When I saw the prompt image a few weeks ago in the “coming soon” section on Sepia Saturday, I immediately thought of this photo. It’s been a bit of a thorn in my side as far as finding out who everyone is, but I’ve made some progress since the beginning. Here’s the rundown of who’s who (or who I think is who) with uncertain identifcations marked with a question mark.
Back, Left to right: Jessie (Battin) Powis, June (Croyle) Johnson?, Euphaime (Lamb) Miller, Marion Miller?, Oscar “Fritz” Powis, Laura (Johnson) Powis
Center, Left to right: Charles Miller and William Miller (twins, not sure who is who)
Front, Left to right: Alfred Powis, Louise Johnson?, Margaret Johnson?, Frank Johnson
As far as a date goes, Laura and Fritz were married in March of 1926, so I’d assume the Johnson family was over to visit on or around the time of their wedding. Dorothy Powis, their daughter, was born in December of 1926, and there’s no baby in the photo, nor does Laura look pregnant, so I’d have to pretty solidly put this in early to mid 1926. As far as my guesses go, I assumed June Johnson would be in the photo and she’s identified solely by process of elimination. I’d found another user’s photo of Euphaime Miller online, and the Miller twins appear over and over in other photos (my great grandma was clearly smitten with them and may have even taken this photo). I also guessed on Marion Miller since she’s standing near her mother and brothers. The two gals in the front are likely Laura’s two younger sisters, but it’s hard to tell who is who since they were born a year apart. The Millers are, as far as I can tell, not related at all, just neighbors.
A lot of the guesswork with the identifications takes into account the date and circumstances for the photo. Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated when there are no labels and put a photo aside, but with a little critical thinking (Laura and Fritz were recently married, I know that’s Frank Johnson and the Miller Twins, so…) and a few lucky google/ancestry hits, things can be sorted out eventually. It definitely pays to revisit unidentified photos from time to time!
A nice appropriate-to-the-theme picture and a good try at identifying everyone! But it’s definitely a lesson to take to heart by everyone now to write information on the backs of photos themselves – even if they’re identified and dated in an album because they may not always stay in the album. I enjoy finding old pictures in antique shops, but always feel a little sad that the people in them are unknown.
I posted one I had been working on for such a long time as part of a Sepia Saturday post and found new clues while working on it. Then over a year later I was contacted by someone who could help identify a couple of people. Good luck with the identification!
This is a fine photograph to feature, and I like the way the camera has captured the personalities with their different expressions and postures.
Revisiting does pay, I agree.