07 September 2011


Genealogy is full of unknown's. That's why most of us get hooked, after all, is trying to puzzle out the answers. We recently received a "new" (to us) photo of my great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother, Oscar and Frances Brown. They are pictured with several children, and we are 99% sure they are not the Brown children.

How do I know?

First, their eldest son, William Warner, had very distinctive hair (see color tin type below as well as adult photo). It was wavy and he wore it long most of his life.  There is no male child in this picture that fits William. Every other childhood picture we have of William displays his wavy hair - it was unique for the time to have longer hair on your son, and I'm sure Oscar and Frankie showed it off; I would have.

Second, there are too many children photographed.  Oscar and Frankie had six children:
William Warner, born 1876
Elizabeth Bessie, born 1878
Mortimer Jay, born 1882
Carrie Louise, born 1886
Warren Lawrence, born 1892
Sarah Alice, who died in infancy.

There are eight children photographed here. It is possible that these are their grandchildren, the family of Carrie Lousie, however, that would have required Carrie and her husband, Adam Carlyle, to make the trip back to Nebraska from Orting, Washington, before 1906 when Oscar died. The other option, of course, is that it is a collection of grandchildren, and this is the one I think to be most likely. We do not have many photos of the grandchildren generation as children - though we have quite a few as adults.  Again, this means that those I know best, William's children, would not be pictured, as they lived in Washington. 

The photos below are both William Warner... a reproduction color tin type and a portrait as an adult. Please note the distinctive hair.

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