Identifying People in Old Film – 1911 A Trip Through New York City (VLOG #41)


hello everybody I am Jarrett Ross the
GeneaVlogger and on today’s vlog I will be discussing how I was able to
identify people from an old Film. are an amazing view into the past and
something that people really treasure and especially genealogists when you’re
doing family history research and you find a photograph of your ancestor or
relatives it can really be an emotional experience and especially when you’re
able to find multiple photographs showing somebody throughout their life
there are even professional genealogists who specialized in analyzing photographs
not only helping people identify who is in the photo but helping squeeze up all
sorts of information you may not have been able to know otherwise but
something even better than finding photos are finding videos I’ve been
lucky in my own experience having relatives send me all sorts of videos,
from super 8 film shot by my grandfather to videos of my cousin interviewing my
great-grandmother as well as his mother and a lot of other relatives. Film can
be really intriguing even when it’s not about your own family, especially when
you’re looking at film that’s back to the early 1900s. It’s really intriguing
to see how life was not that long ago but it was so different so when I found
this video that was uploaded to YouTube by guy Jones
it was a 1911 video shot by a Swedish team depicting just everyday life and
they were shooting in New York City and there were all these different scenes
and it was just really intriguing and as I watched it there were just all sorts
of thoughts going through my head. Were any of the people in this video relatives of
mine? Or even ancestors of mine? What happened to all of these people? And did
they even realize that they were going to end up being immortalized in this video? And people over a hundred years
later we’re going to be watching them as they were just going about their lives.
And as I’m watching this video all of a sudden it cuts to this scene on the
streets of New York and it seems that the video is now set up on the back of
either a car or a wagon of some sort and it’s shooting the traffic behind it and
clear as day you can see this very well-to-do family in a car with a
chauffeur and you can see their license plate and I was just thinking… could we
actually name these people? If we have the license plate, there couldn’t have
been that many cars in 1911 and there has to have been some sort of
registration for cars if they’re having license plates so could we actually find
these people and so I began to search the first thing to do was to learn about
licenses being issued in New York in 1911 or earlier I’d found statistics
from the Federal Highway Administration that showed that 1911 there were eighty
one thousand three hundred and seventy automobiles registered in New York so
I’m looking at more information I found that license plate registration was
actually published publicly in different newspapers and magazines and from that
information I was able to find this page automobile owners of Brooklyn and Long
Island in the Brooklyn Life magazine from July 1st 1911 and this shows that
license plate six five four six five was a new car registered on June 12th 1911
it was an EMF registered to mrs. F LA quits
of five four eight eighth Street so this is a whole lot of information to go off
of we’ve got a name we got an address we even have the type of car that they had
so from there I looked in the EMF and they were an automobile manufacturer who
had manufactured cars in the early 1900’s and in looking at all the
different models they had I found one that seemed to match up perfectly and
that was the 1911 EMF model 30 touring-car that this made sense being
that the license plate registration said that this was a new car so bought in
1911 it was the 1911 model and just looking at a picture side by side it
looks exactly the same you have all these different little features that are
matching up perfectly so the car is matching up so from here let’s try to
find out who’s mrs. F la quits at 5:00 for 18th Street so the first place that
I really want to look is the 1910 census being that it’s only a year earlier than
this registration in the video so we have a high likelihood that the
Lockwood’s family is still living at five four eight eighth Street in 1910
and a quick search quickly turns up the lock oh it’s family living at five four
eight eighth Street now the household consisted of six people that included
Florian Lockwood’s who was the head of the household his wife who’s listed as
in Tony la quits three of their children and then a servant Mary Moriarty looking
at the information from the 1910 census and then looking at the people who were
in the car from the 1911 video it looks like we can match everyone up pretty
easily so then the front passenger seat is Florian la quits and sitting in his
lap is either his daughter Elsie or Emily and I think the girl in his lap
looks a little bit older than the one in the back seat so I’m guessing this is
Emily in the front seat with Florian then in the back we have Antoinette and
she is holding the children Francis and likely all see or though possibly Emily
and then sitting next to her is possibly the servant Mary Moriarty now for Mary
the census shows her as 25 and 1910 so she would have been about 26 when the
video was taken and I really don’t think she looks 26 but it’s really hard to
tell so it is possible that it’s her although it could be another servant it
could be a different relative over out any photographs of what Mary
actually looked like it’s really hard to tell now unfortunately either didn’t
seem to be any information that would show us who the chauffeur was and I was
really hoping to figure that out because he really seems to be enjoying being on
video and he can really kind of get an idea that this guy had a really jovial
personality but everything that I looked at in Lockwood’s family there wasn’t
anything that talked about I chauffeur or any sort of servants or Butler’s who
were african-american but now that we had the names of the family I really
wanted to learn a lot more about them Florian was born in Posen Poland in 1871
and immigrated to the United States at the age of 19 in 1890 his wife
Antoinette who was born Antoinette laccoliths was a cousin of
Florian’s although I haven’t been able to figure
out exactly how they were related Antoinette was actually born in New York
and her father Constantine la quits and immigrated the u.s. in 1864 being that
Antoinette’s father constantine had come over in 1864 it’s very possible that he
had actually come to the u.s. because he was escaping the aftermath from the
January uprisings the January uprising was a Polish insurrection against the
Russians which had started in January of 1863 it lasted over a year and ended
right around the spring of 1864 as the uprising was being squashed in 1864 a
lot of the resistance fighters who were fighting against Russia started to flee
and many of them went to the United States but by the time florian arrived
in New York in 1890 Constantine was already fairly well set up and was
working as a cobbler and had many children including his daughter
Antoinette it’s not known when Florine and Antoinette met but based on the
documentation they were likely married by 1895 Florian worked as a barber and
built up a really big reputation because one of his patrons was JP Morgan
Florian began to open up a lot of shops and was even able to open up a shop in
the Wolves worth building in New York City not only was Florian are well-to-do
businessman but he also was in a lot of different social societies I was in a
lot of different committees for the public as well in fact just days before
his death in 1918 he was elected to the streets committee for the South Brooklyn
Board of Trade before he died in 1918 they were about a dozen different
newspapers that ran an obituary about him when Florian died he Nance when that
had five children one child had been born in 1911 just months after the video
was taken so in that video Antoinette is actually pregnant and then they had
another child in 1918 just before Florian died after poor Ian died the
family still stayed at 5:48 eighth Street which is actually a really
nice brownstone home that still exists today the same building and in looking
at records of the building it was just recently sold in 2017 I was also able to
find some information from a relative who had posted about how his aunt Nettie
who is Antoinette had kept at the barbershop businesses running even after
Florian died and his relatives said that while a lot of these shops were lost
during the Depression they were still able to hang on to at least the one in
the walls worth building and Antoinette had run that until at least 1950s
Florian was definitely very well-to-do man for his time and just looking at
that video of the family you can tell that they really were well-to-do but in
looking at his woe from 1918 we can actually see that when he died just
seven years after that video was taken his estate was worth $70,000 which today
roughly translates to about 1.2 million dollars. Thank you so much for
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