Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Labels Are Good Sometimes
This is a picture of "Lily's Gran". That is, my great great grandmother. The thing is, we are not sure which of Lily's Grans!
Lily was my mother's mother, my grandmother of course. When she was still able to remember - sadly in her later years, a form of dementia set in - my aunt went through some old photographs with her and labelled as many as she could on their backs.
Unfortunately, all Lily said for this one was "my gran". It was only when it was too late to ask - or to remember if she gave any further details - that it was realised that we do not know whether it was Sarah - the paternal grandmother - or Audra Ann - the maternal!
So this is a good example of the kind of detective work that genealogy can involve. In fact, if you buy any of the genealogy magazines such as Family Tree or Who Do You Think You Are?, there are usually sections on how to identify details on photos which may assist in dating them and therefore identifying the "occupants". It is a really interesting part of the family tree process as photos really bring a tree alive, so to speak. When people go from names on a census or a register to faces in photos, we start to think of them as more three dimensional somehow - at least I do! Maybe it is just me...
Anyway, looking at the information I have on Sarah and Audra, I am still as yet not one hundred percent on which grandmother it is! Sarah died aged 93 in 1935 but I don't know how long even grandmothers would have kept wearing full length dresses after the First World War. However, she was in her seventies when that war started and photography was easily available in the years before 1914. The lady in then photo certainly does not look 93 (hoping for those genes if she IS 93 in this picture!).
Audra Ann was born in 1855 and I have not yet found her death certificate. There is an Ann with the right surname who died in the right area of London in 1917. So, although I try not to do this very often as it is expensive, I have ordered a copy of that Ann's death certificate.
Not sure how this helps with the photo though! It still could be Audra!
Another lesson learned. Labelling of photos is vital for the future generations. And uploading is going to make these situations worse! Yes, the photos are safely on "the Cloud" or wherever. But who has time to go back and label all the endless pictures that we take on digital cameras and phones?
Even if we only label pictures from family gatherings, left to right, it would help identify the occupants of many other photos in the future. At least uploading gives some kind of dating - unless like me, you only upload pictures every blue moon that you run out of storage!
So, go forth from this blog and label - for the sanity of your descendents...