Friday, December 30, 2016
Like Father, Like Daughter?
Flipping through the pages of the album I found, abandoned by family and waiting to be sold at a local antique store, I noticed there was one problem facing anyone attempting to discover the identity of the subjects of the photographs within. Like my Tully family with their woes of having too many descendants named Margaret, this family apparently was smitten by the name Alice. This, of course, made it a challenge to discern just which woman was the Alice who had signed her name on the greeting inside the album's cover.
Whether or not the "Harry and Alice" is the same couple as the "Harry and self" in the photo we saw the other day, there is one clue that might be gleaned, already. With the album from Harry and Alice featuring photographs of two young girls, we could presume these would be the couple's daughters. And one of those daughters seemed to bear a strong resemblance to the man we've already seen labeled as Harry.
If you look at the two photos side by side, it seems fairly obvious that the two subjects share similarities. Both Harry and Ruby have the same response when exposed to the bright midday sun. But squinting eyes—in Harry's case, entirely shut tight—and a furrowed brow are not the only similarities. They both seem to share the same shape of nose. And while middle-aged Harry's chin is rounder than Ruby's, both seem pronounced.
Granted, trying to peg a genealogical hypothesis on similarity of looks can be a dangerous attempt. I'll never forget one family visit to Chicago, where my two year old nephew's eyes went wide when my husband's cousin first walked in the room; the similarity in appearance between the man and the boy's own father was so obvious that it had the boy momentarily puzzled. Only problem was: this was my sister's son, and my husband's cousin. There was no relationship between the two men, other than the doppelgänger effect that momentarily held sway on a toddler.
In a world full of Elvis look-alikes, it's not hard to believe that two unrelated people can seem to look like family. In the case of this photograph album, though, the implication is that there is some sort of connection between the people included on its pages. For now, I'm going to go with a working hypothesis that Ruby and Harry are related—and maybe, just maybe, as close a relationship as father and daughter.
What do you think?