Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sibling Saturday: A Photo Matching Game

I am not done with working to identify the old photographs from Aunt Ivy's album. Elsie also sent me this photograph as an email attachment showing the children of George and Henry Ada Quisenberry Diuguid:

Elsie wrote the following about the photo:  "There is not a date on the photo but from the clothing---my best guess is in the late 30's or early 1940's....The photo was made at my grandmother Elsie Freeman's home on HWY 272 in Cadiz.  According to Frances, they had a family reunion either the 1st or 2nd Sunday in August each year. She said that there would be at least 100 or more aunts, uncles, cousins, and extras who
would attend.  She told me that it was a much anticipated event because the food would be in abundance and placed on wagons in the front yard.  I did question why they would wait until August since that is basically our
hottest month---  In a voice that only Frances could use with me, she would shake her head, smile, and then explained that their gardens were producing in August; thus, food was plentiful!"

(Funny how both her and I can still have Frances' voice in our heads).

After I read the email, I scrambled back to the digital images of the photographs from Aunt Ivy's album and pulled this one up.

This is the back of the photograph in probably what is my dad's cousin Juanita's handwriting. She originally purchased the album at Ivy's estate sale.

I could more positively identify it as Travis and Iva when comparing it to the sibling photo. You can sure tell this is Uncle Travis in this one and on the far right of the other one. I included it as an attachment in another email to Elsie and wrote, "I do believe this might have been taken on the same day [as] the one you sent me of all the children. Don't you think?"

She responded back, "I totally agree that this had to have been taken on the same day---the only
big difference to me is that the photo of Uncle Travis and Aunt Ivy was made early in the day and the photo of the 7 siblings was taken much later in the day!!   My reasoning:  notice in the photo of Travis and Ivy--his shirt is buttoned to the top and his pants aren't very wrinkled---in the sibling photo--his shirt has the top button undone and the pants are pretty wrinkled--but it was August and hot!!!"

Aren't we clever? I just love how we were able to even identify which picture was taken first :)

Genealogy can be true detective work. Don't forget to pay attention to the details!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Family Friends Friday: Close Enough to Kin

So I wanted to tell you more about identifying some of the photographs in Aunt Ivy's album with the help of family friends.

In a lot of ways, the people I have interacted with are almost close enough to kin. I mentioned Frances Sizemore as my genealogy mentor and friend. Her husband's great grandfather and my second great-grandmother were siblings, making us...third cousins one generation removed (see this link here for help determining cousin relationships). Frances herself was a first cousin to my dad's first cousin, Inez. But the connection between them was on Inez's father's side while my dad and Inez were cousins on her mother's side. That did not make us blood-related to or cousins in any way, but I will say close enough to kin. I guess you could say we were what is called "fictive kin," a term sometimes used in foster care and adoption. Wikipedia says fictive kinship is a term used by anthropologists and others that are social ties not based on blood or marriage ties. It could be debated that there were marriage ties between Frances and I, but I'm not going to argue the case either way. Frances and I were connected: we corresponded for years, wrote a book together and my young daughters and I even stayed with her on a trip to Kentucky once. I was very saddened when I heard of her passing and can remember reading the letter upstairs in my room and hearing her voice in my head saying, "We're young for such a short time, but old for so long."

Elsie was another cousin of Frances's. My ties with Elsie are even more tenuous but I'm gonna say close enough at this point anyway. The description of the blogging prompt at for Family Friends Friday states that these people "are often not only an important part of our families but also important sources of genealogical information to us as the keepers of the family history." 

And Elsie has been at least that for me. I was delighted to hear of her detailed identification of the following photo found in Aunt Ivy's album.

With the help of her Uncle Frank, Elsie was able to share the following with me:

The one of the three girls was made in 1909.  L to R, they are Allie Church,
Mamie Diuguid, and Jessie Church.  Mamie is Frances' mother and daughter of
George Marshall and Henry Ada Diuguid.  The two Church girls are thought to
be Diuguid cousins from the Calloway County, Kentucky area. In this photo,
Aunt Mamie is wearing a new bracelet that her future husband, Marvin
Freeman, had given her.”

By tracking down family connections, I was able to get the names, the date and wonderful details that went along with the photograph. 

If you have old photographs that are unidentified, I urge you to make it a point to try and find someone who might be able to help. It can be worth the time to discover more family stories and bring them to light. I'll share more of my discoveries in another post. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Aunt Ivy's Album

I mentioned to you back in February that I was lucky enough to have been given Aunt Ivy's photo album on a recent trip to Kentucky. My first post about the photo album is here: A 108-Year-Old Valentine.

I got down to business and scanned all the photographs from that album shortly thereafter. Those scanned images now reside on my external hard drive and backed up on a jump drive as well. There were approximately twenty or so photographs in the album plus a news clipping of Aunt Ivy's obituary and an old Christmas card. The Christmas card and at least two of the photographs tucked in the album were from my cousin's mother's side of the family (the Poindexters), but most all of the others were actually placed in the album slots and undoubtedly were family and friends that Aunt Ivy and probably her husband F. Travis Diuguid knew.

Many of the photographs are cabinet cards taken by Anderson of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Some of the others are Real Photo Post Cards (RPPC) popular in the early 1900s. The first two photographs in the album is probably Aunt Ivy and Uncle Travis:

Some of the others that were identified or I could identify on the Watts family because of other copies I had of those same photographs include the following:

Mildred Hall as an infant. She was the daughter of Lindsey Willis "Pete" Watts and his wife Annice Underwood. Pete was Ivy's brother.

Lizzie Watts and her husband Charles Terry Woosley. Lizzie was Ivy's sister.

Durwood Woosley (Lizzie and Terry's son).

John Willis Watts and Ollie Spencer. Ivy's parents.

Richard Alvin Watts. Ivy's brother.

Kate Watts with husband Willie Washington Diugiud and daughter Inez. Willie was Uncle Trav's brother and Kate was Ivy's sister.

Ora Watts, Ivy's sister and Lena Hill, their cousin.

Harry Watts, Ivy's youngest uncle.

But that still left many that were unidentified. My cousin who gave me the album could not identify any of them either.

To help identify the ones that looked familiar to me, I went through my Watts family scrapbook that I had put together with photographs and other items from my grandfather's collection. I had never before really looked into the Diuguid family history, seeing as how it was not a direct line for me, but a family that my grandfather's sisters had married into. I knew that Ivy and her sister Kate both married Diuguids and that Lizzie and Zeffie, two other sisters, married Woosleys. I remembered hearing that one of those sets of husbands were brothers and one set were cousins, but I wasn't sure which at this point.

Another item I had put in that scrapbook was a letter written to me by a woman named Elsie. Elsie was a cousin of Frances Sizemore, my genealogy mentor and friend. Frances was an extraordinarily meticulous and tireless researcher who was instrumental in sparking my interest in the craft. When my grandmother died in 1989, she sent a letter to my uncle who lived locally to explain her husband's connection to my grandmother's family. Frances was also a Diuguid cousin to my cousin Inez. After Frances died, Elsie wrote to let me know and included a copy of Frances' obituary from the local newspaper. Ironically, Inez and Frances died within a day of each other and their obituaries were listed side by side.

Elsie became the caretaker of Frances' work and it was her I wrote to for help with the other photographs in Aunt Ivy's album. When she got my letter, Elsie called me right away and we began corresponding via email. She has been happy to help as much as she can and even enlisted the help of her Uncle Frank.

In my next post, I will share with you some of the photos that Elsie and Uncle Frank were able to identify for me.