This photo’s owner Diane Gould Hall knows these six women are the Hunter Sisters. In the back row (left to right) are Grace Hunter (1874-1946), Daisy Hunter (1876-1948), and Ada Emily Hunter (1865-1949). In the front row are Estelle M. Hunter (1867-1947), Florence Hunter (1869-1946), and Myra Hunter (1859-1938). Florence is Diane’s great-grandmother.
Diane knows this was taken after 1892 because another sister died that year, and she’s not present. The sisters’ beautiful, diaphanous blouses appear in fashion catalogs for the period 1910 to about 1915. If this picture was taken about 1915, the sisters would range in age from 39 to 56.
In the course of our email correspondence, Diane mentioned two interesting facts:
- Grace Hunter’s husband Charles Fenner and his brothers owned a photo studio in Lima, Ohio. That’s where this picture was taken.
- When she posted this image on her Ancestry.com family tree, a cousin contacted her. Turns out, that cousin owned a picture from this same studio sitting. Diane was amazed. In the second image, the sisters are seated in a different order!
How often have you considered that a photo in your collection might not be the only copy? Our ancestors went to the photo studio to acquire a picture, but “package deals” offered the opportunity to obtain multiple copies of the same image. Duplicates made it easy to share pictures to relatives.
Since professional photographers usually took several different poses to make sure all parties were happy with the final image, the extra prints might be slightly different.
Diane’s discovery is proof that you should ask to see the photo collections in the hands of distant cousins. Who knows what you’ll uncover! You could solve that photo identification mystery or find new pictures.
The latter happened to me recently. A distant cousin posted online pictures of my great-great grandparents. My mother and I had no idea that these images even existed.