JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: In need of tips for analyzing old photographs #general

Ida & Joseph Schwarcz <idayosef@...>

The first two syllables, Chono and Xono are basically the same. You may be
reading the cyrrilic alphabet as burr when it is really vitz.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Bender [mailto:alemik@...]

I recently came across a very old photograph of my great-
grandfather, his siblings, and his parents, who resided in Vilna (my
great-grandfather came to the US in 1890). I am fairly sure that I
can date the photo in the 1880s based on the age of my great-
grandfather as he appears in the picture.

My question concerns what information can be gleaned >from the
photo. At the bottom of the photograph, the words *J. Chonovitz à
Vilna* are printed (in other words, they are not written and are part
of the photograph, although they are printed on the white space).
Usually, I find that such names on photos refer to the photographer
or the owner of the place that sold the photos. However, on the
back of the photo, there is a company logo printed, which is
definitely the info for the photographers. There is also a name,
which is not *J. Chonovitz,* but rather *M. Xonoburr* (I might not be
reading the script correctly); the rest of it is in Russian characters.

Is it possible that the name on the front identifies the man of the
house in the photo? Was this ever done in the time period in the
Russian Empire? I guess what is throwing me for a loop is the fact
that there are two different names on the front and back, which is
not the case in any other photos I have. I have been searching for
my ancestors' original family name for some time (i am sure that
my great-grandfather changed it at some point) and am wondering
if this might be worth looking into. Thanks for any suggestions or

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