Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 21, 2007

A most extraordinary thing happened today - the telephone rang at 6:30 am. And even more extraordinary is that it was a caller from London! A man from asked if he could release the photo of Alfred Vincent Hague holding a tennis racket that I'd posted at my "Hague Family History Site" on (
He said that people who are organizing literature for the Wimbledon Tennis competition were looking for a collection of ten photos, and they would like my father's photo with a tennis racquet!!! I said yes. The photo shows my father when he was about 8 years old in Des Moines, Iowa. I told him that my father's great-grandfather, James Hague, was from Oldham, Lancashire, England. He responded that he was from the Manchester area and knew of Oldham, and thought that was very interesting. I asked if I could get a copy of the item if Wimbledon used the picture and he said, yes, he would send it by email.

The genealogist in me wanted to ask that they include a plea for readers to search for any vital records of James Hague, and who his father might have been, but realizing that it would be the Wimbledon tennis set that would see the published picture, I resisted. I confessed to the caller that I had received an e-mail a couple weeks ago from someone who wrote that he was from "Ancestry uk" asking about using the photo of family members playing tennis. I pondered the validity of that e-mail and figuring that the photo he was referring to merely showed my father standing by the house in Des Moines holding a tennis racket and not out on the court hitting the ball with his family, I didn't really think it was really a photo they wanted. Here is a copy of that e-mail... Luckily I didn't delete it, but I'd set it aside. I guess I was too pessimistic!

Subject:Ancestry photo permission
Date:6/11/2007 5:55:16 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time
Dear Ancestry user,
Ancestry is currently celebrating reaching one million photos attached to members profiles. As part of this we have been contacted by journalists wising to use images from our library. In particular, images attached to your profile showing family members involved in playing tennis have been requested, and we would like to ask your permission before allowing these pictures to be published. We would be able to keep you updated on when and where the images may be printed. It would be great if you could let us know whether you would be happy for these images to be used. If you would like further information before making this decision, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Kind regards, Chris
Chris Blackwood
Band & Brown Communications
On behalf of 57
Jamestown Road
London, NW1 7DB, UK

This is what the Band & Brown Communications website has to say about

Ancestry Roots for Band & Brown, March 2007
", the UK's largest online family history website and a member of the international network of Ancestry sites, has appointed Band & Brown Communications as its retained agency following a four way pitch Band & Brown has been recruited to build awareness of and its existing record collections, as well as drive new registrations. Launched in the UK in 2002, the site helps members explore their family history and also connect with other family members doing the same, by offering more than 5 billion searchable names in its UK and Scottish census records, birth, marriage and death indexes, passenger lists and war records, as well as member-contributed family trees and photographs. Commenting on the win, Graz Belli, Board Director, Band & Brown Communications said: "Genealogy is a booming sector with visits to family history websites doubling over the last year. Our campaign will use traditional media relations, digital activity and partnership marketing to further stoke the nation's intrigue in their family history and dramatise the breadth of Ancestry's service to stand it firmly apart from competitors."

Their website shows an impressive list of their clients, noting in March 2006 "Band & Brown is spearheading a campaign to toughen up the penalties for those convicted of drink driving on behalf of its client, Privilege." That might be interesting to my Rees cousins Judith and Adrian Walsh of Royston because of their non-profit work with safe roads and driving in the UK.

As I talked
to the caller from London, who must have been Chris Blackwood (I don't remember the start of the conversation), I lost the intention I'd had when I first answered the ringing telephone, to lecture the caller on the time of day it was in Hawaii! As we talked my frown became a smile. It was an amazing request, and I think my father would have had a good laugh to see that his international "fame" came from tennis instead of photography, flying, communications, or electronics - which were his passions.
Interesting that my Dad always wore a tie. My mom said he was the only one in High School that wore a suit and tie... and even in the "tennis photo" he is wearing a tie.


Anonymous said...

That's awesome!!! You'll have to forward the article to me when you get it!!

Karen said...

That is cool....You'll have to forward us the article also!