Sunday, April 21, 2024

Revisiting a Six Year Old Story


It was almost exactly six years ago when I began sharing the story of a photograph I rescued from an antique shop up in Gold Country. The picture itself was sweet, containing the cherubic faces of two young boys, the younger barely one year of age. The puzzling part was that the portrait was labeled in French, and likely dated from the earliest years of the 1900s, an odd find from a store in a small town in the northern California foothills.

At that time, I had begun what has become a habit of rescuing old abandoned photographs and researching the subjects of the picture in hopes of finding current-day descendants who might be interested in receiving the orphaned picture. In the case of Emile and Lucien Hallée, the two boys in the photograph, with barely enough details to locate a possible descendant, the generous assistance of a Canadian blogger who spread the word plus the power of social media enabled a happy ending: the photograph made its way home to family.

Ever since that point, I've been totally sold on the thrill that comes from what I call "giving back" to the genealogical community, and have returned several other photographs to family over the years. But it has only been lately that I've been able to share such stories in person. This coming Monday, April 22, I'm privileged to have that opportunity to head up to the same gold rush country where it all began in 1848 to present "The Genealogical Legacy of the California Gold Rush" to the Placer County Genealogical Society. If you're curious or want to hear that story once again (as well as others), I invite you to come along, whether in person for those living in the Auburn, California area, or online for those in time zones in which an evening presentation at seven, Pacific Time, would not be prohibitively late. The Society's website has the information to guide you in accessing the online meeting, and they are very welcoming in inviting visitors to their meetings.


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