Friday, October 12, 2018

A Family Tree Drawn From Photos

As we explore the collection of abandoned family photographs found in an antique store in northern California, it becomes clearer that each of those white-labeled hundred-year-old pictures are connected to the others. We've moved from the picture of the Erastus Manford Purkey family to their son Burt and his siblings, and a more recent photo of his two sisters, and then a younger brother. Burt's wife, Maude, became the bridge to identify the portrait of an older couple, which turned out to be Maude's parents, Samuel J. Tucker and Annie J. Goodman.

Reaching back further in time, we now find a photograph of a much younger Annie Goodman and one of her sisters. Though we learned from the death certificate of Annie's daughter Maude that Annie was likely born in Nashville, Tennessee, the photograph was taken at the Kidd Studio in Ontario, Oregon.

The picture of two women, sitting side by side, is labeled, "Annie Goodman Tucker + Sister Dollie Goodman." What great fortune to have found such a trove of family photographs, all labeled with thorough identification.

We are able to corroborate who is in Annie Goodman's childhood home, starting with her own marriage record from Jersey County, Illinois. The 1884 record, which confirmed Annie's birth in Tennessee, showed her parents' names as Henry Goodman and Sarah Baldwin.

Since that same marriage record indicated Annie's age to be twenty one, it would be a simple matter to pull up the census record and find her in her parents' home, either in 1870 or 1880. Doing so, however, presents us with a slight problem: though the photograph I found in that California antique shop indicated that Annie had a sister named Dollie, there is no such sister to be found, either in the 1870 census or that of 1880.

Granted, Annie did have two sisters, one named Emma and one named Alice. Neither name seems to lend itself well to a nickname of Dollie, though, leaving me puzzled as to whether this family's photo collection is prone to labeling mistakes.

And so, I'm off to explore yet another family to see whether there is a Dollie hidden anywhere within the branches of the Henry and Sarah Goodman family tree.

Three images regarding Annie Goodman Tucker, from top to bottom: First, the photography studio's imprint from the picture labeled "Annie Goodman Tucker + Sister Dollie Goodman" (photograph in possession of author); second, section from the entry in the marriage records of Jersey County, Illinois, showing Annie Goodman's information, courtesy of; finally, clipping from the 1880 U.S. census for the Davidson County, Tennessee, household of Henry and Sarah Goodman, also courtesy

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