Could it be my ancestor?

As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts that a recent discovery for me is the vast number of helpful genealogical podcasts available on iTunes. Last week in my attempts to catch up on all of the great tidbits I’ve missed in neglecting these podcasts, I listened to an episode of Season 1 Genealogy Gems by Lisa Louise Cooke in which she describes searching for videos on youtube. I took her advice and as soon as I got home that day I entered a search for Oxford, NC.  I didn’t think I’d find anything, but….

Surprise #1: Lo and behold, the search brought up quite a few videos that were taken in Oxford town center during the late 1930’s. Happy day! This is around the time my ancestors lived in that area. I spent the next hour watching all of the videos, enjoying a view of what life would have been like for my ancestors during those times. Now that’s a gem!!

Surprise #2: I love to share anything to do with my family history so I sent the link to the videos to my Dad. He emailed me back saying he believes that one of the men in the first video is a direct ancestor. He provided me with a picture of Wilson Cottrell (below), and in my opinion it looks pretty close to the man in the video, but I’m no expert.

So I’m wondering what you think…

I provided a link to the video at the bottom of this post, underneath the picture of Wilson. When you watch the video, the person in question appears around 8:10, and he has a crutch under his right arm.

The YouTube link should open at 8:05, which is only a few seconds before the man with the crutch appears. It’s FAST – so you can use the moving ‘dot’ at the bottom of the screen to drag backward and forward if you want to rewind or go forward.

Leave a comment and let me know if you think video man and the man in the  picture could be the same person or if I’m just suffering from wishful thinking. :)

Link: Oxford, North Carolina YouTube video

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  1. Tonia Kendrick

    It could be the same person. It’s hard to tell because he goes by so fast.

    Very interesting post!

  2. Ed Hamilton

    I used “Snipping Tool” in Windows to capture the screen at 8:11, then put them side by side. Or you could open up two instances of your browser and tile them.
    Conclusions: It definitely could be him. 1) a person’s ears don’t change. 2) the whole structure of the face is very similar. Most interesting, though: 3) in the picture that your father provided, Wilson Cotrell has a crutch under his arm. What are the odds that there was someone else in town who could pass for his twin and needed a crutch?

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      What a great idea! I’m on a Mac but I’m sure I can figure out a way to do the same, which might give me more to go on. Thanks for the insights. The crutch does seem like a convincing piece of the puzzle. My next step is to contact the people who posted the video. I guess it’s worth a chance to see if anyone was identified by the original filmer.

  3. katie

    Wow! What are the chances of that! They definitely look a lot a like. I watched it a couple times and think its definitely possible they are the same. The person in the picture you have seems to have a little bit more meat on him though.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      Thanks for your comments. I guess it would help if I had posted that the picture would have been taken about 10 years later than the video (big duh on my part). Wilson was around his early 30’s in the picture. In the year the video was taken he would have been 20 years old. I figure after 10 years and two kids (no stress there, right?), he may have put on a few pounds. :-)

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