Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sepia Saturday #61: Trying to Unravel the Mystery

On this Sepia Saturday, I've decided to spend some time using my membership in an attempt to find any information I can about this woman:

I believe her name is Emaline Bowersox Smith, and I think she would be my great great grandmother. I don't have the original photo in my possession; this is a scan I made about six years ago from another family member's collection. I can't remember if the name was on the photograph, or whether this is merely an assumption on my part. The original photo was extremely faded and yellowed with age, which makes it difficult to see her facial features clearly.

What I find fascinating about her is her clothing style. It seems unusual, at least in my very limited experience, to see a formal portrait this old taken with a young woman in short sleeves. Even more fascinating is her jewelry, especially the matching cuff bracelets. My mother and a few other family members thought she was of Native American descent, but I have no evidence to suggest that. Honestly, I'm not even certain I'm searching on the right side of the family tree!

Wish me luck!

To plumb the depths of history further, clicky ==> HERE for more Sepia Saturday posts.


  1. Oh, I hope you'll tell us when you find out more. You're right that the short sleeves and cuff bracelets are very unusual. The faded-out details of the face make it even more mysterious.

  2. Good luck with your research. Bowersox is a great name and one which should be relatively easy to trace (certainly easier than Smith!) Let us know how you go on.

  3. My first impression was Indian when I saw the photo. You are right on the comment about short sleeves now that I think of that too. Will be waiting to hear more of what you find...

  4. I do wish you luck! I hope to see updates on this lovely lady soon. Enough of her face is visible to see that she is a very pretty woman, and her clothing is so interesting. I'll be waiting to hear more!

  5. Wow, you are so right, and in fact I never even really thought about it until seeing it right before my eyes.Very cool!...Now I'm curious and gonna have to see if I have any...

  6. Yes, I was surprised to see short sleeves on a lady during that time period. I hope you have success finding her at ancestry.

    You mentioned that the photo is light. Do you use Picasa? If so, you might try making a copy of the photo and then doing auto-contrast. Sometimes that little change will pick up the detail and make the image clearer.