I have been doing Genealogy for over 20 years. I am the first to confess that I am far from knowing everything about it and the processes to make those great discoveries. I have no problem when someone wants to share their knowledge with me, I do however mind if their “knowledge” has no basis and the person who shares it hasn’t even verified what they are passing along.
Case in point. I am very proud of my maternal 4th Great Grandmother, Permelia “Milly” Loving Allen. She was a very strong woman who, at the age of 67 moved her large family from Cole County Missouri to Navarro, Tarrant County, Texas after the death of her husband in 1843. In my family tree on Ancestry, I have 3 photos of Permelia, one of her, one of her and a daughter and one of her and her husband Thomas Allen taken in 1840.
I received a message from a descendent of Thomas & Permelia informing me that the photo could not be of my 4x Great Grandparents because photography had not been invented at that time! She proceeded to call me names and said it made her feel good to expose fakes like me!!! I was flabbergasted. I looked at her profile on Ancestry, she was about my age. Surely, she had seen photos taken during the Civil War and even before that.
So, I decided I would thank her for her comments and then educate her, in a nice way, about the invention of photography.
1814 – Joseph Niepce achieves first photographic image using an early device for projecting real-life imagery called a camera obscura.
1837 – Louis Daguerre’s first daguerreotype, an image that was fixed and did not fade and needed under thirty minutes of light exposure.
1840 – First American patent issued in photography to Alexander Wolcott for his camera.
1841 – William Henry Talbot patents the Calotype process, the first negative-positive process making possible the first multiple copies.
1843 – The first advertisement with a photograph is published in Philadelphia.
1851 – Frederick Scott Archer invented the Collodion process so that images required only two or three seconds of light exposure.
So, there were the means for people to have their photos taken or to take their own. I even discovered that the Chinese and Greek philosophers described the basic principles of optics and the camera in the 5th & 4th Centuries B.C.
So, my point is, if you run into something you are not 100% sure of, do a little research or ask questions first before confronting someone. Or, if you encounter someone like I did you can take the opportunity to share some much-needed knowledge with them.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.