Friday, September 4, 2009

Date an old Photo

Back Row L to R : William Harvey Jackson, Alvin Smith, William Sparks, Della (Smith) Sparks, Oscar Jackson( born 1895)in front of Della, Wm Homer Wert, William Frampton Smith(Married 1905) , Francis Willard Smith, Arena (Straley)Smith (marriage 1907)

Row 2 L to R: Ruth Jackson(1903), Dora (Smith) Jackson, Cora (Crites) Smith, holding James Fredrick Smith(born 1907), James W. Smith(Died 1913), Oella (Denney) Smith, Dessie (Heckman) Smith(died 1913), holding Virgil Smith(born 1905).

Front Row L. to R.: Alvin A. Sparks(born 1904), Lule Etta Wert (born 1905), James Frank Wert (born 1903) , Everett Smith(born 1904), Virgil Sparks(born 1902), Talmadge Sparks(born 1899), Nora Sparks(born 1897), Ethel Straley

When you have an old Photo which has people in it that you recognize you can dated it fairly accurately. The adults in this photo could be positively identified from other photos which I have of them with the exception of James W. Smith. It is obvious that the couple in the center is a “couple” probably a Father and a Mother. I can positively identify Oella from other photos that I have of her as the Mother. Since she did not remarry after James W. Smith died, we can make the logical conclusion that he is James W. Smith.

So you identify all the adults in the photo noting the significant life events dates, like marriage, death and birth events. In this case we know that James W Smith died in 1913 and so did Dessie (Heckman) Smith. William F Smith never remarried so we can positively say that she is Dessie. Dessie and William were married in 1905 and Virgil was born in 1905. We have already narrowed it down to after 1905 and before 1913. Francis Willard married his first wife Arena Straley on October 30, 1907.

Now as we take a closer look; we identify the dates that each of the children are born. We identify James Fredrick as the youngest and he is born on July 23, 1907. And we know that. The next child to be born is Della who is the daughter of Dessie and William and she is born in 1910. She is not in the picture so it is before 1910. James Fredrick is sitting on Cora lap he is not a new born, he looks he is old enough to sit up fairly well and probably with out much assistance. He looks to me like he is closing in on the toddler stage. I would make a guess that he is a year or more. Since James Fredrick was born in July of 1907, I would date this photo about July of 1908. ( July of 1909 at the latest.)

I wish I knew when James Fredrick was baptized because I would not be surprised if this picture was taken the day of his baptism.

And that is how you date an old photo……

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