Tag: macfamilytree

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.






The Coast with the Most


With humble and due respect to those loved ones and others who live Back East–-and grateful acknowledgment of the power and glory and seasons and winters and cold and Body-n-Soul warming companies like L.L. Bean and everything else about the Eastern Seaboard–-I must bask in not a little bit of California Pride.

The graphic you see above is a slice of a bigger picture I made in response to a school assignment brought home by my son consisting of nine interview questions about when people in his family came to California. Hot diggity! At last! Something that all my time in hallowed and local research institutions and this stuff is actually directly intended to amplify, afford revealing views into, and otherwise make for at least a little fun in discovering. Perhaps even in allowing the people to whom it’s presented to see for themselves the actual nuts ‘n’ bolts and very fibers of connections between people, ideas and events that are the real fruit of the quests genealogickal and historickal.

Thanks to my ex’s great-grandparents–-Giovanni Mazzoni, from Como, Italy, and Gemma La Franchi, from Coglio map 2Coglio, Switzerland coming to California, meeting and having a family among whom was their daughter Eva born here in 1906–my kids are 4th generation Californians. Interestingly, through me–-thanks to my dad having been born in England–-they also fit into a demographic category known as 3rd generation immigrant.

Anyway, I checked out my son’s questions for the school assignment–-things like, when did they arrive? how? when? from where? and a little about what things were like when they got here. I drew out by hand the tree, indicating by circling or such who what etc. Then I realized this could be a lot better NOT in my handwriting, u-hem, and so went to town doing the above graphic.Picture 8

I started with getting a 3D family tree using MacFamily Tree. (Which, btw, if you’re on a Mac, it’s the ONLY family tree program that needs to be discussed; if you’re on a PC, welp, if you’re as into genealogy as I am, then you need to become a Mac person so you can use this program. If you’re on a PC and are going to stay that way, that’s fine, cuz eventually the PC programs always end up incorporating/copying the graphically friendly and usable aspects of Mac programs that remain the defining feature of the Mac and its software. AnyPicture 10hoo…maybe I’m just a softy for 3D stuff, but the 3D view of one’s family tree is so so SO cool; it brings it to life.) So I started with spinning the tree I’d made to an angle I thought would be appropriate to convey the generations (all the names, I realized, weren’t goinPicture 9g to be necessary, but being able to visually differentiate the generations and such would be).

Then I went online and found some of the elements, others I had already, and there ya have it.

Up top is, as I said, a slice. The whole thing is below.