Tag: family

UnIdentified Family Photos: Steps to become a detective

Become a detective

If you KNOW who this is please contact me!
Most likely a McCollum, Green, or Kopsa

If you’ve been at the search for long you have undoubtly collected boxes of pictures along the way. Most online history software lets you upload your pictures to the tree. Having a picture to put with your ancestors profile in the tree helps to bring them to life and gives you a feeling of knowing them just a little better. But what happens when someone forgot to put a name or date on the back of the photo? Now you get to spend hours trying to find who it is in that Photo and take to step to becaome a detective to unravel the mystery.

Finding historical photos is easier now than ever. Some of the same websites you’ve searched for genealogy information also have databases of old photos contributed by members—some of whom may be your distant cousins. Local historical societies, state archives and similar organizations, realize  the power of pictures and are placing digitized historical photos and illustrations in online collections. Photo-sharing sites encourage folks to post photos of all ages.

FACEBOOK

There are all kinds of groups geared towards genealogy on facebook, and they are easy to join. Just click the join button and answer a few questions and vola! There are groups that help restore the pictures, some for free. There are groups to help you in your searches. I have met many a cousin from the same family lines in these groups. There are groups where you can upload your pictures to ask for help in identifying ancestor and there are groups looking for family members of lost family photos. Actually, facebook has a group for just about anything these days.

“A photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors.”

There are several sites that have to do with identifying and finding lost photos. Most of your major genealogy sites have archives of photos shared by others. By doing a simple keyword search of the surname you are looking for might get you your desired result. Some also allow you to upload photos you many have to the site to share with others or find help in identifying photos that have lost their names.

Ancient Faces                                                           The National Archives

Dead Fred                                                                   The Library of Congress

Ancestry

Family Search

My Heritage

Digital Public Library of America

Denver Public Library

Flickr

The Ancestry Hunt

The Ancestry Hunt has a huge list of places to search right down to the state that your ancestor may have lived.

ALWAYS REMEMBER

Copyright Considerations for Using Online Images

Finding an online photo of your ancestor or his house is exciting especially if it’s someone you’ve been searching for for years, but pause before you drag it to your desktop or right-click to copy it. How you’re permitted to use it depends when the image was taken, who took it, and what repository now owns the physical image, but most genealogist are willing to share. I for one love to share my information but sometimes it is disheartening to see that it’s being shared in others trees with no mention of the one who originally shared it.
Most photos taken before 1923 are in the public domain, although a library or museum may own the original and license its use so be careful. When searching a repository’s image collection, look for information about usage or rights and reproductions. For example, many institutions allow you to download an image for research or personal use (such as to keep in your genealogy files or include in a family album), but require a licensing fee for publishing it (such as in a family history book or on a website). If you’re in doubt,  always write to the institution for to be sure. Always acknowledge the source of the image, even if there are no usage restrictions and give credit where credit is due.
Images taken by government agencies, such as the Farm Security Administration, are usually OK to use as you see fit; check the online image details for confirmation.
Practice courtesy and caution when you find an ancestral image someone has attached to his or her online family tree. Before you use the image in a book, on your blog or website, or elsewhere, contact the contributor for permission. Thank the person and credit him with source. But remember that the submitter may have gotten the photo somewhere else, possibly without regard for its source or copyright status. Try to find out where it came from, and alter your plans to use it if necessary.
  • Google gives you a photo search tool in Google Image Search. Type your search terms as you would for any web search, and Google will find images from web pages that contain those terms.
  • Don’t overlook old newspapers as another potential source of ancestor photos. A graduation announcement, profile article or obituary might have included a picture.
  • Browse street and building photos on websites such as HistoryPin and WhatWasThere, which let you look for images “pinned” to locations on a map. This is a really cool site that ties historical photos to google maps. I especially like this as I am not satisfied with just a name and date. I want to go where my ancestors have gone before me and visit the places they frequented. It give me a sense of belonging. Here you might find a picture of your ancestors house, or farm. It’s really cool. Check it out.

For more information on copyright and online photos, see the chart on the Cornell University website and study the Copyright category of the Legal Genealogist blog by Judy G. Russell.

 

Langdon’s List

Margaret Cain Family

 

Is an good place to find information about photographers which can help you in dating photo’s you may have questions about. They also offer for a fee a Comparison Service that might help you solve a mystery to an unidentified photo.

Tineye

Offers a reverse search for finding your ancestor. Upload an image and search the database for likely matches. TinEye constantly crawls the web and adds tens of millions of new images to the TinEye index every month Try it …it’s sorta cool.

ASK A COUSIN

If you have a photo you can’t identify or place…ask a cousin or family member. They might just know something you don’t or might have the same picture in their collection. Two heads are better than one when trying to solve a mystery. Recently I was updating my files and came across a folder of unidentifed pictures that I had not a clue as to where they belonged. I have a group on facebook of all my cousins and I posted the pictures there for help and was able to find several of them simply by sharing with cousins.

Youtube.com is a good place to find videos that will help you in restoring old photos and dating them as well. Pinrtest also is a good source for this.

 

I hope this gives ya a little insight in where to hunt!

As always Happy Hunting! and don’t forget to leave me a little comment! I love hearing from ya!

The Pierce Family Historian

 

 

The ESCAPE? More on the Blum Family

Today I’m going to share with you a bit more info on the Blum Family.. If you remember from the previous post on the Blums there was mention of a Carl Schurz….that little bit of information will come into play in this post.

During the Baden Rebellion, my great grandmother, Louise Moesinger Blum closely followed all news about Carl Schurz. She told her son Martin (my great uncle) that her father, George “Carl” Moesinger (b 21 Mar 1826, Germany d. 8 Jul 1866 Baden Germany) had escaped to America or South America. All of the succeeding years, Martin researched for more information about his grandfather. He scanned Schurz’s auto biography (three volumes) in hope to find a trace of him.  He felt perhaps he might find him among the civil war veterans as he was a lieutenant in the Prussian Army.

In 1983 Martin visited Germany with his brother William resolved to continue his research. He visited kin of his mother. They too believed that Carl had escaped to America, and knew nothing of grandfather.  Carl had escaped the battle ground and returned to the native village of Kondringen. Mum was the word in the village. He could carry on the business of innkeeper. His father, Johann George Moesinger was innkeeper before him and stayed on as butcher. They were relatively well to do and prosperous.

The  Inn still stands. It was built in 1550 and Rebstock was it’s name. Within a stone’s throw was the Blum home. It was built in 1814 by Andreas  “Andrew”  Blum who was born Nov 28,  1782 in Kondringen, Germany. A.B. 1814 is carved above the door. His grave stone is in the wall around the cemetery though the year of his death, April 14 1847 was not legible.  The house at that time was occupied by Martin’s first cousin Fritz Blum, his son Alfred and Alfred’s wife Emmi.

While there, in Germany, Martin visited the parsonage next to the Rebstock. There all records were complete. The parson had adequate forewarning and Martin had made clear that he wanted to know what happened to his grandfather George “Carl ” Moesinger. He had met with the preacher early in his visit and found him fully prepared. This is the day Martin learned that his grandfather was buried July 8, 1866.

“Impossible!” he exploded

Many thoughts raced through his mind as the preacher reread from the church records. ” Carl Mossinger—Rebstock innkeeper was buried July 8, 1866.

Between 1866 and 1881 were very trying years for the Mossinger (pronounced Maysinger) family. That included Martin’s grandmother Caroline (Jenne) Mossinger (b 16 Aug 1822 Germany d. 4 Jun 1905 South Bend, Nebraska) , great grandfather, perhaps his uncle Adolf who was 18 years of age in 1866, and successively the younger children, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Caroline, Uncle Gustav, Uncle Emil and his mother , Louise, who was six years old.

The family was literally held hostage. The Rebstock was commandeered for the purpose of spreading the net for the capture of Carl. At Carl’s disappearance his wife  most fervently hoped and prayed for his successful escape. It would have been simple to escape into Switzerland as many other had escaped before including Carl Schurz of whom I have written earlier. It was even possible to escape into France which required crossing the Rhine River.

In 1866 Prussia was at war with Austria. Carl could have reached Austria through Wurttemberg whose provincial king sided with Austria.

The family hated and mistrusted the military people who occupied the whole second floor of the Inn. They made the second larger room upstairs a court room. It is reasonable to expect that the family may not have believed reports that Carl was slain.

Profits fell from the first floor of the inn and also from the slaughter house and meat market. This property was adjacent to the inn and operated by Carl’s father Johann. Taxes were immediately raised as the grand duke was out to confiscate the property obviously.

In 1867, foreclosure was begun. Naturally, court house records make the foreclosure appear like an ordinary foreclosure. Those records unmistakably reveal the occupation of the inn entrance and the second floor by the military.

In 1870, Prussia was at war with France. The proximity of the Rhine, the border between the two countries, caused all people on both sides constant fear and concern.

In 1881, a buyer was found for all the property including that of Johann Mossinger. Louise at the age of 21 emigrated from Germany.

The first chapter of our Blum/Mossinger family history may be concluded at this point.

However one point is missing…how did Andrew Blum get to America? He never dwelt on the past. His was a three word slogan, “ALWAYS STRAIGHT AHEAD.” Hence, he never dwelt on the past. Martin looked at records kept by the Mormon Church for clues.  All he could offer was a guess that his dad boarded a steamer in Europe and stoked coal in those fires that generated the steam for motors to propel the ship. We much recall that Andrew had a strong well muscled back.  Polk’s city directories list him as a maltster for breweries in Council Bluffs and Omaha. (since Martins visit to Germany ship records have been found)

He had worked in Cincinnati brewers and New York as he migrated westward. That he was physically able to fire steamer engines we are certain.

In 1900 Andrew saw an 80 acre farm near South Bend, Nebraska. The plentiful water, the fruit trees, the grape vinyard, even the hills were too much for him. Nostalgia and sentiment carried him back to his native Baden home. He had always claimed South Dakota was too like a soap bubble. You could have a bumper crop in the fields to be “burst” by hail, drought and grasshopper. He parted with his sheep, two 160 acre tracts in South Dakota, at a loss,  and brought his family to Nebraska.

In the summer of 1935, at the age of 84, he still hoed his vineyard. He used a nigger hoe which was heavier and larger than our common hoe. That hoe derived it’s name because purportedly slaves were forced to use them in cotton and tobacco fields.

The day that Martin and his brother William “Bill” were in the parsonage, Martin mentioned that according to legend Carl Schurz had frequently visited the Rebstock. The pastor instantly recognized that he had a newsworthy story. Carl Schurz is now propagandized as a heoic ‘freedom fighter.” We are told that military establishments are now named after him.

As a result, Bill and Martin were photographed on the steps to the parsonage. A newspaper article was written in the Freiburg newspaper with their pictures.

Blum Brothers in Germany

The paper reads:

In the years from 1852 till 1875 the population of Kondringen has dropped about 120 people. The miseries in the country , the people’s wishes of adventure, and political aspects were the reasons why many men and women left their home and went to the USA. Tow of the people who wanted to find a happines in the USA were Andreas Blum and Louise Mosinger. They went to the USA in 1876. Two of their sons were in Germany recently to visit their relations and to look for the home of their parent; William Blum, 85 years old (left side) farmer in Plattsmouth, Nebraska and Martin Blum, 78 years old, a trader of houses and fields in Omaha, Nebraska. In spite of being very old the two men have a very good health. During their holiday they visited the house of the Parson to look in the old books of the church to see if they can find some dates of their relations. Both are speaking more or less good German lanuage. As they told, their mother lived in the Rebstock. Their parent told them from the famous “fighter for liberty” Carl Schurz who visited the Rebstock very often. Carl Schurz was together with Hecker and Sturve one of the main famous people in the revolution of 1848/49.

(translation of Martina from Kondringen)

Martin Blum
1905–1989
BIRTH 8 MAR 1905 • South Bend, Nebraska
DEATH 7 JAN 1989 • Omaha, Nebraska

Special Thank You to my great uncle Martin Blum for having the foresight to save what he knew about the family and hand it down to someone who cares to keep the History alive for generations to come.

I hope you are all enjoying the history. If yes, leave me a message. If you have information that I’m not aware of please share with me as I share with you!

Thanks for reading!

Happy Hunting!

Your Pierce (and Blum) family Historian

Susan Pierce Holmes!

 

 

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