Saturday, August 28, 2021

How a FAN Club Member Identified an Ancestor for Me

I've been scanning old photos and negatives left by my father-in-law, Edgar James Wood (1903-1986). 

At left, a 1919 image I blogged about just recently, remarking on the fashions.

This came from a set of negatives that Ed had marked as "Baker family, 1919."

I know the names of these two sisters, who were Ed's first cousins, but not which is which in the photo.

At right, a photo that my hubby and I believe shows Ed with these same two cousins, 50 years later. No caption, but a family story gave us confidence that these were the Baker sisters. Which is which? We had no idea. Until now.

Hearing from a FAN club descendant

This week, I received a message from a gentleman (Pat) who noticed the Baker names on my public family tree.

Pat is not related to the Bakers or to my husband. 

Here's where it gets a little convoluted. Pat is the executor of the estate for a lady who was the executor for the estate of one of the Baker sisters. In other words, he's the descendant of a FAN club member.

Connecting through my public family tree

When Pat's mom died, he inherited her boxes of stuff, including boxes from her  dear friend, Edith, who died a few years earlier. Pat's Mom wanted her friend's photos and letters to survive, so she bequeathed them to her son. (She wisely planned ahead before she joined her ancestors.)

Now Pat is sorting the bequest and looking for descendants who would like to have some of the items he inherited.

Pat noticed Edith and her sister on my Ancestry public family tree and sent me a message. I confirmed how Edith was related to my father-in-law and thus to my husband. 

Then we exchanged photos. He shared a photo of Edith in her later years. We are so grateful he did.

Eureka! Thanks to the FAN club, I now know exactly which of the ladies in both of these photos is Edith and which is her sister. Edith is on the right in the later photo, on the left in the younger photo. And Pat can see how lovely Edith was in her youth.

A good reason to have a public tree...even without photos, it serves as cousin bait and FAN club bait, with ancestor names/dates/locations visible and the option to send a message. 

1 comment:

  1. I must have missed it. Which sister is Edith?