November 2, 2008

How an antique Illinois Family Photo Album came to Canada via New Jersey

My good friend Illya of LiveRoots.com recently sent me a gift of an antique photo album. The Album has had a rough life, and needed a good home, so Illya bid on it at a New Jersey auction, won the album and shipped it to me here in Canada.

The album has slots for 64 cabinet cards, and one tintype. 2 Cabinet Cards are missing, for a total of 63 ancestor family photos in this album. 15 of the Cabinet Card photographs were identified with writing on the album pages.

With the identification of those 15 photos and the clues from the photographers who took the photographs, I was able to find the family in the census for Chicago Illinois and determine that this album belonged to the Timmerman Family.

The Timmerman Family Photo Album is full of beautiful photographs, most taken in the period 1890 - 1910. Most of the photos were taken by photographers in Chicago Illinois - Morrison, Jaeger, Hoffman Studios, Vahlteich and others. A few were taken in Omaha Nebraska.

I wondered how a Chicago Photo Album over 100 years old ended up at a New Jersey auction, but research found that one of the Timmerman daughters (Bertha Timmerman) married a man named George Fichtner and moved from Chicago to Boontown New Jersey sometime between 1910 and 1920. No doubt the album was cared for by this daughter and her descendants for many years.

Olive Tree Genealogy has scanned several of the photos and published them online for all descendants and interested researchers to enjoy. I will be scanning all the photos and placing them all online in hopes that genealogists will recognize an ancestor. I've also written up the genealogy research I did on the Timmerman family and published it online as well. Hopefully interested descendants will enjoy this look into the family photographs of more than 100 years ago.

There are 55 other antique family photo albums (mostly from the Civil War era) online on Lost Faces on Olive Tree Genealogy website. Quality reproductions can be obtained for most of the 2,000 + photos by viewing thumbnails provided and choosing photographs of interest.

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