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.
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
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
Alissa's Dad wrote Mother
probably referring to the little girl, but
that still leaves her with another mystery—who wrote the original
P.S. Don't forget to look at the comments for Ancestral Vacations
. I've added some new details.