Friday, November 20, 2009

READERS' FEEDBACK: Docu-Challenge #1

Pictured above: 2801 Perkins Lane, Seattle, Washington. Image from .

Thank-you for your thoughtful responses when asked to work with
the newspaper clipping originally posted in yesterday's blog entry. Here's a smattering for your review. Those of my DearREADERS who didn't submit a reply can compare their thoughts with those expressed by others below:
From: From: C. Waldhauser
Like so many of the "old"news clippings we find in our searches -- NO -- date -- Where ? -- and what paper it came from? Keeps us searching more ? Well maybe, at least this keeps us out of trouble. haha
Cindy Drage
I would describe this document as an undated newspaper clipping. What is missing is the title of the newspaper, where it was published and the date of publication. What it does give you is confirmation of your parents and an address.

Next steps for research would be finding the missing information. You could possibly find this through, Newspaper Archives or other sources. If you know or are able to find the city where they lived, a City Directory should be checked. Since the father is a Dr. (although you may not know if he is a medical doctor or not), a directory of Physcians in the area may reveal some information. Other research steps may be to search for a deed and to search church records in the churches nearest to the address given for a baptism for the child.
From: Merryann

Gee - this looks like my Grandmother's scrapbook! I would describe it in the caption or description text as: "Undated newspaper clipping, showing Patti Player, age 3, in the front seat of the family car."
If the girl in the picture is known to me (as it would be if it was myself), I might word it like this: “Undated newspaper clipping, circa 1954, probably from Big Rapids, Michigan, showing Patti Player, age 3 (daughter of Glen S. Player and wife), in the front seat of the family car.
First, what does the clipping tell me?
· The little girl is Patti Player, age 3
· Her father is Glen S. Player
· They live at 2801 Perkins Lane
· The car appears to be an early 1950's sedan
· Time of year is cool enough for a coat, but apparently not too cold.
What is missing?
· The date
· The name of the newspaper, which would give the city of publication.
· The name of the mother.
· The city the address is in.
What might this clipping lead me to consult for further information?
· The newspaper archives or microfilm for the year in which it appears that the article was printed. I would start with mid-fall to early winter and then go to late winter, early spring. Actual choice of search range would depend on just where the photo was taken and the general weather for the area.
· The city directory for the town the family lived in at the time. This would cement the date range due to the address, and likely give the name of the mother, and any other residents of the house. It may also tell me the type of doctor the father was - an MD as opposed to a DVM. It could also indicate if the residence was owned or rented. Also, the office address of the father's medical office may be found in the business section of the directory.
· Land records for the property would show (if the family owned) how long the family was at the residence, the name of the wife, and who owned the property prior to and after this family. This is of interest in the event that the property was purchased from or by, or inherited from, a family member.
· Since Patti is usually a nickname, a newspaper search for birth announcements during the time period of her indicated birth year may provide information on her actual birth date, full name, and possibly the maiden name of the mother. Depending on the prominence of the family, information may also provide information or clues on the grandparents, and any siblings.
· If I did not know the marriage date of the parents, this could also lead me to examine marriage indexes for them prior to the birth of this child, as well as microfilm records for marriage announcements.
It's amazing what a simple clipping will lead you to, isn't it!!
From: Earline Bradt

RE: If you ran across this document in your family history research, I think this is a great idea.
I would describe it as a newspaper article. I can tell that you are supposed to be sitting in the back seat and are impatient and curious about what's going on outside of the car. Besides the obvious car-seat, seat-belt and adult supervision, the name of the town is missing along with the name of the newspaper and date of the picture. I would do a search of where your father went to University, when he got his degree, any published papers in Medical Journals, where he practiced, any further newspaper articles about him. I would look into the property records for the address, was it a rental or did he own it.
Thanks for the challenge.
From: Lynn
*How would I describe it...Well preserved family photo.
*What can you tell about Ol' Myrt...She was a very cute little girl! You're wearing a nice, warm coat. Your father was a doctor and owned a car.
* What is missing?...the name of the newspaper, city and state and date it was published.
* Additional records...Father's Army Enlistment Records, family census records, obituary & burial information, property records, birth and death records.
I also searched for "2801 Perkins Lane" and found that 2801 Perkins Lane W. is considered an “environmentally critical area” by Seattle Department of Planning (31 Aug 2009).
RE: If you ran across this document in your family history research:

How would you describe it? Newspaper clipping with ‘Ol’ Myrt’ at age 3.
What can you tell about Ol' Myrt (yes, this is ME at age 3!) from the information provided? Cute. Known as Patti. Parent’s name and address. Age confirmation. Father was a doctor(specialty unknown). Parents presumably both living at the time.
What is missing? City and state. Name and date of newspaper.
Which additional records might this lead you to review? Assuming there is other evidence of age available, the year, at least, of publication of the paper, and possibly the location. A search of cities with a ‘Perkins Lane’ might yield the city and state. From these, I would try to locate the paper in which the picture appeared, as it possibly contains additional helpful information. A city directory might include more information (relatives, etc), if one is available. A medical association annual or directory might contain much valuable information regarding your father and his education and parents and siblings. State records should containing medical licensing information. Census records could determine the range of time you lived in this location. A review of the newspaper during this time span might yield much additional information regarding the family, particularly if it was from a small town, as a doctor would probably be included in much of the social news in such a place.
It’s amazing what a little photo can trigger!
FROM: Betty Jean Fritts

Arriving at Grandparents house! There is something exciting out there, cute picture!
From: John Newmark

Here are my responses:
How would you describe it? Patti [Player?], age 3, photo and caption, unknown newspaper, unknown date. (and then a transcription of caption).
What can you tell about Ol' Myrt (yes, this is ME at age 3!) from the information provided? When you were three years old, your father was someone with a Ph.D. (Whether this was your biological father is uncertain. What that Ph.D. was in is uncertain.) This father's name was Glen Player. You were called Patti. The Player home was at 2801 Perkins Lane. City and state unknown. It's a fair assumption the car, whatever model and make, was the property of Dr. and Mrs. Glen Player. Though this is an assumption, and isn't certain. Nothing can really be determined for certain about hair/skin color as it is a faded black and white photograph.
What is missing? The most important details missing are: The name and date of the newspaper. The location where the photograph was taken. The date the photograph was taken. The first name of the mother.
Which additional records might this lead you to review? I'd review my records on any individuals named Glen Player. If I know where they lived, I would use Google Maps to ascertain whether that city contains a "2801 Perkins Lane." If I don't have any Glen Players, I would review my records on all my Player surnames. Do any of them have a middle initial "G"?
Thanks for the challenge
John Newmark
From: Laurie Hogan
My replies inserted below.
How would you describe it? It appears to be cut from a newspaper. A photo of not recent vintage, based on the car, clothing of the child. Based on those factors, I'd say time frame is late 1930s-late 1940s (& would probably narrow to late 1940s) that being said due to the rationing during WWII.
What can you tell about Ol' Myrt (yes, this is ME at age 3!) from the information provided? Her father's full name (missing the complete middle name, though), his profession, the fact that the father's wife (assumed mother) is living, the street address. Based on the outer clothing, I'd think it was taken during colder weather.
What is missing? The child's full name (is Patti a nickname or her real name? If a nickname, is it a shortening of her real name?), the city & state, the newspaper name & location, the date, the page of the newspaper (for an appropriate citation).
Which additional records might this lead you to review? Google for the street address.

I will assume that certain information is known (i.e., the approximate time frame for the pic, the location or a general location) which would narrow down the search parameters to either a state or a general area of the country.
Once the address is identified & the newspaper is identified, then birth records can be checked (in newspaper or churches), the father's information can be checked.
The father's occupation can be used to locate the family. If i'm right, the AMA (American Medical Association) has a directory that can be searched.
Again, once location is determined, the courthouse records can be checked (marriage records, land records, business license, other legal documentation). The city directory, if available, is an option. Would school records be available? If so, other siblings might be discovered.
From: Kathryn Lester
I would label it: Unnamed newspaper clipping, where found, who owns and address, when found.
What can you tell: The child's name, age, parents, and street address. It looks like she is wearing a heavier coat, so it could be during a colder time period, and in the region of the country that does get cooler (I wouldn't necessarily search in Texas, Florida, etc..) You can possibly get a time period from the clothing and the car style. Someone may even be able to identify what type of vehicle she is in.
What is missing: The name, date, page and column number of the newspaper, and is there more to the story?
Which additional records might this lead you to review: What is intriguing is that her father is a doctor. I would suggest looking up the license information for doctors at the state level. This could give you leads on where his schooling took place, and may give you the town he practiced in. When you know what town or county they lived in, you could try looking in the papers during the year that Patti is 3 years old. Depending on where they lived, it looks like she is dressed in a coat, so it could be during the regions cooler time period. You could try looking for an index of names in the local paper (I've been very fortunate in using Access Newspaper Archive). I would look in the city directories, local historical and genealogical society holdings also. You might look up local hospitals to find which one he was affiliated with also.
From: Glenda Holmes

This picture is a cute one of a young (probable) girl. The car has a vent window which could be helpful to date the picture, if the person, in this case, you, was not known. The caption lists her parents, but not her name. An address is listed which gives a location, if you know the town of the newspaper.
The picture also gives a sense of the happy, outgoing nature of the child. No other children are shown, which might indicate she is an only child. Her father is a doctor which would lead you to medical association’s records of that time. If the location was not known, a Google search of the address itself might help locate the newspaper.
From my monitor, I cannot tell much about her clothing, which can give clues to the affluence of the family.
I do note that the child is in the front seat, which is now outlawed.
The child's haircut seems, to me, to be from the 1950s, which is another avenue of research for dating the era (again, assuming you do not know the family).
I am sure I am missing other clues.
You were a cute kid!
From: Melissa Barker

Here are my responses to the Docu-Challenge #1:
How would you describe it? A newspaper clipping showing a photo of 3-year old Patti Player, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Glen S. Player, in the front passenger seat of a vehicle. Patti lives at 2801 Perkins Lane.
What can you tell about Ol'Myrt? She is in a car in the front passenger seat. She enjoys riding in the car and especially in the front seat. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Glen S. Player and lives at 2801 Perkins Lane. She has a very pretty smile!
What is missing?
-The name of the newspaper this was published.
-The date, page number and column this was published.
-The location that this newspaper is circulated (State, County, City).
Which additional records might this lead you to review?
-Birth records for Patti Player (this would give you a place of birth and a start on where Patti could have been living at the time of the newspaper clipping)
-City Directories for Dr. and Mrs. Glen S. Player and also listings for Dr. Glen Player's medical practice
-Deed records for Dr. and Mrs. Glen S. Player to establish when they obtained the property at 2801 Perkins Lane
Melissa Barker
Professional Genealogist for Tennessee and Kentucky
Visit My Website:
It is a clipping from a newspaper.
The paper has space for local-interest items. The name of the child and her parents are given. Their address is given. The child's name is given. She is a white child, probably middle class, lively and friendly.
The newspaper's name, its locaton and the date are missing.
The name of the town or city is not given.
I've met you,so I know your approximate age. Your parents may or may not appear in the 1930 Census. I looked on Ancestry and found a Glen S. Player, in Seattle, age 11, which means he was born about 1919. This is a good match since I know that your elderly parents recently died in Bellevue, WA.
I'd check the SSDI (Social Security Death Index) Seattle and Bellevue papers for an obituary. I'd double check in some of the Seattle City Directories for the 1950s for his name at that address.
That's a start.

Ol' Myrt here will give you the rest of the story, in true Paul Harvey style.
This picture of me in yesterday's blog entry was taken in the front seat of my mother Barbara’s car and was published in one of the Seattle newspapers, perhaps the Seattle Times or the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Since I was born in 1951,that would put the publication date at sometime after January 1954. My parents were still married at the time. I remember vividly the red corduroy coat and the big buttons. My mother cut my bangs.This picture was apparently before she gave me a Tony Home Permanent on the outside south steps of our home, built by my father Glen Shirl Player, MD on property he purchased for about $10,000 shortly after I was born. Not pictured is my brother Michael, born in December 1952. I remember when we lived in this house (we didn't move away when I was ready for 1st grade) that one time, when winding down to Perkins Lane, the passenger side car door opened, and Mike nearly slipped out, except that I was able to catch him and hold on until my mother stopped the car.
Ph. D or MD?
It never occured to me that "Dr. & Mrs." would lead someone to consider my father had a Ph. D. in something, since I've only known him as a physician and surgeon. This is a classic example of how my own experience clouds my description of something. This is something all researchers should avoid.

Since two of you thought to Google for the address, I thought I'd do it for ya. The responses did NOT list our true address at the time
7801 Perkins Lane, Seattle, Washington which was guessed at correctly by Lynn. (Did you recall I have spoken of Seattle many times in past columns?) Google Maps only thought about:
WOW, I had forgotten about the special page dedicated to my father at Its at the top of the list of hits for Glen S. Player:
That second one is Ol' Myrt's blog entry including Dad's obituary.

That last entry surprised me. Ol' Myrt here hadn't heard of the BGMI. When I clicked, I found the following description of the collection: "This database is a compiled index to millions of Americans who have been profiled in collective biography volumes such as Who's Who in America, Women of Science, Who's Who of American Women, National Cyclopedia to American Biography, Directory of American Scholars, and American Black Writers. It includes information first published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to providing the individual's name, birth, and death dates (where available), the reference to the source document is included." The BGMI index entry for my Dad reads:
  • Name: Glen Shirley Player
    Birth - Death: 1918-
    Source Citation: Who's Who in the West. 14th edition, 1974-1975. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who, 1974. (WhoWest 14)

Now, I do know that my Dad was listed in Who's Who in the West, and indeed, I have a copy of this publication.
The 4GB Flash Drive goes to
Merryann Merryann, if you would email mail me privately with your snail mail address, I'll have send one out to you immediately. Congrats!
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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