Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Power of the Internet: Mystery Portrait Identified

So, as some of you know, I have this unbelievable family tree book from the Dane, Edmands and related families that is in my possession. How I received this book and where it comes from is a subject for another story, but I wanted to discuss here one individual portrait from the book.

Mystery Woman Now Identified as Anne Hichborn (or Hitchborn, Hichborne)
Mystery Woman?

Fortunately, almost all the pictures in the book are either labeled with a name, or are placed right next to someone's record and thus also labeled. Unfortunately, this one wasn't, perhaps because it was so large. Anyway, in my attempt to identify her, there were three possible candidates. One was the person whose name was right next to the picture, albeit poking through a "window" onto a previous page, Marcia Winter. The second was one of the Hichborn (alternately spelled Hichborne and Hitchborn) women, since the picture was pasted at the bottom of the Hichborn page. The third was Dolly Dutch, since I had a photo on a previous page of Dolly in an almost identical costume.

I posted a copy of this photo in my Flickr archive for the genealogy book, and I also uploaded a copy to Ancestry.com, but under the name Marcia Winter. In the description of the photo at Ancestry, I clearly stated that I was unsure who the person was and that it was a mystery I'd like to solve.

Several months went by and then recently, I received a message posted through Ancestry.com that automatically came to my email inbox, too (I'm going to leave the woman's name out in case she doesn't want it posted here). The message said, "I think I can help you with the identification of the portrait you think is possibly Marcia Winter. We have the original portrait, and it's one of a pair." In her next email, she sent me this photo, which she'd taken of the portrait that sits in her home:
Anne Hichborn - in Color
Anne Hichborn (Jameson) - in Color!

Clearly, they are one and the same and just as clearly my pasted black and white photo was actually a photo of this painted portrait. Fantastic! But not only that, the portrait had a pair, and using the pair, we were able to convince ourselves that in fact the woman in the picture must be Anne Hichborn, because of the pairing with Captain Samuel Jameson. Both our histories matched that the two were married. I had no photos or other pictures of Captain Sam, but she did, and here it is:
Captain Samuel Jameson
Captain Samuel Jameson

So not only did I find a photo of an ancestor I'd never seen before, I have a new destination on my family history tour. I hope to some day go and visit these portraits in person!


ElizabethSheryl said...

ooh, how wonderful! I *really* want to do some genealogy research into my mother's side of the family. I lucked out with my father's side, one of his 2nd cousins has a family tree going back to about 1500's, but my Mom's side is much more colored and mixed (where my father's side is pretty much all british and some german).

Kyle said...

Elizabeth, I've been doing genealogy research for over 20 years. I can certainly give you some tips on how to get started if you'd like.

Cathy said...

Thanks for the information. See also family trees to trace your family heritage.