I have a plastic tub full of family photos with dates starting around the 1880s. The Swedish photographer B.G. Gröndal moved to Lindsborg, Kansas in 1887 to set up a studio, and took family portraits for almost 60 years.
I know the people in most of these photos, except for young couples that must have been friends with my ancestors. Of course the recipients of the photos knew who was pictured, so they didn’t bother to write a note on the back of the photo of who was pictured.
Many of these photos have been featured over the years in my books and blog. I’m always amazed at the details in the clothing—most of which were handmade, the hair, hats, and shoe styles of that era.
Now I’m hooked on looking for photos of pioneers on Pinterest. I could look and “pin” all day—finding photos of women with very long hair, to families in front of their dugouts.
Unfortunately most aren’t labeled with who is in the photos, or the descriptions have been changed or erased as people add new comments.
It’s sad that we don’t know who is featured in this old photos. Most descendants don’t realize we may be looking at a photo of their ancestor taken over a century ago.
So I’m enjoy the photos for them, marveling at the people that moved west to start a new life on the frontier, and happened to be photographed along the way.