Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sepia Saturday 191, 2013 August 24: Susan Ward Keyes or Just Unknown Woman #3, Tintype

A man and his sisters, his two wives, or is it one of each? Groups of three come to mind or how about gloves, shawls, bonnets or penetrating gazes!  O What shall it be.  Immediately I went to those hats.  I knew just the photo.  Alas, not the same hat a'tall.  Well, maybe the penetrating gaze?  No, not so much, more wistful or disdainful or both.  No gloves, but wait what about a shawl.  Well, it's not quite a shawl, but more of neck piece, a tie of sorts.

At this point, I dinna care.  I had made the decision of the photo  -- right at the start, not caring whether I could squeeze the round peg into a square hole or vice versa.  The truth be told, this picture has been haunting me for years, and she came to the forfront this past few weeks.  May I now present, my "Unknown Woman # 3, tintype."

Unknown Woman #3, tintype
circa 1877,  Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive

I think I know this woman.  I want to know this woman.  I found the tintype photo in a group of similar tintype photographs of the David Keyes family, which were taken at the time of wedding of Margaret Delilah Keyes to Abiathar Barrett Newton, probably in the spring of 1877.  Margaret was the next to the youngest daughter of David L. Keyes and Susan Ward Keyes.   A well photographed time in their lives and the last time that all of the family would ever be together.

Now my problem is that I think that this may be a photograph of Susan Ward Keyes, which may be the only photo of my great-great-great grandmother Keyes, because within three or four years she and her youngest son were dead in an influenza epidemic.

So, let me show you some of the other photographs of the Keyes kin  taken at the time of Margaret's wedding. 
circa 1877, David Lowery Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archives
circa 1877, Margaret Delilah  Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive



circa 1877, Jane Rebecca Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive

circa 1877, James Edward Leonardis  Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive






















The above four tintypes were found in the same gutted photo albums as the "Unknown woman #3, tintype" at the beginning of the post. All except the tintype of James E. L. Keyes had a thin decorative cardboard matting. Also the tintype for James E. L.Keyes was more square than the other four tintypes. Below is a photo of all of the sons and daughters of David L. and Susan W. Keyes. The photograph was printed on very large and very heavy card stock  and was probably in a heavy frame.  The white scarves and ties were colored blue by someone along the line.

circa 1877, Son & daughters of David L. & Susan Ward Keyes
back row, l to r; Alexander Doran , James E. L. ,  & John Ward
front row, l to r; Margaret Delilah , Jane Rebecca,  & Orena Cordelia
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive

Below are photos taken at the same time, but on card stock rather than tintype.

circa 1877, Wedding Photograph of
Abiathar Barrett Newton & Margaret Delilah  Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive
 
circa 1877, Alexander Doran Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive
circa 1877,Orena Cordelia  Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive


circa 1877, John Ward  Keyes,
Corvallis, Oregon
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archive


Now to the question, or the quandary, of is the Unknown Woman # 3, tintype Susan Jane Ward Keyes:
What I know,
1.  The rest of the family was well photographed at this event, so it seems that Susan Keyes too would have had her photgraph taken.
2. The proximity factor that all of the tintypes were found together -- but then there were also alot of loose photographs in the box.
3.  From all that I know about Susan Ward Keyes, she was a very proper, church going woman, who most likely would not have worn the more modern styles.
4. And grasping at straws, the scarf around her neck looks very much like the Keyes sisters scarves.
5.  There is a familiar look about her.  It seems that Jane Rebecca favors her in looks.

Hmm, not much there.  I'll put away my mallet for making square pegs fit in round holes, and see what other Sepians think about this Unknown Woman #3, tintype.

~ ~ 

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications




Enuff already. Now it is time to see what other Sepians have to offer in regard to threesomes, hats, penetrating gazes and other wondrous things.

22 comments:

  1. Well, in my humble opinion, she has the same facial structure, and nose and lips as other women in the tin types. Just sayin'

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    1. Fran, thanks for taking a look at these photos. I have always though there was a familiarity about the unknown, and that there was a family resemblance -- but then I could be wishful thinking. One of those problems to solve or resolve.

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  2. The eyes of the woman in the first portrait are so very different from the others, I suspect she's not a sibling, but of course there's often considerable variation between siblings, looks-wise, so I'm sure it's possible.

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    1. Actually, if it is Susan Ward Keyes, she would be the mother to the three daughters. But I am probablly just grasping at straws.

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  3. Brett, thanks for looking at the photos. I appreciate any input that I can get.

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    1. Are your Keyes related to the Keyes family of Vermont? I'm researching my husband's family, and happened to come across your beautiful photos.

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    2. Thanks for taking a look at my Keyes family. I don't know of any Vermont connection at least in the early days. The Keyes apparently immigrated from Ireland (Scots-Irish) in the late 1700s. They were tightly connected with the following family names: Ward, Doran, Gordon, and Lowery. They arrived in Phildelphia and were in Philidelphia and Virgina for a while. Then the groups tended to migrate from Virginia to Tennessee and beyond. My branch of the Keyes ended up in Oregon and were associated with family names of Butler, Donnelly, and their kin. If any of those names strike a chord with you, let me know, as I might have more information.

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  4. Good luck with solving the problem. You are lucky to have the other great family photos to compare.

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  5. Oh gee, my guess would be that she isn't related to these other women, her facial features are all so different. Her hat and especially the way she sits, almost showing off her hand wearing a ring, she has quite the uppity feel about her, to me. But, she doesn't appear to be very happy at all.

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  6. In going back and trying to enlarge it, possibly it isn't a ring at all, but a white spot on the photo.

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  7. Just looking at the photographs without working out which was Jane Rebecca, I thought that she and Unknown Woman looked quite similar, but then, I'm no expert on recognising family traits - if I were, perhaps I might have more luck with identifying family members in my own 1870s/1880s family album!

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  8. I feel quite depproved. I don't have any tintypes. They are beautiful,

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  10. It's a tough one! Your unknown lady does have very tired eyes - a mother of three daughters would fit that bill!

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  11. The picture with the blue ties and bows is amusing -- they really made the most of that dress pattern!

    I have a couple photos with those thin pink paper frames. I wonder if the dates on your photos will help me date mine.

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  12. A whole series of fascinating photos here and an unknown (known?) woman too.

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  13. I hope more information comes to light for you, but whatever the outcome you have a remarkable collection of portraits here, and some interesting gazes too.

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  14. You are so very fortunate to be able to see these photographs of your great-great-great relatives! Those niggling mysteries are the ones that prove so incredibly satisfying when at last we find the missing pieces. I have a few of those that I am perpetually working to resolve. For some, I have no photos. Still, we soldier on, right?

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  15. In the photo of the sons and daughters of David and Susan Keyes, son James E.L. is the only child without a blue tie (or blue anything, for that matter) -- what's up with that? I do like the photo, though...

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  16. Such a small world that we chose similar style photos! I'm glad you have such wonderful personal information for yours. My folks will forever be unknown.

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  17. You have a mystery there to solve. I would have no idea of how to go about it. From someone who knows little about old photos, she does seem to match the others. You have a great family series here.

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  18. She has a certain regret & sadness in her eyes.She does look a wee bit abandoned.Perhaps you have been able to reunite her with the Family?It is to be hoped so .....Whatever, she has a very intelligent look about her & thanks to you she is now visible again!

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