Facial Recognitions That You Don’t See



I really think my daughter bears a strong resemblance to my paternal grandmother, Ida (Trautvetter) Neill (1910-1994). Others may not agree and I’m not the only person who has a picture of an ancestor that they thinks look like another relative or one of their children.

You may not see the similarities that a relative sees between two pictures. Sometimes if we have a strong emotional connection to the people in the two pictures, seeing a resemblance between them may partially be due to our connection to the individuals and our desire to connect them.

That’s ok and, because of the similarities that I see between these two pictures, I completely understand it.

That does not mean that we rely on “that old picture of that woman kinda looks like my daughter, so it must my great-grandma” or other facial characteristics as proof of parentage or ancestry. It also does not mean that we reject a series of documents that consistently provide one date of birth when we “think they have to be wrong” because our gut says so.

If seeing a facial similarity between two identified people helps your relative to connect with their own past and to see their part in it, that’s ok–even if you don’t see the similarities.

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