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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can you help date this photo?

Here are six strapping men that I would like to date. The man at the back right in particular has caught my eye. Before you jump to conclusions, remember, I am a married woman and this is a genealogy blog. The only type of dating I am interested in is finding out when this picture was taken! You may be able to help.

The photo comes from the collection of another French family researcher, who has given his permission for me to post it here. He's as keen to find out about the man at the back right as I am, as this man may be our shared ancestor. Click the picture for a closer look.

On the rear of the photo a handwritten note says:

B. French
R. Marshall
J. French Snr

H. Trickey
P. Trickey
J. Marshall


The photo's owner is confident that B. French is his ancestor, Albert Edward "Bert" French (1887-1958). The photo was in Albert's collection and was first seen by other family members after his spouse's death in 1983. The writing was already on the photo at that time, but it is not known who made the identification, or when.

We want to work out who "J. French Snr", standing at the back right, is. There were four generations of the family named James French in Victoria, Australia. There was only one John we know of who is believed to have died before the likely time period of this photo, and no other known  J names. We think this is most probably one of our James Frenchs. But which one?
  • James William French (c1824 - 1896)  
  • James Henry French (1849 - 1915)       - son of James William, father of Bert
  • James Thomas French (1880 - 1965)    - Bert's older brother
  • James William French (1913 - 1965)     - son of James Thomas 
The most likely candidates, given the apparent age of Bert, are James Henry (our shared ancestor) and James Thomas. The family lived in the Avoca, Victoria, region which is around 250 km (150 miles) from Ouyen, Victoria, where the photo was taken. Do you know any of these men? Have any tips or suggestions for dating the photo? Perhaps you are a Trickey or a Marshall descendant who is just as interested in this photo as we are? Even if you stumble onto this page a long time after it's publication, please get in touch! Leave a comment, or contact me via my details on the "About me" page.

UPDATE - 6 April 2011
The photo has been more widely circulated among French family members for comment. As a result, P and H Trickey have been identified as Percy (c1903-1937) and Harold (c1904-1936). Given that they appear to be older than 10-11 years of age in the photo, this dates the photo after 1915, when James Henry French died. We believe that the man in the photo is therefore James Thomas French.

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