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.
© Copyright 2011 – 2023 by Jacqi Stevens at 2:48:00 AM
Labels: Family Photos, Unidentified Faces
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What sweet kids! You are right about many people don't care about their ancestors. Makes me so sad.ReplyDelete
Yes! It was such an adorable photo, I couldn't resist! Stuff like this needs to be saved and appreciated--and I'm still holding out for finding a relative who would like to have it.Delete
What? Not everyone is interested in family history?ReplyDelete
I keep hoping those sweet faces might change some resistant family members' minds...Delete
Cute kids. I think it is so sad when I hear that people are not interested in their families old photos.ReplyDelete
Of all people, you should know, Far Side. You've rescued thousands of photographs by now, and you've mentioned encountering that response. I guess everyone has a different point of view.Delete
When I see potential pictures from California I get excited. A couple of years ago I found that my gggrandfather had died in California and managed to get his death certificate. I look at all the old photos hoping to see lost family - Thank you for doing this there will come the soooooo exciting momentsReplyDelete
California has become the unexpected destination for a lot of people, as you've found. Everything from the excitement of the Gold Rush to the temporary experience of military duty at a post on the Pacific has drawn people here. Some stay for a season. Others make it a lifelong home. Exciting that you discovered that about your second great grandfather!Delete
They are beautiful boys! How I wish it was my family. I'd love to have a photograph of my father when he was little (born in 1918 in Toronto). He came to the US in 1924, and it's been a challenge trying to re-construct his whereabouts for those years in-between. Long story. Anyhow, I really, really love what you are doing. Hopefully their descendants will be reunited with this portrait.ReplyDelete
Cynthia, you have plenty of company when you say you wish you had photographs of your father when he was young. That, partly, is why I decided to undertake this project to rescue and return family photographs. What goes around comes around. Hopefully, someday, someone will find a photo of my ancestors--and I hope the same for you!Delete