Monday, March 16, 2009

Orphan Photo #10

This cabinet card has no identifying information for the gentleman in the photograph.  It was taken by a photographer named" Cundill" in Maquoketa, Iowa.

A quick search on Ancestry.com turned up census results for one Cundill family in Iowa.  In the 1880 federal census, William, son of William and Mary, was a 24-year old photographer.  William was also found in the 1900 federal census, still a photographer.  Therefore, it is very likely that this cabinet card photograph was taken by William.  Additionally, if you look closely at the insignia, you can see a "W" woven into a "C," which are likely the initials (William Cundill) furthering the likelihood of this conclusion.

Given that cabinet cards, especially portraits, weren't popular until the 1870s, and they lost popularity in the mid-1900s, and given the age of the photographer, this photograph was likely taken between 1875-1905.

UPDATE 02/19/13 – I received an email from a gentleman by the name of Michael Miller.  He and his cousins have been working on identifying their own family photos, some of which were taken by this photographer.  After studying Cundill’s various logos, Michael believes that this photo was taken between 1891-1896 +/-.  Certainly a better range than what I had!  Thanks, Michael.


1.  1880 U.S. Federal Census, Maquoketa, Jackson, Iowa; Roll: T9_346; Family History Film: 1254346; Page: 515.4000; Enumeration District: 321; Image: 0092.

2.  1900 U.S. Federal Census, South Fork, Jackson, Iowa; Roll: T623_438 Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 68.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Orphan Photo #9

Orphan 019 

This is a photo postcard.  There is some identifying information written on the back, but not enough to begin to figure out who these siblings are.

Alice Marie 4 yr. 3 mo
Walter Arthur 3 yr
Esther Elizabeth 16 mo
Which one is dearest?
Can you tell.

This is also being submitted to the Smile for the Camera Carnival, where the topic for this edition is brothers & sisters.

n56200881147_940Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters.

I think this is a pretty mischievous bunch, don't you?

Their Story Signature


Monday, March 2, 2009

Orphan Photo #8

This orphan photo is unidentified. It was photographed by Z. Roberts of Roberts & Sumner's Champion Gallery in Northfield, Minnesota.

A search on the surnames turned up the following, which seem to be the photographers of Roberts & Sumner's:

  • Ira E. Sumner, photographer, born about 1847, living in Northfield, Rice, Minnesota in 1880.
  • Ira E. Sumner, living in Northfield, Rice, Minnesota in 1875. Occupations were not recorded on the 1875 Minnesota Census.
  • Ira E. Sumner, living in Northfield in 1900, occupation listed as a furniture dealer.
  • Z Roberts in Northfield, Rice, Minnesota in 1875, age 36. Occupations were not recorded on the 1875 Minnesota Census.
  • Zachariah Roberts in Northfield, Rice, Minnesota in 1865. Occupations were not recorded on the 1865 Minnesota Census.
  • Z Roberts, photographer on the U.S. IRS Tax Assessment list for District 2, Minnesota, in 1864.
  • Zachariah Roberts living in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota in 1885. Occupations were not recorded on the 1865 Minnesota Census.

The style of dress seems to be an 1850s day dress. But based on the above information, it's unlikely that this photo was taken in the 1850s. My guess would be the dress is a hand-me-down, and the photo was taken in the late 1860 to mid-1870s.

What do you think?

Their Story Signature


1880 U.S. Federal Census; Census Place: Northfield, Rice, Minnesota; Roll: T9_632; Family History Film: 1254632; Page: 272.1000; Enumeration District: 136; Image: 0186.

Ancestry.com. Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007.

Ancestry.com. U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: National Archives (NARA) microfilm series: M603, M754-M771, M773-M777, M779-M780, M782, M784, M787-M789, M791-M793, M795, M1631, M1775-M1776, T227, T1208-T1209.


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