Consanguinity: (kŏn'săng-gwĭn'ĭtē) , relationship by blood, whether linear or collateral.

Primarily concentrating on my Browning family from Harrison County, Ohio (and their subsequent move to Crawford County, Illinois) but I've got Plymell, Crago, Eagleton, Garrard, McConnell, Nichols, Swan, Nevitt, Huls, Markee, Depperman, Papstein/Popstein and Hamilton in there too. And that's just the beginning......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday - Is This The Same Man?

For the past few years I've made a judgment call on some photographs in my collection. I believe that they are of the same man but with a few years difference between them. Here is the photo:

The man on the right is known to be John Wesley Francis Browning. The picture is c1864.

The man on the left? I believe that he, too, is John Wesley Francis Browning but a few years earlier, perhaps as early as 1860-1861? Take a look at the eyes....the left eye of both men is slightly larger than the right. Same widow's peak. Same deep inset under the center of the bottom lip. Same distance between the eyes and between the eyebrows. The tip of the nose dips down a bit more on the man in the right photo. Ears appear to look about the same.

I would welcome anyone else's opinion!


  1. I agree with you Patti, I too believe this is the same man, I am going by the nose. His nose is very distinct in that the right side is longer or lower than the left (looking at him would be right side). Both photos reveal that same nose!

  2. I agree. The brow and the hairline are the same shape, too.

  3. I agree with all of you and am especially struck by the way he looks out of his eyes - that looks the same in both photographs as well.

  4. This sort of thing is always difficult, and it's very often easier to conclude that two portraits are not of the same person. However, in this case I think I have to agree with you. I think it is almost certainly the same person, particularly if the photographs definitiely have a similar provenance. The detail of the eye sockets, eyelids, eyebrows, the shape of the ears, the shape of the mouth, appear identical. The hairstyle is very similar, although it is longer in one than the other - however, the hairline is pretty much the same.

    You are fortunate that the two portraits are taken with the subject facing in almost identical poses, which makes for easy comparison. Have you tried digitally overlaying the images? I'd be happy to give it a try for you if you'd like to send me some detailed scans.

    I also think it's worth pointing out that one has to be careful with left and right in old photographs. If one of them had been a tintype, for example (and neither of them does look like a tintype to me, but I may be wrong), then the image would be reversed!

    Regards, Brett

  5. Gini, Tracy, Greta...thank you all for your comments. I happen to think y'all are right! :)

    Brett, I would LOVE for you to digitally overlay the images! I have only the somewhat grainy copies of the pictures that you see here, however. The black and white one is a daguerrotype I believe. The original owner (my dear friend Pat) has passed on but I'm in the process of contacting her son to see if he can find them and re-scan them in better quality. If so I will send them both on to you for comparison.

    I will definitely have to feature John Wes soon on this blog!