This week Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge is tell everyone about a favorite family photo. I have so many, I don’t know where to start!
I’ve decided to post this one. Well, it’s a painting rather than a photograph, but I’m going with it anyway. You’ll notice it is two photos, but it originally was one very large portrait. I am not sure if it is now in two parts or if this was the easiest way to make a copy.
This is a painting of Marie Pacheco, my great grandather, Theodoro Pacheco’s sister and Joao Jacinto da Camara. They were also known as John and Mary Cosma. They were married 1 Jan 1893 in Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii and it commemmorates their wedding day.
Why is the portrait so special? First, it is the earliest known portrait/photograph of my Pacheco relatives. After this, my earliest photos are from about 1910. Second, it is the only known wedding portrait for my Pacheco and de Braga relatives who were married prior to 1910.
It is sheer luck that we have this portrait. As I understand it, the portrait was in a huge frame in a place of honor in the Cosma home. When they died, it passed to a daughter. When she died, her descendants weren’t interested in it. It came into the hands of a cousin and has been preserved.
I think it is beautiful and I’m glad that it was saved. I would not have known what Marie (Pacheco) Cosma looked like in her early years had it not been for this portrait. The next photograph of her was taken about 20 years later.
It also gives me hope that there might be another portrait of my great grandparents or their siblings out there somewhere. Perhaps it is sitting in a box somewhere in someones attic. They don’t know who the couple is but they have saved their images because of the age and beauty. Some day it may come into my hands.
One can hope, can’t they?
There are so many secrets hidden in old family photographs. Not only do they show us what the people look like, they show us the style of clothing that was fashionable, and reveal clues about when the photograph was taken. The more we study old photographs we’re able to match them up with the faces in other old photographs. We can learn the clues that tell us what time period they are from. We can get a sense of who the people are. There is something special about seeing their faces, isn’t there?
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com