PIECING TOGETHER THE PUZZLE OF THE NICHOLS-CARNEY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION-PART IV

Mystery photos of an attractive young woman posing for a portrait. How is she related to the NICHOLS and CARNEY family?

Elizabeth Bell CARNEY NICHOLS – Is this you?

 

 

 

 

 

An attractive young woman poses for her portrait at the West Side Gallery of Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Could these be photos of Elizabeth Bell CARNEY NICHOLS, the wife of Charles Knerr NICHOLS , and the mother of Helena May NICHOLS? There are three cabinet cards. None of them are labeled. I would have been quite content if just one photo were labeled.

The card stock used for the photos is square and heavyweight, has different colors for the face and back of the mount, and gold beveled edges. These clues indicate the photograph might have been taken between 1885 -1890. If this is Elizabeth, she would have been 20-24 years old. Perhaps Elizabeth CARNEY exchanged photographs with her soon-to-be-husband, Charles NICHOLS. He had his photograph taken in 1892. During this time Elizabeth CARNEY lived with her parents (Phillip and Lucinda Jane Fiscus CARNEY), in Park, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. Park is located 26 miles from the photographers studio in Greensburg.

Using clothing and hair styles is another method to date a photograph.  The young woman’s corset fitted style dress has a high collar, cloth covered buttons, and contrasting pattern lapels. She poses slightly different in each portrait. She also accessorizes her ensemble with variations. In the first photo she wears a satin ribbon around her neck, a straight gold lapel pin, and a gold chain looped around a button. (An observant reader noticed that the gold chain has a pair of scissors attached – thanks Janice Webster Brown of Genealogy Bloggers).  The second image she chose an umbrella lapel pin. In the late 1880’s jewelry tended toward novelty. In the third photograph she ties the ribbon on the opposite side of her neck and wears the umbrella lapel pin. Her dainty gem stone earrings are the same in each picture. Her fluffy bangs and hair piled atop her head reflect a hairstyle typical for the late 1880’s. I consulted “An Illustrated History of Hairstyles 1830-1930”, by Marian I. Doyle, and found a photograph of a woman wearing a very similar hairstyle and dress. The estimated date was 1883-1886.

If only pictures could talk. What would this young woman tell me?

© 2017 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

About treeklimber

An interest in history and travel lends itself to a passion for genealogy. The more I research, the more I realize there is to discover. It is a never-ending puzzle.
This entry was posted in My Family Ancestry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to PIECING TOGETHER THE PUZZLE OF THE NICHOLS-CARNEY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION-PART IV

  1. JW Brown says:

    Such gorgeous photographs! In the first photograph are those tiny scissors at the end of the chain. Was she a seamstress?

    Liked by 1 person

    • treeklimber says:

      You are observant Janice. I didn’t notice the scissors until you pointed them out. I used a magnifying glass and then I could see them. Looking at all of the census records, there is no indication that she was a seamstress. Perhaps they were just a novelty bit of jewelry.

      Like

      • Amy says:

        I am confused—what census records? If you don’t know who she is, how can you find her on the census? What am I missing?? Great photos!

        Like

      • treeklimber says:

        Well, I am fairly certain who it is but I don’t have the proof of her name written on the back of the photos. I think it is Elizabeth Bell Carney and if that is true then I can follow her in the census records. You made a good point. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amy says:

        Ah, okay. That makes sense!

        Like

  2. Michael says:

    Unlabeled photographs is one of the most frustrating things about family history. To think that just a generation or two ago someone somewhere knew who this was. I have dozens of unlabeled folks. If only I had a Ouija board. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • treeklimber says:

      My hope is that some other family member has similar photos and some of my mysteries will be solved. I have had tremendous serendipity with distant cousins sharing photos and piecing more and more of the family puzzle together. Of course, the quest never ends.

      Like

  3. Pingback: PIECING TOGETHER THE PUZZLE OF THE NICHOLS-CARNEY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION – PART V | trekthrutime

  4. I like that you gave us the photos first and then the description. I was scrolling up and down comparing before I got to the text. Enjoying seeing you work it out.

    Like

  5. Pingback: PIECING TOGETHER THE PUZZLE OF THE NICHOLS-CARNEY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION PART VII | trekthrutime

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s