The last image in Sandy Eichelberger’s mystery pile is a haunting portrait of a light-eyed woman. Her pale eyes are prominent in this picture.
Since it’s a head and shoulder image there isn’t a lot of detail.
What we can observe:
- She wears her hair pulled back.
- There is a bow on the crown of her head, likely the detail for a snood.
- Her dress sports a round collar that today we refer to as a Peter Pan collar.
- She’s not that old. She could be in her twenties or early thirties.
While we don’t have the whole image, it appears that the original could be a carte des visite. These small card photographs were common by 1859.
Let’s estimate her age as 30 and the date of the photo as 1864. With a year and an approximate age, it’s possible to estimate that her birth year is in the vicinity of 1834.
There are questions that will help identify her:
- Who gave these images to Sandy and before that her mother?
- Is there an online tree that I can refer to?
- Which of her female ancestors were born circa 1834?
Those three questions and their answers will generate their own set of questions. For now, these are a good start.
The three mystery images are from different generations:
- A wedding image from the 1910s. The young people depicted were likely born in the late 1880s.
- A woman outfitted for winter, likely born circa 1865.
- A 1860s image of an unidentified woman born circa 1834.
My biggest remaining questions:
- Why save these three images?
- Do these individuals bear a family resemblance to anyone?
Three generations of pictures pleading for identification. They could be family or friends. Only further study can elaborate their stories. I can’t wait to begin.
Want to become a photo detective? Our Family Photo Detective book will teach readers how to identify and verify people in family photographs by comparing facial features in a collection of photos.