Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Old Photos

Sepia Saturday
this week invites us to submit old photos of trials, lawyers, and/or writing on photos.

I don't have the first 2, but have the last in abundance.  And sometimes the writing was applied many years later than the event, so is sometimes wrong at to people's names, misleading, or dated incorrectly.  I'm glad when there's a question admitted.  Unfortunately sometimes the answers are still wrong.  But it does show the appreciation of having some names given to old pictures, which came about at the times they were passed from one hand to another, most often.

And that hand off is strangely never documented.

A batch of letters/ perhaps a box.  Another box of photos.  And later an album of photos. They would have been given to interested relatives usually at the death of the collector.  The interested relative might have been the one most friendly to the elder who died, or perhaps just the first one on the scene who wanted those documents.  Maybe several others were also interested, so it would be part of that conversation..of whom is this a photo?  Some of the owners would have no more interest than to be possessors of something that someone else might want.  Seldom were these memorabilia mentioned in a will.

Thus through the generations would old items be passed, until sometime they would go to an auction, a library, or a trash bin, or perhaps be scanned for adding to listings on the ancestry site.

My great great Uncle Chauncey Sweet's friend and benefactor, Henry Rosenberg of Galveston, was the subject of my blog a while ago.  Both of them are characters of high regard.  Look here if you have a chance.

This photo has a dedication from Mr. Rosenberg to Chauncey G. Sweet.

His wife, Mollie, also dedicated a photo to Chauncey, a bit more intimate I'd say...

Here's one where the surviving owner of the photo changed her mind about who this lovely lady might be.  She is Ada Pulsifer Phillips Sweet, Chauncey Sweet's wife.  She was called Auntie, and was also Chauncey's first cousin with whom he was raised after she had been orphaned following the Civil War.  She was the younger sister of my grandmother's mother, Zulieka Granger Phillips Swasey.

 A photo of (Mrs. Alexander John) Zulieka Swasey.  It's easy to see how my grandmother got confused in the photo of Ada Sweet in comparing it to this one of Ada's sister, Zulieka.

A 1917 postcard of Zulieka Phillips Swasey with her granddaughter Ada Mary Rogers (1917-1919)  As shown, she was known as Dear Nan by her daughter's (my grandmother's) family.

My grandmother's father, Alexander John Swasey.

I remember when I first got married in 1963 having long talks with my elder relatives about our family history, and my grandmother never mentioned these photos.  Did one of my older cousins, or one of my uncles (brothers of my father) have them? It is possible they were in the collection of her sister, Stella Zulieka Swasey Winslow, who died in 1960, (the same year as my grandfather, George Rogers). There are many possibilities. And at some time someone added these photos to our Ancestry DOT com pages, which is the first place I ever saw them.

I am so blessed to live in an age when digital means are available to share these old photos.


Little Nell said...

And we are glad that you have chosen to share them here. These are such interesting photographs, and the captions add another dimension.

La Nightingail said...

How lucky you are to have all those wonderful photographs & especially with identifying notes! And yes, the two sisters look remarkably alike so it's little wonder there was a bit of confusion for a moment. As to Mollie & her 'full disclosure', whoa! I might give my age (maybe?), but weight? I wonder what the reason for THAT was? Wow!

Postcardy said...

I wonder whether any of my relatives have ever added photos to an ancestry site.

Liz Needle said...

What a great set of family shots. I wish my family had been a little more forthcoming about the photos I inherited. Most of them have no information at all. Makes it so difficult.

It almost sounds like Mollie was putting herself up for sale? Or maybe she was putting in an order for something that required her weight. Very strange.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful group of photos.

When my grandmother died, her photo albums nearly ended up at the rubbish dump but thankfully my Aunty rescued them (and I have been able to scan, share and blog about them!).

Deb Gould said...

Interesting about including your height and weight on your photo...I don't get it, but I'm glad they did it; you now have a piece of information that makes her so very real!

Anonymous said...

I love the postcards with photos. There is a company (or there was, don't know if it's still in business) that was doing this a few years ago. I thought it was a great idea then, still do. Glad you are able to scan and save your family's photo cards.

Jo Featherston said...

Great photos to have, regardless of whether or not they are identified. I wish mine had writing on them!

Bob Scotney said...

The picture where the identity had been changed caught my eye. We have a number of photos over which we argue over who it represents.

Lorraine Phelan said...

Thanks for sharing these great photos. And it's so convenient having the writing on the front:)

Mike Brubaker said...

A great mix of photos with nice clear penmanship. I've seen a few photos from this era that had notes about weight. Perhaps it was a fad when bathroom scales were first introduced.

Wendy said...

What beautiful portraits. Including the woman's weight though -- really??

Tattered and Lost said...

The digital world is quite fascinating. One minute it's annoying challenge, the next it's the bearer of good things. I guess we give a little to get a little. You've certainly found a lot.