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19th century clothing

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19th century clothing

Postby VeronicaM » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:22 pm

This is a photo of my second great grandmother. Her dates are 1820 to 1906. Her husband is variously listed on the census as an agricultural labourer and a gamekeeper. She lived her whole life in North Wales.
No information about the photo itself exists.
I presume she is holding the family Bible. And the photo itself, considering the outdoor location, was perhaps taken by an itinerant photographer. She seems to be dressed in her best bonnet. What are the white strips at her throat?
Could anyone add more information? Much thanks.
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19th century clothing

Postby brunes08 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:56 pm

I wondered if the white bands were the ties for her bonnet but they seem too long and too wide for that. They could just be an edging to her jacket. Not easy to tell. A wonderful photo though. I have a similar one in my collection.
Just had another look. I think, on closer inspection, that her bonnet is tied with black ribbon as there seems to be a black bow under her chin.
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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:43 pm

It seems to me that the white bands are quite separate from the jacket, so won't be edging for it. Though I could be quite wrong.

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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby Mick Loney » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:17 pm

They look remarkably like the ends of a scarf around her neck. If you look carefully, it can be seen on both sides of her collar, presumably where it looped round her neck, with a hint of a loose knot under her chin.


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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby JaneyH » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:24 pm

Can I make an alternative suggestion? My first reaction on seeing this photo was that it was the face (and hands) of a man, not a woman. I wonder if it could be a man in clerical robes? That would account for holding the Bible, and possibly the white ties hanging from the neck. I must emphasise I mean this sincerely - I'm not trying to make fun of the subject of the photo, nor of your family and the research you've done.


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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby VeronicaM » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:46 pm

JaneyH wrote:Can I make an alternative suggestion? My first reaction on seeing this photo was that it was the face (and hands) of a man, not a woman. I wonder if it could be a man in clerical robes? That would account for holding the Bible, and possibly the white ties hanging from the neck. I must emphasise I mean this sincerely - I'm not trying to make fun of the subject of the photo, nor of your family and the research you've done.


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No offence taken. She will win no beauty contests, but I believe this is what a lifetime of working in the fields does for you. The Bible is a common prop in such photos.
Further research has uncovered that Mary is wearing a Victorian day cap. The white strips hang from the cap itself and were fashionable when she was a much younger woman. The fancy white trim around the face is goffered, shaped using a hot iron. Her shoes are cleaned, her cap is snow white. As a farmer's wife, she meticulously prepared for this photo, likely taken outside her own farmhouse door. There is a poignancy to that. Her daughter, then her grandson, then her great granddaughter kept the photograph. I think she would be pleased. Thank you to all who answered my request.
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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby pete25 » Wed May 06, 2015 1:35 am

Janeyh,

I didn't read anyone's comments I purely looked at the photo first and I must say my thoughts were, 'this looks like a man'.

Again, I'm certainly not poking fun as I think it's a great picture.

Kind regards,

Pete.


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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby jeffward » Wed May 06, 2015 4:45 pm

Have you considered the possibility she was a resident of an alms house or some other charitable organisation and that she is wearing the required uniform.? It was n't unusual for resident of such establishments to be posed for photographs. Jeff Ward.
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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby brunes08 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:25 am

I belong to a small family history group. This week, one of the members brought with her a photo of an ancestor wearing a bonnet with long white ribbons, just like those in the photo. As VeronicaM says, it appears to be a day bonnet.
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Re: 19th century clothing

Postby Lucretia66 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:59 pm

Women often held books in old photos to indicate that they were educated and literate. I know that my own great-grandmother was photographed with a book on her lap for this very reason. If it is a bible though it may simply be to emphasize how religious she was.
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