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The Parkes Project - part 1

Oh, my friends. My heart is SO happy right now! I have several history detective projects in the works. The thrill of research and discovery gives me so much joy! One thing I am working on is a special (and quite large) project that I am partnering with Paul Holbrook on. I can't wait to tell you about that. But first...


The kids went off to camp in the woods with their cousins and I and my husband were able to spend a day antiquing. We found several antique shops just begging to be explored. I made a beeline for the old photographs (of course), and at one shop I found a box full of photographs. Something about the faces grabbed me. I really wanted to know who they were. I found that several of the images had writing on the back with the name 'Parkes'. My heart beat a little faster as I realized they were all from the same family and had a story waiting to be told...




So, let me introduce you to the Parkes family.


First, there is Great-Great Grandpa and Great-Great Grandma Parkes:







Here are Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Parkes:






I have no picture of Grandpa Parkes. He would be J.C. Parkes who wrote everything on the images above. You'll have to imagine him here. He would have had brown hair and eyes, I'm thinking.


Here is J.C. Parkes' wife I believe. Meet Grandma Parkes.




And on the back of her picture it reveals that she must have had at least one child, because she had a grandaughter, Jessie Imogene.



Jessie Imogene will be 'generation zero' for my search. I don't know if her last name is Parkes, but I'm determined to find out.


Using the abundance of clues from the images, I am going to research this family and I can't wait to take you on this journey with me!


P.S. there was also this man in the box with the Parkes photographs. Another ancestor? Or another blog post series? hmmm...


Meet Georg Scheer.


The language appears to be German and translated it reads, 'Received by Mrs. Noufer on Sept 8, 1933. Georg Scheer, Goeppingen Vord. Karlstr.' I think this indicates Goeppingen, Vordere Karlstrabe Germany. I wonder if he is related to the Parkes family or just happened to be placed in the box with their pictures?


I can't wait to discover and tell the stories of the people whose photographs have found their way to me. We meet as strangers. They, long gone. Myself, just passing by until their photograph caught my eye and curiosity. After days and weeks of searching, they become friends. I feel I know them. Is that strange? I don't desire to exploit them and would never dishonor the families that I write about in any way. I've often wondered how their descendants would feel if they happened onto my blog. I hope they find I have honored their ancestor's memory. My desire is to bring them to life, to step into the past, and learn about the history of our country and its people in a more intimate and personal way. Learning about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people who lived a hundred years before myself is something I deeply enjoy.


I hope you will enjoy this new journey with me as we get to know the Parkes family together!



You can read Part 2 here.


#historydetective #parkesproject

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