Godfrey Update

Godfrey Update

It's week three of the project to identify all the faces in Gwen Prichard's family composite. In the first installment, I introduced this lovely composite and then last week I showed an original image from which one of the tiny portraits was taken. This week, Gwen wrote to...

It’s week three of the project to identify all the faces in Gwen Prichard’s family composite.

In the first installment, I introduced this lovely composite and then last week I showed an original image from which one of the tiny portraits was taken.

This week, Gwen wrote to me with a new piece of information. Her niece did a quick search of the city directories on Fold3 (formerly Footnote.com) and found a photographer named Peter Godfrey living in Louisville, Ky., in 1866. She thinks it’s her ancestor. This suggests that Godfrey created the composite after 1866 when he was living in Fulton, Mo.

We’re still trying to sort through photos for facial comparisons and then trying to compare the life dates of those individuals with their possible ages in the composite.

I agree with Gwen that Godfrey probably photographed family members residing in Louisville before he moved, and then the Missouri Godfreys later on. There is also the possibility that family members sent him photographs of themselves for inclusion in the composite.

This photo has a lot of angles worth exploring! According to Gwen’s emails, it appears she’s identified around a dozen individuals. That’s great news. Photo mysteries like this take a long time to decipher. She’s doing all the right things—comparing faces to photos in her collection and reaching out to relatives. She’s taking it one face at time.

Photo challenges come in all sizes from single unnamed images to large group portraits. In Gwen’s case, she’s got a lot of genealogical information to help her follow the pictorial trail.


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
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