Identifying and Un-Identifying People

As I’m sure you’re all familiar with, it’s a big triumph to find pictures of your ancestors. I’m very rich indeed with priceless photographs. I have hundreds and hundreds… and hundreds of photographs to scan and identify. I’m not complaining, really I’m not. I can’t tell you how privileged I feel. I love finding photos like this:

Photos like this just make me want to dig in and figure out who is who! I see Lewis and Jennie (holding my Grandpa Moore!), William and Llewellyn… Then there are those other pleasant folks. Now who the heck are they! I don’t know. I do recognize that couple. They are in my hundreds upon hundreds of photos. Not all of them of course, but they are in a great deal more than a lot of other people. So they have to be important, right? Then it struck me. Mr. Mystery there has a resemblance to Lewis Thorward. So I start thinking to myself, Lewis had a brother! That’s right! It’s got to be him. Let me check my file and see.

Alright, so maybe it’s not Lewis Thorward‘s brother, Frank, after all. Frank didn’t have a daughter and I’m almost sure that’s why the girl is in the photo. Wait a second… Lewis had a sister who had one daughter! Maybe it’s his sister and her family!

Gosh darn it! Another negative identification. Vivian Plume would be into her 30′s by the time this picture was taken.

Not only did they take the photo once, there are more than one of the same people. To you this means nothing but they wanted to do another one, just in case. To me, this is finding this photo again a few months after I scanned the first one. Which once again has distracted me from my Great Scanning Project. Which has been underway for well over 2 years now, if not more. I can’t just put them in the ‘Scanned’ box and leave it this time. I have to have SOME resolution. Even if I’ll never be 100% sure. Then it struck me that in Llewellyn‘s journal, she mentions her Aunt Agnes an awful lot.

So I check out Agnes Love‘s family. Sure enough, she had a daughter who seems to be about the right age. I can’t be sure because I am never good at judging children ages. She’s close though! Not to mention the boys are old enough to have their own families or maybe stayed behind during a family trip. Agnes and her husband were living in Suffern, New York around the time of these pictures. To me, this is the conclusion that will allow me to go back to scanning. Even if I have taken an hour out of my time, not only to research but to type this blog post too. I’m nothing if not easily distracted folks.

There is good news though. Eventually someone, and I’m not saying who (Great Grandma Llewellyn)..

Someone started labeling the back of the photos. Now for the other 764.75 pictures that aren’t labeled? I should figure those out by the time my Great Grandchildren are moaning the fact that I never take any pictures.

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8 thoughts on “Identifying and Un-Identifying People”

  1. I might be able to help you with some of the names and relation shipsMrs. Wambow and Mrs Thorward were sisters. Mr. Wambow was a conducter on the Railroad. I spent many hours in Sufren, N.Y.

    1. Lewis Thorward also worked on the railroad for a time I believe. It’s such a small world.

      Once I get things scanned I hope I can group together similar faces and that should help a lot. I’ll definitely ask the next time I’m unsure. There are some pictures of some houses I would like your input on too. Cassie said some looked to be Caldwell and some looked like they were from the Shore. Now I just have to find them on my hard drive. :)

  2. I have the same problem you do – hundreds of photos and many of them unidentified! I haven’t even started scanning or deciphering most because they are so daunting! But you made such a fun post out of it, it’s given me the fire to give it a go – thanks!

  3. Oh yes Dana, just jump in! I’ve learned also that once you get going, you may not be able to distinguish a person’s name but you could certainly pick them out of a line up. Then when I’m communicating with some distant cousins they point out their relative and then I start to feel like I’m really starting to get somewhere!

    I’ve identified two or three of Jennie Love’s sisters now!

  4. Kathleen, yes, that is our our Grandparents in you photo, Granpa Cyrene (Rene) and Grandma Agnes, then I am assuming the lung ill standing would be my Mom, Marguerite…never saw a photo like this one.

  5. Sorry for the typo above, I was saying that I am assuming the young girl standing would be my Mom, Marguerite…..haven’t seen a photo of her like this one.

    Sally Dobson

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