Archive for the ‘Pictures’ Category

Last month my uncle let me borrow all of the old family photographs to organize, scan, and identify. I have several large boxes full of stuff. Papers, diaries, letters, but mostly photographs.

My favorite unknown people so far are these guys:

Mystery Men

I wish I knew who they were because the picture is a big one, 8×10 on heavy paper, and the quality is really good. And their faces! Look at those guys! I want to know who they are! But there’s no identifying marks on the back at all. My best guess is that it’s one of photographs from the Garst side of my family, because the photograph is of the same type and size as some other large photographs that are all of New Mexico. But that’s just a guess.

Then there are the silly strange ones that are unlabeled that at first glance made me believe that I came from a long line of wizards.

Floating baby wizard with a wand? lol!!

Baby wizard with a golden snitch? 🙂

And then there are the photographs that are labeled but I still don’t know who the heck the person is. I scanned this picture a couple of weeks ago:

I did a bit more work on my family tree this week on a half-sister of my great grandmother. I discovered that the half sister: Esther Garst married John Patterson. So today when I was looking back through the photographs I’d scanned looking for something else entirely, when I looked at this guy, I knew exactly who he was! It was like magic!

Maybe I really do have wizard ancestors after all!!

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I couldn’t figure out what to write for my first post, and then I remembered my great-great-grandfather and his sordid crime.

In case you didn’t know, Genealogy Bank can be a veritable goldmine for the kind of information that actually tells you who your ancestors were, as opposed to knowing them only as a list of names on census records. If your ancestors lived in big U.S. cities (and even some scattered small ones), chances are good that you’ll find them in GB’s huge archive of historical newspapers. The site has a free trial, so you might want to sign up, see if they have newspapers for your main locations, and decide if you want to subscribe. And sadly, no, I’m not being paid for plugging this site.

On to my great-great-grandfather, Frank A. Marceaux. So it turns out he was running for sheriff of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, in 1931. But he ran into a complication. He needed to file a petition with the state board of pardons because three decades earlier, he had committed, and I quote, “larceny of a cow.” Reported the Times-Picayune in December of 1931:

In the candidate’s application he states that he was convicted of larceny of a cow on October 10, 1899, and was sentenced to serve two years in the state penitentiary. He states that he was released from the penal institution on July 3, 1901, after his sentence was commuted on grounds of good behavior.

Frank, in spite of his shady past, had one prominent supporter: Governor Huey P. Long, who is quoted in the same article:

I would like to know since this prohibition law how many of us have not violated the law.

For a genealogist, this stuff is gold. Am I right?

Frank Marceaux and Family, c. 1919

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