Describe Your Ancestors

It is great to have at least one photo of your ancestors, several over a period of time is even better but guess what, it can be interesting to also be wonderful for your family history to have a written description. It is a bit like a writer describing a character using solely words.

So here is how to approach it. Start off with individuals you knew personally, such as your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles.

Use the acronym – FESHO – which stands for Figure, Eyes, Skin, Hair and Other.

A person’s Figure – is their height, muscle build and weight. Include if the person had any missing body parts—hand, arm, leg, finger, etc.

Then their Eyes is, of course, eye color (note a few people actually have one eye one color and the other eye a different color), the eye shape, size and if they were ever blind or wore glasses.

Describe their Skin – the color shade, texture, any wrinkles, freckles or scars.

A person’s Hair is their crowning glory. Describe the hair color, especially if it changed over the decades, length, texture, style or if bald.

Next, select a favorite photo or if you have a painting of an ancestor and write out the same physical descriptions of that person using what you see in the photo.

With Other you describe anything else about the person. Include any unusual shape to the nose, ears, eyebrows, any tattoos, or scars. If they limp, write that.

For those you have no photo of and one you didn’t know, start checking any and all sources such as diaries, journals, military records, letters, newspaper articles and wedding announcements in the newspaper. Concentration on this aspect you might be surprised at what you can find.

Photos: A full-figure gentleman in 1880; a standing lady in 1890; a man’s portrait in 1900 and an older lady in 1910.

Related Blogs:

Looking Like Your Ancestor

The Family Theme

Props in Photos

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