Wednesday, January 13, 2010

True Story of Grandfather revealed in photograph

The latest historic photo entry comes from Kent Phillips. Kent uncovered a mystery he didn't know existed due to this photograph.

Kent wrote, "I received a copy of this photo from my Aunt Grace not long before she died. This photo is unusual and special because it is a composite that was made after my grandfather, Clem Phillips, died leaving my grandmother Isabelle with two children, Grace and my father, Sam. The images of my grandparents were from their marriage photo. The added images of young Grace and Sam were taken and added to the center of the photo after Clem’s death since a family photo had never been taken.

Add another twist to the story, Clem’s brother Sam married the widowed Isabelle and they had four more children. I didn’t know until I first saw this photo in 1989 at a family reunion at Aunt Grace’s that Sam, the grandfather I grew up with, was not my grandfather but my step-grandfather and great uncle. This news was long after Grandpa Sam and my father young Sam had died. If not for the composite photo that brought out the story I might never have known the true identity of my grandfather."

Thank goodness for photos and the stories they tell to provide us with a window to the past. And special thanks to Kent for sharing it with us. Sometimes it's the simple conversations which give us the most unexpected discoveries. Many "family secrets" were never discussed by my grandparents, and I imagine it was the same in other families. Ask more and more questions and don't assume the obvious answer. Keep asking.

Only two more days left to enter your favorite historical family photo. Friday is the deadline and the winner will be announced on January 16. Enter today!

For more details on the Mesa Family History Expoand the schedule of events, visit

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