Sunday, July 16, 2006

Family Photos

I am going to post the story of how my great-grandmother was raised by her great-grandmother as soon as J (who you see as part of my team, and who does photos and other technical stuff until I learn html better) does a thing or two with the photos. Since I'm in Alaska and she's in California, that's not going to happen until she sits down to her computer and gets my e-mail asking her to.

We have a mammoth box of family photos. Unidentified family photos. The picture in my post, of Sally Proctor, languished in that box for generations while none of us knew who it was. Sally is the earliest ancestor for whom we have a photograph; you can see from the stern look on her face that sitting totally still for long enough to make an image on the film of the day was a serious business. Any smile that you held for that long would make you look positively manic. I can remember my Aunt Florence holding that picture and laughing, saying, "Now this woman must have been a real jokester!"

Only when Julie researched our genealogy and a cousin sent her a copy of this picture, did we know who she was. We don't have an identified photo of her son, Rufus, or his wife, Louisa. We have one of their daughter, Angie, but not of her husband, John Mace. Since John died as a Union soldier, far from home, and photography was in its infancy during the Civil War, it is possible that there never was one taken. But, it could be languishing there in that box and we will never know.

I really regret that I never sat down with my grandmother, who would have known since most of these pictures were taken during the lifetime of her mother, and identified them. Is one of them Chester, my grandmother's brother who was shot in front of his wife and son by a hold-up man? Is one of them Louisa, who helped raise Etta? Who are these people to me? All of them are part of my family and my history, and I have no way to know which is which.

3 comments:

J said...

Mom, I have pictures of Rufus and John if you want them...you asked for women... ;)

Maya's Granny said...

And here I thought that you had given me all of the pictures that you had in the family history! I'd love them.

lorettambeaver said...

Yes, I know what you mean, Chuck and I both ended up with many photos that I have no idea who they are. I do encourage my children to put names and dates on photos for future generations. Looking forward to your posting family photos. Love you :-)