Most of the images on this site are from digitized books, thus the quality is underwhelming. Some, though, are much sharper because they are photos from the Library of Congress and other archives that allow public use, or came from print books that someone scanned for use here. Be aware that some of the formal portrait photos may have been given the Photoshopping technique of that era, namely retouching on the glass negative (before printing) by artists. They could to erase wrinkles and freckles, cover exposed skin, hide bad teeth or a goiter neck, straighten a crossed eye or crooked nose, slim a subject, and even open closed eyes. This week's NEHGS member newsletter had a link to an article on mentalfloss.com about these techniques, emphasizing how politically/socially incorrect they would be today. Depending on age and sex, for example, one could have too many or too few facial wrinkles and the "science" of phrenology (the study of a skull's bumps to determine one's character) might call for retouching to make a head rounder or less bony. The source for the article was a 1909 book - part of a 10-book series - downloadable from Internet Archive, J. B. Schriever, ed., The Complete Self-Instructing Library of Practical Photography, Vol. X, Negative Retouching, Etching and Modeling (Scranton: American School of Art and Photography, 1909), digitized by the California Digital Library. The article only touched on a few highlights, but Volume X contains many more examples of impressive changes a skilled artist could accomplish. Social commentary aside, it demonstrates artistic talent being used to alter truth. It is thus a caution about taking the images on this site too literally when using them to ponder what your ancestors really looked like and which side of the family you got your features from.
Just a quick note that - in case you hadn't noticed - it's an election year and a big one. Consequently, your local government is no doubt looking for polling place workers. The job hours and pay vary depending on your state and county but overall it is FUN, interesting, and you get to literally make history while you serve your community for a whole day. (Notice this is not a lifetime commitment.) You become part of the process prescribed in the U.S. and state constitutions for picking national leaders, deciding local issues, selecting judges, and determining who will be your voice at the city, county, and state level. (If that doesn't make you feel important and needed, I don't know what will.) If you have vote-by-mail where you live, my experience has been that the grouchy people just "mail it in" while the friendly voters who appreciate your service come out to vote AND thank you. Polling places are staffed by a cadre of volunteers with a mix of experience levels, so if you are a raw recruit, not to worry, someone there is smarter than you. In my county we have classes, in person and online, with hands-on training using the computers that make voter check-in overall very smooth. We also pay you for your time. You might check your county recorder's web site or just search online using terms like "election worker 2016" and the name of your county. In the Phoenix, AZ metro area, go to http://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/electionboardworker.aspx.
I saw an ad today in the Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in the state where I live, advertising a search feature for their archives, which the ad said dated back to 1862. That sounded like a decent source and the right time period (pre-1916) for this type of web site so I checked it out, thinking I could find a new image source and pass it on to all of you. As it turns out, this is not really a new function of their online edition, azcentral.com, but enhanced capability due to an alliance with ProQuest and thus not free or particularly cheap. This is especially true if you live in a part of AZ close to a major library which has the Republic and other newspapers archived on microfilm, already accessible to the public for free. Granted, you cannot do a random-access search of a roll of microfilm but an individual already paying for domain name registration and high-speed internet access cannot really afford to be paying for content to put on her or his site, thus I will pass. If you are interested, check it out at pqasb.pqarchiver.com/azcentral/offers.html for details on pricing ($1.20 - $3.95 per item), then click on "About the Archive" for usage terms (personal use only, not to be republished - which means no using on your website) and time period covered (1890 forward, not 1862 as advertised.) Someone's attorney must have written this page because it includes the warning that "the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information. The Arizona Republic does not make any warranties or representations regarding the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of the information in the articles that you retrieve."
The newest entry in the "Mystery/Fun Photos" section is a group shot of some Winslow descendants in New Brunswick, 1901. All are descendants of Gen. 5 Loyalist Edward Winslow (1746-1815), who had descendants via 1 son and 4 daughters. It would be fun to puzzle it out and figure out who is who in the photo. I'm looking for leads on Winslow photos in New Brunswick circa 1901 to try to match these 11 faces with some names.
A significant number of Pilgrim descendants relocated to the Maritime Provinces of what would become today's Canada during the 1700s. Many descendants later came back to the United States but if they are your people, you will need to document your ancestor's sojourn outside US borders to apply successfully to a lineage society. Provincial archives are a rich source of data. White descendants, for example, can check out a picture of ancestor Gideon White at the Nova Scotia Archives, which also has a special genealogy section on its web site. Gideon was a straight-line Gen. 5 descendant of William and Susanna (---) White of the Mayflower. Furthermore, he married Joanna Howland, a Gen. 4/5 descendant of John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley. The Gideon White Family Papers: Loyalists of Shelburne contain indexed records from 1761 to 1900 and can be searched and viewed online. For example, a 1787 tax list names heads of household and gives their occupation. Another list notes black and white residents (including children) of the district where Gideon lived. Yet another is a list of soldiers from a North Carolina unit taken prisoner during the Revolution, specifically in 1781. This may be a gold mine for you - check it out.
Please visit Newell in the Mystery/Fun Photos section and join me in speculating on his Cooke and Warren lineage. I found his photo while spelunking on the internet for my new 3rdmaheavyartillery.weebly.com/ Civil War genealogy web site. The post is a little long but I think I traced him successfully as a Gen. 10 descendant in spite of running into some issues with what I believe to be two Joseph Tabors "swapped at birth" (not really) in the Cooke silver book. See what you think.
I'm trying something new in my quest to put faces to names and especially to find faces of ancestors. Please visit 3rdmaheavyartillery.weebly.com/ and meet the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, posing for the camera in August 1865, at Ft. Stevens in Washington, DC. Having found two Mayflower-descendant soldiers in the Library of Congress's Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints collection and being able to match them to photos later in life, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see how many of the soldiers in the photos I can identify by finding pictures of them later in life. Some went on to hold office in the Grand Army of the Republic, others held public office, joined fraternal organizations, became professionals, or maybe just had a descendant who put their photo on findagrave. Hopefully no one had his photo on the Post Office wall. I am learning a lot about Civil War uniforms and insignia in the process. Please come join me at this new page!
Mercer V. Wilson, author of a Tilson genealogy and kind enough to get lots of photos of his branch of the family is our 700th unique Mayflower face and with Alden-Mullins, Brewster, and Warren lines he brings the total to 1,370 listings. Maybe weebly was uncooperative yesterday so that Mercer could get some recognition.
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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