Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do you know the origins of our Thomas Bailey Christian portrait?

I have tried to track down who first uploaded this image to with no luck. I believe it was first uploaded to Ancestry and that is how it was first passed around. I contacted ptholden0606 at Ancestry (the person I thought originally uploaded the image on 07 Sep 2010) but he thought he got it from another member that did not join until 2011. Do you know of an earlier upload of this image to Ancestry or anywhere else? It seems to be impossible to search for "date uploaded" on Ancestry.  If you have ANY information about this photograph please let me know!

  • Who made this scan?
  • Who owns the original?
  • Is there any information about the photographer in the case?
  • Do you recognize the case - that would help identify the photographer?
  • How does the original scanner know this is our TBC?
  • If you know ANYTHING, no matter how small please let us know!

We also have a photograph of Mastin Christian, died 28 FEB 1853 in Sinking Waters,Tazewell, Virginia, USA, he is TBC's first born child.   We also need any information you have on this photograph or who scanned it for the Internet. Mastin and his father died the same year, 1853. Yes, that was early for photography and the way they look, these photos must have been taken very close to the last days of their lives. And I am guessing about the same time. Notice how Mastin and his father seem to be wearing the same kind of dress shirt and the same kind of tie.

Mastin Christian

David Christian - who passed in 1861. Do you know anything about this picture? It also appears to be a daguerreotype like the others. That does lend credibility because that would be the correct format for that era of photography. It also appears that if one member of the family could afford a portrait and had access to a photographer then others would as well.

David Christian

I have also made an image comparing the photo cases of images we have from that era. They are all different. I would assume if it were the same photographer the cases would be the same. I'm going to see if I can find out more about what variety of cases a photographer would have offered at that time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tracing Genealogy Through Design Motifs

This is something I have been wanting to write about for awhile - how some design motifs - quilt appliques, rug design, beadwork, stone carvings and petroglyphs could give us clues to how people migrated. The first one I have thought of is Maori > Seattle (Pacific Northwest Coast). Compare these designs and then tell me what you think * In my Google searches I use to illustrate this post not every picture is the exact searched term. It is intended to just give a broad idea of the subject. First "Maori Fish Design"

Maori Fish Design

"Haida Fish Design"

Haida Fish Design

"Tlingit Fish Design"

Tlingit Fish Design

The second set that caught my eye is Central Asian to Pennyslvania Dutch. I was really shocked to read a blog post by a quilter who saw Central Asian design elements in Pennsylvania Dutch needlework. Then I found out as far back as 2003 genealogists have been speculating that the people we call the Pennsylvania Dutch may be Central Asian or they traded heavily with Central Asia before coming to America. Some of this speculation is based on DNA testing. Here are some Google image searches:

"Pennsylvania Dutch Applique"
Pennsylvania Dutch Applique

"Central Asian Design"
Central Asian Design

Another one I read about in the National Geographic gift catalog in the description of a Talavera-style bird planter "The distinctly Mexican pottery called talavera traces its origins to Spanish majolica, which was itself an adaptation of tin-glazed ceramics introduced by the Moors."  Googling those terms I found historians that said that this kind of pottery originated in Baghdad and traveled like this - Baghdad > North Africa (the Moors) > Spain (Majorca) and then on to Italy and Mexico (Talavera-style) with Spanish Catholic priests.

"Tin-glazed Ceramics of the Moors"

Tin-glazed Ceramics of the Moors

"Spanish Majolica"

Spanish Majolica

"Talavera Style"

Talavera Style

This one I found researching my own genealogy because our Haplogroup has been traced to Kazakhstan and while studying Kazakh design I was struck by how similar some of the design motifs are to the Metis of Canada.

"Kazakh Needlework"

Kazakh Needlework

"Metis Quillwork"

Metis Quillwork

"Metis Beadwork"

Metis Beadwork
I have one more. The Etowah plates, found near Cartersville, Georgia in 1885 are very plainly Mayan design and have lead researchers to speculate that the American southeast was colonized by Mayans. DNA testing should shed light on these findings. If you would like to read more about these ideas you can go to People of One Fire. See also: The Willoughby Disk and Moundbuilder Pinterest board

Rogan Plate 1, falcon dancerplate found at Etowah

Image of Maya Grolier Codex

I'd like to do more one-on-one comparisons when I have time, but just wanted to get this out there and see if anyone else has some comparisons they have been thinking about or know anyone who is studying this area of genealogy/ art history.