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, August 17, 2012

Another Photo from Mary Harrison's Album: Maggie & Hannah Hinchcliffe, ca. 1877-1884

This tintype is labelled "Maggie & Hannah Hinchcliffe."  It does not carry a photographer's name or location on it.  It's from the Mary Harrison album I have previously blogged about.  Mary lived in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia; Lawrence, Massachusetts and and Portsmouth, New Hampshire and most of the photos in the album originate from one of those three places.

I had no luck with finding two sisters named Maggie & Hannah Hinchcliffe in the censuses for the above three locations.  I found a few sister combinations with these names, but the photograph doesn't specifically say that the girls are sisters.  They could be cousins.  I'm afraid I'd only be guessing if I tried to connect these girls with any of the individuals I found.

Dating this image may help us narrow things down, though.  The girls are both wearing dresses that are trimmed with bands of plaid.  The girl on the left is wearing striped stockings which were popular for young girls at the end of the 1870s.  The long, fitted tunic on the standing girl's dress is similar to the fitted jacket bodice that was also popular at the end of that decade.    She is also wearing a fairly wide crocheted collar, which was a style for children at the end of the 1870s, well into the 1880s.  I would date this image to somewhere between 1877 to 1884.

If you have any ideas that might help limit our search, I'd be very happy to hear from you.


  1. The 1880 US Census has Hannah Hinchcliffe, as parent to Maggie, 15, and Hannah, 12, living in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

  2. This 1880 US census listing seems to fit the bill:


    Maggie was 3 years older than Hannah - and in 1880 she was 15. This age and your photo dating agree quite well.

  3. Thanks to both of you! The link works, Iggy, but for some reason the census details won't come up. Instead I get the message, "Unknown Collection." But, I was able to find the family on Ancestry. I am so happy that the clothes dating worked fairly well! If you notice, Hannah's dress hem is the shorter "young girls" version. I've read that 12 is generally the maximum age for short dresses. If that's correct, we would probably be looking at a date of around 1879-1880 or slightly before.

    Thanks again!