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Help with dating photos

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Help with dating photos

Postby sambrown76 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:42 pm

These photos are possibly of my 2x great grandparents, Thomas Hardy Crawford and his wife Mary Hannah Eagle who were born 1850 and 1853 respectively.

I would like to know when these photos are likely to have been taken. On the surround it says Heawood, Leicester and Melton.
Mary Hannah Crawford (nee Eagle) - small.jpg
Mary Hannah Crawford (nee Eagle) - small.jpg (46.46 KiB) Viewed 1800 times
Thomas Hardy Crawford - small.jpg
Thomas Hardy Crawford - small.jpg (43.25 KiB) Viewed 1800 times
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Re: Help with dating photos

Postby ritah » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:40 pm


A google search for this photographer brought me to the British Genealogy website which has a posting relating to your query. A subscriber has a map of Leicester dated 1904 showing that William John Heawood is the only photographer in town at that time although previously there had been three. This doesn't give an exact date but at least you know when the business was in operation. Leicester archive or library will have directories which will give you more precise dates.

Good luck.
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Re: Help with dating photos

Postby Sylcec » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:03 am

William Heawood, Photographer was at 11 Kate Street, Leicester in the Wrights 1887-88 Directory. They were not listed in the 1870 directory.
See the Historical Directories site:
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Re: Help with dating photos

Postby Lindsay » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:21 am

Hi Sam. I think your photos are possibly of an earlier generation. I'm not an 'expert' in any way but am interested in historical fashions and have a few relevant books. The lady's hair ,with centre part and looped low at the back was in fashion from about 1856 to at the very latest 1866. The sloping shoulder and pleated V shape of the bodice is seen in pictures from the 1840s to late 1850s. The brooch at the neck is more 1850s to 1860s. I think 1857-58 is the most likely to 1863 possibly. The thick dark cravat and frock coat for men would have still been worn as formal dress for older men in the 1860s. So, if say, they married when she was 17 that would be about 1870, and no-way would they be dressed like this. More likely that these portraits are of the parents of the couple you mention. Also, often families would order reprints of pictures when someone died, so if a studio had been taken over the name and dates of the new business may not fit with the strong clues given by their clothes. Hope this helps.
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