Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Matter of Mistaken Identification

When Dad’s cousin, Harold Mitchell’s wife, Jacquie, sent me a photo in 1998 of the Waggoner family, she identified them as follows, left to right: Eli and Rachel in front; the four daughters are Mary, Alice, Ida, and Amanda; the four sons, she said, are Emery, Gordon, Jacob, and Leo. I'm afraid I perpetuated what I've come to believe is mistaken identification of Leo and Emery. After studying other photos and learning more about the family, I began to realize that something was wrong. 

First, Emery was the eldest (born in 1884), and would have been around age 25+ when this photo was taken. The boy on the left does not look to be over 20. Leo would have been about 15, and this son looks more that age to me. 
My revised identification: Eli and Rachel in front; girls l. to r: Mary Alice, Ida, Amanda; boys l. to r. Leo, Gordon, Jacob, Emery.
Second, when the family moved to Missouri, Emery and Gordon went farther west, and they were not present when the family portrait was taken. Their pictures were added later. When Jacquie sent me the above photo, she said, “Two of the son’s pictures were added to the photo later, but I do not know which two.” I sent her a copy of the photo my dad had given me of the family (below), and wrote, “This photo will tell you which two.” My guess is that this photo was taken, possibly in Missouri, after Gordon and Emery had already gone west. So it is likely that the two missing photos added later were Gordon and Emery, not Gordon and Leo.
My identifiers: Eli and Rachel in front; girls l to r, Mary, Alice, Ida, Amanda; boys, Leo and Jacob.
Third, looking at pictures known to be Leo and Emery when they were older, I just think the boy on the left in the family portrait looks more like pictures of Leo, and the man on the right looks more like pictures of Emery.

In the photos below, compare the lower known portrait of Leo at about age 25 to the boy above from the family portrait that I believe is Leo.
Leo, age 15
Leo, age 25
Now in the photos below, compare the lower known photo of Emery at about age 40 to the one from family portrait that I believe is Emery.
Emery, age about 20.

Emery, age about 40
What do you think?

(c) 2013 Z. T. Noble

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