Tuesday, February 21, 2017


"Hi. I just inherited a box of photos from my great aunt and I saw that you had an individual on your tree that matches the family and I was wondering if you are connected and interested."

This is the gist of an e-mail I read on the way home from running errands with my husband.

My head exploded with excitement! If we had been driving a team of horses I might have snapped the reigns.

This person is a member of Ancestry and saw on my Ancestry tree that we had the same relative in common. A relative who moved from my hometown to the Kansas prairie and started a family. He mentioned he had photos from Kansas as well as my home town. The possibilities running through my head were endless but the dream I mentioned out loud to my husband was the possibility that it was of my great aunt's wedding and that it might include a photo of the family altogether so I could see what my relatives looked like.

I told him my connection and he agreed to e-mail me photos.

Later that afternoon I received a few from Kansas.  And that night he sent me twelve from my home town. And you know what? There was a photo of a couple with the woman in a wedding dress!

Freak out!

I opened my family tree and got to that branch of the family to try to match faces to how old they would be approximately. Going on the assumption that the couple were my great aunt and her new husband I figured out who would be married and therefore with a spouse, who would have had kids by then and how old they would be, and who else might be there and photographed considering it would have been 1889. Some things were a bit off but others meshed. The crazy thing was the woman in the photo did not look like the one in a photo from Kansas several years later. Some of the kids with parents didn't look old enough. And my great- grandparents who had married two years earlier were no where to be seen.

So I allowed myself to go down the "what if" road.

What if the wedding couple was actually MY great- grandparents? Things fall into place if this is the case. If the wedding couple is my great- grandparents then I have all of my great- grandmothers siblings and their families if they were old enough at the time. And a photo of my great-great grandmother who would have been about 53 in 1887.

Some people that were photographed are unknown to me. More detective work is needed. But the scenario in my head is this:  My great grandmother's family was rather poor. My great-grandfather's family were fairly prosperous.  Maybe his family paid for the photos. Then, when younger sis married and moved to Kansas she took the photos of her family with her, since heading to Kansas with her Lutheran preacher husband meant it was unlikely they'd be back anytime soon.

This is the story in my head. The story I want to be true. But that makes it hard to make an unbiased opinion on the photos taken 30 years apart that I am comparing to decide if they are mine.

Does she look 50ish?

Do these people

Look like 2nd woman from left and 4th man

How amazing is it if these are actually my great grandparents in 1887?

And that leads to the next question.
The next quest.
The next obsession.

If the photos sent to me represent the great grandma side, and
it actually was my great- grandfather's side that paid for the photos, where are the great grandpa side of the family photos?  Because both of my great-great grandparents on that side would have been alive at that time.

And Oh how I'd love to see them!

1 comment:

  1. Detective Peggy, Detective Peggy, please report to your Ancestry account. Stat! :-)