I’ve been asked to determine which wife is in a picture or which child, but this is the first inquiry that referred to an immigrant-ancestor mystery.
Jeanette Bias told me that “she knows everything about her family,” just not who’s in this picture. It’s a scan of a cousin’s original. This ardent genealogist has written two books on her family and is coordinating a reunion for late summer. She really wants to know who’s in this image!
This elderly couple’s portrait makes a great example of an immigrant portrait. First, their clothing isn’t current to the late 19th century; they’re wearing simple clothing from their homeland. His high boots and her bonnet are clearly not fashionable, but rather, functional and cultural.
Bias knows that all of her family immigrated from a small village in Silesia (now part of southwest Poland).
In order to help Jeannette date the picture and identify the couple, I need a couple of other details.
Color of the card stock of the original: Different color photographic mounts were popular at different times.
A photographer’s name: I’m hopeful that either the bottom margin of the card or the back contains the name of a photographer.
The backdrop isn’t unusual enough to jump to conclusion, but could this be a couple who remained in Silesia? The additional information will help.
Jeannette originally thought this was Simon (1843-1892) and Mary Dulas (1850-1932). She owns several pictures of Mary, but none of Simon. The couple immigrated on Nov. 1, 1884. When Simon died at 55, Mary was only 42. This couple is much older than that.
So who’s in the image? I’m working with Jeannette to figure out this puzzle in time for her family reunion. The card stock, photographer’s info. and perhaps even geography will help solve this one. Stay tuned!