And the Winner Is? And a Runner-up

By Maureen A. Taylor

Thank you to everyone that contributed pictures to the Family Tree Magazine Photo Contest. So many great pictures….it was a tough decision. I’ll be featuring many of your pictures in future columns.

The winner is (drum roll please):
contest winneredit.jpg
Congratulations to J. Hansen! I’ll write more about this picture as soon as I have more details. Here’s what I know. It was found covered in dust in a storage area in her father’s company that dates back to 1886. Can’t wait to unravel this one!

In the meantime, here’s another photo submitted for the contest.
Patricia Manwell thinks that this lovely girl depicts someone in her Gawne family. They immigrated from the Isle of Man to Australia. A date for this picture would help Patricia figure out who she is.

  • Reddish brown card stock was extremely popular in the 1880s.
  • The design of her dress is a clue. All those vertical pleats were common in the late 1880s.
  • In the mid-late 1880s, studios invested in props to make settings mimic the outdoors. In this case, fake greenery and a “rock” chair.
  • This little girl sports short hair. Perhaps it’s a clue to a recent illness. Families often cut off long hair when children were very ill. Long hair was thought to be physically draining.

There are family history details that I don’t have such as when the family moved to Australia. This could be very helpful. I wonder if the photographer Vanheems was related to William Henry Vanheems, who taught optics in Australia. Optics is related to photographic lens.

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