Photographs capture a moment in time, a moment that begins evaporating just as soon as the shutter releases. Be it seconds, minutes, years, or decades later, that photograph cannot be recreated, because the moment is gone, replaced with the next, which itself disappears into another.
Imagine receiving a stack of photographs from a second cousin you've never met, who received them from a fourth cousin who lives on a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa. And that these photographs show never-before seen, everyday images from your great-grandparents' life that they sent home to Portugal some fifty to sixty years…Read more Sometimes, Family Tree Breakthroughs Arrive in your Inbox
If you've spent any time researching ancestors, or the history of your town, or even history in general, you've likely come across old group photographs. A workplace outing from long ago, an annual gathering of some institution or society, or maybe a family gathering. If you've stared into the faces of those who gathered for…Read more Lost Stories and Found Mysteries: Old Group Photographs
Genealogists spend a lot of time immersed in old records - especially really old ones, from decades and centuries past. These records yield valuable information in building family trees. And, as any genealogist will tell you, every tree ends at its treetop, with the names of its brick wall ancestors, those whose parentage is unknown and…Read more Forgotten Genealogy: A Letter Reveals Memories from Two Lifetimes Ago
On April 2, 2012, at 9 AM (EST), the National Archives will release the 1940 US census schedules at http://1940census.archives.gov/. The release, administered by The National Archives in partnership with archives.com, will mark the first time a census has been released online. Site visitors will gain free access to view, search, print, and download the 1940 census…Read more The Release of the 1940 US Census – April 2, 2012
Eastern Massachusetts has its own way of saying things. Whether you're drinking a tonic, or slurping a frappe, or quenching your thirst with water from a bubbler, you know you're near Boston when the letter "r" starts migrating within sentences (think 'supah idear'). To linguists, New England breaks into two dialect regions: Eastern New England…Read more If Ancestors Could Talk: The Words of Nineteenth-Century New England
Most family historians have THAT box. The box always looks roughly the same. It's the box that belonged to the toaster your mother had three toasters ago. Or, maybe it's a shoebox for a pair of long-lost boat shoes from Thom McAn or a gift box from Anderson Little (remember them?). Maybe it's a bag…Read more Dating Old Photographs – The Clues that Tintypes Hold, 1890