This week Of Graveyards and Things was included in the blogroll from Geneabloggers. Welcome aboard, new readers! Earlier in the week I wrote about the lovely autograph book of Maria Jane Peeples of Gloucester, Mass. from the 1890s. With a few extra pairs of eyes on the blog, let’s see if anyone can help solve a related mystery pertaining to Maria. Based upon her autograph book and stories passed down in the family, it is obvious that Maria had a wealth of friends and family from the North Shore of Massachusetts, friends who worked or lived in and around Boston, family from Nova Scotia and Hartford, Conn., and beyond. She was quite the social gal, and in addition to her autograph book, she also collected an incredible collection of photographs of her friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, she did not label any of these photographs.
Last year, I had an excellent conversation with Tim Salls, the archivist at NEHGS, about the inherent problems with unidentified photographs. As the curator for the Hanson Historical Society, I had recently organized their photograph collection, which had a selection of unlabeled images. He recommended uploading the collection to Flickr and harnessed the power of crowdsourcing to help identify unlabeled people, places, and events. And what a recommendation!! Over the past year, HHS’s photograph collection at Flickr has generated interest and input from numerous residents, former residents, and descendants of Hansonites who have recognized photographs and generously helped to identify images. It has been a wonderful way to connect with the community.
Around the same time, I was motivated to purchase archival supplies and organize the incredible collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts of family history in my possession. In discussing the project with other family members, a few very generously gave me some items to add to the collection for preservation, including this unidentified photograph collection of Maria Jane (Peeples) Publicover from my aunt Maria. Once placed in archival folders, within archival boxes, labeled and organized, I felt these images would be better served digitized and put out there on the web – where perhaps descendants of Maria’s many friends, local historians, or historic photo buffs might be able to recognize the individuals in these images – and maybe give a face to the signatures from her autograph book!
The majority of images have a photographer’s name and address, so I have organized the images here by town, with the completely unidentified images at the end. Included are transcriptions of the photographer’s labels. [For additional details and the scanned backs of several of the portraits, see the collection on Flickr]. Today’s post will feature her friends and family beyond Gloucester – next week’s will feature all of her Gloucester, Mass. photographs.
Unidentified Portraits by Known Photographers
USA – Massachusetts – Beverly, Mass.
USA – Massachusetts – Boston, Mass.
USA – Massachusetts – Newburyport, Mass.
USA – Massachusetts – Salem, Mass.
USA – Massachusetts – West Somerville, Mass. or Old Orchard, Me.
USA – Connecticut – Hartford, Conn.
USA – Illinois – Chicago, Ill.
USA – New Hampshire – Milford, N.H.
USA – New York – Lima, N.Y.
USA – New York – Manhattan, N.Y.
CANADA – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
ENGLAND – Barrow-In-Furness, Lancashire, England
Unidentified Portraits by Unknown Photographers
This is one of my favorites: