Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Forrest Gump Principle Strikes Again - The Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875) Drawing

I love it when surprises happen to me - it just reinforces my Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogy Research"Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding."

Yesterday, during the 24-hour GeneaSleepOver Hangout On Air, Pat started a discussion about WikiTree.  I went to WikiTree, logged in, and showed my WikiTree graphic using the ScreenShare.  When Pat asked me what I had, I talked about how I loved WikiTree's pedigree chart with links to person profiles, and the list of spouses, children, and siblings.  Randomly, I clicked on Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874, my second great-grandmother), and then clicked on her Family Tree, and saw:

Hmmm, there's a picture for Mary Jane's grandfather, Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875), my 4th great-grandfather.  I know I didn't put it there.  someone else must have added it.  That someone else may be a cousin I don't know about.  I clicked on Frederick's name to see his profile:

Scrolling down a little bit, I can see the entire image:

How can I see who contributed the image?  I could click on the "Changes" button at the top of the person profile page, but I clicked on the "Details" link under the image to see:

A person named Randall Colgan added the image on 27 February 2013.  I wonder if he is my cousin?

It is evident to me that the image is not a photograph, but a drawing of an older man (but not an elderly man, he looks healthy, is clean shaven, has long white and well-kept hair, and is dressed well, as if for a portrait).  Perhaps someone can tell an approximate date from the clothing.  He even signed the image "Yours truly, Frederick Sovereen!"

I wondered where the image came from, since Randall Colgan obtained it from some resource.  I looked for the image in Google Images, and quickly found a link to a page from a book on the Historic Map Works site:

Further down the page is the specific page image:

There he is in the upper left-hand corner of the page.  I could download the page image for $19.95 or I could order a print of the page for a price.

This page provides a link to a source:

H.R. Page & Co., Illustrated Historical Atlas of Norfolk County, Ontario (Toronto : H.R. Page & Co., 1877).

There is also a reprint.  The WorldCat.org page tells me that the nearest copy of the Reprint is in Los Angeles, only 122 miles away!  The closest library with the original book is, apparently, in Montreal, Canada!  I imagine that the original book is also in a Norfolk County, Ontario library that is not in WorldCat.

I also wondered if this is for "my" Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875), or for another man of the same name in Norfolk County, Ontario.  The book was published in 1877, so the man was living before that date. 

This was a wonderful surprise, right in the middle of a Hangout On Air - videoed live and saved for posterity on YouTube (see GeneaSleepOver: Worldwide Indexing Event - Video (d).  See, collaboration works!

Now I need to write Randall Colgan and determine if he obtained the image from the original book, and therefore the image is probably out of copyright protection (but the laws are different in Canada!).  Perhaps he will share the image with me if it is out of copyright. 

Thank you, Randall, for finding the image and posting it to WikiTree!

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/07/forrest-gump-principle-strikes-again.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

bgwiehle said...

There were historical atlases prepared for about 40 Ontario counties [http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/aboutatlases.html ] .
In the 1970s, reprints were issued for all[?] of them. My Dad purchased one of Elgin County for us, and I've seen a number of others in several University and Public Libraries.
Even the local library in Stratford carries the reprint for Norfolk county, among others [http://spl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/192881012_historical_atlas_of_haldimand_amp_norfolk_counties,_ontario]