Queries and Answers: Look Alikes


Andrea wrote:
Between my second cousin and I, we have about a dozen photos of two sisters that are two years apart in age, b. Dec 1865 and Feb 1868. We have a few that we are certain are a one or the other but all of these are after the women are 40 years old. It is the ones in their twenties and younger that we are having trouble with.

Any suggestions in how to distinguish two women that look very much alike?

Absolutely! Facial features to compare are eyes, noses, mouths and especially ears. A person’s ears are unique. Look for all the minor details in a physical characteristic such as size and shape. It’s usually the simplest things that differentiate between people that look alike such as the tilt of a nose or and fullness of a person’s lips.

The new iPhoto software and Picasa (a free download from Google.com) offer facial recognition software.

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Before jumping to conclusions make sure that all the other evidence in an image adds up to the same identification.



One Response to “Queries and Answers: Look Alikes”

  1. The Ancestry Insider says:

    Maureen,

    My granddad discovered the same thing about identifying horses that you have about identifying people. "It's usually the simplest things that differentiate between people that look alike."

    He had two mares he couldn't tell apart for the life of him. He thought he was pretty clever when he trimmed the mane short on one of them. That worked for a while, but then the mane grew back. In desperation he cut the tail short on one of them. But to his dismay, it quickly grew back!

    Then the obvious answer occurred to him. He pulled out his trusty tape measure and–sure enough–by a full 6 inches the black mare stood taller than the brown one!

    Sorry. Couldn't resist.

    I sure enjoy your blog. Keep it up.
    The Ancestry Insider

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