Genealogy + Sports Memorabilia

Was your ancestor a professional sports player? Whether at the minor or major level, sports capture our hearts.   For the genealogist, sports provide opportunities to document our ancestors as well as opportunities to find images of our ancestors.  Baseball cards, anyone?

Source: Library of Congress

Was your ancestor a professional sports player? Whether at the minor or major level, sports capture our hearts.   For the genealogist, sports provide opportunities to document our ancestors as well as opportunities to find images of our ancestors.  Baseball cards, anyone?

Owen Elliott was the son of Elie Elliott and Nora King. Born in 1913 in Mecklenburg Count, VA, Owen played professional baseball from 1935-1938. For most of that time, he was a pitcher for the Richmond Colts.  Known as Ace, Owen played for William and Mary before moving up to the Richmond team in 1935.  The Richmond Colts  were affiliated with the Philadelphia A’s and later the New York Giants.

So how does this help you as a genealogist?

Your ancestor becomes more easily found in the a variety of new-to-you records.

  • Newspaper sports pages.
  • Sports cards
  • Yearbooks
  • Team programs

More interesting (and out of the box) resources for your professional sports ancestor….

The examples I am sharing below focus primarily on baseball. If your ancestor played a different sport, look for similar type records and artifacts.

One More Benefit to Your Genealogy Research

Finding a professional sports player in your family tree sparks the interest of those “non-genealogists” in your family!

Take me out to the ballpark…….



 

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Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs

The most common question I receive regarding old family photographs  is how to date them.  I've asked this in the past as well. After all, dating a  photograph is the first step in being able to identify the individual(s).  These are some of my favorite and "go-to" resources for dating photographs.The most common question I receive regarding old family photographs  is how to date them.  I’ve asked this in the past as well. After all, dating a  photograph is the first step in being able to identify the individual(s).

These are some of my favorite and “go-to” resources for dating photographs.

Top 10 Resources to Help Date Your Old Photographs

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Tuesday’s Genealogy Tip – Get Your Photos In Front Of Your Family

Tuesday's Genealogy Tip - Get Your  Photos in Front of Family OFTEN!

Are you trying to get more photographs in your collection identified?  I found getting those unidentified photos in front of family as often as possible to be helpful!  Photographs are memory joggers.  It can take more than one look to recognize or remember a photograph. Continue reading

7 Day Challenge: Identify Your Ancestor In That Photograph!

Join me for an exciting 7 Day Challenge to identify those unidentified ancestors in those photographs we inherited!

Do you have a shoe box of unidentified ancestors’ photographs in your closet?  Is your goal to identify all the photographs in your collection? Then you are in the right place! I inherited a box of unidentified photos of ancestors and set about identifying the individuals and re-introducing them to the family.  The process has been slow, but the lessons and strategies learned are the ones I share with you in this challenge.

7 Days……1 Focus

Do you have a photograph(s) of a “family member” you cannot identify?  Are you unsure of how to start the process of putting a name to the face?

I certainly do! I inherited boxes (literally) of family photographs many of which are unidentified.  The older photos from the 1800′s and early 1900′s almost all were not identified.  What’s more, no one living could identify the individuals in the photographs.

One of my goals became to identify all of the unknown photographs in our family’s collection. I felt a little overwhelmed and completely unqualified to even attempt identifying these individuals. But….I’m a researcher!  

I spent many hours researching and pouring over my family’s unknown photographs.  I learned strategies and a system that worked for me.  Ultimately, I was successful in identifying many of my photographs. I continue to work on the still unknown photographs in my collection.

Edward and Cam Barnett

Meet Edward (top) and Cam (bottom) Barnett of Halifax County, VA

Let’s work on identifying our photographs together.  I’ll take the challenge right along with you! Even if we do not conclusively  identify a photograph, we will learn more about it, increasing our chances in the future to identify it.

Overview of the Challenge

The goal of our challenge is to positively identify the individual(s) in your photograph.  Of course, success is not guaranteed, but you will learn more about your photograph and the individuals in it, increasing your chances.

  1. daily email with instruction on an effective strategy for dating and identifying your photo.
  2. daily task related to that day’s strategy.
  3. Worksheets for each day’s activity.
  4. Exclusive Facebook group to chat and share with other challenge participants.Do you have a shoe box of unidentified ancestors' photographs in your closet?  Is your goal to identify all the photographs in your collection? Then you are in the right place!  Pick one photograph to focus on for 7 days and learn strategies to identify those unknown photographs.

Just for you – An Exclusive Facebook Group

Come chat with other challenge participants in the exclusive Facebook Group just for you! This is a great place to ask your questions and share you successes!

Let’s be successful together!

Sign up below or head over here to learn more about the 7 Day Challenge: Identify Your Ancestor In That Photograph!

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7 Days…..1  Focus

Will you take the Challenge?


 


                                                                      

Medical Genealogy + A Photograph = A Young Woman’s Story

  A photograph can lead the  genealogy researcher to look for previously unknown details about your ancestor's life. A reader's photo above piqued my curiosity when she shared on the 7 Day Challenge Facebook page.

Reader Shirleen Reese shared this most unusual photograph in the 7 Day Challenge: Identify Your Ancestor in That Photo!. She graciously allowed me to share with you! (Thanks, Shirleen!)

  A photograph can lead the  genealogy researcher to look for previously unknown details about your ancestor's life. A reader's photo above piqued my curiosity when she shared on the 7 Day Challenge Facebook page.

Photographs can tell an individual’s story.

A photograph can lead the researcher to look for previously unknown details about your ancestor’s life. Shirleen’s photo above piqued my curiosity when she shared on the 7 Day Challenge Facebook page.

Shirleen was searching to identify all the individuals in her photograph.  The only identity she knew was the Cissy, the young girl with the facial disfigurement (second from the right).

  A photograph can lead the  genealogy researcher to look for previously unknown details about your ancestor's life. A reader's photo above piqued my curiosity when she shared on the 7 Day Challenge Facebook page.

The family’s oral history reported Cissy had eaten or swallowed something like lye as a child and that caused her facial deformity. Shirleen’s elderly relative  actually solved the mystery.  Cissy “salivated calomel” as a child.

What is Calomel?

Calomel is a mercury compound that was used widely as medicine at one time.

Scary thought, isn’t it?!

It was commonly used in teething powders for  babies and also used to treat vomiting and digestive issues in children.  Side effects included excess salivation and deformity and loss of teeth and jaw bone. Often the jaw would only open a small amount. These are symptoms of mercury poisoning! Among other things, if a child survived severe facial deformities, dietary intake issues resulted for those children.  Cissy became a victim of mercury poisoning!  Many children (and adults) actually died from mercury poisoning during its use.

By the Civil War and into the late 1800′s, calomel begin to decline in use.  It was, however, still in use by “country doctors”  as late as the early 1900′s.

The medical care available to our ancestors is an interesting (frightening) subject. The impact of treatment for the common complaint  of teething had a major impact on her life. If you are interested, read more about calomel here.

Your Turn

Have you found any photographs in your family collection of ancestors with a facial deformity or missing limb?  Is there any oral history to go along with the photograph?


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Sign up for the newsletter. You will also receive a FREE ebook 10 Places to Find Your Ancestors’ Photographs.

FREE E-Book - 10 Places to Find Your Ancestors' Photographs



 

 

Why You Need To Save Your Photos Now!

You’re a What?

Caroline Guntur - The Swedish OrganizerHi everyone! I’m so excited to be guest blogging for my fellow colleague Lisa! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Caroline Guntur and I am a Certified Photo Organizer. Yes, that is actually a real job! I help people organize their photos to keep them safe for future generations, whether they are digital or printed collections, and I do this by teaching online courses, hosting webinars, and coaching people one-on-one.

I love my job, and as you can image, I love photos! I’m very passionate about keeping people’s memories alive. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that I come across photo collections that are damaged in some way – photos that are faded, scratched, or worst of all - damaged beyond repair due to natural disasters, fires, or floods. It truly breaks my heart to see memories destroyed when it’s entirely preventable. Continue reading