Wordless Wednesday – Mystery Lady

This is my mystery woman.  The name on the photo says “J.A Rogers” on the bottom left side and “Bedford, Ind.” on the bottom right side.  However, in my database I don’t have any Rogers’ living in Indiana in m database.
On the back of the picture, my grandma Nancy Rogers wrote “My beautiful Grandmother who died too soon and too young from cerebral hemorage.  This about 1900.”
But this doesn’t lead me any closer to figuring out who this mystery woman is because I don’t know the names of  Nancy Rogers’ paternal grandparents.  I don’t even know where they lived.
However, I do have in my database a line from Nancy Rogers’ maternal line that lived in Bedford, Indiana.  But that line has the last name of Frank and Morris.
My theory is that the name was added much later to the photograph and that there was a mix-up about the last name, especially because there is a woman named Josephine Frank who did live in Bedford, Indiana and is Nancy Rogers’ grandmother on her maternal side.  I don’t know Josephine’s middle name, but I feel like this could be her.
But until I am sure, this picture will remain the picture of a Mystery Lady.

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6 responses to “Wordless Wednesday – Mystery Lady

  1. Dear Elyse, J.A. Rogers is the photographer's name. They imprinted their name or company and city on the bottom of these cabinet cards. If anyone has written a book or list of photographers for Indiana, you could verify the year.

  2. Beth – Thank you so much! That makes much more sense! You just gave me a wonderful lead.

  3. Elyse, you could google the words: dating old photographs Maureen Taylor. I've heard her speak, and her info. could probably date your picture within a five year span. Good luck.

  4. I'm working on a big photo scanning-and-indexing project, so I have this stuff on the brain.

    One thing I've found handy is googling the photography studio. Sometimes you can quickly find information on when a particular studio was in business, or at least the dates of other people's photos from that same studio. That helps a lot in terms of narrowing down the timeframe.

    The first thing I thought when this photo appeared on my screen was, "That outfit doesn't look like 1900." It's possible she was just out-of-style (and I sympathize; I'm typing this in yoga pants and an old t-shirt and Crocs). I think, though, that the photo might be earlier than that.

    I have the Maureen Taylor book (which is FANTASTIC), and I looked it up. Based on the "women's fashion" info on pages 88-91, I'd guess this was maybe from the early-to-mid 1870s range (or a little later, if she wasn't up-to-date in terms of fashion). That bustle seems to have gone out of style after 1877.

    Good luck!

  5. Debbie Blanton McCoy

    Sometimes you can find the photographer's name in a city directory, also. Ancestry has some of the city directories online; however, you would need to look at several directories over a period of time to narrow down the time period of the photography studio.

  6. I agree with Kerry. That outfit was not new in 1900. That said, Rogers is a common name, so it may’ve been coincidence that the photo was taken at that particular studio. On the other hand, if the woman was wearing out-of-date clothing, she perhaps couldn’t afford a studio photograph, so J.A. Rogers could very well have been a relative who made the photo gratis.

    I’m assuming your grandmother married a Rogers, so my next step would be to locate J.A. Rogers in the 1900 census, learn his first name, then track *his* family in previous *and* later censuses, etc, then determine if one was the woman in the photo.

    For what it’s worth, something about this woman’s manner and dress makes me think she was a school teacher, which would explain the out-of-date clothing.
    .-= Joanna┬┤s last blog ..WordlessWednesday: Dillo Dilemma =-.

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