A Possible Match in Two Recent Mysteries

A Possible Match in Two Recent Mysteries

This week, Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor is revisiting two recent mysteries and also sharing tips for using Pixlr.com for creating your own photo timelines.

Sandy Eichelberger is back!  She thinks she has a possible identification for the pale eyed woman AND the woman in the fur coat.  Sandy initially thought all these photographs came from her maternal line, now she’s not so sure.  She thinks they depict Barbara Schoemann (1857-1919). Barbara was her paternal grandfather’s mother.  She has one identified photo of her for comparison.

Pixlr photo timelines

In cases like this, I use an online program, Pixlr.com.  It’s free. It’s not a facial comparison program, but I use it that way. You can create collages and visual timelines.

They are useful tools that can support or crush your pictorial hypothesis. In the columns on these photos, “ The Mystery of the Pale-Eyed Woman” and “Narrowing the List of Suspects: Identifying Two Women“, I offered clues that could help her narrow down who they might be.

Sandy looked at my suggestions and compared my findings to her family tree. Using Pixlr I created a visual timeline of the images.  You can do this too with your images.

So, if we put all the images in timeline order from oldest to most recent, let’s see if the faces match up. In Pixlr you can crop and adjust the image, but the quality of these scans varies. Since I cropped them to enlarge the faces, some of those scans became pixelated.

Pixlr photo timelines

What’s next?

Family members can look like other relatives so it’s important to also ask the following questions:

  • Who else in the family could these women be?
  • Did Barbara Schoemann have any sisters?   It’s possible that not all of the images are she.
  • Do their noses, mouths, eyes, and ears look the same?

In the first image the woman is about thirty and in the last two she’s in various stages of being middle aged.  By creating a visual timeline we get to watch a person age.

So what do you think?  Weigh in on this mystery.


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.

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