Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: Invite Relatives to View Mystery Photos Online

Formerly a mystery photo - now identified as Meyer & Tillie Mahler and family
My friend's family has begun a private blog to chronicle their genealogy adventures. One clever feature of Casey's blog is a page devoted to mystery photos. Already, a number of family members have enjoyed clicking through the photos, searching their memory banks, and coming up with names, dates, places, and occasions. They've identified a number of people and told new stories--solving mysteries and providing new clues to help in the search for ancestors!

I'm copying Casey's idea with a new landing page devoted to my mystery photos. Above, one of the first entries, a photo taken in the Francis Rogers studio in NYC. I'm assuming that the mystery photos are related to either my Farkas family or my Schwartz family.** [See update below--this is a Mahler family portrait.]

With a landing page devoted to mystery photos, relatives (or possible relatives) can look at their leisure, night or day, and get in touch with their ideas. Otherwise, any photos I post in a regular daily message will eventually drop too low to be seen by the casual visitor.

If and when someone identifies a photo, it will move from the mystery page to a family landing page. I'll add new photos from time to time as I continue to scan my "unknowns."

Wish me luck!

**UPDATE: One day after I put up this post, Cuz Lois called to say she has the identical photo shown above. It must be the Mahler family.

We think the lady in the light-colored dress, standing 2d from left in photo at top of this post, is my grandma Henrietta. We can even put a rough date on the photo: Patriarch Meyer Mahler, the gent seated at right in that photo, died in January 1910. So this large family photo is pre-1910, and probably pre-1906, when my grandma Henrietta was married.

In the photo, Meyer's wife, Tillie Jacobs Mahler, has her hand on his shoulder. Tillie's mother, Rachel Shuham Jacobs (who died in 1916), is seated in front with a young girl in her arm. The boy standing at far left is probably David Mahler and the boy at far right would be his younger brother, Morris.

The other Mahler girls in the photo are Sara (with a locket around her neck), Ida (at far left, holding a doll), Dora (probably the tiny girl in Rachel's arms), and Mary (seated in the wicker chair). The lapel pin in Meyer's vest (see closeup at right) might be a clue to pursue, as well.

By 1912, when the photo at left was taken, Henrietta had 3 children. But there's a clear resemblance between Henrietta in the photo below and Henrietta in the light dress in the photo at top.

Thank you, Cuz Lois! More mystery photos will be posted soon :)


  1. How wonderful that your cousin helped you identify your mystery photo so quickly, Marian! I love your idea - will get to work on that on my own blog. Thanks for the helpful tip.

    1. Linda, the credit for this idea of posting mystery photos goes to my friend's niece--and I've thanked her profusely! Thanks for reading and I hope you have good luck with your "unknowns" as well.