Mom, Dad and Baby

Mom, Dad and Baby

Marla Hathhorn sent in this picture with a simple question. On the back someone wrote, "Ann Hicks." Is Ann Hicks the baby or the mother? Marla knows that her ancestor Anna Foley Hicks was born in Canada in 1844 and died in Oklahoma in 1914.&nbsp...

Marla Hathhorn sent in this picture with a simple question. On the back someone wrote, “Ann Hicks.” Is Ann Hicks the baby or the mother?

Ann Hicks2.jpg

Marla knows that her ancestor Anna Foley Hicks was born in Canada in 1844 and died in Oklahoma in 1914.

A lot of people ask me, “What do I look at first in a photo?” The answer depends on the image. In this case, I read Marla’s e-mail and quickly glanced at the photographer’s imprint at the bottom of the card to see where the picture was taken. Then I examined their clothing.

The woman’s dress is from the circa 1880 period. The bodice extends over the hips, extra fabric drapes over her upper legs and there are two layers of pleats. Her choice of jewelry is also typical for the time — a thick chain with a charm was very popular. In the early 1880s, women wore their hair pulled back with short bangs. This young mother is very stylish in an understated way. Dad’s clothing agrees with this time frame.

The baby is very cute in it’s long dress, thick tights and buttoned boots. Around it’s neck is a lovely bib.

Could the mother be Anna? In 1880 she’d be 36 years of age, a likely fit.

T.R. Colpitts took this photo. The Rock Lake Herald of 1881 featured a short bit of news about him. It stated that he was taking a trip into southern Manitoba to take scenic views for resale. It appears from this photograph that he also found employment with the Hudsons Bay Parlors, a photographic establishment possibly connected with the Hudson Bay Company. I’m looking for that link.

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  1. I have photos from both of my grandmothers, and many photos (especially of babies and children) have my grandmothers’ names written on the backs rather than the names of the subjects. I’ve also found duplicates of those photos among other collections, and those copies have their owners written on the back.

    Could Ann Hicks, like my relatives, be the recipient of a gift photo rather than one of its subjects? 😉

  2. Maureen,
    Thank you so much for giving me an approximate date for this photo! It was very interesting to read all the details that led you to dating the photo in the 1880’s. I was surprised to see that even jewelry could point toward a certain time period!
    Thanks for solving this mystery!
    Marla Hathhorn