I love this beautiful family portrait of the Joseph and Petrina Skeen family. Joseph and Petrina are my 2nd great-grandparents. Their daughter, Naomi, is my great-grandmother. She is on the back row, second from the right. This photo is a good representation of both her beauty and her very reserved nature. I love it!
I have two copies of this photo. The one seen above appears to be an original that has been glued to an album page created by my Grandma. She handwrote a label beneath with everyone’s names (seen below). The other copy is a photo of a photo that was printed in April 1983 (also seen below). The handwriting on the back is unknown to me. it also lists names but no date.
This photo was most likely taken in early 1923 for a few reasons:
- First, the oldest child, Zina Electa Skeen is seen on the back row at left. Zina died 6 October 1925. That means the photo was taken before that date.
- The youngest child, Evan Folkman Skeen, was born 23 March 1918. Evan appears to be about five or six years old in this photo. That tightens up our date range to about 1923 through September 1925.
- The oldest living son, Joseph Maurice Skeen seen on the back row, center, served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Mission. He left to serve his mission on 14 July 1923 and returned home on 18 November 1925, after Zina’s death. That tightens up the possible date of the photo to about 1923, prior to 14 July that year.
What a treasure this photo is! I’ve previously mentioned that Joseph and Petrina lost two of their children too soon, Zina at age 25, and Lamont (not pictured here) just before his eleventh birthday. This is likely the last family photo taken prior to Zina’s death. It is the third image I have been able to find of Zina. It is a privilege to help preserve her story through these precious photos.
Original scan of this photo with my Grandma’s handwritten caption:
Photo back from the April 1983 printing of a photo of this photo:
Happy Thursday, I hope you will help preserve the story of a loved one through scanning and sharing a photo today!! xoxo
9 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Joseph & Petrina Skeen Family”
Maurice’s mission really helped narrow that window. Great example!
It did! I’m so glad I thought to check that. Thank you, Cathy. ❤️
Nice detective work. There is a Joe Skeen campground just south of Grants, NM. Don’t know if Skeen is a common name, but it did strike me.
Thank you, Donna! Ooooh, I wonder if there is a connection?! Skeen is not a common name. They came from Scotland by way of Pennsylvania. My great-uncle says that all Skeens in the US are related. I have no idea if he is correct, but on the off-chance he is, there is a good chance there is a connection between my family and that park. I’m going to have to see if I can figure it out! Thanks for the tip. ❤️
I think I found him here — https://www.revolvy.com/page/Joe-Skeen?cr=1
And here — https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/L2CK-VZ8
We are distantly related!
I wonder why three of the daughters look so serious and the others in the photos are smiling. Just the timing of the shot, probably. Or maybe they were just serious young women.
I don’t know. It’s a great observation. I know that Naomi was very shy, so she doesn’t generally smile in photos. I don’t know much about her sisters though. I’ll have to pay attention as I work through more family items to see if there are clues about her sisters’ demeanors.
I was sharing some family history with our neighbor & telling her about you. She was a Barker from North Ogden & her husband is a Farr. She mentioned Skeen so I shared your blog which I enjoy so very much.
Regarding smiling in photos: we have family photos with some very sober children & the problem was they hated dressing up for the photo, not all of them frowned, just the ones who objected to the preparation. Their personalities today are exactly the same as they were 35 years ago.
Thank you for this sweet message, Nancy!
“Regarding smiling in photos: we have family photos with some very sober children & the problem was they hated dressing up for the photo, not all of them frowned, just the ones who objected to the preparation. Their personalities today are exactly the same as they were 35 years ago.” Haha, isn’t that the truth!!