Tag Archives: france

Historical Imaging



Showcasing images I’ve created, composited and/or altered in order to make historical situations, places or circumstances more readily accessible to as many people as possible.

This grew out of my effort–shared with anyone who gets intricately lost in making family trees–of trying to find relevant imagery to use for people of whom no pictures exist (e.g., anyone who lived before the 1840s). But not just relevant, you really want to push it further and find images that are interesting, too. Or at least I do. And accurate, for instance, to the time when a particular ancestor or historical personage might have actually lived or been at a given location. So from these endeavors, the following sampling of images.

First Example

This is Château de Jumilhac, a castle south of Limoges in southwestern France. In the course of working on a friend’s family tree, I learned some of his ancestors had been ChteaudeJumilhacleGrand copyinvolved in actually building it back in the 1200s. (!!) They’d been among its lords, too, for 150 years or so. After first thinking, aha! whatta sweet image to use for that string of ancestors, I learned as I read more about them and it, that the conical rooftops (that will surely strike Americans as quintessentially “fairy-tale”) were added hundreds of years after his family had been on the scene in the depths of the actual Middle Ages. Well I couldn’t use a historically inaccurate image, so I did something about it.

ChteaudeJumilhacleGrandOLD copy



This is much closer to what it would have looked like to the de Bruchard family as they knew it.




An older photograph also lent itself to easy changing:


















So the examples here are each within a category:

  • People & Location
  • Now to Then
  • Obsolete Professions
  • SketchUp 4 Teaching History
  • Now to Then 2 (showing elements)

People & Location

  1. Swedish origin spot of my great-grandmother and 3 generations of her people


South-central Sweden, Vastragotaland.


2. Recent Dukes of Argyll at their seat, Inverary Castle, Scotland

DUKE 11 1


Now to Then

  1. View from the Mayflower

2. Castle Hornby

On the left, as seen around 1900 (& today); on the right, as it was when my ancestor lived there (incidentally, just about the last–my most recent–ancestor to reside in a castle…500 years ago!)


Obsolete professions

Two variations


SketchUp 4 Teaching History

  1. Construction of the White House (the Executive’s Mansion) in the 1790s in Washington, D.C.

These are views of a multi-layered SketchUp model I’ve built of various stages of the White House’s construction. Here we see the foundation as it was originally laid down in 1791-2. The layers reflect the actual materials, orientation and configuration learned from researching primary source material (such as reports of the crew who laid the new foundations in the 1950s as to what they found as well as reports of Thomas jeffereson, architect Benjamin Latrobe and others involved in the early days of the building). The close-up is the northwest corner, seen from just a few feet south and west of it.


Here’s the southern facade, seen from the southeast, depicted as the Limestone facing began to be mounted on the brick walls.

And the same face seen from the southwest, a little further along in the process:












And here’s the north (properly, the front) as it neared completion. (The portico that we know today  was not added until the 1820s).


Now to Then 2 (showing elements)

Here you can see various elements that went in to the image at the very top of the page (the black & white 1800s looking street).

That’s Liverpool, England. Specifically, Vauxhall Road, looking across it from near where my gr-gr-grandad, a guy named Edward Dunn, had a business in the 1870s, to the intersection with Blacklock Street, toward the site of Vauxhall Gardens, a housing project that was destroyed in WWII during the Blitz just before Xmas 1940.




Composite of contemporary shot (made B&W) with old shot.






Composite of two images; the corner building has been added to the street shot. I then added this with the B&W version of the current corner seen in the shot above this to get the image seen at the very top of the page.

This is the current shot, unaltered.




And the combo with the building destroyed by Nazi bombs in WWII is below again for easy comparison.





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Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Tree of the Roses


This post serves up a long overdue updated version of a tree showing the kings and queens of England who sprang from the many uncrowned sons of King Edward III (seen above with his wife and 2nd cousin Philippa of Hainault). It’s as tidy as can be, leaves out very little, actually, and conveys a lot without being totally overwhelming.

Firstly, though, here’s a chart as a frame of reference showing Edward & Philippa and their sons, not one of whom was ever King of England. (Always click on it, and then once you go to the tab it opens in, click it again so it assumes its full and I hope enjoyable capacity.)

E3WAROROSES16 copy.png

The king immediately following Edward’s death in 1377 was the son of Edward, the oldest son and was named Richard II. The next king was picked by Richard to be one of the grandkids of the 2nd oldest son Lionel, but instead the oldest son of the 3rd son, John, Duke of Lancaster, decided to be king and simply took the crown, telling his younger (half) brother that neither he nor any of his descendants ever got to be king, and then passed it on down to his son and then he to his son. But then it went to a great-grandson of the 4th son, Edmund, Duke of York named Edward (again, this time the 4th, or: IV), then very briefly to his teenage son before going to his (Edward IV’s) younger brother who happened to nicely bookend this hot-potato-like game of the throne that had commenced with Edward III’s death by being named Richard also, and thus the 3rd, or: III.

But then he went and got killed by someone who was a great-great-grandson of the 3rd son (John of Lancaster) who happened to be married to a lady who was both a 4x-great-granddaughter of the 2nd oldest son (Lionel, Duke of Clarence), a 2x-great-granddaugher of the 3rd son (John, Lancaster again) as well as a 2x-great-grandaughter of the 3rd son Edmund (of York). This guy was named Henry and when he took that crown became the 7th one, or Henry VII. The son of his and wife Elizabeth was of course, good ole Henry VIII, he was, and all three of this Henry’s kids would rule England when their time came, but since none of them had any kiddies, the crown passed, as is well known, to a man who was the great-grandson of Henry VIII’s big sister Margaret, one James, who was already by right of birth James VI, King of Scots, and on the death of his grandma’s and grandpa’s 1st cousin Elizabeth I in 1609, became King James I of England.

Click on this chart below, download it so you can zoom way in.

There will be a follow-up post that offers something in the way of an explanation of chart-making choices and highlighting some of the use-values of the chart.

If you repost, borrow, or in any way use it, please attribute. Thanks. Enjoy!








Posted by on November 6, 2016 in Uncategorized


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100th Anniversary of World War One


A couple Saturdays back, June 28, marked the 100th anniversary of the assassination of a particular European head of state that was the causative domino, so to speak, triggering the cascade of militarized power-plays that gave us the First World War.arrest-97f8a9c7ab9235026fb793d43b41e200b2958889-s6-c30

The shots fired that day a hundred years ago by young Serb Gavrilo Princip not only ended the life of the guy–the intended prime target–who received the bullet, but in the fact that his death acted as the precipitant for the war, that bullet also ended, Gavrilo-Princip_2657031bindeed as it was also intended, the very country of which the assassinated kingly type had been the head; it ended the country so completely that even the name of it (here in America, anyway) seems to smell of ancient mold: “Austria-Hungary”.

The war–the world’s first mega war, or, if you like, the opening salvo of the 20th Century War–engendered by Gavrilo’s gun so thoroughly obliterated the article-1061691-02CB09A700000578-66_468x316country–a country, mind you, that had existed for about 700 years–that today’s “Austria” (such a *charming* tourist destination!) and “Hungary” (don’t they have a really hard time of it, still?)–don’t even hint (in their colorful tourist brochures or the 6th grade textbooks here in the States) that up until June 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary (aka: the Austo-Hungarian Empire, aka: Osterreich &tc) had been one of the “MVP”s in European politics and oligarchic games of control. At one point the same clan was in charge of it as well as Spain when Spain was a Big Deal (Spain? Yes, Spain)…back when they had just conquered the Americas. Gone with the winds of war, though.

_75890265_maryevans10547886So gone, in fact, that even the title of the guy who was assassinated, and even his name, they don’t exist anymore, not in common parlance. Even the educated among us, if asked about it, will “have to access that file in my brain”: “Archduke”. What Americans wanna know is, if they even cared, is what the hell is an archduke anyway? And no one’s named “Franz Ferdinand” anymore except the pop-indie-rock band, who must be smart or something to pull their name from a history book, ironically wearing w/ pride the name of the actual man who died by an assassin’s bullet who unwittingly became that hapless symbol of a capital-“P”-Past whose exit was long overdue. “Take me out” indeed…(“I’m just a crosshair” sings the song)

So at the risk of stating the over-completely-obvious, WW I was a big big deal.

And the 100th anniversary–especially in the context of, well, the last hundred years in which the USA has inherited or aggressively taken over the UK’s role as global imperial force to be reckoned with–does in fact neatly demarcate a punctuation point; a time marker whereat we can take some note fer cryin’ out loud, of the violence wrought upon humankind by…well, by humankind. Maybe deploy the obvious in service of revealing the also obvious with an eye toward perhaps avoiding the ever-more-obvious logical conclusions that I think it’s fair to say the world’s oligarchic power players spend a lot of resources trying to obfuscate and distract us from [sic]. I.e., that war is *not* an axiom of human societal behavior but rather a learned collective behavior. And like all learned behaviors (I’m talking to you, Racism, Bigotry and your roustabout, faithless buddies) this can be unlearned, or at the most practical level, it can be excluded from the curriculum. Not like Voldemort, as in not ever mentioning it, I’m not talking about denial, but not taught how it is now force fed to all of us.

Here’s at least one funny thing (in a few parts) about World War One: despite the liberating viewpoints of cynicism, skepticism, muckraking, deconstructionism, structuralism, systems theory, semiotics, comparative anthropology, revisionist history and more, the primary cliches we’re taught–both directly in the wide-net school systems and culturally through creative media artifacts–those cliches are actually pretty much spot on.


proof positive of the effectiveness of “mechanized warfare”

TRUE! (well, duhhh, silly!) But yes, the 1st armed conflict in human history of which we have record in which more people died from weapons than from disease. Machines work!


it was a dramatic unseating/sweeping away en masse of the modality of how nation-states had been ruled (& thus of how geopolitics had been conducted) for about a thousand years (at least).

TRUE! Within 4 years: the nation-states w/ the greatest power were no longer ruled by singular, inherited and titled landed gentry, but by outsiders of that system (some of whom had taken their countries by force, ie, the Bolsheviks, which was actually a hold-over, “transitional technology” from the older M.O., that would be partially recapitulated w/in 20 years in Germany…w/ similar results whose distastrousness can be only in both cases measured in “orders of stratospheric catastrophe”. What’s an archduke again?


it redrew the map of Europe as well as the power “balance”/dynamic


AUST-HUNG LAYERS 1First Great (War) Example, In Which One Country (but a Double Kingdom) is Swapped for 5 and bits of 6 Others!

Before the war (1914), there was a country called “Austria-Hungary” which occupied an area just a bit bigger than Texas (apx. a Texas and a AUST-HUNG LAYERS 2third) and had been around and swinging its power around the necks of England, France, Germany & anyone else who ventured too near or had too much cool stuff they wanted for about 700 years.

After the end of the war (~1920), that same area had become a bunch of lovely (and occasionally tyrannically run) travel destinations: Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czchekoslovakia, Bulgaria, Moldavia, a little bit of Germany and a little bit of the Soviet Union; note that on the official circa 1920-1940 roster of countries-formerly-known-as-“Austria-Hungary” you will not find “Serbia” or “Croatia” or “Herzogovenia” or “Bosnia”; this becomes important later.


Second Great (War) Example, In Which One Country (Much-Diminished) Turns Into 8 (!!), or When Britain and France Declared Themselves Absentee Landlords of the Entire AUST-HUNG LAYERS 3AFertile Crescent, Welcoming Themselves Back After a 600 Year “Exile”

Before the war (1914), there was a powerful country called “the Ottoman Empire” which occupied an area about the size of two Texases, and had been around and swinging its power around the necks of England, France, Germany & the Popes (& their team sport known as “the Crusades”) & anyone else who ventured too near or had too much cool stuff they wanted for almost 900 years.AUST-HUNG LAYERS 4a

After the end of the war (~1920), that same area had been carefully sliced and diced by the conquering Crusaders…er, by the caring British & French into a number of lovely travel destinations, especially for those interested in traveling for work in the oil industry: French Mandate of Syria, British Mandate of Palestine, British Mandate of Mesopotamia, Kuwait, “Trans”-Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Hejaz, Yemen, Armenia (and then not), and much to the consternation of the Brits & the Franks, Turkey–of its own accord, no less; note that on the official circa 1920-1940 roster of countries-formerly-known-as-“The-Ottoman-Empire” you will not find “Israel”; this becomes important later.


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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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