Unidentified photos

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Unidentified photos

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1lesmel
Muokkaaja: marraskuu 3, 2016, 11:47am

I have hundreds of anonymous family photos and no one left alive that could tell me who any of the people are. This absolutely 100% makes my genealogical soul writhe in agony. To make matters worse, I continue to remember all the times I begged my grandmother to show me photos and tell me about both sides of the family (my grandfather died well before I was born). Her response was always something to the effect of "you don't need to know that" or "I don't have any photos." My mother thinks I'm harsh for calling my grandmother a liar; but I have the boxes and boxes of photos from the 1800s to the 1960s that are unlabeled. I also have the memories of all the times she flat out told me her history was none of my business.

/rant

So, yeah. I have all these photos and no way to figure out who the people are! Do you have any of the following (or variants) in your lines? Adams, Allen, Calloway, Cornstuble, Davis, Downing, Garrett, Ginger, Green, Guttery/Gutherie, Moore, Reynolds, Shirley, Stephens, Walker. If so, maybe you would like to flip through my collection: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=84124398%40N00&view_all=1&text=ge...

I'm slowly adding more and more to the collection. Let me know if you recognize a face!

I do have a few labeled photos from surnames: Black, Colley, New, Ebensberger, Edwards, Garrett, Guttery, Miller, Scholl, and Spillar.

Edited for spelling

2Cecrow
marraskuu 3, 2016, 10:49am

It's a shame, right? The Internet is a goldmine of assistance, but not all the Internet searching in the world can help put a face to a name, only other clues can do that - anything suggesting when and where the photo was taken, primarily. People appearing in the photo who have been identified elsewhere, helping to suggest who the other people in this photo could be. Where the photo was found, who it originally belonged to.

I've made a "best guess" in some cases, noting that it is only a guess. There can't be much harm in making an error, and giving up by throwing out the photos would be a permanent loss that can't be undone. My great-aunt did not recognize a photo I have come to believe was of her great-grandparents. I arrived at my guess based on a photographer's emblem on the photo that confirmed where it was taken, and the fact it was mixed in with her grandfather's belongings so these people were related to him.

3mabith
marraskuu 3, 2016, 11:03am

I'm another alternative spelling Guthrie, and my maternal grandmother is a Davis, but what part of the US (or world) are those lines of yours from? My Davises are from Virginia, centered around Orange county. I can link to an album of their old photos, but not much point if yours were all around Missouri or something.

My Guthries are recently from West Virginia and Ohio but before 1820 or so they're in Connecticut. I don't think I'd be any help there though, as we don't have any old pictures of that lot.

That picture of the fat baby in the oval frame is priceless!

4lesmel
marraskuu 3, 2016, 11:55am

>3 mabith: Are you on Facebook? There's a Guttery/Guthrie group...but it's super quiet.

>3 mabith: RE: Davis. I haven't traced the line much, but the current known ancestor is from Tennessee with supposition that her father and grandfather are from North Carolina.

I struggle endlessly with almost every family line because we have lived in Texas since it was still part of Mexico. Plus, Texans seem to be notorious for just inventing their family history...or beaming down from the mothership. Or maybe that's just people. Either way, anything before 1850 is becoming a slow lesson in patience and learning new documents I know nothing about.

5mabith
marraskuu 3, 2016, 2:03pm

I am not. I have been slightly ruined on Guthrie genealogy because my dad (a Guthrie, I have my mom's last name) is so annoying about it. By which I mean going on about things with no solid family tree done acting like every single Guthrie in the world is a very direct relative, going on and on about being Scottish (every line of my family that I've found came to the US very early, we're about as Scottish as we are Samoan), etc...

Davis - one of my great-great Davis aunts moved to North Carolina, but of course her children wouldn't have had the Davis name. I'll look in that family tree just in case, since some locations are listed and that tree is pretty exhaustive.

Very tough to work those things out in Texas! Need church records and old family Bibles, I imagine. It's a bit funny, because my mom's family (parent, siblings) ended up in Houston after they left Egypt in the 1960s and stayed in Texas and New Mexico for most of my childhood. The nice thing with West Virginia is they've scanned loads and loads of records and made them searchable. WV family I can find marriage records, death records, birth records which I can't find (free online) for Virginia or New York. Extra funny since the Appalachian attitude usually leans away from telling the government much...

6varielle
marraskuu 3, 2016, 5:41pm

Lesmel, what part of the country? I have Gutheries in NC and VA.

7lesmel
marraskuu 3, 2016, 8:13pm

>6 varielle: The Guttery migration route that I can trace is Province of South Carolina > Georgia > Alabama > Texas. Prior to that it might be (based on unsubstantiated tree data) Scotland (sorry >5 mabith:!) > Province of Georgia... OR Scotland > Virginia....

8mabith
marraskuu 3, 2016, 8:50pm

Ha, Guthrie/Gutherie is a Scottish name. :) I just find it annoying that my dad who has no connection to Scotland more recent than 300 years ago will go on and on about being Scottish. He doesn't care at all about working on our actual family tree or even finding basic info, so that makes it even more annoying to me.

9Cecrow
marraskuu 4, 2016, 7:55am

You gotta be wary of these ancestors who liked to brag about their heritage. My grandmother traced her line back four more generations and hit a dead-end against a fellow who swore his father was a German immigrant, and called himself Wilhelm. Nah-ah. My research since then finds no German immigrants until five generations before him, and that guy's birth certificate reads Joseph William, not Wilhelm.

10varielle
marraskuu 4, 2016, 8:55am

True. We were always told we were 1/16 Cherokee, but all the documentation I could find for this Native American ancestor suggests she was caucasian. We just had the DNA done and find we are 99% western European with 1% Native American. So somewhere back in the annals of time that heritage was remembered and expanded to make a much more interesting family story.

11Lyndatrue
marraskuu 4, 2016, 11:05am

There are so very many folks in this country who claim Native American heritage (and it's almost ALWAYS Cherokee, when they're not sure). My natural father (who died when I was 19 months old) was always told that his father was Indian, which would make him half Indian. My mother even did research on how to add me to the rolls (needless to say, it didn't work out).

It was actually an understandable confusion. One of my cousins did the research. Those ancestors were Mormon, and there was indeed an Indian wife (Shoshone, not Cherokee), but it was a marriage of alliance, and she didn't live with her husband, nor did she have any children. Even if she had been my (gets out fingers for counting) great great grandmother, that would have made my father one-fourth, and me one-eighth.

After going through the DNA mapping, I saw that it mapped precisely to my genealogy sheets (no surprises, sadly). It's almost entirely western European, and concentrated in Scotland, England, and Wales.

If I was a better person, I'd do a little checking to see if I could fill in blanks in the Scots area being currently looked at (Gutherie et al). I haven't logged into 23andme in months (I suspect I'm too private to take advantage of most of what they offer). Maybe later.

12lesmel
marraskuu 4, 2016, 1:36pm

Re: Native American claims. I am currently fighting a cousin who SWEARS we are part Choctaw b/c Granny So and So "looks Indian" and she lived on the rez in Oklahoma. Only Granny So and So was married four times and the last man she married MIGHT have been the Native American...who is NOT a blood relative. Also, the cousin isn't willing to DNA test despite my repeated explanations (to my cousin the microbiologist) that DNA isn't equally inherited.

13Cecrow
marraskuu 4, 2016, 1:58pm

>11 Lyndatrue:, I did DNA mapping with Ancestry and I don't know what to make of it. I have branches leading back to Germany scattered all over the place, but the result came back with 0% German and a big chunk of Eastern European that has no explanation. I think maybe that one statistic got slotted under the wrong title when they wrote up my report, lol.

14Lyndatrue
Muokkaaja: marraskuu 4, 2016, 2:10pm

>13 Cecrow: You might consider ponying up the $$$ for 23andme. I think they have far more detail than Ancestry does, or at least they present it in various formats, so that Eastern European becomes more obviously things like Prussia, and Slovakia, rather than just a grab bag of various countries that may or may not be part of the E.U. bucket.

Besides, it never hurts to have multiple opinions.

15lesmel
marraskuu 4, 2016, 2:31pm

RE: DNA. If you've never used GEDMatch, that can be interesting, you can use any of the commercial tests, load the raw data and then eventually, you can compare the GEDMatch database against your kit. Hopefully, working on triangulation of ancestors and what not. I don't use it like I should. And it was broken for a long while.

16Diane-bpcb
marraskuu 5, 2016, 2:59pm

> 13 Cecrow

A more likely option--other than "mis-slotting" your results--is a "non-family" parent. Either known or unknown.

17lesmel
marraskuu 5, 2016, 4:05pm

>13 Cecrow: Something I keep having to remember is that there was a lot of moving around of borders and huge diasporas. Just because a family settled in one country didn't make them ethnically part of that country's population. Sephardic Jewish heritage is an example. Or Thai Chinese.

18Cecrow
marraskuu 7, 2016, 7:31am

>16 Diane-bpcb:, >17 lesmel:, I'd be inclined to assume something like that, if it wasn't that German appears in multiple unrelated branches. Statistically it doesn't seem very likely that in every instance they actually came from Poland or something. Pretty curious.

19DMAndersen
joulukuu 30, 2016, 12:05am

I'm also in the predicament of the original poster. I come from a family largely ashamed, perplexed and frustrated from life events. I have many photos of people that I have very little knowledge of, aside from them being in a particular tree, or associated with a particular tree.

What I've done, is I put together all the people that look alike. If I can associate somebody with somebody I know, I reorganize the piles to show this. This has helped me when I meet up with a relative that recognizes someone. If everything is organized, a recognition becomes a HUGE game changer.

Another good thing about organizing photos on facial cues is teaching your brain to recognize familial traits. That's what I've learned.

Try looking into photo manufacturers, historical context, and geographic scenery. I have a photo of my great grandfather and found a goat in the background. from that info and my knowledge of where he lived, I was able to find out where the photo was taken and why.

Photos can be very intriguing, even if you think you don't know the face associated with it. You have to remember also, there's a reason your relative had those photos to begin with.

20avaland
joulukuu 31, 2016, 7:21am

>19 DMAndersen: I am lucky that my family identified most photos, and when I copied photos from my elders, I labeled them all. I believe very strongly in putting my old photos up online where other relatives can snag them. I have found a few old photos of the siblings of my direct ancestors online and it's been a delight to add those to my tree. And yes, for some more modern photos, where people owned their own cameras, we've used used those same kinds of clues to help identify the person.

21ahaseminars
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 2017, 12:00pm

Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, has written a number of books about dating and identifying old photographs. You should search LibraryThing for these, check your local library, and/or order her books. Great stuff!

George G. Morgan

22TLCrawford
kesäkuu 1, 2017, 2:53pm

21 I have ordered that book from Amazon. Thanks for the heads up.

23mnleona
Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 6, 2018, 8:56am

>3 mabith: mabith Minneapolis, Minnesota has the Guthrie Theater. Maybe the Minnesota Historical Society has some information. I have found records of my husband's family there.
Leona

24somermoore
heinäkuu 27, 2018, 10:20pm

I have Moore in my direct line and Adams and Stephens in in-law lines, all in Texas, but none of the photos resemble the people in the photos I have. And in my case the common denominator among those three is Spell, and that isn't on your list, so I don't expect these are the same families.