Medical Conditions and Family History

Medical Conditions and Family History

Two weeks ago I put out a call for photos showing medical conditions. There are three images and one blog link in this post so be sure to read all the way to the end. The inspiration for that request was a photo that Elizabeth Vollrath emailed me in May...

Two weeks ago I put out a call for photos showing medical conditions. There are three images and one blog link in this post so be sure to read all the way to the end.

The inspiration for that request was a photo that Elizabeth Vollrath emailed me in May.
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It’s a lovely 1880s photograph showing an unusual feature in her right ear. While not a medical condition, it made me think about details in photos.

Vollrath’s dad inherited the split in the earlobe, showing a relationship to this unknown woman. I wondered whether she was his grandmother. I was close. A cousin later positively identified this woman as Ida Sophia Hass (b. 1866). Ida’s sister Pauline Hass was Vollrath’s great-great-grandmother, and her dad’s great grandmother.

Diedra March sent me this photo of her great-grandfather’s family.

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She thinks her dad has inherited macular degeneration from this man, his mother’s father. Anders Norberg appears to have something wrong with his eyes. According to March, Macular Degeneration causes blindness in your center vision, and people with the condition often look out of the corners of their eyes.

Rachel McPherson shared a photo of a school group that shows her grandmother in a leg brace (front row, fourth from right) due to polio.

Patricia School Picture.jpg schoolpolio.jpg

She was born in 1933, before a vaccine was available.

Bloggers like to share through their online postings. The Footnote Maven posted a medically related photo on her blog, Shades of the Departed, on “Health Issues and Women Wearing Glasses.”

Thank you to everyone who sent images in response to my request!

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  1. Maureen:

    Thank you so much for two very interesting articles and the prompt to look to photographs for family health issues. I am evaluating all old family photographs with a new eye.

    You always challenge us to think beyond the norm and it is so appreciated.

    Thank you also for the link to my article on Women Wearing Glasses and their health issues. Those photos were a real find and the article is thanks to you!

    fM

  2. This is so amazing. We all need to look at our photos again and again. Clues can be missed. I’ve started looking at everything in the photos. Not only the people but what’s behind them, on tables or out the window. Thanks Maureen!!!

    I loved the Women Wearing Glasses website!! Thanks fM!

  3. The photo of the split in the young woman’s ear lobe could also have been a torn ear lobe from an ear ring had it not been identified as a family trait. My grandmother was riding her horse when something spooked the animal and he bolted. She had a wool sharf over her head and when the horse ran under a tree, the scraf snagged on a low-hanging limb and ripped the ear ring through the ear lobe. (Ouch!)

    Yours truly,
    Bobbie Brune
    Texas