To your average genealogical researcher old photographs can be a real bonus. They can tell you a lot about how people looked, how they dressed, where they lived and just occasionally there are wee snippets in the background which add to their story and to your understanding.
However the joy of finding such treasures is tempered with the sudden shock of how eh…ah…”unfortunate”… your antecedents can look! I believe Billy Connolly once used the phrase “deeply f*****g ugly people” in one of his sketches…now I know where he was coming from. From what I’ve seen some of my lot fell out the ugly tree bashing their heads on every branch on the way down. It’s one of nature’s miracles that the gene pool survived at all. Forget the ancestors, maybe I had discovered a new species. I checked my old evolution notes for a late branch of (not quite) Homo Sapiens…nope…I may be onto something here!
I did wonder if my ancestors were having to choose partners from a very restricted peer group, but I haven’t yet come across family ties that could be considered too close and neither myself nor Cap’n Jack counted more than 5 fingers on any hand on our recent trip. There was also an apparent lack of banjo playing…which was good on more than one level.
Thank goodness the ugly gene had climbed its way out of the pool by the 1950’s…ahem! 😳 😉