Posted by Kristie Wells on September 5, 2013 in Entertainment


We came across this ‘Playtime” photo in the Library of Congress Photo Collection and was going to add it to our ‘Cool Finds’ catalog, but think we might need to start a new one called ‘Oddities’. Based on the doll pictured here, any guess as to when this photo was taken?


Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.


  1. Marie Nelson

    I have entered all the information I have. As an adopted child I have limited resources. You guys have been of NO help AT ALL. I’m sorry I wasted my money.

  2. Connie Riley

    It could be almost anytime that the owner of the doll felt comfortable with using it in a risky situation. The doll could be a real antique or a reproduction that was made recently, in which case the picture could have been made the day you posted the picture.
    I really feel for Marie who posted the note just above. I realize how difficult it is to hunt for ancestors when you were adopted, because numerous people in my family have this problem and I am trying to do their ancestral lines for them. However, the more people you talk to about it, the more hints you get about where to look and hints and tips. My advice to her is keep talking to people and try, try, try.

  3. Nanette Meo

    The photograph of the dressed-up kittens and the doll looks a lot like the work of photographer Harry Whittier Frees (b. 1879, d. 1953). His animal photos were used in many publications, including Rand McNally Elf children’s books in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

  4. This kind of picture above is beautiful, but when you are looking for people, not animals, that you can’t possible find, it IS really frustrating. I can’t pay someone to help me, because I am on a limited budget and with my son turning 18 in 4 days my limit goes down even more drastically. I have been trying to find my great grandfather’s ancestors for years and hit a brick wall constantly.. I can empathize with Marie Nelson, even though I am not adopted.

  5. Kristie Wells

    @Marie: I would recommend you connect with members in our community on our Facebook page at

    If you post some of the information you have, we have 100s of volunteers who would be willing to help you search our collections to help you find answers. There is some information not available due to privacy laws, but hopefully we can unearth more than what you have now.

  6. Jade

    @Kristie Wells, advice to go to facebook is ridiculous. There are many sites specializing in help for adoptees. Some actual selected links would have been supportive.

    Many of us do not participate in social-media sites due to eternal privacy problems and the sites’ owners’ tendency to suddenly change TOS for added income without caring about impact on users. And as others have said, if it is free you are the product, not the customer.

  7. Chris Cheney

    @Marie Nelson. Marie have you tried to get your adoption record opened in the state where you were adopted? I think that is your first step. Once you know a name of one of your biological parents, then Ancestry will be a great help to you.

  8. Kristie Wells

    @Jade and @Marie: I was directing you to an active community of volunteers we have available to help members secure information. Many of our members specialize in helping adoptees discover their family history.

    If social media sites are not the right avenue for you to pursue, there is also the Online Community Portal. as well as another list of resources at:

  9. Jade

    @Kristie, the “forums.custhelp” site is meant to be about site issues. There are few topical subdivisions and it is hardly searchable. Not to mention the stupid voting-for-posts bit. If one posts a query there it is well-nigh impossible to find it again to see if someone replied. And the need to create a separate account and log in with new name has been a bug for a year. Its functionality is murky compared to the tried-and-true Message Boards.

  10. Linda S

    Marie Nelson: relatives of your biological parents could be on facebook. I don’t know the best way to name your facebook page so that the relatives might see it to help you. But many people have found their biological family on Facebook. also, try the message boards on they have been helpful also.

  11. slk

    100s of volunteers on facebook? Not even close. Most of the truly knowledgeable volunteers no longer contribute there on a regular basis, and some have moved on entirely. It’s a shame. There was a time it really was a very helpful place to turn… before people were trampled by dancing bears and unicorns, that is…

  12. don

    @Mischelle Today’s blog game is guessing how many comments there will be before it descends into an “Ancestry sucks, they’re too expensive and I can’t find me no relatives” whiny tirade. Whoever picked 1 is today’s winner.

  13. Jade

    Mischelle, “It’s rather sad that this conversation took place here. This page was to be a fun site.”

    Guess everyone’s idea of fun is not the same. Subscribers may prefer that paid staff concentrate on genealogy-related material, helping seekers, fixing site problems, etc. For “fun” I certainly would not look here. Other sites can be found with genealogy-related humor, if that’s what you’re looking for.

  14. Rita

    Back to the photo…

    My grandmother had a story book with the dressed up kittens. I loved it! It’s been probably 45 years since I last saw it, will have to ask my dad if it is still in the house.

Comments are closed.