Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Reason I Need to Identify Those Faces

Sometimes, the puzzles we pursue require incremental learning. We need to build on the details we've already identified in order to figure out even more of the story.

Yesterday, I shared the photograph of a family labeled "Elmira's family." The picture was taken in Bourbon, Indianaa fact I gleaned from the photographer's imprint on the lower edge of the picture. The imprint was so light, it was hardly noticeable in the scanned copy I shared yesterday, so I tried augmenting the contrast so it would be more visible. This is the best I could get:

Bourbon, as it turns out, was a small town in Marshall County, Indianawhose county seat was a slightly larger town called Plymouth.

It was at this somewhat larger town called Plymouth that another photograph was taken of what appears to be a younger version of the elder couple from yesterday's family portrait. Unfortunately, unlike yesterday's photo, the only identification provided on the back of this picture was a label stating "Grandpa Purkey's kin."

While I can employ the concept of voice to determine just who it might have been who wrote about her "Grandpa"that grandfather likely being Erastus Manford Purkeythe problem was that Erastus had at least four sisters. That family photograph could have been of any of themor, worse, a relationship even farther removed than a grandfather's siblings.

When I looked more closely at the photograph with the enigmatic label, I realized somethingor were my hopeful eyes deceiving me? It appeared that the younger couple in this photograph looked surprisingly similar to the older couple we observed in yesterday's family photograph. What's more, this couple happened to have three children pictured with them, exactly the number of children born to George and Elmira Purkey Wymer: a daughter and two sons.

If the subjects in yesterday's photograph were indeed Elmira and George, I'd say we've tentatively solved the identity issue with today's rendition labeled "Grandpa Purkey's kin."

Above: Undated photograph, possibly of George and Elmira Purkey Wymer and their three children, taken in Plymouth, Indiana; photograph currently in the possession of the author until claimed by a direct descendant of the family.


  1. What a lovely family! I hope these photos find a good home!!

    1. I'm hoping so, too, Miss Merry. This family is proving elusive, however, but I'll keep trying. There's got to be someone out there who is a descendant!

  2. I hope family is found. I would date this one in the 1880's.:)

    1. Thanks, Far Side. I'm not good at identifying ages of children, but I do know--at least if I have the right family--that the younger of the two boys was born around 1884.


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