Who Do I Think They Are? – Is this the ANSCOMBE family?

8 May

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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4 Responses to “Who Do I Think They Are? – Is this the ANSCOMBE family?”

  1. MsGenealogist May 12, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Wonderful photo! Could you maybe send it to one of the magazines for some dating/interpretation advice? WDYTYA or YFT, I’m sure one of those or possibly both have a feature where they do this. It strikes me as the kind of image that would stand out from the pile of submissions and stand a good chance of publication.

  2. MsGenealogist May 12, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Sorry to comment twice in a row, but I just re-read the text of your post. I don’t think it’s possible that the photo pre-dates 1914. It’s certainly at least the very late 1920s; I’d guess mid-1930s if I had to make a call. I’m not an expert at all, but I’m going by the women’s clothing in particular (speaking as someone interested in vintage stuff and poring over old photos). Hope that helps!

    • John Gasson May 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

      Thanks for your comments MsGenealogist. I did wonder about getting an “expert” to date it, either one of the magazines or at WDYTYA Live next year.

      I agree with your suggestions on the date, after a quick look in a couple of books I had decided that it had to be of a later date, probably around 1930 but I am no expert either.

      My guess is that the old man was Trayton’s grandfather on his mother’s side, but I need to do some more checking to see who was alive and when.

  3. Jim August 10, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    I would concur that this photo is later than 1914. It appears to me to have the same look and feel of the late 1920s or early 1930s. I am no expert either, but a I have been looking at a lot of photos from the 19th century and very early 20th century in my quest to identify the people in an old 19th century photo album I acquired.

    Regards, Jim
    Photo Identification of a 19th Century Photo Album

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