This photograph of a lovely young girl, or teenager, was taken by the Parker Studio in Dunn, North Carolina. No other information is associated with the picture, except that it was in a trunk belonging to Sarah Ophelia Rose Barnes. Looking at some other photos sent to us by Betsy Coleman, my husband and I think it could be a portrait of Ophelia’s daughter, Bessie Pauline Barnes (1886-1944), taken during a graduation, or some other important occasion.
I always enjoy looking at fashions from the past, to try to date a photo. Fashion-Era shows Children in Costume History 1890 – 1900, and the length and style of the dress is right. Also, the sleeves of the dress look like leg of mutton sleeves from the 1890s. The girl is wearing a cameo, or brooch, at her neck, and she’s holding a small bouquet of flowers. She’s leaning against a log, with a rural backdrop.
The Barnes family lived in Grantham Township, Wayne County, NC, but by the 1900 census Bessie was living in Goldsboro, North Carolina while attending school, and was enumerated with her great uncle and aunt – Needham and Mary Musgrave. She was also enumerated living with her mother and two brothers in Grantham Township during the 1900 Federal Census. Her father, Tom Barnes, had died in 1892.
What made us think that this photo could be Bessie Pauline Barnes, was another portrait taken before her wedding to Thomas Coleman in 1910. In the photo below, Bessie has darker hair, but often hair does darken after childhood. The beautiful eyes look similar, and in both portraits there is a quiet look of kindness and contemplation. What do you think? You can click on the picture to enlarge it.
Friday’s Faces From the Past is a blogging prompt to help research unknown ancestors, or rescued photographs, suggested by GeneaBloggers.