Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another Photo from the Family Album . . . Opinions Please!

Well, I should have put this photo of the album in with the first post I made about the unidentified photos that were stuck in it.  I have never made any claims to be organized, and this is further proof that I am not.  I have nothing but a gut feeling to tell me it is 1880's or 1890's vintage.  Cousin June sent me a list of the names that were written on the pages, but why in the world they would have removed the pictures in the first place is beyond my comprehension.  I console myself with the knowledge that at least they kept them in the album. The problem is that they don't all match up, so either there were other photos that are missing, or they slipped in a few that weren't original to the album.  I think I have a lead on the photo from my previous posting.  When I looked at the list of names again, I found that there is only one couple listed . . . Lane McCarty's parents.  And if I read her email correctly, the name Mollie was also on the same page.  This seemed to suggest that there should be two photos on this page, but when I searched high and low through my messy files located the list of Bridget O'Callahan's siblings, I discovered the name Lane McCarty as one more generation was squeezed into the list. His parents? Mollie Reagan and Thomas McCarty (McCarthy).  Now my mission is to locate some records for them and see if the time period  and location matches.  I will let you know.

Today, I want to share the photo that I forgot to take to the NGS conference with me.  It is also a tintype and I have poured over it, enlarged it, compared it to other photos and wondered about the wild, colorful neck bow.  I know the photo is in black and white, but I can see the color . . . can't you? 

From the dropped sleeve and full skirt, I estimate it is about 1850's or1860's. Someone wiser that me could pinpoint the clothing more closely.  The bow seems unusual, but maybe she was just a girl who liked a little flash.  She is wearing a ring on her right hand. . . or is this in reverse, and it's really on her left?  Could it be a wedding ring?  If I am correct then the time period fits, but I want need your opinion. After all you can't base an identification on a time period alone, and wishing it were true won't make it so.  I ask you, is this a young version of the woman below??

The woman below is Bridget O'Callahan, my gg grandmother.


  1. Margel, I do see some similarities between the photos. Looking at the face, in particular the shape of the eyes and the line of the mouth look the same to me. The hairline also looks similar. I'm no expert by any means, but I think you may be on the right track.

    I too had a tintype I meant to take to NGS and forgot. Sigh. Maybe I'll follow your lead and write a post asking for help.

    How frustrating that the photos were removed from the album! Hope you are able to match them up with the right names in the end.

    1. After cropping the lower photo and putting them next to each other for this post, I have to conclude that they look like the same person to me, but I keep telling myself that I have looked at them too much to be a good judge. Of course the scratch on the tintype has to go through her face!

  2. I think your album is mid to late 1880s. The Williams family album appears to have much the same construction and was presented to my great-grandparents as an engagement gift for Christmas, 1885.

    I think the style of the sleeve in the first portrait may be as early as 1849, when I compare it to similar styles in Joan Severa's Dressed for the Photographer (worth its weight in gold if you have very many early tintypes and daguerrotypes to date).

    Based upon the ears (I understand they are as distinctive as fingerprints, and do not change in structure as other facial features may appear to over time), I think you might have a match.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree

    1. Oh Dee, I really want that book. Maureen Taylor mentioned it also as a must have in the seminar I took at NGS. It is not currently in my budget but definitely on my perpetual "gift" list.

      Until the seminar, I really hadn't concentrated on the dress, but rather on the fact that it was a tintype. Then I found out how long they were in use and it really wasn't much help. Thanks so much for your opinion . . . i consider it a bonus that you agree!