I have been puzzling over this photo for many months, it belonged to my great-aunt and has no names or dates on the back.
One of the reasons I love this photo is because of the varied clothing in evidence, but also I love that the old man’s trousers are tied with string just below the knees! What is that all about? To me the man on the right at the back looks like a cowboy who has lost his horse and the man next to him might just be a mad scientist.
The setting of the photo doesn’t really provide any clues, it is a rural setting but that doesn’t really help narrow anything down at all. The only clue I have is that the young man second from the left on the back row looks like my great-aunt’s father (my great-grandmother’s partner) Trayton ANSCOMBE.
So I wonder whether the old man sitting in the front is his father, who was also named Trayton. The woman on his left is wearing a wedding ring and I wonder whether she is his wife Fanny? According to the census his wife was ten years younger than Trayton (and I suspect she may not have been his first wife), but even so there still seems quite a large age difference, either that or he had a very hard life.
The older Trayton ANSCOMBE died in 1914 aged 65 years, when his son Trayton would have been 18 years old. So the age of the young man in the photo looks about right if it was taken not long before the older Trayton’s death. My problem with this is that the old man looks a lot older than 65 to me.
I really need to get my photo-dating books out to see if I can learn anything from the clothing of the younger people in particular. I also need to do some more research on the ANSCOMBE family, to see if there were enough children for this to be the family. In the meantime, if you recognise any of this group please let me know.
Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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