Friday, September 22, 2017

Lost & Found - Family Photos at the Flea Market

Hello everyone and Happy Equinox - OK, equinox is actually tomorrow but does it really matter that I am a day early? I took the day off work today to get a few things done around the house and to make my reservations for RootsTech 2018. RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference as far as I know. If you haven't gone, make sure you add it to your bucket list.

I was running around on Facebook while trying to figure out what I was going to do and then I ran across Elizabeth O'Neal's post about the Genealogy Blog Party theme of the month - Lost & Found. See the post at her My Descendant's Ancestors blog site. So, I decided to write about he Lost photos that I have Found in the hopes that those who have Lost them will see the story and ask me for them back.

I often visit flea markets and antique shows to find vendors who specialize in old photos. These vendors have box after box of old photos they have found but their intent is to make money on them, not necessarily to return them to their families. I often wonder how the photos came into their possession - Were they sold at yard sales by ancestors who no longer wanted them? Were they orphaned by a family member who died and had no one to pass them on to? Were they part of an assorted box of stuff found at an estate sale? The answer to those questions is different for each photo. Many of the photos have no identifying information on them but frequently I can find some with information that allows me to begin searching for matches and potential families. This blog post will list some of the photos I have rescued and what I have learned about each one. I have also tried to link each one to a person on FamilySearch.org and have provided the PID# in their description so they can be found easily. The caption on each photo is the text that was written on its back.

Great Grandmother Kellogg (mother of Ann Marie Kellog m. Hiram Paulding, USA)

Based on the information on the back of this photo and matching it to information on FamilySearch.org, I believe Great Grandmother Kellog's name was Mary Ann Tuthill (FamilySearch PID #LH3M-K4H). Mary Ann was born around 1782 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her husband was Jonathan Warren Kellogg. Her daughter Ann Marie Kellogg was born 11 July 1807 in Flatbush, New York and died 7 January 1894 in Long Island, New York. Ann's husband, Hiram Paulding was born 11 December 1797 in Cortland, New York and died 20 October 1878 in Huntington, Long Island, New York. I really love this photo, not only because of the age but also because it shows what appears to be a very strong matriarch of the family.


It isn't often that you find complete extended families in a flea market collection. But the following group of photos is an extraordinary find consisting of 9 photos in total. This family consists of Moots, Munns, and a Boughton.

Abbie Boughton - sister of Mary Elizabeth Boughton Munn (Greatgrandmother). Died of TB.
This picture of Abbie Boughton had a great amount of information that helped me identify her. First of all, her sister is listed as Mary Elizabeth Boughton and Mary's husband is a Munn. I was able to find Mary Elizabeth Boughton Munn on FamilySearch (PID #LRK7-F4V) along with her husband, James L Munn, and three children. However, Abbie was not listed on FamilySearch.

James Munn - Dick
This photo is James Munn, the son of Mary Elizabeth Boughton and James Munn, Sr. James can be found on FamilySearch (PID #LRK7-LQP) with his family. James was born about 1865. How do I know this was James Munn, Jr. and not the father? Well, I am not 100 percent sure that it is, but I can make a guess based on the next photo.

Helen Munn

Helen Munn, (FamilySearch PID #LZ6R-T8Q), is the daughter of  Mary Elizabeth Boughton and James Munn, Sr. and the sister of James Munn, Jr. These family connections are proved by the various census records for the family. Since the pictures of James and Helen are from the same photo studio, and they appear to be similar in age, I assumed the photo of James was of the son and not the father. James and Helen also had a sister, Felicia Carrie Mun but I don't have any pictures of her. Interestingly though, I do have pictures of Felicia's husband, Melvin Moot, and their son, Carl Moot.

Melvin Moot - about 18
Melvin Moot - age 20 some








These two pictures of Melvin Moot (FamilySearch PID #KH7D-LBW) are taken in two different studios in New York. Melvin was born 22 December 1864 in Richmondville, New York and died 22 June 1945 in Richmondville. Melvin and Felicia had a son, Carl Melvin Moot.

Carl Moot
Carl Moot


Carl Moot (FamilySearch PID #LJKJ-QCQ) was born 18 February 1888 in Richmondville, New York and died in August 1967. Carl had some friends named Newlin Beard, Bill Paul and Roscoe Paul, as evidenced by the next picture.

Carl Moot, Newlin Beard, Bill Paul, Roscoe Paul

Another family member in this collection was Melvin Moot's brother, Orin Moot (FamilySearch PID #K466-9JB). Orin was born around 1862 and died 22 August 1942 in Albany, New York.

Orin Moot

It is rare to find this large of a family collection in mixed boxes of loose photos. For the descendants of these people this would be a great find, if they could be reunited. If you know any of these families, please have them contact me so they can be reunited with them.

As a genealogist, I find the game of Lost & Found to be a fun and challenging past time. Reuniting people with the images of their long lost relatives brings them happiness and gives me a feeling of success. The research is challenging but rewarding. I have many more photos that still need reuniting with their families and I will continue to hunt for more each opportunity that I get. These lost treasures need to find their families.

3 comments:

genealogylizgauffreau said...

It's so great that you're doing this! I'm always saddened by those boxes of abandoned family photographs.

Linda Stufflebean said...

I hope a descendant finds them, or at least a collateral descendant, so the pictures go back home to family members who will cherish them.

Nancy said...

It is really surprising to find a group of photos still together. I, too, wonder how the old photos came to be in antique stores, at auctions, etc. I always feel sad when I see them, just as if they are discarded individuals. I hope descendants of the people in these photos find them and contact you. Surely, some family would love to have the photos and see the faces of their ancestors! BTW, that little Carl is too cute!