photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Grandpa Duval or Uncle Leon?

DUVAL, Francis Henry and Stanley McIntyre, Summer 1919
l-r: possibly Francis Henry Duval and Stanley McIntyre, Summer 1919 at Stanley’s home


UPDATE:  My friend Cathy asked an excellent question in the comments below.  She helped me resolve my concerns and decide that this must be Grandpa Duval, Francis Henry Duval.  Thank you, Cathy!



I found this cool photo several years ago.  When I first looked at it, instantly, I saw my great-grandfather, Francis Henry Duval, on the left.  But the date is troubling.

The back of the photo reads this:


DUVAL, Francis Henry and Stanley McIntyre, Summer 1919 - photo back


In the Summer of 1919, Great-Grandpa Duval would have been busy.  His father died 31 May 1919, leaving him as the sole provider for his widowed mother and four siblings.  Would he have had time to hang out with Stanley and take this photo?  Or were there resources left over from when his father was alive that allowed him to have some free time?

Additionally, if the “Summer 1919” date is accurate, Great-Grandpa would be 18 years old when this photo was taken.  He always looked younger than he was, but I don’t know if I can age him at 18.

I compared this photo to other photos of Great-Grandpa Duval when he was a child and the face in this photo definitely looks more like Great-Grandpa than the only other candidate – his brother Leon.  Here are a few photos:


Leon & Frank Duval, "cadets", Lynn Valley
l-r:  Leon & Frank Duval, “cadets”, Lynn Valley


gg - george eliot quote
Frank on the far left, Leon on the far right


I also compared the handwriting to the only other sample I could find that I know for sure is Great-Grandpa’s handwriting.  The problem is that these two notes would have been written about two decades apart.


DUVAL, Deane and Frank on fence, photo back


I did find a Stanley McIntyre living in Lynn Creek Village, British Columbia in 1921.  The other records for this Stanley indicate he was born about July 1904 in British Columbia.  That makes him 3 years younger than Great-Grandpa Duval and 3 years old than Leon.

The collection of information I have assembled is not tipping me in either direction.  However, I’m still leaning slightly toward the photo being of my Great-Grandpa Duval, simply because of my initial reaction.  But that reeks of confirmation bias.  Hmmm…


What do you think?  Is this photo of Frank or Leon?



Heather, what do you think?




Happy Thursday, I hope you will label a photo TODAY and save your great-granddaughter a future headache.  😉  xoxo



18 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Grandpa Duval or Uncle Leon?”

  1. I am sorry but I just can’t tell. I keep changing my mind on who is who. I hate photos that have the “me” tag on them.

    1. Me too!! And yet, have I ever done it? I wonder… Maybe when I sent photos to a relative. Hmmm, hope I’m not guilty! Thank you for looking, Charles. ❤️

  2. At first glance I thought it was Grandpa Frank, at second glance, I am sure it is Grandpa Frank. I have seen him stand like that many times, hand on hip leaning slightly back. He does look young, but any 18 year old looks like a child to me anymore. As for the hand writing, I agree, it isn’t his. It is probably Stanley’s mother’s. I am going to email you something you may think is really neat.

    1. My thoughts exactly on the way he is standing!! Thank you for the awesome documents, Heather! ❤️

  3. I think it looks like Frank based on the shape of the face and the expression. He may not have written the 1938 note. What would the A-3018 mean under his name? And the word on the far right seems to have been written in different ink by a different person.

    1. I agree – I especially think the distance between the eyes works for Frank but definitely not for Leon.

      I’m not sure about the A-3018, I’m guessing something to do with the camera settings or photo developing. Grandpa Duval made notes on the backs of photos quite often. I’m guessing that he took a photo of the actual original and then printed it. He did that a lot. The note on the far right is “verichrome” which has to do with photo developing. Grandpa Duval did all of that.

      Thank you for the input, Amy! I have been buried in DNA analysis the last four days or so. Lots of excitement over here to write about!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  4. I think your initial impression is correct. I don’t know who did the writing, but there are notable similarities. The Fs in the second look like the T in the first. The Ms have moderated, but look similar. Funny that the ink and flow of it are so similar.

    1. Thank you for the input, Eilene! I hadn’t really noticed the ink until you mentioned it. They do look very similar. 🙂

  5. I am not related, so I come here with a neutral viewpoint. I would say this is Frank. It comes from years of drawing faces. Here is the problem: sometimes old negatives/photos were reversed in printing which I think might be the case here. In the first photo- was the man with the rope left-handed? If not, I would expect it to be on his right side. Also, a person has a thin side and a “moon” side of their face. If you can mentally flip-flop the first photo, I think you might see even more of a resemblance to the 2nd.

  6. The question is, if Stanley was 15 in 1909, could it be Leon age 12 on the left? Leon would have to have had quite a growing spurt. Does this make you more confident that your original feeling of this being Frank?
    Amberly, I don’t think I’ve ever told you I love your writing style. I’m sure everyone else feels the same as you get the most interesting comments.

    1. Oh my goodness! Why hadn’t I even considered Leon’s age at the time OF THE PHOTO!! Thanks, Cathy, yes – I feel so much better. I was so worried about second guessing myself that is was Grandpa Duval that despite clearly laying out the facts of the matter, I was more worried about what could disprove it was Grandpa and not what could disprove it was Leon. You always help me find the flaws in my thinking and I am so grateful! ❤️

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