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Michael 24-11-20 22:51

Help dating a photo please
Have been going through some of my dad's old photos - this was the only one he couldn't identify. Can anyone estimate a date please?

Merry 25-11-20 07:04

No image!!

Michael 25-11-20 11:30

It's displaying fine for me, not sure why it shouldn't be for you!

Can you view it via this link instead?

Merry 25-11-20 12:18

How odd - there was literally nothing to see for me in your opening post - no image and no link or anything.

Anyway, yes thanks, the dropbox link works for me. A little difficult to date little children as their clothes don't change so much with the passing years. I see the photographer is Williams & Williams - is there anythng more on the back of the photo?

Merry 25-11-20 12:29

I suppose the rustic bench makes me think pre-Edwardian, but actually they seems to be used in every era!

If there is info on the reverse about the different branches of the company open at the date the image was made, you might be able to work something out from this list:

Michael 25-11-20 13:47

Thank you. Guessing that it's most likely to be one of Dad's direct ancestors, his parents were born 1903 and 1904, grandparents all between 1879-1881. Great-grandparents were c1845-1858 (don't have exact dates for all of them), but it seems unlikely the photo is that old.

Unfortunately I don't have the original photo (Dad probably still has it somewhere, but whether he'd be able to find it on request is another matter!) - just the scan. I see from that link that Williams and Williams were based in Newport and Abertillery, which makes it slightly surprising that the family would have used them as they mostly lived in or near Ystradgynlais, which isn't particularly close to either of those. Two other photos in the same set also bear company names - H. Chapman of Swansea and Cartwright of Ystradgynlais, both also on the GENUKI list and neither close to Newport!

Phoenix 25-11-20 20:47

The style of the mount is (I think!) Art Nouveau. I would guess that would place it as early 1900s.

This little girl has a similar cape-style collar to her coat, though I think your photo may be a little boy, given those boots. Doesn't your father know?!!

Mary from Italy 25-11-20 22:26


Originally Posted by Merry (Post 384990)
How odd - there was literally nothing to see for me in your opening post - no image and no link or anything.

Same here, it's not just you.

Janet 26-11-20 03:43

I thought it might be a boy as well because it reminds me of the photo of my father about the same age in his little sailor suit with skirt and fancy hat, and the time frame would be similar to what you suggested, Phoenix, as Dad was born in 1901.

Michael, have you played with the face-matching feature on familysearch that Tom posted about? You'd want to put this photo as "You" and then upload other family photos to compare. It's not foolproof, but I did a lot of fooling around with it and was suitably impressed with some of my results.

It's under Activities > Compare-a-Face.

Michael 26-11-20 22:31

Thanks, Phoenix and Janet. Early 1900s would make it plausible at least chronologically that it's my paternal grandfather (b1903), but I don't think it is - from a comparison to two which Dad has confirmed are of him, he definitely had bigger ears than the child above (a trait which has been passed on to Dad and me!). He was an only child, so if the above photo isn't him, the next possibility is one of Dad's mother's brothers. I'll have a poke around with Compare-a-Face and see what I get...

Phoenix 26-11-20 22:49

Have just found this, dated as 1906:

I have just realised that the coat does up the same way in both photos. Were baby clothes uni-sex??

Merry 27-11-20 07:06

I expect baby clothes were made for the benefit of the mother when it came to buttons. Most mother's would be right-handed so placing the buttons "for a girl" would possibly make things simpler.

I remember my mum angsting over this when I was a child, because she was an expert knitter and often made layettes for mothers-to-be (always 2ply, always white!) - she said when she was younger she would always make the buttonholes "the girls way" because it was easier for the mother (assuming righthandedness), but she felt that in later years this had become frowned upon for baby boys, so she would knit both bands with buttonholes and then wait for the sex of the baby to be announced before sewing the buttons to the "correct" side, hiding one set of buttonholes.

Phoenix 27-11-20 09:01

Ooh, thanks, Merry. The trouble with the past is that we don't know what we don't know. Mum used to get so irritated by dramas set during WW2. "They didn't wear their hats like that!" ended up as asynonym for historical inaccuracy for any kind.

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