07 January 2013

A picture is worth...

Finding a photo of an ancestor you've never seen before can be a wonderful moment and worth a thousand tears. Just getting a hint for a photo is exciting. Even if it's not a photo of the person it could be a scan of a record you haven't seen. So with anticipation you click on the hint and see... a flower. Or a fake coat of arms. Or an image of art work that doesn't even come close to being from the same era your ancestor lived in. I've posted about this before. This time we'll take a look at two different trees.
The first tree no longer has any photos at all. WooHoo! It's possible the owner had one too many complaints about their photos showing up as hints on other trees.
At a glance the tree looks to be well researched and well sourced. There are no photos of COAs or family crests. It just had flowers, lots and lots of flowers. Before all the photos were deleted I counted the duplicates. The number in the list below is the number of times the same exact photo was uploaded. Each time the photo was attached to only one profile.
231  Yellow
200  Buttercup
165  Cream
  89  Maroon
  79  Orange
  67  Red
  48  Pink
  47  Blush
  45  Purple
  16  White
That's 987 photos when fewer than 25 would have served the same function if the person had just attached multiple people to each photo.
A tree with different photo issues after the jump.

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

This next tree owner has never seen a coat of arms that they didn't like. Out of over 8000 photos 2681 are coats of arms icons, all copied from other trees. Not sure the fact that they're copied from other trees is an improvement.
Looking through the media gallery the COAs are, of course, overwhelming (2681!!!) and since I finished counting them this person has added more! While the COAs were copied from other trees images involving heaven, angels, God, The Bible or anything religious were uploaded by the owner. 555 of them in fact. I had no idea there could be so many different images pearly gates and stairways to heaven. Other favorites for this tree owner are castles, flags, initials, ships, clip art, fine art, and images of royalty from around the globe. Oh, and let's not forget the images of Native Americans along with flags for different tribes.
All but the last two examples below have been attached to numerous trees. Any asterisks are entered as part of the name so don't try looking for a footnote from me.

Attached to Elizabeth Boyd (1475-1498) married to 
Thomas Douglas (1477-1517). 
Side note, they have a daughter born in 1444. 
Originally uploaded to Elizabeth Boyd (1454-1497) married to
Archibald 5th Earl of Angus Douglas (1449-1514) on another tree.

Artist: Philippe Mercier
Title: Portrait of a Lady, Said to be Elizabeth, Wife of Robert Boyd of Castle Law
Date: 1750

Attached to Sir Robert Goushill (1350-1403).
Originally attached to Sir Robert Goushill, Knight** (1350-1404) in another tree.

Artist: Corneille de Lyon (d. 1545)
Title: Portrait of James V of Scotland (1512-1542)
Date: circa 1536

Attached to Sara Brinker (1634-1698).
The original submitter removed it from their tree.
Unfortunately others had already attached it so it will remain
 on Ancestry.com forever.

Artist: Vladimir Borovikovsky
Title: Portrait of M.I.Lopukhina
Date: 1797 

Attached to *Cyrid "Gyrithe" "Gunhilde" "Princess of Sweden Olafsdottir (920-1002).
Originally uploaded to Cyrid of Sweden (906-1005) in another tree.
Title: Queen Christina of Sweden

Artist: S├ębastien Bourdon (1616-1671)
Title: Queen Christina of Sweden
Date: 17th Century

Attached to *Joan (fair maid krnt0 Plantagenet Duchess of York (1328-1385).
No that isn't a typo. That really is how her name is entered.
Originally attached to 
Joan 1st Princess of Wales Plantagenet Fair Maid of Kent (1328-1385) 
on a different tree.

Photo of a modern doll.

Attached to John Brinker (B: 1610 Denmark).
Originally attached to John Brinker (B: 1615 Denmark) in another tree.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Attached to *rachel native american (1715-1781).
Title: *native american woman

Artist: Maija (living)
Title: Guardians

I forgot to note the name on this one.
It's attached to an Italian Lady born in 1293.


Thanks to Patti for the heads up about the first tree and Shirley for the second ;-)

NEXT POST: The Price of Fame


  1. I have a related complaint... when people attach what are probably actual photos of the person, but don't add any information at all about the subject or the source of the photo. When I see such a picture, I usually add a comment asking "Who is this photo?". If they don't know for sure, they should at least say so in the description of the photo. Otherwise, it just causes confusion.

    1. I hate that too MEHSAB. I got a few hints last week where the photos were titled with one name, attached to one person in another tree (looked to be the same person I had in my tree) but the photo had more people in it. There was nothing stating who the other people were or even which one was the titled person. Frustrating.

  2. The modern doll and the Italian food are my favorites. Thanks for the laugh!

  3. I think that some people don't like the universal "pink female" "blue male" icon so feel the need to add some kind of picture..that's the only thing I can think for the nonsense pictures.

  4. Loretta, if the second tree is the one I think it is, it also had a "photo" of a Native American woman named "Susie" (with some incomprehensible "surname"), who supposedly died in 1830 - that is, well before the date of the earliest known photo of a person (1838, in France), in the same "line of descent" as the "rachel native american" above (I remember that picture).

    1. Thanks MC! I'll see if I can find it. I plan on doing more photo posts in the future ;-)

    2. Forgot...that tree is private now :-(

  5. I sure hope I am not guilty of this. When I don't have a photo of the person, I try to include a photo of the headstone if I have it. If I don't have a headstone photo, I will sometimes use a little graphic I have indicating if it is a Revolution War soldier, Civil War Soldier, etc.
    I have been researching for over 25 years [started really young] and I am STILL learning. In the beginning it was citing my sources. Now years later, I have forgotten exactly who told me what about an ancestor. One complaint I do have I am not sure how to "merge" two trees that are on Ancestry.com. I don't want to delete them because there may be comments from others that I would love to retain. I think I am going to enjoy this last version of Family Tree Maker as it now syncs the trees. [keeping my fingers crossed].