Saturday, October 9, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ancestor Photographs

We're going on another scavenger hunt through our family hstory holdings for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver!

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music):

(1) How many ancestors do you have photographs of?  What is your oldest ancestor photo (the year it was taken)?

(2) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

At first I (mis)read this challenge to be how many photos do you have of each ancestor, instead of how many ancestors!  I was thinking, How in the world am I going to count all those photos Zadie took before the end of the day today?  Phew, thank goodness I only need to figure out which ancestors had photos taken of them.

• Parents (Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr.; Myra Roslyn Meckler):  I have many of both, going back to childhood, teenage years, marriage, and later, including after their divorce.

• Paternal grandparents (Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr.; Anna Gauntt):  A good number for each of them individually and one of them together.  I think the oldest are for their teenage years (none when they were children), and then throughout their lives.

• Maternal grandparents (Abraham Meckler, Lillyan E. Gordon):  Many of my grandmother (a lot taken by my grandfather), very few of my grandfather.  The ones of my grandmother go back to when she was fairly young.  I have one of my grandfather when he was 13 and then only three or four during young adulthood, but I have many more from while he was married to my grandmother.

• Great-grandparents (Cornelius Elmer Sellers versus Mr. X; Laura May Armstrong):  Only one of Elmer Sellers, my grandfather's adoptive father and the only father he knew; it is with Laura Armstrong.  Mr. X, my grandfather's biological father, is as yet unidentified.  A few of Laura May Armstrong, mostly later in life.

• Great-grandparents (Thomas Kirkland Gauntt, Jane Dunstan):  A couple for each of them when they were younger, and then several during their life together.  I think I have cousins with more photos of Thomas Gauntt.

• Great-grandparents (Morris Mackler [Moishe Meckler], Minnie [Mushe] Zelda Nowicki):  One photo each of Morris and Minnie.

• Great-grandparents (Joe Gordon [Joine Gorodetsky], Sarah Libby [Sore Leibe] Brainin):  A few of them here in the States, including two from before they were married (one is an engagement photo).  One of Sarah in Europe circa 1905.

• Great-great-grandparents (Catherine Fox Owen, Cornelius Gottschalk Sellers):  One of Catherine (Owen) Sellers, none of Cornelius Sellers.

• Great-great-grandparents (Joel Armstrong, Sarah Ann Deacon Lippincott): One that has been identified as them, but I'm not sure the identification is correct.

• Great-great-grandparents (James Gauntt, Amelia Gibson):  One of James Gauntt, none of Amelia Gibson (although cousins might have photos of her).

• Great-great-grandparents (Frederick Cleworth Dunstan, Martha Winn):  None.

• Great-great-grandparents (Simcha Dovid Meckler, Baila):  None.

• Great-great-grandparents (Gershon Itzhak Nowicki, Dube Yelsky):  Two different photographs of them as a couple, one from Europe and one from the United States.

• Great-great-grandparents (Victor Gordon [Avigdor Gorodetsky], Esther Leah Schneiderman):  Two or three of Victor Gordon, one of them from Europe, which includes Esther Leah.

• Great-great-grandparents (Morris [Mendel Hertz] Brainin, Rose Dorothy [Ruchel Dvoire] Jaffe):  One of Rose Dorothy Jaffe in Europe; one of the two of them in New York City.

• Great-great-great-grandparents:  Only one possibility, 3x-great-grandfather Gersh Wolf Gorodetsky.  What I have is a photo of a photo, so dating it accurately is pretty much impossible.  It being of Gersh Wolf is my best guess based on the little bit of information I have.

I think the oldest photo I have is the one of Avigdor Gorodetsky and Esther Leah Schneiderman in Kamenets Podolskiy, Russian Empire, circa 1890.  And I counted a total of 25 ancestors of whom I have photographs.

I really should talk to cousins about getting more copies of photographs.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed that you have links to your blog posts with these photos. Do you keep a spreadsheet to keep track?

    1. Wow, I appreciate the compliment, but no spreadsheet. I used BLogger's search capabilities (which are probably the only think I like about the last "upgrade") to find the posts. It helps that I use labels judiciously.

  2. 25 is a lot of ancestral photos, especially since they include some taken in Europe..

    1. I am very fortunate to have had cousins share European photos with me.


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