About 10 years ago, I was researching diligently for information on my husband’s male ancestor, who had lived in Connecticut and moved to western NY state.  I posted a query on a rootsweb message board under the family name.  Imagine my surprise when I received a reply from someone in Virginia!  A man in Virginia had gone to an antiques store in Virginia, and had purchased photographs for 10 cents each.  One of the photographs was that of the ancestor!  So, the man had looked on the rootsweb list hoping that he would find someone connected to the photo – thus returning the photo to someone in the family.  He came upon my query first, contacted me, and then I responded to him, telling him that I would like the photo.  I then paid him the 10 cents and the postage, and now have an original photo of the ancestor!

I was able to return the favor two years later, when the man contacted me once again.  He told me that he always made a copy of the photo before sending the original – thus having a copy to give to others in the “family.”  However, there had been a flood at his house, and all of the photos he had collected had been lost.  He requested a copy of the photo.  I, of course, sent a copy to him right away.

When researching the “how did the photo get to Virginia” question, I discovered that the male ancestor’s sister had married, and the couple had moved to Virginia.  Thus, the sister took the brother’s photo with her, and the photo ended up in an antiques store in Virginia.  This discovery led to finding more about the male ancestor in Virginia (even though he never lived there).