Wednesday, March 4, 2009
(Not At All) Wordless Wednesday -- The Vane Children (c1869)
Wordless Wednesday again! Wordless? Riiiiiiight. Not happening!
The picture to the right is of Cemantha Jane Vane and her younger brother William James, called "Chimie" on the photo (which I believe is a phonetic rendering of the nickname 'Jimmy.') These two are the children of John Vane and Adaline Plymell. John and Adaline were married on 2 Nov 1848 in Crawford County, Illinois, and moved to Arcadia, Crawford Co., KS around 1872. The couple had five known children -- Martin Luther, William Shannon, George Edward, Cemantha Jane, and William James. John died in Arcadia in 1889 and Adaline followed shortly thereafter in 1890.
Adaline Plymell is my 3rd great aunt. Her sister Delinda Jane, who married Joseph Nichols, was my 3rd-g-grandmother.
This photo was taken in Decatur in Macon Co., Illinois. Originally I believed the time frame to be around 1865 because the style of photo (card stock, double bordered) looked familiar to me from others I also have. Sure enough, I have a set of pictures that look exactly like this from my Nichols family -- John Nichols, his wife Delinda Jane (mentioned above), and their daughters Eliza Ursula and Missouri Ann. That set of pictures is dated c1865 according to the writing on the back, which is in Ursula's hand.
There are two sets of handwriting on the back of this photo, however (see the back of the photo below.) One set -- listing the children's names -- is Ursula's. The other set is unknown but I think dates to a slightly later period since the "lives in Arcadia" notation could only have been mentioned after the Vanes moved on to Kansas in 1872.
Cemantha Vane looks about 8-10 years old in this photo so I'm guessing this photo is closer to 1869. I'm saying this because the little boy in the dressing gown in the photo is William James Vane and he wasn't born until late 1868/early 1869.
The back has a listing of a few Curnutts (Cemantha's children I presume, though to my admittedly limited knowledge I only show Oscar as her definite child.) Also listed are Cordova, Charley and Will Plymell. These three are nephews of Adaline and Delinda, sons of their brother Wallace William Plymell.
One of the most interesting things about this photo to me was the photographer. E. A. (Edward A.) Barnwell had a studio called the People's Ambrotype Gallery at 24 North Water Street in Decatur, Illinois. According to this site, it so happened that in May of 1860 Decatur was the location of Abraham Lincoln's endorsement for President at the Republican state convention. Lincoln got his picture taken after his speech on 9 May 1860 and E.A. Barnwell was the photographer!
I'm not sure when E.A. stopped taking photographs and sold his studio to W.C. Pitner, but the above link implies that he sold out around 1863 and moved to Cerro Gordo, IL, just a few miles east of Decatur. Perhaps Pitner continued to use Barnwell's name on the studio -- I'm not sure. Hopefully I can find out.