The word "Dead" has created quite a stir on Shades recently and it is expected to do so again this Friday when Joe Bott, the creator and publisher of the very popular DeadFred Genealogy Photo Archive, is the Guest Author of Friday From The Collectors.
Joe and his wife Laurie live in Springdale, Arkansas, with their four handsome sons, three fantastic daughters-in-law, and nine beautiful grand grandchildren.
Growing up in the Fairview section of Camden, in Southern New Jersey, Joe joined the Navy and served on destroyers as a signalman from 1965 to 1969. Using the GI Bill he earned an associates degree of Science at Camden County College, attended Rutgers University(Camden) and Glassboro State College (now Rowan college ), where he ended his formal education with a B.A. degree in Biology. Joe has been a Food Scientist for more almost 40 years.
Joe's passions include history and old photographs. An avid collector, he has amassed over 17,000 vintage photos in his personal collection, mostly of ordinary people spanning from the mid-1800s to the 1920s. This collection and a long recovery from a life-threatening illness introduced Joe to his latest and most rewarding passion, Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive.
While recovering at home from an illness in 1998, Joe spent most of his recovery time doing genealogical research online. During the course of his work he noticed a gap, a lack of comprehensive sites focused solely on genealogy photos.
Around this same time, Joe discovered a 1902 photo of a woman holding a baby. Written on the back of the photo were the subjects' names and ages. The online search began social security index, yahoo people finder (this was in the days before Google). Two days later he had the adult son of the baby in the photograph on the phone; until that phone call, the son never knew the photo even existed. The pictured baby died at the age of 95. One day after the phone call, the photo was sent home.
Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive began on an AOL website in 1998 but evolved with the help of a talented Website Design Company into a more comprehensive venue. The new site launched on March 16, 2001. Since its unveiling, DeadFred.com has been featured in many local, regional, national & international venues, Family Tree Magazine, Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Guardian, Family Chronicle & Genealogy Online Magazines and The Today Show.
Today, DeadFred receives more than 5000 visitors and close to 500,000 page views a week and has reunited 1400 Photos with their families.
DeadFred and Shades have a lot in common, we're both about the connections. Join us Friday 12 September when Joe Bott talks about his collections and connections.