Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Found My Great-Grandfather on DeadFred!

DeadFred is a "genealogy photo archive," a website where people upload old photos to connect them with family members. Visitors can easily search to see if they recognize anyone and request that a photo of a relative be mailed.

I have known about this website for a long time and every once in a while, will check to see if one of my relatives has a photo there. Last week, I was reminded of the site and entered a few family surnames into the search box. Imagine my surprise when I found one identified with the name Lowell Copeland!

I contacted the person who posted the photo and he mailed it to me. When I asked him where he found the photo, he wrote: "Found 7+ years ago in an antiques mall in Berkeley Springs WV." (I have no idea how it got to West Virginia!)


The photographer is Ritz & Hastings, at 147 Tremont St. in Boston. The website Broadway Photographs has a page about this photographer which helps me narrow down the date of the photo to 1882-1884, when Lowell Copeland was 20-22.

As far as I know, Lowell Copeland did not attend college. His brother, Charles Townsend Copeland (Copey of Harvard), graduated from Harvard College in 1882, so perhaps this photograph was taken on a visit to Boston for his brother's graduation.


On the back, the name is written in distinctive handwriting, but I have not found this handwriting in my other records.

Besides the fact that Lowell Copeland is a relatively uncommon name, I recognized him because of another photograph that I have which was taken a few years earlier.