Photos Through the Generations

I’ve scanned dozens and dozens of boxes of family photos over the years–most of which belong to my grandfather, an only child and the last member of our Kuznicki line–but I’ve never paused to consider how many photos I have for each line of my family tree. Randy Seaver–the writer and genealogist behind Genea-Musings–asks us to do just that: how far back is your unbroken line of family photos? How many generations do you have photos or portraits of your ancestors and their descendants?

As it turns out, my longest line of family photos isn’t from the shoeboxes my grandfather and I have painstakingly scanned; instead, it’s on my dad’s side, from the line that winds through strong Methodist and Quaker roots and ends with my Mayflower ancestors. I can trace back eight generations of my family tree in photos alone, starting with myself and my dad and continuing up, up, up to his mother and her mother and her mother and her father and his mother and her mother…

Eight generations; and these are their faces. Randy has requested that we share our unbroken line, providing only birth dates and death dates and approximate dates that the photograph was taken or the portrait was made. I’m ending with my paternal grandmother (dad isn’t one much for posting photos on the Internet); I’ll include a description when meaningful, but other than that, I’ll let the photos–and their subjects–speak for themselves this time–tell their own stories, if you will.

Generation 8

Nathan Hawkins

b. January 18, 1782

d. July 28, 1867

Rebekah (Roberts) Hawkins

b. August 8, 1787

d. June 18, 1863

Generation 7

Sally Rebekah (Hawkins) Bond

b. April 23, 1818

d. January 17, 1912

Generation 6

Bond, Thomas

Thomas Bond

b. September 2, 1846

d. October 22, 1933

Generation 5

Mollie Sally (Bond) Cook

b. March 12, 1882

d. January 31, 1965

Generation 4

Fern Irene (Cook) Miller

b. January 29, 1923

d. April 6, 1997

Generation 3

Glenna Rae (Miller) Gates

b. June 25, 1944

d. August 17, 2000

Randy was able to trace back eight generations of his family tree in photos, as well, to John Richman of Hilperton, England. I also enjoyed Linda Stufflebean’s post–her oldest family photo dates to the late 1840s–and loved Lois Willis’ photos (you can definitely see the family resemblance!). If you have a spare moment, they’re great reads.

28 thoughts on “Photos Through the Generations

    1. All the credit goes to Randy, I’m just another participant! I love these photos too, and I’m lucky to have them—I don’t have any photos on a couple lines, so 5 generations is incredible. Thank you for stopping by this week!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great idea, but weren’t the photos themselves taken later? Photography wasn’t invented until the 1800s… ??

    Years ago, I had a genealogy program (have forgotten the name of it) that had spaces for small photos to include on each part of the tree and I was quite surprised to see them with the text.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! The photos (generations 8 and 7, in particular) were taken toward the end of my ancestors’ lives. Photography as it’s known today wasn’t a big thing until the 1850s or 1860s I think (if I’m remembering correctly from school, ha!)

      I had a program like that when I first started researching—I know Family Tree Maker has it, but I think I started out on MyHeritage. Or maybe you were using RootsMagic? I know what you mean—the photo and text combination is striking.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great photos! I love Fern’s smile. On my mother’s side, I have portraits that go all the way back to Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel (1 May 1285 – 17 November 1326). On my father’s side, the photos only go back to about 1812. My wife and I love family photos and have about 16,000 on our computers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just found my first portrait a couple of months ago! It’s of John Wanton, the governor of the Colony of Rhode Island from 1734 to 1740. Having so many would be incredible–you’re both very lucky!

      And thank you; Fern was a complicated individual, but that smile is gold!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m guessing your ancestors are like mine, and they won’t be in those old county history compilations. Have you tried searching for photos on Fulton History? I’ve had luck there a couple times. It takes a while to search through the results though.

        Liked by 2 people

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