Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week Sepia Saturday’s challenge is to focus on a small detail in an old photograph. The photo in the header of Jollett Etc. is a favorite because so many family members are gathered at the annual Jollett Reunion and because most faces are clear enough to identify them. I thought I knew almost everyone until Sepia Saturday made me take a closer look.
Like this baby. Who is it? And who is holding it?
Using my handy dandy Family Treemaker, I searched for people born in 1921 (since 1921 was the date written below the photo in the family photo album). To cover all possibilities, I also looked in 1920. I quickly discounted the 1920 babies because they were clearly older than these appear in 1921; furthermore, there should have been some two and three-year old siblings in the photo too. The best candidate for the baby on the back row is Janice Monger who might have been held by her grandmother Sallie Jollett Clift. There is a resemblance between this woman and her sister Mary Frances Jollett Davis, my great-grandmother. However, in no photo of Sallie that I have ever seen was her hair this light; besides, she parted her hair on the other side. So maybe not Sallie and Janice after all.
I turned my attention to the other woman with child. She looks much like Sadie Lam Jollett, wife of my great granduncle Ulysses Jollett. Her only grandchild was Andrew Jollett Steppe, born in 1923. Hmm.
seated: Emma Jollett Coleman, James Franklin Jollett,
standing: Minnie Coleman Maiden
So what is it – 1921 or 1923? I see my grandfather but no grandmother, so that is one argument for 1921. In 1923, barring stomach flu, Grandma would have been at the reunion.
Also Virginia Maiden would have been 10 in 1921 and 12 in 1923. She looks more like a 10-year old here. Another argument for 1921.
Which then makes me notice my grandaunt Velma. In 1921, she was 13. Hmm, she does NOT look 13 (good grief, she looks 31). If the photo is from 1923, she looks the part of a 15-year old, for that time period anyway. Why did everyone look older back then? No Mary Kay?
My attention then went to all those old people hoping one of them at least would have been dead before 1923 to clinch the deal. Wait – who was this ol’ gal sitting next to my 2X great-grandfather James Franklin Jollett?
|James Franklin Jollett and Diannah Coleman|
It was not his wife Eliza Jane. For years I did not pay attention to her, assuming that man and wife would be sitting together, but there is Eliza standing behind her.
Could it be Eliza Jane’s mother Diannah Shiflett Coleman? Some time ago I was given this photo of Eliza Jane, her mother and brother.
photo courtesy Elaine Via
While Diannah’s face looks softer in this very-worn photo than in the reunion photo, that is the same dress and apron. Note the collar and cuffs. Eliza’s dress is the same too. Those pickets are from the Jolletts’ fence hidden by all the people in the header photo. And look – there is Eliza Jane’s brother at the reunion too.
But fortunately for them – and UNfortunately for me – they were all living in 1923.
|2 in front: Leanna Jollett Knight |
and Clementine Shiflett Morris
3 in the back unknown
There is another old woman that I had not previously identified although she seemed familiar somehow. It turns out to be Clementine Morris, sister of James Franklin Jollett’s first wife Lucy Ann. Clem must have been wearing her “reunion dress” because it looks like the same one she wore to the Morris Reunion.
|Clementine and George Austin Morris, |
James Franklin Jollett, Ambrose Vernon
Clem was still alive and kicking in 1923 too.
So after all that, I still don’t know if this was 1921 or 1923. And who are those babies?
Please take a closer look at Sepia Saturday.
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.