This is what happens when your grandfather in a depressed state of mind burns all the known family photos. You start collecting photos from antique stores that look like your family. This is a large portrait I bought in a Slingerlands, New York, store because she looked so much like my paternal grandfather Earl Winchell:
I remember my boss let me take a long lunch to go back and buy the portrait, and even to use the company camera to take a photo of it.
My Winchell family lived in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. When I bought the portrait I didn't know that the Rev. William Henry Winchell, my great-grandfather's nephew, moved to New York State and most of his family lived in the state. I didn't know that Guy Warner, my great-grandfather's cousin, and his wife Cora Griswold moved to Orange County, New York, by 1910.
|Earl Winchell and daughter-in-law Catherine Collier Winchell|
The girl in the photo I could trace back to Great Barrington around 1878. She could be Ada Winchell, Earl's aunt who died unmarried of consumption at age 23.
The man in the first photo? I have no idea. There are too many possibilities. He is too young to be my great-uncle Paul Herbert Winchell of Chatham, NY. He could be a descendant of the Rev. William Henry Winchell, or Guy Warner. Maybe someone will be able to tell me someday.
There is a moral to this post: please, people, always identify the people in your photos. Someday someone will want to know.