TWO MAJOR IDENTIFICATION ERRORS
September 16, 2012
Every genealogist’s pet peeve, or the one before clipping articles and obituaries from newspapers without naming the paper or the date, is not identifying people correctly in photographs. Looking back through some of mine, I found where I had identified the subject as Dandy, Pop, Papa, Jimbo, Punkin, Aunt Hattie and Uncle Jack. At the time, our children knew these people. Now that these subjects have been deceased for years and the children have grown up and have their own families, they barely remember them if at all.
Of course, I knew better both then and now. To correct the error I must now take valuable time, go back through stacks of photographs, and add their proper names and relationships. All of those labeled Dandy and Pop are identified by name and listed as my husband’s parents. A caveat is to describe them as “Bob’s parents.” Bob is a common name and we have a couple in our families. Papa is my maternal grandfather, Jimbo is my husband’s nephew—now grown, out of the military and has a family; and Punkin, our nickname for our first baby.
Aunt Hattie and Uncle Jack are no relationship to my husband or me. They were my cousin’s aunt and uncle who visited him and brought presents when they visited a couple of times a year. You see, that cousin lived with my parents. Aunt Hattie and Uncle Jack really came to see him, but I always looked forward to their visit. My kids never knew them and anyone looking through my pictures would spent hours trying to identify them as my relatives.
The second pet peeve is the ‘clippers.’ They have good intentions. They carefully scan newspapers for any mention of the family and clip any articles or obituaries they find. Although the obituary or newspaper article may be just what you needed to break through that brick wall, you can almost bet it will not have the name and date of the newspaper. For instance, just because I find an old clipping in the possession of a Plano resident does not mean it appeared in the Plano Star Courier. It could have come from a McKinney newspaper, or one of the two major Dallas papers. For you newcomers, Dallas used to have both the Times Herald and The Morning News.
Begin now to correct these two major identification errors when you are identifying pictures in the future. Contact your family and ask them to save the name of the paper and the date.
Proper identification is crucial to saving pictures and newspaper clippings for the genealogist. I wish I had taken the time back then to identify those pictures I was carefully storing. Properly storing and filing of memories only works correctly when the items are properly identified.
NGSQ CELEBRATES 100th ANNIVERSARY: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), the Society released the video of noted professional genealogist Henry B. Hoff’s story of Becoming a Genealogist. This joins other videos on their website, www.ngsgenealogy.org, by John Frederick Dorman, David L. Greene, Harry Macy, and George Ely Russell.
ATTENTION GENEALOGY GROUPS: The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) just released the second edition of Bylaws Workbook: A Handbook for New and Established Societies compiled by Marcia S. Lindley and revised by Roberta “Bobbi” King. FGS publications are dedicated to help genealogical groups run successfully.
FAMILY SEARCH TO INDEX IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION RECORDS: After successfully gathering hundreds of thousands of North American volunteers to index the 1940 census, they are now attacking the indexing of the immigration and naturalization records. The goal is to finish indexing the passenger lists from major U. S. ports during the next 18-24 months. Those interested should visit www.familysearch.org/immigration to learn more.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.