Photo Genealogy – Part 4

This entry was posted by Jim Sanders on Sunday, 25 March, 2012 at

Old Photo Identification

Six weeks ago we started a series of posts regarding photo genealogy. For those of you who have been following along, you know the background. For those who are just seeing this blog series for the 1st time; I acquired a 19th century photo album of my own family. It has pictures from the 1860s to about 1930. This series of posts have documented what I’ve done to identify at least sme of the people in the photos. This week will be the last of this series. This post will be about a number of photos which are still unidentified.

Below are some relevant links to the series of blog posts from the prior weeks.

This first unidentified photo is an interesting story. Normally the photographers imprint will be a good indication for dating a photograph. You must be aware however that even back in the late 19th century some photos were copies. This photo is one of those. Notice of the front of the photo it says “COPIED FROM A PICTURE”. Not all photos copied from a picture will have this note on the photo.
Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 9 - Front - New Britain, CT
Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 9 - Back - New Britain, CT

This next photo is another unidentified photo. The photo apprear to be from about 1900-1905, but what was the occasion? Are the two people both women or is the one on the right a man? Why would the person on the right be holding a suitcasse and an unbrella? As you examine your photos you need to look at the details and decipher . It has been suggeted to me that this photo may be an ad to some type of play.

Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 37 - New Britain, CT

Take a look at the next three photos. If you’re lucky enough to have inherited an old photo album, the placement of the photos may offer some clues. The three photos below are the 19th, 20th and 21st photo in the album. Each of the photos have exactly three women in the photos. Are they the same women at slightly different times in their lives? If they are not the same then who are they? In this case perhaps they are three women on the Sanders Side or three women on the Fraher side. There were three and only three Fraher sisters (Mary, Elizabeth and Sarah). There were five Sanders sisters (Frances, Sarah, Ann, Ada and Edith).

Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 19 - New Britain, CT
Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 20 - New Britain, CT
Sanders-Fryher Photo Book Image 21 - New Britain, CT

Well it’s been quite a journey to try to identify the photos in this old album. If you have any clues or information to add about these photos I would love to hear from you. Perhaps you can provide an estimated date when the photo took place. On Wednesdays I will continue to post additonal unidentified photos if you’d like to see some interesting old photos and to help date and identify them. My task to identify the photos continues…

4 Responses to “Photo Genealogy – Part 4”

  1. J Lilienthal

    The bottom one is very strange. It looks as if someone has photo-shopped an image of a very young soldier into an image of 3 women. The relative hugeness of the boy compared to the women makes it appear as if the people are out of scale with each other. Interesting.

    • Jim Sanders

      I thought that one was a little different than the others. Notice the the cane he has. Why would a man so young need a cane? Could he have been injured in some military conflict? I’ve been told this photo is from the early to mid 1880s. If so and if he was injured in a military conflict it would not have been the civil war.

      The image as it appears in the blog post should actually be mirrored reversed. It is a tin type photo and the scan in the blog post is a scan of the original photo which I have.

      Regards, Jim

  2. I’m thinking the middle picture of the women is a mourning photo. I could not make it bigger to view the clothing better. I had acquired some old pictures as well. One was of my ggrandmother from about the early 1900′s. The other was a young woman from the 1850′s. Had no idea who the second one was until a scanned them and view their faces side by side. They were the same person. I think one of the sisters is in the picture as the one dressed as a man. Still how wonderful to have those pictures

    • Jim Sanders

      Hi Dianne,

      Thank you for your feedback. It had not crossed my mind that could be a mourning photo. Were mourning photos common back then? I’ve been told this is from the early to mid 1880s. If this was the Fraher sisters as I suspect it was, their father died somewhere during that timeframe. I’ve been unable to find any death certificate, burial record or gravestone. One newspaper report indicates he was committed (assuming ir was a mental institution).

      Regards, Jim


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