Advice for Family Reunion Photos

This will be one of my shorter posts and it is one of the banes of my existence. Here are three examples of summer photos that I have in my collection, all taken at very different time periods.


Calais Women’s Temperance Society Summer Picnic, c1890

I’ve shared this photo before and I love it, except for one thing. My 2X great grandmother, Nellie Tarbox Adams is in the back row leaning on the middle pillar, left side. Other than that, I don’t know who a single person is, but they were part of her FAN club – friends, associates and neighbors. No one ever thought to write down the names of anyone else in the picture and there is no one around today who can provide that information.


Reunion Photo #1Family Reunion, about 1910-1920

I think this is a Sturgell family reunion, which was my mother-in-law’s family. They lived in Oklahoma and the landscape looks like it could easily be there. I have very few photos of Sturgells from this era and I would dearly love to know all the people in these pictures.

This photo is really annoying for another reason. When printed out, it’s tiny – like 2 inches by 3 inches. That makes it even harder to see faces, even with a magnifying glass.

Not a single person is identified and, like with the Calais photo, there is no one left who can tell me who any of these people are.


Sturgell Family Reunion, c1982

There is some hope for this one. I know who several of the people are and, even though neither my husband nor his brother can identify most of the others, I am in touch with a cousin who can name many, if not all, of the family pictured here.

The lesson to be learned here is for anyone who plans to attend a family reunion this summer.

When you take a group photo, be sure to print out a copy of it AND label each person in it.

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