Wednesday, April 25, 2018
When the Last Trip Home Doesn't Happen
It's been an interesting experiment, this project to rescue abandoned photographs from antique stores and return them to family members. There have been some interesting—and unexpected—discoveries along the way, supporting my theory that Gold Country did indeed attract people from all over the world who eventually chose to remain in the region long after gold fever had passed.
I've learned something else in the process, something I'm not sure I'm ready to accept yet: that not everyone is interested in receiving photographs of their ancestors. In fact, not everyone is even interested in learning about their ancestors at all.
Let all the genealogists in the room express shock and dismay. Okay, moment's over.
I still have, as examples of homeless family photographs, several pictures of Alta Barnes and her siblings—photos which surely could head back to Kansas or Oklahoma, if only I could locate an interested descendant. Add to that stack the photograph of baby Louise, and possibly her ancestors, Timothy and Carolyn Browne, the ones who stopped by a photography studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to capture their likeness back in the 1870s.
There are even more yet to come. In that same trip up to Gold Country antique shops to rescue those photographs, I found several others. More, incidentally, which turned out to lack sufficient clues to lead me to a possible family.
What to do with those? Well, you know I can't pass up posting them here. Some of them are actually sweet pictures. If they can't go home, at least they can enjoy a visit with folks who will appreciate their moment in time, a hundred years or so in the past. And who knows? Perhaps someone else will realize a clue that I've missed entirely. Hearing about that would indeed be a great help.
Having shared that concern of mine, now that I'm mired in the mess of mission not accomplished, let me introduce you to two adorable siblings, P. Emile and Lucien. Tomorrow, we'll discuss briefly—believe me, it will be brief as there are few details to go by in this search—what can be found about these two cherubs.
Above: Undated photograph labeled with the names P. Emile and Lucien; currently in possession of the author.