Solving Mystery Photos

About 8 years ago, I received a copy of some family photos from a distant relation. At the time, although I was into genealogy, I had only been doing it on and off over the previous 4 years and to be honest, I probably wasn’t that serious about it so I didn’t give them too much thought as the photos had no names attached to them.

Seven years later I found them again on an old computer hard drive but had no idea who I’d originally got them from, who the photos were of or even which particular family they belonged to. I sort of remembered them being from my Tonkin branch, but let this be a lesson to all…never rely on your memory for anything. Write things down, where/who you got items from, what information you have on them, dates, names, places, anything can be a helpful clue in the future.

These days, photos are probably one of my favourite aspects of genealogy. I love the social history side of it and to be able to see what people were wearing, the expressions on their face that may hint towards their personality, or even looking out for things such as…’hey that lady from 1870 has my nose!’ can all be really exciting. Just the mere thought of seeing a really old photo and contemplating the fact that the person in it was born in the 18th Century, can be the mind-clearing equivalent of  ‘what’s the sound of one hand clapping?’

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