Meet Janie. Janie is neither a member of my family, nor one of my clients. Janie is a complete stranger, and I want to find her.

1969-4 Janie

Unbeknownst to Janie, I have almost 300 of her family photos spanning parts of three decades. You may know that I collect vintage photographs, and lately I’ve been focusing on slides. Buying slides 800 at a time on eBay is like a treasure hunt, and I’ve found enough gems to keep me totally hooked.

I’ve purchased several boxes of slides from the same seller over the last 4 months or so, and it’s always a crapshootyou never really know what you’re going to end up with. The most recent lot contained more than 250 photos from Janie’s family, which I know because she meticulously labeled every slide with the names of the people in the photos and the event’s date. Christmases, vacations, family reunions, births, weddingsseveral decades worth of special moments have somehow ended up in my possession.

One of my friends asked if this is what happens when family members don’t know what to do with their legacy pictures. And the answer is yeah, It’s more common than you think.

With the help of Janie’s photos, we can learn some rudimentary research tactics that you can apply to your own photos and genealogy projects. Let’s find Janie.