Friday, June 10, 2016

Foto Friday--Cooling Off

Swimming pools, water parks and splash pads abound these days and provide a wonderful way for children to cool off in the blistering summer heat. Kids and water just seem to go together during the summer months, but oh how times have changed! 

Although the methods have changed, it seems kids have always found a way to cool off. As I went through my grandma's pictures in her little suitcase, I found the following picture of my dad and his sister. The caption written by my grandma indicates that it was too hot and the kids had to cool off. It's a far cry from how kids cool off today and quite different from how we cooled off as a kid, but one thing is for sure, when the temperatures soar and the days get hot, kids find a way to cool off.  

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Guest Blogger--Lisa Lisson!


 I am pleased to welcome guest blogger, Lisa Lisson, author of the blog Today Lisa shares with us her expertise in identifying ancestors in family photos, a topic pertinent to all who love family history. (Please note that Lisa's post contains a few affiliate links that benefit her, but for which I do not receive compensation.) 

ancestors, Lisa Lisson, Winnie Haley Carr, Elton Carr

Do you have a few “unidentified” photographs among your ancestors’ photographs? Many of us do and the question is how we identify these individuals.
This photograph was in my collection of “unidentified” photos for quite a long time. Eventually I got serious on identifying the young man on the right leaning against the bridge.  The process of determining who the young man was required a systematic approach.

This photograph was among my great grandmother’s (Winnie Haley Carr) photographs.  The collection eventually passed to her daughter Elton Carr, and then to her granddaughter, my aunt.  Oral history stated the young man was a Haley and the photograph would have been taken in the vicinity of Clarkson Plantation.
Knowing who held the photograph before me combined with the family’s limited oral history, I was able to narrow down my search to one family line.  I was looking for a Haley. That in itself was a big step forward.

Closer examination of the Photograph

Next I needed to get an up close look at the young man. Using Picmonkey, I cropped and edited the photograph to isolate him.

Isolating the young man and enlarging the photograph revealed the young man had a strong family resemblance to the Haley side of the family. I was on the right track.

Type of Photograph
The photograph in my collection was printed on paper in the sepia tones you see in the photograph. In this case, I suspected the photograph was a copy of an original that was shared within the family. I tentatively dated the photograph in the early 1900’s, but honestly, was not extremely confident in that based on the photograph’s physical characteristics. More clues were need before I could be more specific in its date.

The young man’s clothing provides a few clues for dating the photograph. If he was indeed a Haley, then he would have been living in a farming community. He clothing has more of a functional look though he has dressed specifically for the photo with a coat and tie. Under his coat he is wearing overalls. His tie is narrow and resembles the ties of other photos of known young men of the 1910’s in my collection. His hat appears to be a flat cap that was commonly worn in the 1910’s in rural communities.

The African American man driving the first wagon looks dressed for the camera and his clothing looks less functional for farm work. The narrow tie and collar resemble the styles common in the late 1900’s into the 1910’s. His hat looks is similar to hats of men worn around 1910.
Based on the wearing of ties and more formal look as opposed to that of farmers who are actually working, this photograph was likely staged and not a candid one.

What Else Is In The Photograph?
Other things in the photograph lend clues to the location and time period of the photograph. The bridge itself provided a big clue. Knowing this photograph was in the Haley family and the Haley family lived in Clarkton, VA, I used a google image search for “Clarkton Bridge Halifax, VA”. The results confirmed the bridge in the photograph was the Clarkton Bridge over the Staunton River near the Clarkton Plantation. (Today the Clarkton Plantation is known as Ardross.) The bridge was built in 1902.

Compare To The Family Tree
At this point, I felt I had enough information to go to my family tree and see if any Haley men matched the unknown young man. Let’s review what was known.  This photograph was in the possession of my Haley side of the family. Specifically, its earliest known owner was Winnie Haley Carr of Halifax County, VA. The young man is standing on the Clarkton Bridge built in 1902. Obviously the photograph was taken after 1902. The clothing points to a date of late 1900’s to early 1910s.

Looking at the Haley family tree, I knew I was looking for a young Haley man who would have been about 20 years old in the late 1900’s or early 1910’s. The best possible candidate was Percy Haley, the eldest son of William and Clara (Holt) Haley.  Percy was born in 1890 on or near the Clarkton Plantation. (Percy’s father was the overseer of Clarkton Plantation.) A much later photograph of Percy was then located for comparison. 

The young man in the photograph is Percy Haley (1890-1959) of Halifax and Charlotte Counties, VA.

The rest of the story…..
Several months after identifying Percy Haley in the photograph, I attended a Haley family reunion. The photograph at the top of this page was part of an ongoing slide show for the family.  An older gentleman walked up and exclaimed “That’s my daddy!  He was supposed to be working on the farm that day.”  The gentleman was Percy Haley’s son! 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you decide to purchase a product/service. This does not cost you extra. Be assured I only recommend products/services that I use and think you would like too.


Lisa Lisson is a genealogist, blogger and author of Identify Your Ancestor In That Photograph: Strategies to Analyze and Determine Who Is In Your Family Photos (to be released 15 June 2016). Passionate about genealogy research and helping others find and share their ancestors, Lisa can be found at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Etsy.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

Friday, June 3, 2016

Foto Friday- Fishing for fun

It's that time of year when fisherman take to the rivers, creeks, and lakes. As a child, I always loved going fishing with my Dad, although I think I only ever caught one single fish my whole entire life.

Although the picture below of my Grandpa Ganus is not a closeup, it is him and I love it. Standing out in the middle of the Conejos River, he is away from the cares of the world and in the peace of nature. I wonder.....did he catch anything that day and did they have fried fish for dinner?

Conejos River, Colorado, Heber Ganus, genealogy, ancestry, fishing, family, summer
Heber Monroe Ganus on the Conejos River

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved