Photo Provenance Project

Photo Provenance Project: Catherine Brown with Four Children

Photo Provenance Project-01

 

Learn more about this project here.

 

Today’s photo has the special distinction of being the first known image of James Young, son of James Young & Catherine Brown in my collection!

Young James was born 1 January 1902 in Carluke, Lanark, Scotland.1  Sadly, he died when he was just 7 years and 16 days old on 17 January 1909 in Carluke.2

His cause of death is listed as, “Coloured wire penetrated heel, 16 days before death, suppuration & abscess 8 days after wound, Pyaemia, 6 days before death, syncope suddenly.”3  Gregg shared that the “coloured wire” was a croquet wicket.

Here is the lovely image of Catherine with four of her children:

 

Catherine Brown b 1874, and children
left to right:  Alexander Brown Douglas Young, James Young, Catherine Brown holding George Vickers Young, Mary Brown Young, photo taken in Scotland

 

My cousin, Gregg Young, wrote this regarding the provenance of this family photo:

Subjects in photo:  Catherine Young nee Brown (b. 1874) and middle four children.  From left, Alexander Young, James Young, George Young (in mother’s arms) and Mary Young.

My relationship: My paternal grandmother.

Photo Information:  I copied this photo from another photo.  Unfortunately, I do not know who had the original but it is a photo of a photo so some resolution has been lost.  My copy is roughly 5 ½ X 3 ½ inches. I have the same photo printed from a negative but smaller and there is some writing on the bottom, “Alexander, James, Mother, George, Mary”.  Since it states “Mother” instead of Catherine, I believe that the original photo may have been Mary Costello’s nee Young. The handwriting is not my father’s so do not know which if any of the children wrote this. 

The original photo was taken in Scotland probably in the Lanark area. Since George, the baby, was born in Carnwath, Lanark, Scotland in 1906, this photo must have been taken in 1907.  The house appears to be similar to other photos taken in Scotland. Catherine would be around 33 at this time. 

I find the rubble stone foundation for the house as well as the wide front door, stucco exterior, single window and possibly a thatched roof interesting.  

The original might have been from a traveling photographer.

Confirmation: I have never met my grandmother as she passed before I was born, however, I have seen numerous photos identified by both my father as well as my aunt Mary Costello (nee Young) with this same main subject.  The ages between the children, the labeling and seeing other photos of the children leave me no doubt of the identity of the subjects in this photo. 

 

 

Shared with me by Gregg Young in an email dated 11 October 2019.

 

For those who may wish to contact Gregg, please comment on this post or send me an email (address on the sidebar) and I will forward your message on to him!

 

 

  1. National Records of Scotland, “Statutory Registers of Births,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 8 September 2008), digital image, James Young birth registration, born 1 January 1902, Parish of Carluke, County of Lanark, citing Statutory Registers no. 629/ 8.
  2. National Records of Scotland, “Statutory Registers of Deaths,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 8 September 2008), digital image, James Young death registration, died 17 January 1909, Parish of Carluke, County of Lanark, citing Statutory Registers no. 629/ 8.
  3. National Records of Scotland, “Statutory Registers of Deaths,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 8 September 2008), digital image, James Young death registration, died 17 January 1909, Parish of Carluke, County of Lanark, citing Statutory Registers no. 629/ 8.

8 thoughts on “Photo Provenance Project: Catherine Brown with Four Children”

  1. Another amazing photograph, so heart-wrenching to see children who died so young. Thank you Gregg and Amber for sharing this. The details regarading the house are interesting too.

  2. She had lovely curtains in her window. I have a friend who lives in North Ogden & she is from Lanark, Scotland. She told me our 1st James Bond was also from Lanark.

    So sad about her little boy. He had an infection that would be cured in our day.

    1. Nancy, I’m so glad you mentioned the curtains! I hadn’t really noticed them. They are lovely. ❤️

      Yes, very sad that he died of an infection. It would have been fixed up in a jiffy today. Poor little one and his entire family. 😢

  3. So sad about little James. So much has changed with modern medicine. So many tragic accidents like these which would have been no more than an accident rather than leading to an untimely death. Lovely photograph though of the family and lovely to have one of James.

    1. Thank you, Alex. Yes, so sad. Everytime I discover a young death that would be preventable today I feel both grateful and overwhelmingly sad. I can’t imagine burying multiple children and yet it happened so often!

      I was so delighted to see little James’ face for the first time! I thought there were no photos of him. So glad I was wrong. ❤️

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