Reader-Submitted Multi-Generational Pictures

By Maureen A. Taylor

I’ve been thinking about holiday cards. On Thanksgiving all 14 members of my husband’s family—three generations of relatives—stood in the yard and posed for a group portrait.

I find the thought of having even more generations represented in a single image amazing. Yet that’s just what a reader submitted when I asked for multi-generation pictures.

Kay Haden sent me two five-generation images from her family. There is no duplication of people in the two pictures.

In the first, someone used a ballpoint pen to write the names on the people. I wish they’d written on the back with a soft pencil, but there are lots of family photos with inked IDs.

While the image states a date of 1907, Kay knows that it was actually taken two years later in 1909. This is based on the birth year of the baby.
The baby is Graydon Earl Comstock (1908-1983). He’s sitting on his father’s lap—Kenney Marcus Comstock (1887-1958). Kenney’s father, James Monroe Comstock (1860-1928), stands behind him. Next to James is his mother, Miranda Jane (Brown) Comstock (1842-1912). The oldest person in the image is the 2x great grandmother of the baby, Rebekah Poindexter (Jones) Brown (1822-1912).

Five Generations edit.jpg

In this 1961 image, Kay is the young woman in the back row. Her mother stands next to her. The baby is her oldest son. In the front row is the baby’s great-grandmother and his 2x great grandmother. I don’t usually publish images of living individuals, so I’ve withheld their names.

There is so much family history in these photos! If you pose for one, please take time to also sit with the family members and reminisce about their lives. Bring along a voice recorder/video capture device so that you can relive the moment later on—as well as save a piece of your family history.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album