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 at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sallie Richardson, Philadelphia, circa 1875-1880

This photograph is identified "Sallie Richardson."  The photographer's name is imprinted on the reverse side of the photo:

My first thought was that Chas. J. Richardson, of Philadelphia may be a relative of Sallie's.  I searched the 1880 Census for Philadelphia and found a Sallie S. Richardson, age 19, daughter of Joseph Richardson, 62 and wife Charles (?) G Richardson, 57.  I've heard of a boy named "Sue," but has anyone heard of a girl named "Charles?"  I had a look at the 1870 Census and found Joseph with wife, "Charlotte," so I am fairly sure it was just a case of sloppy handwriting.

There are four Sallie/Sally Richardson's in the 1880 census.  There are 15 in Pennsylvania State.  I have not accounted for S. Richardsons.  I am also operating on the assumption that Sallie is not married.  She seems too young in this picture.  However, women married early back then, so it is possible that Richardson is her married name. 

I tried to find out more about our other Richardson:  Charles J., the photographer.  Using Philadelphia City Directories from this period, I discovered that Mr. Richardson had his studio at 244 N. 8th Street in Philadelphia from approximately 1875 to 1880.   That fits with my first impression that this was a cdv from the late 1870s or early 1880s.  I was disappointed that I could not find Charles J. in the 1880 US Census.  I suspect there may be a spelling variation I am missing in my search.  

I found Charles J. Richardson in the Philadelphia, PA Death Certificate Index, 1803-1915.  He was born circa 1827 Philadelphia and died 2 Dec. 1896 in Philadelphia.  His occupation is listed as photographer.  He was a widower.

Unfortunately I can't narrow this one down more than this:  Sallie Richardson's photograph was taken by Chas. J. Richardson in Philadelphia around 1875-1880.  Perhaps she was the child of Joseph and ?? Richardson, but we can't be sure.


  1. Actually this is even more complicated than you might think.

    The 8th street address is on the edge of what was Philadelphia's shopping district, the home of the big department stores such as Wanamakers, Lit Brothers, Gimbels, an others.


    The railroads, street cars, elevated trains, and ferry lines from Camden NJ all ran to this area. Sallie could have been "in town for shopping" and lived as far away as Reading, PA or even Atlantic City, NJ and still have been a "just a hop away by train".

  2. Ah, yes. Even more complicated is right! Some of the photos are fairly straightforward, and others, like this one, have so many possibilities attached to them that it makes clues nearly impossible to follow. Wish we could find out more, but this one is so iffy. This pretty young girl will likely remain a mystery.