Take the Find My Past #TreeChallenge

  I'm going to take the challenge and you can too!  I've uploaded a Gedcom file of my family tree to Findmypast to see if I can discover new ancestors with their MyHints feature. From May 23 to 30th, all 1.8 billion records included in the MyHint feature will be available for FREE. This include over 116 million United States Marriages, over 10 million Irish Catholic parish register, and 570 million UK births, marriages, and ... Continue Reading

Orphan Photos and Found Pictures in the News

"You can't save them all." When I mentioned to a friend how painful it is to see an abandoned family photo she reminded me of all the thousands if not millions of images are out there lost to family. She's right. I can't save every photo I see, but my new Instagram account @photodetective is my small part to try to reunite these forgotten photos with relatives. This week two news stories brought attention to ... Continue Reading

Unlocking the Stories in a Box of Photos: One Picture at a Time

I can still remember the cold snowy winter Sunday when Mom took out the cigar boxes full pictures.  I was 8. My sister and I couldn’t wait for her to flip open the lid of the box to reveal its surprises.  One by one she took out a snapshot. She gazed at each one then showed them to us. She then told us who was in each candid and sometimes why the picture was taken.   ... Continue Reading

Mother and Daughter

  This unidentified bride and her mother posed circa 1914. The shawl collars on both of their dresses help place them in a time frame. So do the flowers. Edwardian era bouquets were large with trailing ribbons, vines or flowers. Large lilies dominate the greenery. On her head this bride wears a type cap of flowers with a long veil.  Her mother's corsage consists of a single piece of greenery, perhaps a fern, with an ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: Decorated with Flowers

  A. M.Estrella of Fall River, Massachusetts took this photograph in the first decade of the twentieth century. There is something really charming about the enhancements on this image. The pink flowers with green leaves were stamped on the image with ink.   The bride wears a lovely striped silk dress with a full veil.  Her groom holds a pair of gloves in his hands.  Could the couple have requested this all over green and ... Continue Reading

Tech Tuesday: A Chance Encounter and a Photo Mystery Solved

  Years ago I bought an interesting image at a photo show.  It was completely unidentified--no name and no photographer's markings.   I'd never gotten around to researching the image. Last summer I included it in one of my talks at the International Jewish Genealogical Society conference in Boston.  As soon as I put it up on the screen, a man called out that he knew the identity of this soldier.  He told me that ... Continue Reading

Kodak Craze circa 1893

Thank you to Lori Parkinson who found this clipping in the front of a family scrapbook circa 1893. The woman attended Mt. Carmel (Illinois) High School and Northwestern.  Today's parents worry about the inappropriateness of photographs their teenagers post on Facebook, but this worry is nothing new.  Parents worried about the influence of photography on their children more than a century ago. I don't have the whole clipping and I haven't been able to find ... Continue Reading

Oldest Living Revolutionary Widows

As of June 30, 1898 five women appeared on the pension rolls as widows of Revolutionary War soldiers. Esther Damon of Plymouth Union, Vermont age 84 Nancy Jones of Jonesboro, Tennessee age 84 Rebecca Mayo of Newbern, Virginia age 85 Mary Snead of Parksley, Virginia age 82 Nancy Weatherman of Lineback, Tennessee age 88 I've searched for years for images of these women. Esther Damon appears in volume 1 of the Last Muster Series and ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: A Couple from the Mid-1890s and Crayon Swindlers

The spectacle of the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding is outside the pocketbooks of modern brides, nineteenth century high society wedding with white gowns, diamonds and multi-course reception meals were too expensive and frivolous for most of our ancestors as well. It was pretty typical for a man to purchase a wedding suit to be married in and for his bride to wear a new dress for the event. It was usually a dress the bride ... Continue Reading

Tech Tuesday: Listen to Historical Figures Speaki

There's a new treat for users of wikipedia.  Voice recordings.  That's right. Along with biographies the BBC has shared voice recordings from some of their programs. Take a listen to Emma Thompson, from The Film Programme, November 28, 2013 or Jane Goodall from BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour January 26, 2010. Unfortunately the links don't work in this blog format. You can listen by searching for their names on Wikipedia. What does this have ... Continue Reading

Pin It on Pinterest