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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, August 01, 2011
A Possible Identity for the Lady
Posted by Maureen

Last week I wrote about Jay Kruizenga's photo of a woman with long hair.

MYSTERYWOMAN.jpg

He read the column and quickly wrote back to say thank you. It appears that the lovely woman with the long locks has a name!

He believe that this picture was taken 1883-85 because the cardstock and other details match another photo in his family collection. The other image depicts Jacob Derk Kruizenga's only living son, Derek Jacobs, who was born in 1879. 

Jay then wondered "who was living with Jacob Derk Kruizenga (1830-1906) and his wife Jennie (1837-1905) in the same time frame?"

According to the 1880 federal census, the couple had two daughters living at home—Nettie (born 1861) and Frances (born in 1866). Jay doesn't think Nettie is the woman in this photo because she married and moved away from home around the time of the census. 

Could this photo be Frances? Perhaps. She was the only living daughter of Jacob and his second wife Gezina Rotmans VanBraak. She didn't marry until 1885, so she would still be single in this photo.

Now all Jay has to do is find another photo of Frances for comparison. She was well known in Michigan. Frances was elected President of the Michigan Chapter for the Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal organization, and gave speeches at conventions. 

Jay wrote to the Foresters but the person who replied said that all their historical information is boxed and unorganized, thus making it difficult to find anything. 

I'm hopeful that someone has a photo of Frances in her capacity of president of that organization.

Thank you to the person who commented on last week's story. If you've ever wondered why all these young women posed with their long hair down, there is a simple answer: They wanted to look like the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus act, the Seven Sutherland sisters. The sisters concluded their musical performance by letting down their hair for the audience. It was sensational!


Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1880s photos | hairstyles | photo-research tips
    Monday, August 01, 2011 2:57:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
    Comments are closed.