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Photo Detective: Fill in the Blank
4/1/2000
Expose the secrets of your old family photos with a little technological magic.

Do you have a hole in your family album? Sometimes old photos — with a little detective work and the application of some modern technological magic — can help you fill in the blanks in your past.

For most of my life, my great-grandfather's total absence from even family photographs led me to inaccurately assume his premature death. Stephen Heard, my great-grandfather, married Mary Elizabeth Hinsley. My grandmother, Ethel Agnes, came along in 1892, followed by two sets of twin boys: Homer and Hunter in 1894, Marvin and Marnicc in 1897. In a 1970 letter, Marvin states that his parents separated just before Paul's birth in 1900. Stephen disappeared, never to be seen again — at least by my family. Family explanations of Stephen's flight range from the pressures of a growing family at best to another woman (his cousin!) at worst.

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