The picture you see above had been stored in a box for well over 50 years. It is from the collection of pictures and other items my wife, and I found when we cleaned out her parents home well over ten years ago. I have been slowly placing names and histories to these items. Each one is a challenge but brings its rewards when the mystery is solved.
This picture was a little easier as it had a name very lightly written on the back. It was not a family name, and no one seemed to know her. I took a guess that it was a picture taken for a school graduation. My wife’s mother had graduated from Plattsburgh State Normal School in the year 1939. I found a website that had copies of the “Cardinal” yearbooks, from the Plattsburgh State Normal School. I found Mildred in the 1936 edition. I was now certain how and why my mother-in-law had her picture.
My next step was to search my favorite on-line digital newspaper sites. After several days of looking I finally found Mildred. The news articles traced a life in print. Marriage, births and in the end deaths. By reading these articles, I got to know Mildred and her family. I also discovered that she died just this year at the age of 100. I learned that she put her teaching degree to good use teaching until she retired in 1977. Then she volunteered for Literacy Volunteers for many years after. Her husband died in 1975. They had one daughter and at the time of Mildred’s death three grandchildren.
I was able to contact the daughter, and she seemed very happy to be able to get the photograph. All in all, it took me a few hours research spread out over a month to be able to do this. I get a great feeling when I can restore these items to their families. So I have done my genealogy good deed, and I encourage you to try and do the same.