, I won't be there this year, although I might check out some of the virtual offerings.

I'm trying to finish research on a second volume of my Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation.

There are a lot of great websites out there that enable folks to share pictures and stories. Before I list them, here are some basic tips before you post your pictures in the global world of the web.

  • Don't upload images larger than 72 dpi. That resolution is perfect for the web, but anyone trying to copy your image won't end up with a very good print.

  • Make sure you own the photo (or have written permission to post). I wouldn't want my cousins posting family photographs online that I own and you probably wouldn't your cousins to do so either.

  • Don't post images of living people. Genealogists generally recommend not posting information on living individuals and that rule applies to photos as well.  

Now let's get to the fun part. Websites!  I have my personal favorites. Oh— did I mention that most of these sites are FREE?

  • History Pin.  Take a tour of the world or your neighborhood in the photos on this site.  There are "sets" of images that focus on themes.  This website just won an award for the best mobile app. Try it and see.

  • 1000Memories.  Need an online place to share your photos, stories and family videos, then check out this site.  I was stunned to see the possibilities. 

  • Dear Photograph. This is a really cool idea. Take a photograph of a place today then upload it and a historical photo of the same place. The juxtaposition of the two images is a lot of fun.

  • Ancient Faces and Dead Fred.  These two reunion websites can help you reconnect with "missing" family photographs.

Let's not forget that you can upload images to genealogical sites such as Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com.

I'm trying to beat the winter blahs and maybe you are, too. On my personal website, I'm having a Silly Old Snapshot Contest.  Upload an image, get folks to vote on it and you might end up winning a prize package. The contest ends on February 25. 


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

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

  • Photo fun | photo news | unusual photos | Web sites
    Monday, January 30, 2012 2:46:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [5]
    # Monday, January 23, 2012
    Which Mother is It?
    Posted by Maureen

    Susannah_Wideman.jpg

    This lovely image depicts either someone's mother or stepmother. The question is, which one? It's a north-of-the-border mystery.

    Chris Rye inherited this photo from his grandfather, who in turn inherited it from his mother. The back of this tintype reads "Enos Mother." Enos Storm is Rye's great-great-great grandfather. 

    Enos' mother was Susannah (born in 1836), who died in childbirth in 1866 when Enos was born. The family lived in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada.

    Susannah also had three daughters, born in 1859, 1861 and 1862. This woman is posed with a toddler on her lap. Notice the size of the toddler, as compared to the mother's diminutive size. She has large hands but a tiny body in contrast to her very hearty child.

    Enos' father remarried a woman named Mary (born about 1847) and she had a daughter in 1879.

    The clothing clues in this picture point to the 1860s.  The mother wears an everyday dress with cap sleeves and a small collar, and wears her hair pulled back. In the late 1870s, women's clothing featured more trim than this, and even everyday dresses had fitted bodices.

    The little girl's dress also dates from the 1860s. 

    This is an entrancing portrait. Susannah looks directly into the camera with a slight smile on her face, while her child sits still for the image. It's a family history treasure!

    This is one of the three daughters, but which one? She could be any one of them depending on a specific year.  The toddler is likely around 3 years of age, meaning the photo was taken in approximately, 1862, 1864 or 1865.  Any photos of the girls taken later on would be useful for comparison.


    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

  • 1860s photos | children | Tintypes | women
    Monday, January 23, 2012 4:30:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [5]
    # Monday, January 16, 2012
    Scottish Photographers
    Posted by Maureen

    Last week, I discussed Winston Cochrane's family photo taken in Dumfries, Scotland.



    Late in the week he emailed me to say he had new information.

    The image of Mary Jane Rae was taken at a photo studio in the Jubilee Buildings at the Queen's Photo Co. According to Richard Torrance's Scottish Studio Photographers to 1914 (Scottish Record Societies, 2011), Thomas A. Moryson operated the Queen's Photo Co. in the Jubilee Buildings from 1893 to 1900.  The building opened in 1887. 

    Now Winston thinks the photo was taken to commemorate an engagement. Mary married on Aug. 7, 1894.

    The clothing clues are the epitome of the late 1880s. Clothing from the early 1890s usually features fuller upper sleeves, so I have questions regarding this image being taken in the early 1890s.

    Not everyone kept up with the current fashion. When I look in my own closet, I see clothing I wore several seasons ago. Perhaps Mary didn't have the means to buy a new dress or this one was her favorite.

    I'm not sure of the source used to establish the work dates for Thomas Moryson. He bought his photo business from a James Rae, who might be a relative of Mary Jane's. It's possible that Rae also called his business the Queen's Photo Co. and that Moryson bought the name and the equipment.

    This photo remains a little bit of a mystery.


    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

  • 1880s photos | 1890s photos | women
    Monday, January 16, 2012 4:36:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [2]
    # Monday, January 09, 2012
    Mother or Daughter?
    Posted by Maureen

    cochraneAssumed Mother of Rae James Gedit (2).jpg

    Winston Cochrane sent in this lovely portrait of a young woman. Her hairstyle and dress date from the mid to late 1880s. He wanted to know if the item on the studio prop to our left is a hat. It is! It's a tiny topper that would rest on the top of her head. I love that's covered with spring flowers.
     
     cochrane hat.jpg

    On her left wrist is a ribbon bracelet.

    cochrane bracelet.jpg

    His big question was about her identity  Could this be Elizabeth (Gourlay) Rae (1840-1921) or her daughter Mary Jane (Rae) Bell (1869-1934)? The woman depicted here is probably only in her 20s, so it's likely the daughter. Mary Jane's brother James immigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1886. 

    It's the back of the image that made me think about who and where.

    CochraneBack of Photo edit (2).jpg

    This imprint reinforces my belief that being quick to judge can lead to mistakes. When I first glanced at it, the "N.B." stood out. Could it stand for New Brunswick? Many immigrants to the United States first stopped in Canada, but Dumfries, New Brunswick is a rural community even today and it's not near the coast. So what does the N.B. represent?

    I called Fred Farrell, the photo archivist at the New Brunswick Provincial Archives for a little clarification. He confirmed that it was unlikely taken in Dumfries, New Brunswick. Turns out that Scotland was often referred to as North Britain even into the 20th century.

    This photo was definitely taken in Scotland. 


    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

  • 1880s photos | Immigrant Photos | women
    Monday, January 09, 2012 4:36:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [3]
    # Monday, January 02, 2012
    Photo Clean-up: 5 Easy Steps
    Posted by Maureen

    If you find yourself surrounded by boxes of family photos, then check out my article "Address Your Mess" in the February 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine. There are five easy steps to help you organize those shoeboxes.

    A few months ago, Family Tree Magazine ran a contest to find the most creative call for organizational help.  Congratulations to Judy Walck. She won $250 worth of archival photo storage and preservation supplies from Hollinger Metal Edge.

    Here's her photo and the poem that accompanied it.

    walck.JPG

    I have photos galore and more.
    Please help. Oh, please.
    they hang on every wall you see.
    What a quandary.
    Where to store the countless more
    in boxes and bags all over my floor?
    Yes, I need help and need it majorly.
    I've photos old and photos new.
    More come each day.
    Some aren't labelled who is who
    A pen I need.
    An eat-in kitchen is really great
    'cause my dining room table no longer seats eight.
    An heirloom Bible could use a box
    not of plastic.
    what to keep and what to cull
    I'm in archival hell.
    Eight generation to orderize.
    It's not Restasis bring tears to my eyes.
    Can you help me, please?
    I'm beggin on my knees.


    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

  • preserving photos
    Monday, January 02, 2012 5:22:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]