When I label my own photos, it does feel awkward writing my own name or writing my Mom’s name rather than just “Mom”. It’s hard to imagine that someone looking at my family albums won’t recognize me. Yet, I deal with that awkward moment and write it all out.
I suspect that is what was going on with the person who labeled the photo above. It has to be one of my favorite and most exasperating labels on a photo. It says “This is me and him July 7, 1916 taken Mar 1916”. “Me” went to the effort of telling us the date she wrote the label as well as when the photo was actually taken but didn’t tell us their names. Unless, perhaps the embossed “The Miller’s” is their last name or it might be the photographers. I have no idea.
My first clue to learning who me and him were is that the photo is among what was once a gorgeous velvet photo album that belonged to my great, great grandmother Mary Brown nee DeFries (1856-1941). My other clues include a few photos that are labeled with names as well as the photographer’s name and location. Several are from Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.
The photos in this album are cabinet cards, real photo postcards, Carte-de-visite and tin types. It’s a real treasure and requires a real hunt to learn the stories within the photos. I have a long way to go with the hunt. For now, here’s a link to a pdf of my spreadsheet that lists identifiers for each of the photos, DeFries Pink Album listings. Read & see more about the album in my DeFries Velvet Photo Album post.
I think I’ll post some of the photos, who knows, maybe someone can help me identify the people!
Update 7/14/11: Recently, I made a connection with DeFries descendant who has an old photo album. One of the photos was of a baby named Carl Miller b. 1902 – 1974 whose parents Frank and Mary Miller nee Inscho married in 1897. Mary was Harm and Juliette DeFries daughter-in-law. Harm was my great, great grandmother Mary Brown nee DeFries’ brother.
Since the photo was taken in 1916 and Frank and Mary were married 19 years earlier this could not be of them but maybe it’s a son and his wife.
Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said:
Thanks for this very important reminder. We all need it, regularly! Proper label our photographs! 😉
Author of “Back to the Homeplace” and “The Homeplace Revisited”
and “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories”
Thanks for the good reminder–and thanks for sharing the wonderful photo. The couple in the photo look so stiff (and like they aren’t enjoying themselves) with their arms straight at their sides and no smiles–yet the “me and him” note makes it sound like they were close. I wonder what the story was behind the photo.
Sheryl, those are good points. I would love to be able to identify the people and the story of this photo. Maybe one day…