Today's tag was Tattered Romance
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A Home For Jennie Mae
34th in the Tuesday Story Series
When John would travel in his former job, I would usually accompany him. As I owned an antiques business at the time, I would often haunt the local antique and junk stores to find hidden treasures. Many times I would find photos of people, priced relatively inexpensively, and I would pick up some that looked interesting. Sometimes the names of the people are on the front or back, and I often tried to locate their families when I could by posting on different genealogy websites. But the majority of the time, there wasn't enough information on the picture to make finding a family possible. In fact, usually there was nothing. And each picture was a snapshot of a person who existed, who was important to someone, and it sadden me to see them all just tossed out at an auction. I guess no one in the family cared about them, once they were dead and gone. And that is sad. Many of them now show up in mixed media art work, I've done it myself, and it at least gives them another chance to be seen by the world as important.
This story involves one such photo, which had a happier ending. While rooting through things in an antiques store in small town in Oklahoma, I came across a lovely photo of a young woman, dressed in a World War ll era Navy uniform. It read "Loads of love always, Jennie Mae ______ (last name omitted for privacy). It also said "To Mom on Mother's Day" and her initials, and the place and date where it was taken. I belong to the genealogy website, ancestry.com and when I returned home, I logged in and began making a search for this woman. I found the name in a family tree and contacted the tree's author. I described the picture and asked for her address to send it to her. She was thankful and asked me how much postage would be, but I told her all that I asked was that if she found other photos from time to time, she would try to find their rightful owners.
Once she received the picture, she contacted me and told me that Jennie Mae's mother had passed away in 1934, and Jennie Mae had then started calling this lady's great grandmother "Mom" and the picture was for her. The new owner of the picture lived in California, and asked me if I knew how the picture came to be in South Carolina, since her great grandma and Jennie Mae lived in Oklahoma. I told her about my visit to Oklahoma, and we both felt that someone evidently sold the household goods at auction once great grandma died.
It was a good feeling to be able to connect a special photo with family, and the recipient was thrilled to find a photo of a relative. Of course it's just a drop in the bucket, and most of these old photos will never find a home.
Here's just two of my collection of old photos, and I would love to see them returned to their descendants:
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What a beautiful wedding party! And the only information I have is that this large photo was taken at a studio in Indiana.
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This is a gorgeous family! At the bottom of the photo is written the 1st names of the individuals beneath their places in the photo, but the man and woman are only know as Daddy and Mother - no last names. Nine beautiful healthy children and all I know other than their first names is the name of the studio is located in Hampstead N.W., not even the name of state.
If you have old photos, label them! Your grandchildren will thank you!