Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mystery Woman

I'm going to shift gears a bit for a minute.

Many years ago, among the old family photos I inherited with my late grandfather's genealogy research, was a photo of a beautiful woman who appears to be African-American descent.  Now, since (as far as I know) my ancestors on that side of the family were pretty much Caucasian Irish Catholic, I was a little puzzled.  I asked my grandmother about the photo and the explanation I was given was essentially that she was "a family friend."  Nothing else.  No name, no relation, nothing.

I came across this photo again while going through my records (trying to get everything organized - still working on that) a couple of weeks ago.  I mentioned it to my mother on the phone last week.  Since my grandmother has had some health issues and she is getting up there in years, her mind is not what it once was.  However, my mother said that she would ask her about the photo and see if she could get any other information out of her.

Here is what I know:

1. My grandfather was adopted in 1928.
2. My grandfather was at the Foundling Hospital in New York City from 1924 to 1928.
3. My grandfather's adopted parents were Walter Gallagher and Ruth Burrows.
4. Walter Gallagher was born in New York in 1902, lived in Hudson, NJ in 1920, working as a telephone installer.
5. Walter and Ruth lived in Ridgefield, New Jersey according to the 1930 census.
6. Walter Gallagher had at least one mistress in his lifetime.
7. My grandfather kept this photo for a reason.

This is the photo:

The photo is rather old, printed on thick stock.  I don't know much about photographs, so I can't date it very specifically other than to say it's old.  There are no studio markings or dates, or anything written on the back.

If anyone can identify this woman, or an approximate date this photo could have been taken, please let me know.  I really would like to know how she fits into my family.

3 comments:

Patty said...

Jeanne thinks this is Aunt Hazel. Hazel was Ruth Gallagher's sister. We think!

Maureen Hartnett said...

The photo looks like it was taken as a senior high school photos by the scrolls on top and bottom. Maybe you could check the local HS yearbooks or records to see if you find this girl represented. Also, her dress is influenced by the Civil War so, that would date the photo as late 1800's.

Maureen Hartnett said...

The photo looks like it was taken as a senior high school photos by the scrolls on top and bottom. Maybe you could check the local HS yearbooks or records to see if you find this girl represented. Also, her dress is influenced by the Civil War so, that would date the photo as late 1800's.

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