Sunday, June 30, 2013

Estate Sale Photo Update

Back in April I described how I think I found a photo of a relative down here in Tennessee. (See: Is Estate Sale Photo A Relative?) I was telling my dad the story when he noticed one more detail in common between my estate sale find and the photo I already had of Fred Allion. The top button on the coat is different than the other button(s). While I'm sure people could argue over whether the deep-set eyes, mustache and nose look the same, the button difference is one objective point of comparison. While it is possible that having a different top button was a trend in the mid-1890s I suspect that wasn't the case. However, if anyone has evidence to the contrary, I would appreciate hearing about it.

The photo I found in Tennessee.

The photo I already had.

In an effort to identify any connection between the previous owners of the photo and myself I contacted the people who conducted the estate sale. The woman confirmed that the photo did come from the estate and that the family didn't know who any of the people in the photos at the sale were. I asked her if she would inform the family that I thought the photo was one of my people and that if they were interested we could try to identify the link. It has been a couple of months now and I have heard nothing. Consequently, I can only assume they don't want to pursue it or the estate sale people didn't pass along the information.

So, I did a bit of reverse genealogy to see if I could find anything that way. Using the address of the house as my starting point I was able to determine the names of the residents as they turned up on several people finder sites. Because ages were often included I guessed at their relationships to each other. I then looked for an obituary for the oldest male in the house who had an unusual first name. I found it and it confirmed the presumed relationships. Surprisingly, a 101-year-old woman was also living in the household (how current this age was I didn't know). I hypothesized that this was the elderly man's mother. A search in the 1940 census with both their names pulled them up in Nashville along with the sister mentioned in the obituary. So, armed with the names of both parents, I found a marriage license and a maiden name, though sadly no parents' names. Unfortunately, a quick search of census records failed to identify either of them in census records prior to their marriage. For one there were several possible families and for the other there were almost none to choose from. Clearly, tracking down a family connection will take more work, but at least I have enough information to start if I can ever find the time. Right now I have bigger genealogical fish to fry.

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