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Could these photos be of the same woman?

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Could these photos be of the same woman?

Postby VickyT » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:39 pm

Family members think that the three photos are of the same woman - my great grandmother, Jane Ellerby nee Trotter (1834 - 1916) but I am not sure. I have tried to date the photos using a photo dating book but have not come to any firm conclusion and would appreciate any advice that forum members could give me.
The first image 'Jane Ellerby 1' is the one that I am most confident of being my gt grandmother. Not only was I given a copy by a member of the Trotter family but there was a copy in a family album. There is definitely a similarity to the second photo in the eyes and nose but her hair looks more grey.

The second image 'Jane Ellerby 2' could be Jane taken after her husband died in 1903. I am not sure about it as the lady seems too old and I wondered if it could be Jane's mother in law Hannah Barr, formerly Ellerby nee Foster who died in 1887.

The third image is taken outside Brook House in Stokesley, North Yorkshire where Jane lived until she died in 1916 and I think that she must be the lady seated in the front with at least one of her sisters as well as possibly her daughter and husband. Jane's husband, John Foster Ellerby died in 1903 so is not in the picture nor is their son also John Foster Ellerby.

Hopefully someone can help me!

Many thanks

Jane Ellerby and Brook House.jpg
Jane Ellerby 1
Jane Ellerby and Brook House.jpg (275.91 KiB) Viewed 2093 times
Jane Ellerby 2.JPG
Jane Ellerby 2
Jane Ellerby 2.JPG (855.12 KiB) Viewed 2093 times
Jane Ellerby 1.JPG
Jane Ellerby and Brook House
Jane Ellerby 1.JPG (548.26 KiB) Viewed 2093 times
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Re: Could these photos be of the same woman?

Postby SoozOne » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:28 am

Hi VickyT

Looking at old photos where the features are unclear is always going to be a guesstimate, but I find the shape and position of the ears is helpful.
The features of the group in front of the house is difficult to distinguish. But the portrait of the elderly woman seated seems to resemble the elderly woman sitting in the group photo.
Again looking at the ears of the woman in the second photo with the child her ears appear to be set a little lower down, even with her head slightly tilted up. It may be the photo quality her eyes appear darker than those in the single photo. I would hazard a guess that the clearer eyes are blue, the darker ones brown.
Hope this helps. I've always found ears to be very distinctive. Many people don't appear to notice them at all.

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Re: Could these photos be of the same woman?

Postby coopernicola » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:22 am

I fully agree with Susan, the ears are a really good indicator. I'm sure I read somewhere they are similar to fingerprints as they are unique and do not alter over time.
The dress on the second photograph also appears to be much earlier in date to the last photograph, and the adult sitter appear to be quite a mature lady in both. Perhaps they are mother & daughter?
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Could these photos be of the same woman?

Postby brunes08 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:34 am

The middle photo appears to have a photographer's identity on the bottom of the card surround. Is it possible to trace the photographer in local directories to sort out possible dates when he was working? That is if you know where it is likely to be. Are there any other clues on the backs of the photos that might help identify the individuals?

I think the single photo indicates dress style that is much earlier than the other one with the child. I have a similar one with the bonnet. This one is of my father-in-law's great grandmother and he was born in 1913 and his parents in the 1880s. Like you, we are not sure which of the gt grandmothers it is so cannot put an exact date on it.
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