December 2010 Making Connections

By Family Tree Editors Premium

We Like This

I just read the story behind “The Graduates” photo (Making Connections, July 2010) and wanted to share a similar story. I’ve been researching my family history since “Who Do You Think You Are?” started—the TV program motivated me to get out a small box of my late grandmother’s belongings. I was surprised by the wealth of information I found, including a poor copy of a photo of her mother’s family circa 1900.

And then two weeks ago, I stumbled upon a distant relative on Facebook and we made plans to meet up where the photograph was taken: Pentwater, Mich. We had not seen each other in more than 40 years. While I was visiting, he took out his grandmother’s photo albums and there it was—the original of the copy I had, plus two more photos in the series. I now know the photos were taken April 8, 1917, and enjoy having digital copies of all three.

Norman Dagen
Empire, Mich.
Free Feedback
I definitely enjoyed and found very useful the article “Fancy Free” in the September 2010 issue. Regarding the section Great Britain Expectations, however, Ireland has not been part of Great Britain since 1922. The section should have been called “Great Britain and Ireland.” It took the Irish people over 800 years to be free, and I’d like to see this reflected in your publication.

Kathleen M. O’Leary
via e-mail

Editor’s note: Thanks to the readers who pointed this out. We regret the oversight.

I wanted to share a gem I found: If only all county genealogy societies did something like this! The nominal copying charges allowed me to venture out on a couple family branches I was unsure about. They were quick to respond about my inquiries. I learned so much just from the search, let alone the records I ordered. I think it should be a model for other organizations.

Carolyn Engstrom
via Facebook

Many Types
The 1912 dictating machine in the September 2010 Family Archivist brought back memories of working in the transcribing department of the John Hancock Insurance Co. office in 1950. One of the jobs of the “office boys” was to shave the cylinders.
Fast-forward 25 years—after raising a family, I began a career as a court reporter, using the latest version of the stenograph machine (now laughably outdated). Now retired, I’m typing this on my new wireless laptop. We’ve come a long way!

Joan Cook
via e-mail

Rescue Ops
I just have to comment on your August 2010 article “Endangered Sources.” When my grandmother died in 1987, my cousin had control of the estate and was throwing everything out. An uncle said that if I wanted the photos, I should take them and run, and I did. Rescued! Going through the hundreds of photos with my dad, he kept asking about the “old 1890 photos” his dad had saved. They weren’t there.
Then in 2000 my cousin bought another house and the realtor found old photos in the attic—my cousin didn’t want them and said to just throw them out. But the realtor didn’t and was fascinated with this family captured in the old photos. She posted info about them online and in July 2000, I connected with her. More photos rescued!
Now I’m trying to convince a neighbor putting together a family album not to throw away those photos she can’t identify, especially the old photos. She says no one in the family knows who these people are, so they’re going out. I hope to convince her to let me post them online to find someone who may have information on the people in the photos. Through , I’ve found member family trees with photos that helped me identify ancestors.

Rebecca Coletti
Sacramento, Calif.