|Calder Baynard Willingham|
Things were going well until I came across this picture. Thankfully, someone had written the name of the individual on the back and a note that my Great Uncle Calder Vaughan had been named for Calder Willingham, the gentleman in the picture. It was all great information except that Calder Willingham was not a relative of mine although he might have been a cousin of Calder Vaughan's mother. The picture was in fairly good condition, and I knew I wanted to try and pass it on to a Willingham relative.
My first stop was to check for Ancestry.com family trees that listed Calder Willingham. I did find several trees listing a Calder Baynard Willingham who had lived in Macon, Georgia, the town where the photographer was located. Unfortunately none of the owners of the trees had any type of profile information so there was no way to contact the owners to see if s/he wanted the photograph.
I then posted a request for suggestions as to how to get this photo to a suitable owner, using the OGDG facebook page. Within an hour I had several helpful suggestions including checking findagrave.com for an obituary, uploading the picture to deadfred.com, and checking message boards on rootsweb.com.
FindAGrave.com, interestingly enough, lists six people named Calder Willingham, two of whom are buried in Macon, Georgia. I've posted a message to the person who created the memorial page for the Calder Willingham of Macon, Georgia, who seemed to have been alive during the time the picture was taken.
As for message boards, I found a number of family trees with a Calder Baynard Willingham on both rootsweb.com and Ancestry.com. Following a suggestion from a OGDG post, I've added a "post-em note" to the five rootsweb.com trees, asking if the tree owner would like the photo. I've also started a new thread on Ancestry's Willingham message board, asking if someone would like the photo.
Finally, I've been trying to upload a copy of the photo to several sites mentioned in Cyndi's List.
To date, I've had two responses to all my feelers, one from a person no more related to Calder Willingham than I am, the other from someone who felt he could get the photo to some Willingham relatives though I haven't received a mailing address so that I can relay the photograph. Perhaps this post will bring a response from a person who would like this photo.
Maybe before too long Mr. Willingham's photo will find a new home. This whole experience has really been, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, about the journey rather than the destination. as I've learned some new ways to think outside the box.
UPDATE: In November of 2014, I received a response from a direct descendant of Calder Willingham. Finally that old phone has a new home.