Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Joseph Klump

For anyone that knows or has asked how my genealogy research has been going lately knows that my focus has been on the search for a picture of Joseph Klump Jr. This search has been going on for years at this point.

It hasn’t been completely fruitless as I’ve found a sketch of his father, two brothers, son, second wife, three daughters out of four daughters, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

This man is playing with me at this point…..

I have a distant cousin who has a bunch of unlabeled Klump family pictures and it’s a matter of her schedule. She’s busy, I get it.

But, with the recent passing of my father, I decided to take a little artsy side trip into solving my mystery.

We know with the DNA resources available, there are methods, specifically DNA Visual Phasing, where you compare the DNA of siblings to get a pretty solid idea for the DNA of their parents. Triangulation of sorts. It’s complicated but it’s it’s a good idea.

Can we do that with photographs of various generations to get an idea of what someone in between looks like?


I know very well that siblings don’t always look like each other and children can look nothing like either parent. The only reason I’m entertaining this idea is because there is a sketch that I have of Joseph Klump Sr., his father, that looks very similar to one of the last pictures taken of my father….. everyone who has seen it agrees.

I recently commissioned one of my friends from high school who was artsy and asked him how he felt about this crazy idea and taking a shot at drawing this portrait. After I explained the situation, he was open to trying.

Step 1: Provide the sketches and photos of everyone close in the generations to Joseph as I had.

Step 2: Analyze features of each person to see how facial features and traits had been passed down and explain any oddities.

Step 3: Let his imagine just go with it.

I personally can’t do it myself for two reasons.

  1. I’m too emotionally attached to the situation. There’s a specific way that I want Joseph to look. My friend has no invested emotional connection or interest in this and it’s a very fresh set of eyes analyzing all of this.
  2. My art skills are very sad. We’d have a stick figure with three arms, 14 fingers and a Picasso face that would probably make Picasso himself cry.

Why do I consider this a desperate attempt?

I’m fairly private and there’s things that went down with the passing of my father that makes me even more private. It’s hard for me to open up on a good day, it’s even harder to open up when it involves over 150 years of family with lot of unknown answers to questions.


He’s come back with an initial sketch that he’s still working on.

I’ll ultimately either give up or find a picture or sketch of him and of course, I’ll compare it to the sketch and report back to the friend of how on point (or not, haha) he was. If anything, it was a fun little adventure.