photograph showcase, Scottish Photo Identification Project

Photograph Showcase: James & Catherine Young

YOUNG, James at far right and wife Catherine is third from right
James Young at far right, Catherine Brown is third from right.


James Young and Catherine Brown are my 2nd great-grandparents.  They were both born in Scotland.  They immigrated to America, James in 1908, and Catherine and the children in 1910.

This photo is unlabeled.  The other individuals are not familiar to me or my cousin Gregg who is James and Catherine’s grandson.  Gregg’s guess is that is was taken during the war years.  That is very likely given the man in uniform and the apparent age of James and Catherine.  They both died in 1945, James in January and Catherine in July.  He was sixty-eight at the time of his death and she was seventy at the time of her death.

I am fascinated by the heights of everyone in this photo.  I have two records for Catherine that list her height.  One says she was 5′ 4″ and the other says that she was 5′ 5″.  That seems unlikely given how much shorter she is than everyone in this photo.  😉  What do you think?

A while back I mentioned that my cousin Gregg mailed me a box of unidentified photos, letters, and a few other items.  There were also a few identified photos including this one.  I recently finished scanning everything.  There are exactly 62 items from the box.  So far, I have identified and shared three items.  Three down, fifty-nine to go!



Happy Thursday!  I hope you will scan, share, and label a treasured photo today.  xoxo



18 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: James & Catherine Young”

  1. It’s funny you mentioned the heights because I noticed that right away also. 5’4″? No way. That’s how tall I am, and no woman is a foot taller than I am that I’ve ever met! And those two other women are at least that much taller than Catherine. So either she shrunk A LOT—very possible in those days before osteoporosis medications. My MIL went from about 5’8″ to shorter than I am by the time she died. Or she is standing on lower ground. But I think the former. I think she’s probably about 5′ in that picture, if that much. She might also be stooped over a bit.

    1. I agree with all of that!! Catherine looks so short in this photo but the youngest woman does not look like she is 6 feet tall at all! What is equally surprising to me is that James isn’t much taller than Catherine. Based on photos, I don’t think their sons were terribly short, but I could be wrong. 😉

      1. Men shrink with age also. One of the things my father kept saying the last months of his life was that he didn’t understand how I got to be taller than he was. And he was 5’8″ before he started shrinking.

        1. Whoa!! That is quite a difference. I guess I haven’t had the up close chance to notice that shrinkage in anyone yet. It’s certainly something I’ve heard people say. My parents are in their 60s so I’m guessing they haven’t started shrinking significantly yet. 😉

          1. Well, the good news is that today people take better care of themselves to prevent bone loss. I take calcium as well as a prescription. So far I haven’t lost any height, and I also am in my 60s. So take calcium! I started when I was 40, I think.

            1. Yes! That is good news. I do take calcium and have for several years now. 🙂

    1. YES!!! It makes me want to label all of my photos right away. But there is so. much. genealogy. to do all of the time! 😉

  2. Lovely photo.

    I’m with Amy. Anything over 5’ would be tall for a Scottish woman of that generation. My grandmother was 4’ 10” and her mother even smaller. She doesn’t look particularly hunched, though her right shoulder is down (guess she didn’t have a chopiropractor), so I suspect she was naturally of very short stature.

    1. That is what I am thinking too! She looks so short in this photo! The youngest woman definitely does not look like she is 6 feet tall to me, so Catherine must be far shorter than she claimed. 😉

      1. Was one of the records of her height you mentioned an immigration record? I wonder if she “overstated” her height in order to appear healthier. Nutrition was a huge factor in growth; you really see the difference in my generation where we our mothers had access to more protein-rich food when they were pregnant and when we were growing. It’s really obvious when you line my brothers and I up against our Scottish cousins!
        On another note, it wouldn’t be surprising if James was short too. My maternal grandfather was 5’ 4”, and my great grandfather’s army enlistment papers record him as the same height. The men in my family all seem short to me, but are normal height in Scotland.

        1. Interesting!! Yes, both records had to do with travel, one is her immigration record and the other was a border crossing record into Canada. Thank you for the good Scottish details, Su. ❤️

                1. Haha, I think I know a lot of people like that! (Especially my older boys when they were wishing to be taller…)

  3. Like you and everyone, the height difference struck me as soon as I looked at the picture. No way she was my height. No more than 5’ and maybe less. It is a very nice photograph.

    1. Thank you, Eilene! Funny how everyone who looks at this photo sees the height first. 😉

Leave a Reply