In February 2010, my daughter and I began trying to identify a photo; I sent the photo with a request for help to the Fayette County, Alabama rootsweb site and Kay posted a blog request. Part of the problem was the way we [I] had identified the picture [the handwriting appears to be mine] – I wrote on the back of it: “Ms. B. H. Willis, Rt. 1, Winfield – Grandparents of John H. Willis.” After several years of languishing in a miscellaneous photo box, that identification is really silly. I have an uncle (my father’s brother) named John H. Willis and you’d think, if I’d understood that John H. Willis to be my uncle, I might have noted the photograph as ‘Daddy’s grandparents”. But I didn’t. Additionally, we have no idea who Ms. B. H. Willis might be [or if those are the woman’s initials or her husband’s] and we have no known links of either Welch or Willis family to Winfield, even though it is near Fayette County. It’s been several months now and we’ve not discovered anything else about the photo.
During the summer, I made several contacts through Facebook, Ancestry.com, FindAGrave websites with several Willis and Welch descendents. A little over a week ago, one of those 2nd cousins posted a copy of that photo on her Internet family tree with the identification that it is a picture of William Thomas and Mary Monroe “Mollie” Welch – my daddy’s maternal grandparents. Unfortunately, when I asked who identified it as such, the answer was pretty weak, “It appears to have been written recently and when I asked my cousin, she said, ‘it looks like my handwriting so it must have been either something mother told me or something I thought I’d heard.'” Although I felt moderately at ease with this identification, I would like to have had a more certain identification.
This morning I got the same photo emailed to me from another 2nd cousin noting it as Tom and Mollie Welch; however, this time she said it is a scan of an original 8×10 photo she owns of her great-grandparents. I am so excited to know for sure these are my great-grandparents. William Thomas Welch (1860-1939, son of Robert and Sarah Farquhar Welch) and Mary Monroe “Mollie” Sanford Welch (1857-1931, daughter of Asa and Martha Jean Sanford).