Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #2 Family Photograph Mysteries

This photograph was in the possession of Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan and on the envelope was written "Great Grandmother".

On the back of the photo (barely legible) was written: " Mrs. W Delaney" (or could it be Mrs M Oleary?) "18-10 May $300 paid $100).

If this was Rhea or Ernie's great grandmother, well we can do the math: it would be one of eight potential women. Problem is, have not come across any Delaney's.

By posting the picture on and by connecting with others who are researching this branch of my family tree I received the following email: " This is the picture that I was told was Mary Hess’s mother, whose name is also Mary.  Last name , I was told is Jensen (not proven).... her marriage registration of a son “Gabriel” shows maiden name as Mary Ann Steinbrum.  Folk lore from..........aunts and uncles (now deceased) was that she was from Alsace Lorraine.  French and German both claimed Alsace, so searching has been a problem. The relatives also said they came to Canada from/thru Pennsylvania."

This is likely the oldest photo that I have? There is one other photo of a family on a front porch that may be older (a daguerreotype ? ) But I am unsure.

A good resource for dating photographs that I found is here but I still have a lot to learn about dating all my family photographs!

Nancy Price writes: "Figuring out certain aspects of your family tree can seem like a real puzzle, especially when any photographs you have aren't labeled and lack any obvious clues (like a calendar, a dated vehicle registration sticker or a street sign). But when you do manage to fit a few of the pieces together, just like a real puzzle, the whole picture becomes clearer. Here's a look at how one real-life photographic mystery was solved!"

More resources for dating photographs:

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