Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Could this be my great-grandmother?

I've had the good fortune lately to have found "new" cousins from my mother's father's Flanders family line. They aren't really new, but they're newly-found and newly treasured! This week one of them shared this beautiful photo with me, saying she thought it was a portrait of our great, great, grandmother Jane Ann Wilson, wife of Samuel McMillan. 
This chart shows my ancestry to Jane Ann McMillan. 
I think the woman in the photo is beautiful. My cousin told me her notes said the woman was"Grandpa Flanders' (C.C.) Grandmother McMillan". The C. C Flanders referred to was a brother of my grandfather Milo Flanders. So that would mean she's Jane Ann Wilson, wife of Samuel McMillan, as shown in the chart above. 

I saw that the portrait was taken by F. Beals, 23 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, Illinois. I did some online research about Ferris Beals, photographer, and learned that his studio was open in Elgin 1890-1908. Then I realized Jane Ann Wilson, born in 1823, would have been 67 years old the first year he opened his studio. I'm quite certain the lady in the portrait is not 67 years old. I was disappointed, because I don't know how that could be a portrait of my great, great grandmother.  

My cousin and I have considered that it might be a photo of Sarah Jane McMillon Flanders, who was born in 1853. She would have been 37 years old when Ferris Beals opened his studio. But my cousin's note said it was Grandmother McMillon. Sarah Jane would have been Grandmother Flanders.  So I guess for now it's a puzzle. 


Sue McCormick said...

I agree with you, this woman is too young to have been 67 in this portrait.

Family identifications are often vague. I have decided that several of my family pictures from this era were mistakenly identified. One person who was originally identified as my grandfather is almost certainly that of his brother-in-law. (Which is good to know, because we didn't have any pictures of Uncle Henry.) No one seems to recognize the girls in another one.

You need to keep the photo, label it as best you can and keep researching. Maybe someone else in your line will have a different picture which may add insights.

Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

I am trying to find information about a particular photographer and am coming up empty handed. Any tips to share?

Love the picture! I think that when people utilized sites like Rootsweb and Genforum back in the "old days," there was a lot of exchange between new found cousins. I've missed those days, but I guess now we have other ways to track cousins down.