Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Since, I am in the mood for talking about photo's lately, I thought I would share a cool little website called deadfred.com.  It's a website where people...including you...can upload photo's for other's searching for their ancestors.  And where you can go to look to see if anyone may have found a photo of your ancestor's.  Why? and How? you ask.  Well, have you ever been into a second hand store or an antique shop?? Do you see the photo's in the old frames hanging around.  There are just enough of us crazy people that buy those photo's to try to find family member's of the people in them, so they can go somewhere they will be loved and cherished. And yes, I am one of those crazy people. ;)  And it's easy and free.  Sign up as a member and then upload the photo and what you know about it.  You just never know who might come looking.

A few years ago I was given the most beautiful gift in the world. It was shortly after I had found my Great Grandfather Ralph Henry Adamson's family.  Ralph has been one of those ancestors I can't stay away from for very long.  Anyways, finding his family was a very big deal to my Dad and his brother's.  They didn't know anything about Ralph or his family.  Like I was saying shortly after I found his family, I get an email from this very nice lady asking how I was related to Minerva Mulford Adamson.  I emailed back and let her know that Minerva was my 3rd Great Grandmother.  She was so excited to find a direct descendant of Minerva's.  She emailed back saying she had a photo of Minerva and she would send me a digital copy and then would put the original in the mail, if I would just provide my mailing address.  WELL, of course I emailed it right away and sat impatiently...I mean patiently waiting for her return email with the digital copy.  When it came in I couldn't believe my eyes.

Wow!...even now I look at her and want to cry.  I never in a million years thought I would see a picture of her.  Then when the original came in the mail I just went crazy.  I mean here she was in my hands.  So how did this lovely lady end of with a picture of my ancestor.  She told me that about 15 years before, she worked for one of her local schools and had asked her colleagues if anyone had any old frames she could buy, as she was collecting frames.  The wife of her principal brought her some frames, but in one of the frames was this picture.  She said she tried to return the photo but they didn't know who she was and said they didn't want it.  The amazing woman then held onto the photo in an envelope, in a box, in her basement for all those years.  Her husband and her were retiring and getting ready to move, when she found this box of photo's.  So she got online to try to find family members for the photo's she had received while collecting old frames.  AMAZING!!! This is still one of my most favorite stories to tell. ;)  I emailed her back and asked if she was still in touch with the people she got the frame from and luckily enough she was.  She called them to see if they were interested in talking to me.  Turns out I am related to the principal through Minerva.  We are both direct descendants of her one of her son's (me) and one of her daughter's (him).  And we have been friends ever since.  I tried to return the original photo to him as it was rightfully his but he said that she was in a loving home and he now had a digital copy and that was just fine by him.

After this experience, I promised my self that if I ever came across any photo's that had names on them, I would try to find family to send them home.  Two summers ago, I took a trip to see my sister who lives in Washington state.  While doing the tourist thing, we stopped at an old antique shop in Bellingham, and I found quite a few photo's.  I brought them home and was able to find family for a couple of them.  I still have three photo's that I haven't been able to find a home for but hopefully someday, someone will come looking for them.

In the meantime, I might just post them on deadfred.  :D

So the next time you are in a shop and see photo's, look to see if they are labeled in any way.  And then pay it forward.  Someday, when you least expect it someone might give you the surprise of a lifetime. 

Mrs. Clara Anderson

A. Mark Conklin

Thomas Howard Gaffney

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