Tracking down the descendants

Why do family photographs end up discarded? Why do we find them for sale at antique stores? In many cases, antique store photographs come from the shoebox files of distant relatives or long-ago friends of the photographed. When the owner of the photographs passes away, and a son or daughter rifles through the shoebox, they find sets of unfamiliar faces. Death destroys the lines of memory connecting the physical photographs to the faces they capture.

Two days ago, I bought some photographs at an antique store in North Carolina. This looks like a happy family, circa 1940. Going from clues on the reverse, I’ve tracked down and emailed the descendants. I believe the daughter is still alive and might enjoy seeing this. I’ll update this blog if the family responds. History is the process of repairing the broken lines of memory.

(Blurriness credit to my camera – no scanner available).

PegramNewst 001 PegramNewst 002 PegramNewst 005


  1. Do we know where this is? A farmhouse in E. North Carolina perhaps? Or elsewhere in the region? I hope you get a response!


    1. Burlington, NC


  2. Actually, just saw one of the lower pictures … not a farmhouse, but a neighborhood. The plot thickens.


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