The Provenance of the Josie Muro Serrapede Photo Collection

Josie Muro Serrapede carefully stored all the photos she took or received from family members.  Over the years she amassed an extensive collection of photos of the Muro and Serrapede family members from the early 1920s through the 1990s.  She dated and put notes on the back of the photos from the 1920s through the 1940s and often saved the cardboard frames that came with the photos.  These frames have helped us locate where the studios were and by extension do research on that part of the communities where our immigrant ancestors lived.

Many of the post-1960 photos were shared and stories exchanged many times. It is the earliest photos, though, which were a stunning and amazing discovery.  Shortly before she passed on in 1995,  Josie left the photos to her daughter Emily who began to jot down notes in what she called her “baby book journal”.  From this little journal, filled with bare outlines and lists, developed the beginning of a period where Emily began to share with her daughter EmilyAnn the stories and memories and people in the photos.

In turn before Emily passed away in 2011 she left the collection in our joint care with the instructions that they were to be used for the family history project.  The photos were professionally scanned as TIFF files in 2014 and then converted to JPEGs for internet use.  The sorting and identification of the people, places and times in each photo is still in progress as we prepare each posting where the applicable photos will be used.  It is truly a labor of love.

We do not want to stop family and friends from copying the photos.  But to prevent any misinformation from proliferating  at Ancestry, FindAGrave and online in general, we have had to start watermarking the photos in places where a usable photo cannot be cropped and re-used.  The purpose is that our names be prominently displayed so that anyone seeking further information or answers to questions will contact us directly.  As the owners of the only existent copies in our family of the studio, photo booth and candid photos that comprise Josie’s collection we have access to Josie’s notes, our own life history with the family and access to other relatives who may be of assistance.   Anyone else claiming to have ownership of these photos,and telling you they have additional information about them is not being honest with you

When in doubt please contact us with your questions.  We will be happy to straighten out any misunderstandings about lineage, our bloodline, relationships by marriage or kinship or any other questions necessary to help you verify what is true and discern what is incorrect as you build your tree and utilize resources at Ancestry.

To distinguish our photos from altered versions, we have added a distinctive black and white border to each one, along with a watermark at the center of lower portion or each photo.  Furthermore, if any photos were provided by the extended family we always obtain permission and state that, along with the owner’s name, on each photo.

A family historian’s good reputation and credentials are based upon not only good, solid research but providing proof via documentation and citing all sources.  A failure to follow these basic principles and code of honor only damages the reputation of the one who fails to follow these simple rules by which the community evaluates the researcher/family historian and the results they put before the public.

–EmilyAnn Frances May

–Sabbatino Serrapede, Jr. (Sammy)

September 1, 2017