Messages on Ancestral Photos

Messages on Ancestral Photos | The Photo Detective

I love the messages our ancestors left on their photographs. There are arguments about who’s who in different handwriting. Notes about loved ones. Captions that include who labeled the picture. Mathematical problems (this is true!) I’ve even found images with whole family trees outlined on the back explaining how the person in the image fits in the family.

And then there is this message:

Family gathering circa 1900

Curious isn’t it. It calls to mind a list of questions.

  • Who’s trying to protect it?
  • Why are they trying to protect it?
  • Who did the original owner send it to?

Whoever once owned it, this picture didn’t end up being passed down in the family. It ended up in an antique shop. There are no names on it. No full identities at all with the exception of the note and the arrow pointing out which person was their mother.

The only question we can answer is the last one. Along the bottom edge is a note in ink that blurred due to water damage. It says:” No doubt Aunt Flo you will recognize several of the others.”

Have you ever found more written on a picture than a date or a partial name? I thought I’d seen it all but then I found this image with a plea for protection. I’d love to hear from you about what you’ve found written on images.

Would you love to know more about identifying and interpreting your family photographs?  You can do it. My course Identifying Family Photographs will help you.  Really.  There are nine lessons, resource booklets, and access to a private Facebook page where you can ask me questions.

Here’s what students have to say: I found it helpful to pull the bits and pieces of my knowledge together with new information. Considering that I already had your books and have sat through sessions on the topic in the past, I found it refreshing to review everything. Doing the consultation after helped me reenforce my thought process was on the right track. –Mark Andrew Davis

I hope to see you there!