Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

For Sepia Saturday I am featuring a “doll of a girl.” This sweet little one is posed on a bench at the photographer’s studio, showing off her beautiful dress and giant hair bow, all while clutching her stuffed animal toy. While you might be tempted to date this photo in the 1910s, it is a little earlier, perhaps 1907. This little girl is my grandmother Hennie, and the photo was graciously scanned by my dad’s Cousin L – who scanned all the old photos a few years back. Hennie was the oldest of seven, so there are quite a few family members – plus the family loved photos. Our cousin may not know how much I appreciate her time and efforts at scanning all these photos and then ensuring the originals went on to descendants to keep custody of them. This is my way of letting her know!

For a family such as ours – with many members all over the country and a great love of photos – the boxes of old photos may seem insurmountable. Who are these people? What years were the photos taken? What should be done with the photos? Cousin L took it upon herself to identify, catalog, scan and distribute hundreds of photos. I expect that lots of families do not have someone like Cousin L, because of the great number of old photos found in antique shops, on ebay, and sadly, in trashcans.

Lest we fixate on the number of old photos which beg the question “who were they?” please enjoy this photo and more by clicking through to Sepia Saturday, where the prompt is dolls. You never know what will turn up and the journey is always interesting!

Click for sweet baby dolls and more

18 thoughts on “A doll of a girl

  1. Auntie Kat says:

    He, he… before I had read to far into the description of this picture I thought of Grammie Hennie and how I had a few photos of her in giant hair bows. I like this picture a lot.


  2. Beautiful photo..she is a real “doll”..so happy you have someone in your family saving and identifying the old photos! :)


  3. Wendy says:

    Your grandmother was a cutie pie for sure. I can tell how much you appreciate your Cousin L. She’s a doll too for preserving so much family history.


  4. Little Nell says:

    How lovely that you have such a charming picture of your grandmother. She really has a lovely smile.


  5. Kristin says:

    Your cousin is doing a great job with those photos! Your grandmother looks like she’s telling the photographer, or somebody, something. She and the dress are so sweet.


  6. postcardy says:

    That is a cute photo. She looks so much happier than most children look in old photos. I was amused by the way she is holding the animal. I have a series of photos of myself at a young age holding a doll every which way except the “right” way.


  7. IntenseGuy says:

    Such a beautiful little girl!


  8. QMM says:

    This is indeed classic. I have done a lot with our family photos. My older children appreciate it but my younger two have not caught on yet. I spend a lot of time at the library in our genealogy room. I am the only one left of remember the greats and the older grands. Great Post.


  9. Bob Scotney says:

    Is Hennie holding her toy upside down? She has a lovely natural smile.


  10. She’s a beauty! That was really nice of your cousin.

    Take care,

    Kathy M.


  11. Christine H. says:

    Thanks to you (and your cousin!) for posting this lovely photo for all of us to enjoy.


  12. Alan Burnett says:

    Lovely photo. And I agree with you – all praise to the scanners, the gatekeepers of history.


  13. Jo says:

    Little Hennie is beautiful, as is her dress. Good for Cousin L :-)


  14. tyrogers6200 says:

    How beautiful she was! Isn’t the digital age wonderful? We are so lucky to be able to share and receive so many family photos and treasures that we might not have been able to otherwise in days past. I have received many pictures of ancestors from distant relatives I have never met and it means so much to me. I guess that is part of why I feel so bad about all the old photos that don’t have a home.


  15. A perfect fit for the theme and a beautiful child. So many lovely family photos this weekend, and yet they all share a charm of innocent childhood.


  16. Love the way she’s holding the animal by the leg. I’m guessing she had a lot of energy as was difficult to pin down. They took what ever shot they could get of her.


  17. Linda says:

    Oh, how lucky to have a photo of your ancestors at young ages, and a cousin willing to scan for future generations to enjoy. Your grandmother has a wonderful smile.


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