Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tuesday's Tip ~ Review Your Old Photos

Today's tip is to periodically review your old photographs and always turn the photo over to see what may be written on the other side. Perhaps you'll find a photograph that came to you from one ancestor and it pertains to another ancestor.

In reviewing photographs for a Christmas gift project, I came across a photo that had come to me from my father's mother, Libby (Elizabeth Adsit (Pyle) Rust, 1897-1983).

My husband had originally taken digital pictures of this group of photos five years ago, before I got my portable Flip-Pal scanner. This was also before I had learned very much about my grandfather's childhood home. (See my first blog post.) I had filed this photo in the notebook where I stored other Adsit photos, not realizing what was written on the back. On the back was the following notation.


I believe this is Libby's handwriting indicating that this is Hurstmont, where her first husband, my paternal grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893-1966) grew up.

Perhaps someone knows the date of this photo - if so, please let me know in the comments section below.

January 5, 2013 Update: I emailed this to an acquaintance at the Harding Township Historical Society and she was able to tell me that the photo was taken before 1940 because that year it appeared in a sales brochure for the house. I would still love to narrow down the date of the photo.

By the way, my Christmas gift project was to create a calendar for each of my brothers and my mother and instead of each month showing a photograph of my boys (which we've done for many years), each month had one or two photographs of ancestors, or in this case, an ancestral home.


  1. That's a great photo, Elizabeth. What a great idea or your annual calendar!
    Happy new year.

    1. It's a wonderful old house and I'm glad I've had a chance to see it in person, though it's not in very good condition right now. I was excited to find this photo...again.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Elizabeth... great idea for a Christmas gift. I'll have to work on that for next year. And I love the photos. I wonder when the photo was taken as well. The thing that intrigues me is the angle of the photograph. Is there a mountain or other home that could have taken the photo. Or did someone fly over the area in a helicopter or airplane. The angle suggest a very high point, unless I'm mistaken. Would love to know the answer to that as well. It might be a clue to dating the photograph.

    1. Devon, the photo had to have been taken from a plane (or helicopter). If I find out anything about when it was taken, I will blog about it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love these old photos of ancestors and ancestor homesteads. They make great gifts at any time. I just wish a lot more of mine were actually labeled.

    Regards, Jim
    Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

    1. I love these old photos too. You never know - maybe some clue will help you confirm the location of an old homestead photo. Thanks for reading and commenting.