This is not really genealogy, but it involves Ancestry.com, newspapers, archives and a little bit of internet research knowledge.
Here is a back and forth with my cousin via Facebook....
"Hi Heather -
So I am about to embark on a project to reunite some very old photos with their owner.
Last year I purchased an old Kodak camera off of eBay, and when it arrived it still had a roll of very old film in it. I had the film developed through an archivist and there turned out to be some images on it. They look like they're from around the 50s or early 60s, and they clearly show some kids and family members at what might have been Christmas.
The camera came in its original box, with a camera store label on it as well as a woman's name. The camera store was Lumpkin Camera Store in Greenville, OH (no longer in operation) and the name on the box written in pen was Carole Brinkman."
I looked up Carole Brinkman on ancestry.com and I think I found her, but she's no longer living. The note I found was a death record from Darke County, no city listing that I could see, but Greenville OH (where the store was) is in Darke County, so I figure it must be her.
The problem is that I don't really know where to go from here. I was thinking about subscribing to ancestry.com to find more details, but thought I should ask the expert first. What kind of advice can you give me on how to move forward on finding some of these folks?"
"I love a good mystery! This one is pretty cool...
First, there is a very good genealogist named Maureen Taylor. She is known as the photo detective. Her website is www.photodetective.com and she takes queries. There are some other genealogists that specialize in old photos, too, at NEHGS in Boston. I usually look at obits to find next of kin. What was the date of death? I have a subscription to ancestry.com and a few other data bases, so I can do a few lookups for you. There are genealogy volunteers at RAOGK.com who might be in Darke county and can probably assist, too. Send me the details (date of death, etc.) and I'll start on line. We can take it from there.
[In the meantime I found some disturbing newspaper articles on the Ancestry.com website. Carole Brinkman was a young cashier, age 24, shot dead at a drive in movie theater in Greenville, Ohio, in July, 1967.]
"Matt, I sent you an article in the Greenville Newspaper about the death of Carole Brinkman. See the bottom of the page, "Cashier shot" I sent it to your email address. Spooky..."
"Wow! Heather you are good! and yes, that is indeed very spooky. I found this on a search too: http://issuu.com/boxoffice/docs/boxoffice_080767 look at page 50. It's a notice in Boxoffice Magazine about the shooting."
"Matt, at this point perhaps the Greenville police department will have records of the next of kin. Her parents are probably not living (but you never know) and maybe she had siblings. It's weird that I can't find an obituary. She is buried at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Neave Township, Ohio (also called the Ft. Jefferson Cemetery) Carole Mae Brinkman, age 24
Also Found on Ancestry.com under Ohio Death Records
Carole M. Brinkman, b. 1943, female, white, res. Greenville, Darke Co., Ohio, died 27 Jul 1967 at Wayne Hospital, Greenville, certificate 51810, age 24, certified by the coroner, no autopsy, never married.
Doesn't list parents or next of kin."
"I think I'm going to give the Greenville police a call. I'll let you know what I find out. I'm going to start posting this up on my blog. Thanks so much for the help!"
[Matt’s blog is http://mattallenphotography.blogspot.com/ ]
"This is pretty exciting! I had the film developed last year and have been sitting on it since. I never thought it would lead me to an unsolved murder. Pretty crazy.
I spoke with Chief Whittaker of the Greenville Sherriff's department. He was really nice. I am going to email him the photos tonight, and he's going to see if he can find some of her family. They immediately knew who I was talking about, without me even mentioning the crime. He said he talked with her mom about 4 years ago and she wasn't interested in new evidence they had found, so it might end up being that she's not interested in the photos, and he's not even sure if her mom is still alive. Still, he's going to see about finding some relatives.
I'll know more tomorrow."
This was all last week. We are still waiting to find out more.
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo