For Immediate Press Release
CSAGSI would appreciate if you could announce this photography presentation.
Do you have a newsletter, or "what's happening" section, web page or
bulletin board? Also, contact us if you need additional information,
correct person to contact or posters. Feel free to forward this
announcement to others
ANALYZING 19th CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHS FOR FAMILY HISTORY DATA by Craig L.
Some of us are lucky enough to possess old photographs of our
ancestors. Many times these photographs do not have any identifying names
on them. This presentation will focus on how a family history researcher
might be able to identify such individuals. Additionally, suggestions will
be made as to how "unnamed" photographs, even if they cannot be identified,
can be used to add interesting material to one's family history.
It should be remembered that not all identifications written on the
fronts or backs of "carte-de-visites" (business card sized photographs 4 1/2
x 2 1/2 inches) or "cabinet cards" (generally about 4 x 6 inches) are
accurate. Identifications might have been scrawled on the photographs years
after they were taken at a time when the identifier's memory might have
grown hazy. Thus, this presentation will also discuss; how identification
can be confirmed?
The age of the person in the photograph (I have a hard time judging the
age of females.) and the person who took the photograph are critical to
determining who is actually in the photograph. Judging the age of the
person in the photograph is mostly a matter of guessing. Finding the data
when a photograph was taken can be done more easily. It is most often done
by comparing the name and address of the photographer to those found in City
Directories or, if they are not available for that area, in newspaper
business card advertisements. Note when the photographer was at the
specific address printed at the bottom or back of the photograph. Compare
that to the date of the City Directory or newspaper edition.
If there is no photographer data on the photograph, take note of the
hairstyles (especially of women), clothing, and, possibly, background props
shown in the photograph: Compare these to what is seen in old reprint
"Wards" or "Sears" catalogs, or use comparative photographs seen in one of
the books listed below.
For "carte de visites", note also whether there are brown or blue
lines around the photograph. That means a mid 1860's date. On occasion,
blue or orange "postage" style stamps can be found on the backs of the
photos. They mean an 1865 or 1866 date.
If one is lucky enough to have an album of 19th century family
photographs but feels discouraged that most of the photographs are not
named, a number of people in those photographs can still be identified. It
is critically important here to understand the work "provenience."
The person who put the collection of photographs together was most
often thinking that "the most important members of the family come first."
Where husband and wife photographs entered first? Were siblings and
cousins placed further to the rear of the album? Where were the photos
taken? Relationships often lead to identifications.
This meeting January 26th will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of
LaGrange, 150 S. Ashland Ave. and W. Elm Ave., LaGrange, IL 60525 (western
suburb of Chicago): located 2 blocks west of LaGrange Road (US45) and 5
blocks south of W. Ogden Ave (Hwy 34)
This Saturday event is free for visitors and guests and starts at 1:30 pm.
2008 meetings will take place on Saturdays March 29, May 17, August 16, and
October 18 CSAGSI has over 1000 members in Chicago and all its Suburbs
For additional information contact on our meetings and speakers contact:
Marge Sladek-Stueckemann 1-847-392-9036 mdstueck@...
Multiculturalism Genealogy: CSAGSI is not just for Illinois research of
Czechs & Slovaks heritage: add the Austrian Empire, Bohemians,
Carpatho-Rusyn, Ruthenia, Moravians, Silesia, Hungarian Kingdom,
> and the USA Simon "Sam" Krizan
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