How to Identify the Right Couple in an Old Wedding Photo

How to Identify the Right Couple in an Old Wedding Photo

In the recent post 3 Clues to Identify Family in Old Wedding Photos, I asked a series of questions relating to this image belonging to William Davis: This week, I'm back with more information.The clothing clues in this picture, including the woman's front-pleated skirt and her bodice...

In the recent post 3 Clues to Identify Family in Old Wedding Photos, I asked a series of questions relating to this image belonging to William Davis:

This week, I’m back with more information.

The clothing clues in this picture, including the woman’s front-pleated skirt and her bodice, all date the picture to the 1880s. Davis thinks the photo depicts William Issac Carrigan and Sarah Ann Hutton, who married Sept. 4, 1884.

Other Brides

To narrow the possibilities, I asked William if there were any other family weddings in the 1880s. There were three! (Four if you count the couple married in 1879, but I’ll eliminate them for now. This bride’s outfit is definitely from the 1880s.):

  • John Bailey Peyton Boswell and Lydia Ann Jane Trull married Dec. 6, 1882, in Williamson Co, Ill.
  • Henry Wille and Elizabeth Theresa H. Bodedeker married circa 1886 possibly in St. Louis, Mo.
  • William Issac Carrigan and Sarah Ann Hutton married Sept. 4, 1884, in Carrolton, Greene, Ill.

Financial Clues
All the couples except the Willes were from farming families. Henry Wille’s father was a tavern owner who helped his son become a grocer.

Armed with the list of other couples and some financial clues, I’m going to dig into the databases and see what other clues might pop up. I’ll have more information next week.


Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now
  • Save

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