Joseph Hoffmann

A few years back I happened to pop onto eBay and was just casually browsing and searching for genealogy-related items (like my surnames) and I ran across a collection of old cabinet card photos from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. Since it wasn’t too expensive, I bought it and then, as it sometimes happens, it sat with my genealogy stuff for a few years. This year I decided to look through them to see what I could find.

They may have been orphaned in many ways. More than likely they were held by an old family member who passed away and no one knew what the photos were and gave them to someone else or an antique shop, etc. I really enjoy the positive vibes of solving the mystery of these forgotten photos and returning them to family.

Fortunately, most of them had names written on the back. I spent some time sorting them and finding connections between some of them just based on their names and faces.

From there, I started using my research knowledge and sources to try to piece together a family tree for these individuals. I did pretty well on most of them, at least connecting them to items like census records and marriage records.

To get the information out there for the largest audience, I built their families and put them onto WikiTree. This way people may be able to find them via Google and then can also claim ownership of the profiles.

Right now, I have nine individual with photos on WikiTree and their connections from there. I do need to flesh them out a bit more, but it’s a good start.

I have found them in a few other places, like Find-A-Grave and have contacted the profile managers, but no luck. I also did find possible matches listed in some family trees on Ancestry, but without paying Ancestry, I cannot confirm the matches nor contact those profile managers. I’m hoping this post and WikiTree will be a good start.

Just to get the names out there, here are the nine individuals with photos: