I sit here typing with two Toy Poodles on my lap. (I come from a long line of animal lovers!) Where did this love come from? Until recently, I assumed this passion for animals was nurtured through childhood. Certainly that is part of it, but I was intrigued by last week’s episode of TLC’s Long Lost Family, in which a woman was introduced to her biological father. While they had before never met, father and daughter learned they had one huge thing in common – a love for animals. Both were involved with animal foundations and rescue programs, and considered animals to be a huge part of their lives. Could this love of animals be partly genetic? Continue reading
Category Archives: Pictures
If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to find the balance in conversations with our relatives. While my intent is to have a casual conversation designed inspire and pique their interest in our shared history, I fear they equate me with a religious zealot trying to proselytize them. (I’m hoping my hairstylist doesn’t also feel this way; he said he was going to go home after my last appointment and sign up for Ancestry.com. I hope he was sincere and not trying to get me to shut up!) But I digress.
Sharing our interest can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. About two years ago I began working on the story of my ancestors, specifically Lavina Bursley and her husband, Albert Stanwood. I wanted to know who they were, not just where they lived and what they named their children. I wanted to share this information with my relatives, hoping to inspire them and not turn them off. I was a little uncertain how to tackle the sharing part of the project, until visiting Lynn Palermo’s Armchair Genealogist blog, where she has several posts about using photo books to share family history stories.
Photo books are great. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so true. Pictures draw the reader in. They get them interested. They don’t feel “preachy.” They make the viewer feel part of something bigger, part of a legacy. Pictures are powerful.
For Christmas, I decided to make three photo books to give as gifts to my sister and my two aunts. Each book contained two parts: a customized section with photos of the recipient’s own family and family tree, and a second, core section that was the same in each book, containing the story of Albert and Lavina (Bursley) Stanwood. The books were designed to: Continue reading
I love old pictures, and love to solve the mysteries associated with them. Who are the subjects? When was the photo taken? It doesn’t even have to be my own relatives in the picture – the challenge is just is fun. However, the reward of solving the mystery is greater when it is my own family, and it makes the individuals I’m researching come alive.
The photo above is quite a mystery. The picture recently came to me by way of my aunt, who had priceless treasures that she entrusted to my care. Here is what is known:
- Cormany photo studio, where the photo was taken, operated in Duluth, Minnesota from 1887 to 1888.
- The studio apparently moved locations in 1889, and continued 307 West Superior in Duluth through 1890.
- In 1894, the studio was situated in Minneapolis
- In the 1880s and 1890s, Cormany Studio had photographers in Princeton, Minnesota.
- The studio continued as late as 1914, when Gilbert Maggert published in the Princeton Union his rental of the studio’s premises and equipment “in all its locations”
I received a box of pictures of and documents from my aunt on Thursday. It was like winning the lotto, but 1000% better. My grandmother had given to me all of her family pictures and documents before she died, so I didn’t think there was much else left to find. WRONG! My aunt sent me photos of my grandfather, Harold T. Uphouse, as a child that I’d never seen. There were photos of my grandmother, Goldie (Simpson) Uphouse Edwards as a toddler. Pictures of Harold’s mother, Julia (Veland) Uphouse as a child and young woman. And pictures of Julia’s parents, grandparents, and one of her great grandparent. There were letters written in Norwegian that I need to have translated. I am beyond thrilled.
The photograph above was passed down to my in my great-great grandmother’s photo album. Lavina (Bursley) Stanwood arranged the pictures with her children on the beginning pages, and this unknown woman, appeared on page 26. I suspect it was a photo of her cousin, Isabel (Day) Libby, who lived in Minneapolis during that time. The photo also appeared on the “Scott Kentish and Border” Ancestry.com tree posted by user “devorguilla,” but was labeled as Cynthia Day Lovejoy, which seems unlikely – Cynthia Lovejoy (Isabel’s sister) lived in Maine where she died in 1867, age 29, and the photo was taken in Minneapolis about 1871.
Now that I’ve got some clues on Day photo beginning this post, I thought I’d take a look at some additional pictures in Lavina’s photo album. The picture above has posed quite a mystery; to my knowledge, no family members resided in Illinois. However, more research into the Day family finds James Day, Lavina’s mother’s cousin, lived in Esmen, Illinois, in 1860. James’ son, John B. Day, died in Chicago 20 July 1902. John, born about 1849, is the right age to be the subject of this photograph, which was taken about 1883-1885, the time frame that J. M. Adams was operating the photography studio in Elgin.
No identifying marks or photographer name were included on this picture, which was placed on the same page as a known Day photo. Is he somehow related to Lavina’s mother, Cynthia (Day) Bursley?
This photo appeared above the preceding one, on the same page as a known Day photo. Comparing his attire to Civil War era photos, I’m guessing this gentleman was photographed sometime around 1865 or perhaps a little later? If so, he is a candidate for Aaron Day, Cynthia Day’s father, or perhaps her father-in-law, Lemuel Bursley.
If you can help solve these mystery photos, please shoot me an email using the form below!
My grandmother was captivated with the photo album she inherited from her own grandmother, Lavina (Bursley) Stanwood. Many of the pictures had relatives known to her; however, there were quite a few whose identities remain a mystery. It is my hope that by posting these pictures here, someone will stumble upon these pages and be able to provide names for these unknown faces.
The portrait above was taken at Nelson studio in Anoka, Minnesota. Here is what is known:
- Studio: From the Minnesota Historical Society Directory of Minnesota Photographers, we learn Peter J. Nelson purchased the studio from Gowen D. Francis in Anoka in 1893. The studio was in operation 1894-1895. Continue reading