Sunday, November 22, 2009

School Pictures

A couple of months ago, I received a letter from a distant relative, who found a family tree chart I sent to the Brown County, Ohio Genealogical Society over 15 years ago. We are both researching the Ogden family of Brown County. My paternal grandfather, James Quincy Davis, was the son of James Ulysses Davis and his wife, Rosa Ogden.

A few weeks ago, my distant relative was kind enough to send me copies of grandpa's school pictures from 1916-17 and 1917-18. He attended the Shiloh School, a one-room schoolhouse in Brown County. He would have been 10 to 12 years of age in these pictures. Even though one of the pictures contains a caption indicating which child he is, I didn't think it was him. I have a picture of him when he was around 14 and I know what he looked like. Also, my mom looked at him and was doubtful because he didn't have the "Davis ears" (large and protruding). I was disappointed.

Then, last week a friend allowed me to borrow his copy of the group photo from our fifth grade class trip to Washington, DC. At first glance, I didn't recognize anyone. As I looked more closely, trying to find myself in the photo, I was able to identify a few more people, but not myself. I scanned the photo and zoomed in. I identified some more kids, but still not me. I still don't recognize most of the kids and have not found myself in the picture. I saw most of these kids every school day for at least seven years, not to mention that I have been looking at myself for a long time now.

So, what lessons have I learned? Don't make assumptions and label photographs! I'm still not sure that's grandpa in the school picture, but I'm also sure I'm not quite as observant as I thought.

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