Sunday, April 3, 2011

Maureen Taylor the Picture Detective

I went to RootsTech 2011 conference in February and Maureen Taylor was there taking 15 minute appointments for photo identification.  I have had some old leather bound cases with photo's in them that came from my Ware/Ford family and I despaired of ever knowing who they were.  Maureen took one look and gave me enough information that I could pin point exactly who 4 of the six were and she gave me a good clue as to the possibility of the remaining two individuals.

 She identified these 1st two pictures as "ambrotype" pictures probably taken @ 1854-1856 because of the dress and Hair style and the fact that this type of photography had a very limited time in production.  

The 2nd set is the same couple some 5-7 years later @1860-1865.  These are daguerreotypes. 
The clothing for both male and female have some distinctions that she pointed out but it is the hair that I noticed.  In the 1st picture the woman's hair is pulled severely down and back where as the 2nd picture the hair is pulled down on the top but is left full over the ears and sides of the head.  It is possibly in a snood or net of some kind in the back this loose type hair was popular after 1860.  Also the lace gloves were popular in that period also.

There were several more things she mentioned but in 15 minutes it was hard to write down everything she mentioned and the foregoing is what I was able to take note of.

 Ms. Taylor was very firm that these are pictures of the same couple and in our family there is only one couple that fits that time period  and that is William Ware and Martha Gee Ford.

These pictures; according to my father, David Cates, came from Grandma Cates home.  His mother, Ruth Carter Cates was adamant about preserving these and kept them in a box along with Grandma's bible and other family records some of which I described here.

There was another couple in another small leather case and when I showed all of them she said, "well these two women are related.  Most likely mother & daughter".  I will post these two pictures in another post but again there was only one family that would fit those parameters.  Joseph Ford and Sarah Smith.  Ms. Taylor said that the picture is an Ambrotype and therefor probably taken at the same time as the 1st set.

Sarah Smith died in 1862 and William Ware died in 1865.  If you recognize these names or pictures please leave a comment and let me know.  I have some wonderful information on these families.  I have been to both homes and taken pictures of both cemeteries.  I am happy to share.

This information was worth the price of the conference!

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