It’s been three weeks since the first post on the photos of two Texas men with mysterious decorations on their shirts. In the second column, I really didn’t have much to add, but since then, readers have sent in their suggestions/comments.
Here’s the latest news.
The Smith County Historical Society couldn’t find anything relevant in their archives, but the staff members will keep their eyes peeled just in case something shows up. I really appreciate their help.
Kim Lawonn and a couple of other folks wrote to me with a suggestion, “Could the men be wearing early Western-style shirts?” It’s possible. In the 1860s, most shirts lacked collars and closed with the double-butto,n as seen here. I’m looking for proof.
Beni Downing sent me a long e-mail outlining her thoughts. She’s an avid needleworker. Beni wants me to consider that the shirts were made for a special occasion, such as a wedding, and to think about a Central European origin. I’m intrigued by the first suggestion. As far as I know, Peggy Batchelor Hamlett doesn’t have any central European ancestry.
Beni wishes she could see the shirts more closely. I second that desire! Here are close-ups for further inspection.
Above is a close-up of the design from the left-hand photo.
Here’s the pattern from the right hand photo.
Both Kim and Beni’s suggestions have merit. These elaborate designs are similar to patterns seen in needlework. The eight-pointed star is a common quilt design.
Beni’s suggested I have my genealogist/needlework hobbyists check needlework pattern books for matches. Good idea! Beni has already looked in her books on Scandinavian designs.
I really think we’re getting closer to solving this one. I’ll be in touch with Peggy to see if there’s any family information to help.
Thank you for all your help!