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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, November 26, 2007
Mourning Photograph?
Posted by Maureen

This week's picture comes from the Photo Detective Forum. This is used by folks who want their pictures analyzed for this column, but you can also post a photo-related question.



Alissa Booth wrote that someone crossed out the original caption, C.C. Smock's wife and wrote Mother. A little girl stands next to an elderly relative, and Alissa wants to know which is the wife and who's the mother? Is it the older woman or the little girl? Alissa thinks her father changed the label when he was identifying photos to give to his children and now she's confused.

From researching census records, Alissa knows C.C. Smock's wife, Mary Amalong, was born Oct. 10, 1855, and his mother, Sarah, was born about 1831.

The key to identifying the women in this photo is the date. The girl's dress with it's ruffled yoke suggests this picture was taken circa 1900. Her grandmother's dress is simply styled without the full sleeves of the late 1890s, and further confirms the time frame.

If this were C.C. Smock's wife, Mary (born in 1855), the older woman would be approximately 50. If it's Smock's mother, she'd be approximately 70. The latter is a more likely fit for the identity of the woman. She looks much older than 50, with a full head of white hair and knarled hands. Notice her handkerchief tucked into the waistband of her dress.

She's dressed in black as a sign of respect for a deceased family member. It could be her husband or another close relative.

The little girl could be her granddaughter, but given the fact that this little girl was born in the 1890s, it's probably her great-grandmother or even great-great grandmother. It all depends on when her parent's birth years and their relationship to the family matriarch.

Alissa's Dad wrote Mother probably referring to the little girl, but that still leaves her with another mystery—who wrote the original caption?

P.S. Don't forget to look at the comments for Ancestral Vacations. I've added some new details.

1900-1910 photos | children | women
Monday, November 26, 2007 2:39:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]