Monday, August 15, 2011

Mystery Monday: Mystery No More

These photos were among ones that I obtained from Grammy earlier this year.  Based on the context, they were probably taken in Hill County, Texas, around 1900 but I did not know who the family was.

  • Both photographs are clearly of the same family. Same number of people, same relative ages, same general appearances.
  • Neither photograph was taken in a studio. They both appear to have been taken on a farm. Perhaps they were taken by a traveling photographer.
  • Although the baby looks to be about the same age in both photos, I am guessing that the sepia photo (below) is later because the son appears to be wearing the same jacket as in the other photo, but is outgrowing it.  He is also taller in relation to his seated father.
  • The mother is wearing the same dress in both photos, although she is wearing a tie at the neck in one photo but not the other.. The quilt behind her is also the same.
  • The father is wearing the same suit. His hair seems a bit longer in the first photo (above). Perhaps he got a haircut.
  • In both photos, the father is holding a folded document of some sort.  This was often done to indicate an educated person.
The more I looked at these photos, I began wondering if the father might be Charles William Edmonds, born Fayette County Alabama, lived in Hill County Texas.  I sent the photos to my second cousin Beverly and her husband Fred to see if they knew who the family was.  Beverly is a descendent of Charles William Edmonds.
Bingo! We now have names!
  • Father:  Charles William Edmonds
  • Mother:  Manerva Josephine Davis Edmonds
  • Older son:  Curtis Leon Edmonds
  • Older daughter:  Abba Gertrude Edmonds
  • Younger daughters:  Hestra and Celestia Urline Edmonds
  • Baby:  Augustus Hill Edmonds
Knowing who the baby is also gives a relatively short timeframe for the photographs.  Augustus Hill Edmonds was born in August of 1893, so the photos were most likely taken in 1894. 

Fred and Beverly believe that the photos might have been taken on the same day, perhaps on Augustus Hill’s christening day.  What do you think?


  1. Hi! Katie and I are wondering how you're related to Charles William Edmonds. Would he be the uncle of Lester Lloyd I?

  2. Charles William Edmonds was a younger brother of Augustus Newell Edmonds. So, yes, he was an uncle of Lester Loyd Sr.

  3. I want to know why those girls aren't wearing any shoes. LOL. These are great pictures! Since it appears that the older children are taller in the second photo, indicating that some time has passed, but the baby doesn't appear to have aged at all ... is it possible that it's a different baby? Perhaps the child in the first photo died at some point between the two photos and the baby in the 2nd photo is your Augustus?