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Photographic Archeology

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As a child I wanted to be an archeologist. At some point I changed my mind and decided that becoming an artist of some sort was more in line with what I really wanted to do for a living. I think it had to do with there being a lot less science, math and dirt involved.

Instead in my spare time I do genealogical archeology. Since inheriting my great-great grandmother, Mary Zuver West’s glass negatives, I have been doing a lot more digging around for clues to who the people in her photographs were. From my grandfather, Chester West’s photographs I can accurately determine his siblings in photos and his parents. Every one else is taking more time to determine.

The family would vacation at a camp at Chautauqua Lake during the summer. Here they would boat, relax and enjoy each others company.

I have been trying to determine who the other members of the family are in this photo. Using images from family trees on ancestry, I have come up with a few guesses on some of the people in this photograph.

This is an image of Leander L Zuver, also known as Dick. He was a younger brother to my great-great grandmother and was a photographer in western Pennsylvania. Early in his career he worked for my great-great grandmother and her husband Jacob. I am pretty sure I have him identified correctly in the photograph.


Leander’s wife was Agnes Braniff. This is a photo of Agnes from an ancestry tree. An educated guess would say she would be in this family photo. I am guess that I may have her identified correctly.


This is a photo of Nellie C Ives Zuver. Her husband was Thomas Wellington Zuver. I am pretty sure that Thomas is in this photo also.



This is photo of Vern Leslie Zuver. Son of Thomas Wellington Zuver and Nellie C Ives Zuver. If father and son resembled each other I am pretty sure that I have Thomas correctly identified in the photograph above. Thomas would have been about 47 years old in the photo above.



George Quincy and Lewis Wilbert are guess by the look of their age. Hopefully someone has photos that can be compared!


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