Saturday, July 28, 2012

Scans of the Mecklenburg County, Virginia Death Register for 1853-1861

Reduced-Size Sample from Mecklenburg Death Register for 1853
Reduced-Size Sample from Mecklenburg Death Register for 1853

I was looking around on my computer and noticed I had scans of the Mecklenburg County, Virginia death register for several years.  I have copies of 1853-1861 and decided to put them up on Google Docs so that you all can download and view them if you would like.  All you have to do is click the link below and the website they are stored on will open in a new window on your screen.  If you have a pop-up blocker on, you may have to give it permission to open the links.

The files are in PDF form so you should be able to view them if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.  The scans are pretty good quality.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are these the same people? What do you think?

I put together two collages of both known and possible photos of my great-great-grandparents, John Henry Lett, Sr. and Margaret Ingram Rolfe Lett.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts, if you think all of the photos are of the same people or if they are different people, mixed up.  

After lots of studying, I tend to believe they are of the same people.  The photos span many years.  The time frame when each photo was taken fits chronologically.  The provenance of each photo fits perfectly, each photo has passed down through various descendants of the couple in question.  These are not random photos I found in a Cracker Barrel.  These are all photos owned by the family, we just do not know for sure who each one is.

What do you notice that is similar or different?

Are these all of John Henry Lett, Sr.?  The last three are known to be him, the first is in question.

Are these all of Maggie Rolfe Lett?  The third and fifth are known to be her, the fourth is highly likely to be her.

Lett Portrait Gallery - Revoked!

In my last blog post, My New Lett Family Portrait Gallery!, I wrote about a distant cousin who showed up at my house with a great collection of family portraits and basically gave them to me.  I was so enthused when she gave them to me, it took days for the thought to settle into my brain that this was real.  I was on cloud nine.  HOWEVER, I never got comfortable with the idea that the portraits were really mine.  I did not hang them.  The only thing I did was make nice copies for myself.  I had a feeling it was too good to be true...and it was.

My son Connor with one of the pictures
After about two weeks, I got an email from the distant cousin.  She was basically asking me to return the photos, that her brother was upset that she had given them away without consulting him.  Keep in mind, the photos were in storage for 13 years, and now everyone wants them.  So, here is where I will teach you a little genealogy lesson...I gave them back to her, no questions asked.  It was hard to do, but I did it.

The lesson here is that there is a lot of karma with genealogy.  We all know that possession is 9/10's of the law so I probably could have kept the portraits legally.  They were mine, fair and square, but I gave them back willingly.  I was totally happy that I got to see them to start with, even better that I had a couple weeks with them to look at them and make nice copies.  

I can promise you that my taking the high road will pay off eventually.  That side of the family will probably hear that I am a pretty nice guy.  Maybe there are other photos out there, maybe a Bible or some other relict, that I will get access to one day.  If I were a jerk about it, I would never have any chance of getting in good with them again.  No sense in cutting my nose off to spite my face.  There was also no sense in causing a rift between this cousin and her brother.  (I am sure our ancestors would have disapproved if I let that happen).

In a way, the whole experience was a blessing.  I got to see some great photos.  My kids became involved with genealogy for the first time, getting to see the pictures and to ask questions about them.  My son was psyched with helping me take photos of them, even wanting to pose with them himself.  My daughter did not like them as much and she was glad to see them go.  (She thought they smelled bad, as 100+ year old items from storage tend to do!)  

Overall, I have no complaints.  Now that they are gone, at least my daughter will come back into my office...since the air has cleared.  Who knows, maybe the brother will think they smell bad too and send them back my way?  Stranger things have happened.