Tuesdays Tip~Photo Detective

I don't know about you, but my Family Picture Takers and Photo Album Keepers
must have thought that the Future Generation Viewers were going to have
Super Deductive-MindReading Powers.
It is RARE that I find a picture with ANY hint of WhoWhatWhenWhere!

Like this one sent to me in 1996 by my Dad's First Cousin Tom Pittman and his wife Jean.  It was from their Photo Album and he thought I should have it since it was an early picture of me, my parents and siblings along with his Mother and his children. 
A note came with the photo that filled in a few VIP Facts:
...found the picture of your Mom and Dad's visit in El Paso so many years ago...I will have a copy made.
...There are 3 children in the picture...you, Tommy and a baby.
...PittMama is holding our Judy and son Larry is to her right.
...the photo will not copy...so enjoy!
Needless to say I was thrilled to have the original and the information about the picture.
For the rest of the Who's What's Where's and When's...
....My SuperDeductiveSleuthin' Powers!

#1.  The Baby is my Sister Sonja born in November 1950.  She looks to be close to one year old.
#2.  My Dad...Willard C. Pittman...with HAIR...I don't remember him ever having that much hair...loved seeing that.
#3.  Dad's pockets held Camel cigarettes and box matches.  *a vip hint for future reference.
#4.  I had a CURLY head of hair.  I have naturally STRAIGHT hair...Mom must have given me one of her famous 'overly processed Perms'...probably a Toni!
#5.  I'm wearing shorts....it was SUMMER.
#6.  I guess I was born with KNOBBY KNEES...I still have them...wonder what ancestor started those!
#7.  My brother Tommy was a Shrimp!  His size 3Slim jeans were really probably size 4Slims rolled up and belted.  Mother was a believer in making things last....like Wranglers and Toni's.
#8.  Mother was a FashionIsta!  Rolled up Jeans, sleeveless blouse, dark lipstick and a Home Toni!  She was beautiful...still is!
#9.  My Great Aunt Mary Ella Carroll Pittman aka PittMama to her children and grandchildren.  Her sister was my Grandmother Estella Carroll Pittman...Dad's Mother.  Notice that their Maiden and Married names are the SAME.  *a vip hint for future reference.
#10.  A cousin I didn't know I had.  He's also wearing shorts...it's Summer!
#11.  Back of the photo!  Confirms it came from a photo album with the sticky sheets and even if Jean had written on the back it would not have been visible.  Maybe she had a tag!  For sure it was a special photo for Tom and Jean.
SuperSleuthing Deductions
When:  Summer...August 195l
Where:  El Paso, Texas at  Tom and Jean Pittman's home in *Wherry Housing near Biggs Base.
Who:  PittMama...nickname for Aunt Ella.  *Larry - Jean's son by former marriage. *Judith Lee born in January 1951 in El Paso and described as having her Grandmother's...PittMama...strong willed mind of her own.
What...I learned...There is more to a Photo than meets the eye!

More SuperSleuthing Questions!
Who took this picture?
What happened to Larry?
What is Biggs Base?

I bet I will find the answers to these questions in this book written about Tom Pittman.
It's where I found the * (asterick marked) facts in the Deductions.

*vip future references
*Camel cigarettes-the most recognized cigarette package even by children...
In 1991, the American Medical Association published a report stating that 5- and 6-year olds could more easily recognize Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny or even Barbie.  (Wikepedia)  I was 4 years old and Tommy was 3 yrs. old.  Dad smoked from about the age of 10 years old until his death in 1988 of lung cancer. 

 *Maiden and Married names the SAME:  Sisters Stella and Ella Carroll married Brothers Chappo and Cobb Pittman.  This made their children including my Dad and Tom, Double Cousins.  It has been amazing to see how much the Cousins looked alike...more like Siblings!

Tuesdays Tip
A picture is Worth MORE than a Thousand Words...
...even without the
Who What When and Where's!


  1. Great photo - a real snapshot of an era.
    I, too, have double first cousins -Mum's brother married Dad's sister. My grandmother was a MacDonald born, and a MacDonald married - just to keep things confusing!

  2. Past generations must have thought someone would always be around to tell you who's who in the pictures. I try to journal each photo with who, what, where, and the date for my future generations. LOL. I sure wish my ancestors had been so kind. Oh well it is what it is.

  3. Working with pictures of past generations really takes super slueth to figure them out. Thanks for all the tips.

    When I am doing ancestry research (not much lately) I often get sidetracked. For instance, my grandmother's sister was married to a man who sister was murdered in a very famous or infamous murder in Georgia. I had heard this story all my life & when I entered his name in the family tree, I found myself so interested I googled and read many things about it and ended up ordering two books from ebay about the murder. Do you get sidetracked like that, or stay on point?

  4. Honey 2805...They don't call me SueSidetracker for nothing. I can start in one place and end up six states, 160 years, and in a Third Cousin 6X removed mother's brothers sister-in-laws skeleton closet! Yep, I'm easily sidetracked!

  5. Brilliant! And Toni was the perm for that period too!~Ames

  6. What a great photo,reminds me of my people.I am real happy to see I was not the only child subjected to the torture of Toni perms!
    Yours looks a lot better than mine though,I have a picture of me on my 7th birthday,no front teeth and Toni perm.Fails to record the 2 days prior I cried because of what mom did to my hair!Thanks for the memories!

  7. Excellent "supersluethindeductivedetective" skills, Sue (is that a new genealogy term like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious") . . . I think so, great post and one that has got me thinking now! I too remember "Toni" perms . . . burn't my hair (I have super fine-thin hair) . . . memories! Thank you for a great post, Sue!

  8. Vintage family photos are such fun. Thanks for sharing your sleuthing hints. You know I love your sense of humor!

  9. Anonymous11/16/2011

    LOVE this photo! What a nice surprise to see:)! Daddy and Mother look so beautiful...WOW and Mother sure did not have any trouble getting thin after 3 children!


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