Monday, June 3, 2013


Yesterday I managed to scan several dozen photographs and their backs (most had some writing on them from either my mother or her mother).  Some of these photographs I had seen long long ago, and popped them away "for safety", with no index or details, not even how I found them.  Note to self: make notes!

One of the last photos in my "to be scanned" folder was this lovely photograph of 1st cousins taken approximately 1890, in a formal portrait studio in Jordan, Onondaga County, New York.  Not a smile or a moving muscle on either of these young girls!  Too bad, as the taller girl had a great dimple on the left cheek when she smiled.

The younger girl seated on the left with light hair is Florence Ethel Wisner (known as Ethel), b. 1883 in New York state, the only daughter and 2nd of 4 children of Lillian Adele Graves (my greatAunt) and Gabriel W. Wisner (a lawyer).  She was named for her mother's youngest sister, Florence Graves. These two sisters were apparently quite close, as Florence named her only daughter, Lillian.

The older girl with dark hair standing on the right, is Marguerite Josephine "Daisy" TERWILLIGER, my maternal grandmother, b. 19 May 1880 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, the only daughter and 1st child of 3 of Charles Giles GRAVES (investor, businessman) and Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE.

Notice they are wearing the same style hat and dress, and are mirroring poses.

If you look closely you may be able to see that the girls have some "tattoos" on their fingers on the joints closest to their knuckles.  I'll assume that they are temporary ones, put on by some means or another.

I wish I'd seen this photo when my grandmother was alive - I'd have had many questions about their relationship, and how it was that they were together in Jordan NY at this time.  How did they have the same clothing to wear, and what about those tattoos?? Perhaps there was a family get-together happening.  There doesn't seem to have been any deaths, births, or marriages in the several families represented in the direct and extended lines in the area.

The center "thing" they are both leaning on is remarkably oddly shaped with something poking out in the middle! Some boxes wrapped in a gorgeous throw? Perhaps someone knows these details of late 1800s photographic studios -?   I haven't been able to find a news item about this Dygert or Dugert Portrait Studio as yet, but I'll keep trying over the next few weeks.

If you wish any further information on either of these two girls or their families, or if you have details to share, do please comment below, or email me at calewis at telus dot com.  Thanks for visiting!

1 comment:

Leita Stovman said...

Great pics - great questions !! Inoticed that while the girls are dessed the same, they are obviously different colours. The ribbon/trimmings and dress are darker on Grandpete's than Ethel's. I, too, wonder what the occasion was??


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis