Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday’s Tip: A Brief Bibliography on Identifying Old Photographs

In keeping with my current theme project of photographs, here is a bibliography of books and websites I have used:

City Gallery. Website with articles, forums, lists of books and other helpful information on dating old photographs. 1995-2000. October 2004. <http://www.city-gallery.com/>
**Unable to connect to this database service 29 January 2012**

Cycleback, David Rudd. How to Date, Identify & Authenticate Photographs.  http://www.cycleback.com/photoguide/ Cycleback also published this in book form in 2007 which can be found at Amazon.com. Although I haven’t seen the printed version, I have found the website to be extremely helpful in identifying old photographs and would tend to ignore any negative reviews.

Darrah, William C. Cartes de Visites in Nineteenth Century Photography. Gettysburg, PA: privately published, 1981.

Frost, Lenore. Dating Family Photographs 1850-1920. Berwick, Australia: Valient Press, 1991.

Moorshead, Halvor, editor & publisher. Family Chronicle’s Dating Old Photographs 1840-1929. Toronto, Canada: Moorshead Magazines Ltd., 2000.

Willis, Ron & Maureen Willis. “Photography as a Tool for Genealogy”. Accessed January 2012 as a pdf file: http://www.city-gallery.com/files/pdf/willis_photogen.pdf

Rinhart, Floyd, Marion Rinhart, Robert W. Wagner. The American Tintype. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1999.

Rinhart, Floyd, Marion Rinhart. American Miniature Case Art. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, 1969.

Ripley, Karen Frisch. Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1991.

Severa, Joan. Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1995.

Taylor, Maureen A. Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2000.

Walters, Judith Allison. A Guide to Dating Old Family Photographs. Bothell, Washington: self-published, 1993.

If you have any additional sources, please let me know!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Motivational Monday: Family Photographs

Nancy Sizemore Hardy holding a photograph of her husband Thomas and his two brothers

As if I didn't have anything better to do, I decided to start another project!

I was walking through my local library the other day in pursuit of a book on sociology that I found in the electronic card catalog. (Never mind why I was looking for a book about sociology.) On my way to the section I needed, I noticed a book displayed on one of the shelves. It was Maureen A. Taylor’s Preserving Your Family Photographs. (See Maureen's own blog here.) I was delighted to find it and grabbed it on my way to the sociology section. I often look at the library’s section of genealogy books to see what’s new, but this book was shelved under “photography.” I would have missed it completely had it not been for some kind librarian soul who thought to display it more prominently on the shelf.
I had already found Maureen’s book, Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs which was aptly filed in the genealogy section of the library. Indeed, I refer to this book in my presentations on identifying family photographs. Old photographs have long been a special interest of mine in my pursuit of family history and I have been blessed with several collections over the years.
Maureen’s book inspired me to focus again on my collection to fine-tune its organization. She includes a to-do list as part of starting such a project and suggests developing an index/inventory system. My collection has grown in the last twenty years since I began my family history research. Plus I suppose I should include my current scrapbook and photograph collection I have amassed of my children and relatives in this current generation. This current collection is probably the most organized group, although I have attempted to keep my old photographs somewhat organized over the years as well.
While I may be somewhat organized, I don’t have a complete inventory of my collection, nor do I have a good index for it. As a result, I often spend a lot of time hunting for a particular image. So here are my tentative goals for this family photograph project:
~Create a general inventory of the different collections I have and discuss the provenance of each collection.
~Make an index of images for easier location and retrieval.  
~Determine what additional preservation steps are needed.
~Obtain needed storage supplies.
~Use these supplies for additional preservation and sort and re-organize collection as necessary.
Does anyone have any other thoughts as to what I should include in my inventory/index or ideas for organizing? I’d appreciate any suggestions. As I get started on this project, I’ll keep you up-to-date on my progress.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mother's Paternal Line - Timmer

John & Martha Timmer w/sons Cornelius, Henry & Fred. Taken ca. 1921 in Wisconsin.

Randy Seavers Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge for this week is:
Find a living male person in your database from your maternal grandfather's patrilineal line who could take a Y-DNA test. Answer these questions:

1) What was your mother's father's name?

Henry J. Timmer

2) What is your mother's father's patrilineal line? That is, his father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?
John Timmer (born in the Netherlands) – Hendrik Jans Timmer – Jan Luitjes Timmer – Luitje Jans Timmer – Jan Timmer
3) Can you identify male sibling(s) of your mother's father, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.

There are several candidates that could do a Y-DNA test on this patrilineal line. My mother has three living brothers. Two of the brothers had one son (and at least one of the sons has a son). Unfortunately, I do not know the whereabouts of one of the sons. Uncle Bill Timmer married a woman named Donna and they had a son named Matthew born about 1976. I have no idea whatever happened to Matthew.
My grandfather Henry had two brothers, Fred and Cornelius. Uncle Fred had two sons Tommy & Nicky. Nicky did not have children. I dont know about Tommys family. Cornelius had two sons, Arnold & Joe. Arnold I know nothing about, but Joe had two sons.
Henrys father John was the only son to survive to adulthood, so no one else in that generation qualifies. But Johns father, Hendrik Jans Timmer, was one of four boys so there are probably still more lines that can be traced down for a Y-DNA test if needed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Original is a 6 1/2" by 4 1/4" in size. Cabinet card photograph. Photo is mounted on dark gray cardstock dating it to after 1900. Large bows were of the 1890s Victorian period. "Randolph. Cadiz, KY" stamped in gold on the end. Subject unknown, girl around age 8 with a collie dog.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Slovakian Search Continues

I wrote about beginning a new search to help discover more of the ancestry of Helen Teroski (see that post here) and wanted to provide an update.

I've had no luck initially with locating any more persons with the surname Teroski (using variant spellings) that might connect with Helen either in Binghamton, Broome Co, NY where she was enumerated with the Novak family or in the state of Pennsylvania (which the census has listed as her birthplace).

Neither could I locate this particular Novak family in Pennsylvania during the 1910 census. My speculation is that since both the Novaks and Helen are of Slovakian descent, I may be able to find more information on Helen if I follow the Novaks around for a while. Helen may have had more of a relationship to the family than just boarder. At the very least they share the same ethnic heritage and both Helen and the Novak children were born somewhere in Pennsylvania.

So what could I find out about the Novak family?

This is what I found on the 1920 census:

1920 US Census: 1st Ward of the city of Binghamton, Broome Co, NY.
E.D. 7, sheet # 19B (4 Colfax Avenue, dwelling #225, family #340)

Approx. Birthyear
Mike Novak
Susie "
3 9/12
1 5/12
Helen Teroski

Mike emigrated in 1900. He was an alien.
Susie emigrated in 1902. She was an alien.

At FindAGrave.com, a headstone for Michael & Zuzana Novak are listed in the St. Cyril Slovak Catholic Cemetery in Binghamton, NY. Michael's dates are 1884-1957 and Zuzana's 1885-1939. Also listed were the following:

Anna Novak b. 22 March 1906 d. 14 April 1922
Susana Novak 1908-1925

Pvt. Michael E. Novak (WWII) 
  1. 14 Oct 1918
  2. 3 Sept 1999
Along with wife Lillian H. 1923-1996

I was able to locate a telephone number for the cemetery. They gave me the phone number for the St. Cyril Church where I might find records. I obtained an email address of the secretary there and sent her a request for information on this family. She agreed to search the church records as time allowed and get back with me. I'll share what information she provided me with in another upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Literary Review

I've always been a book lover. The above photograph is an image of a bookbag that was given to me by my work colleagues when I was about 20 years old. It brings back memories of winter vacations curled up with a big thick book. I would stay in bed and read for days on end.

Because it was my birthday and an extra-long holiday weekend, I went to my local library on Thursday to pick up a good read, preferrably something nice and thick. I found it in the new book section and finished reading it just a little while ago. And it just blew me away, so I have to tell you about it. It's called the Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman. Here's a link to the author's website: The Dovekeepers.

It is a very moving story, set in Israel in 70 C.E. I just loved how the author breathed into life a story based on dry, historical artifacts uncovered in the dusty layer of generations gone by. For lovers of all things history, it's definitely worth the read.