Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who ARE these people?

Perkinson Family, Christmas 1926
MPN personal collection

Some years ago my mother gave me a copy of one of those family pictures filled with aunts, uncles, cousins, all sitting on my father's Grandmother Perkinson's front porch.  I could spot my dad, aunts, and grandparents.  My mother recognized most of the people, but my left-to-right list of the family still had some blanks.  Thankfully, one of my aunts was able to identify everyone and even set the date (Christmas 1926).  I love that picture, especially when I come across information about these same aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It is great to be able to put a face with a name.

If you have similar pictures, see how completely you can identify the 5 Ws, the who, what, when, where, and why of a picture.  Recently my husband came across a picture of his mother with her brothers, sisters, and some in-laws.  It was wonderful to finally get all the names recorded and put together with that picture.  Sometimes, sadly, there is no one who actually recognizes those in a photograph, but it will help people now and in the future if we at least try. 

Sharing some "Who ARE these people" photos with other family members may reap rewards because rarely does one family member have all the information.  It is also just as helpful to identify people in similar pictures we take today.  No one wants a family picture taken at our child's wedding or the group shot of a cousins' fishing trip to fall into the "Who ARE these people" category years from now.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes without names and other basic information, it may not be nearly so great a story.

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