I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Half an Imprint: Young Genevieve E. Lynch, Boston, 1902.
I didn't botch the cropping job on today's photograph, I really didn't. The corners and edges were trimmed this way, probably to fit an odd-shaped frame. The young girl in the picture is identified as "Genevieve E. Lynch." on the reverse. Unfortunately, a place or a date is not provided. Normally, at this point, I would move to the photographer's imprint to see what I can learn about their dates of operation.
What to do when the photographer's name is almost gone? Well, I thought I would see if I could make sense of the half-imprint. The first two letters look like stylized Ts or Fs to me. There seems to be a surname after two initials, beginning with P or D. I see the last letters, "hee." And, a street address: 22 Winter St. Then, it looks like A.E. -and I can't make out any more. But the big clue is "22 Winter Street." I googled the word "photographer" along with the address. It appears there were a number of photographers at that address in Boston, MA. With a little more digging I found an imprint that matched exactly. "F.F. Dunshee & A.E. Hill of 22 Winter Street, Boston."
Fredrick Fargo Dunshee and Alfred E. Hill were photographers who formed a partnership around 1893. Dunshee had a partnership with F. H. Maxwell prior to Hill. Dunshee & Hill operated until around 1904-05.
So we know the photograph was taken somewhere between 1893 and 1905. I studied a few of the imprints for this company, and this particular one seems to date from the later years of the company. The style of the card seems to be turn-of-the-century to me.
A search of the US Federal Censuses found two possibilities in Boston.
1) Genevieve E. Lynch, born 1901 in Massachusetts, daughter of Mark and Mary Mason Lynch. They lived in Ward 22, Boston.
2) Genevieve E. Lynch, born 1893, in Massachusetts, daughter of Sarah J. Lynch Conboy and living with step-father Patrick Conboy in 1910 in Connecticut.
I'm inclined to think it is probably #1. But, of course we'd need more proof to be absolutely certain.