This photo of my great-grandmother, Mary Brown Young, and her siblings while on vacation in Dunoon, Scotland in 1910 is interesting to me for several reasons. The very first thing that jumps out at me is my great-grandmother’s sweet face. Grandma Mary is on the far right. I can always spot her right away in any photo!
Beyond that, there is so much to comment on. First, it appears to be a photograph of a photograph. Second, the automobile seems to be a prop that is both a physical object with depth and seating but also painted to appear as if it is a real car. But am I seeing it correctly?
Third, the writing on the front appears to be Mary’s handwriting labeling everyone and adding “Dunoon Scotland” and “1910” on the left of the photo. Fourth, the photo contains a neighbor, Maggie Dick. Did she go on the trip with them or did both families go together?
My cousin, Gregg, asked Grandma Mary (his aunt) about the photo years ago. He labeled the back:
Gregg’s handwritten label on the back matches what Grandma Mary had written on the front. I don’t know if that was visible to Grandma Mary and Gregg the day they looked at it or if I picked it up more easily from the modern scan and image settings. Either way, both labels are identical. Excellent.
The post-it note below is from Gregg and was written recently, it explains that Grandma Mary gave the information written on the photo. It also poses the question, “I wonder if Maggie Dick became Douglas?”
An excellent question. Gregg knows that I had a hard time riddling out who exactly Maggie Douglas was to our family. You can read about that here. He had some letters from Maggie in the US that he shared with me and I am still trying to figure out what happened to her after about 1918.
I love Gregg’s question, but I could answer it almost immediately with a no. Maggie Douglas was 19 years older than Grandma Mary. The young girl named Maggie Dick beside Mary in this photo is definitely older than Mary, but not 19 years older. I did a little bit of census searching and found a Maggie Dick living in the small town of Carluke in Scotland where Grandma Mary was born. In fact, in 1901, Maggie Dick, then age five, lived on the very street that Grandma Mary was born on in 1903–Chapel Street. If the Maggie Dick in the photo is the same Maggie Dick from the census, then in 1910 at the time of this photo, she would be about 13-14 years old. Catherine would be about 10-11 years old and Mary would be about 6-7 years old.
One last item of interest is the timing of the photograph. Catherine and the children immigrated to America in October of 1910. I wonder if this was one last hurrah in the country of their birth before they left?
Happy Thursday, I hope you are having a wonderful genealogy week! I can’t believe all of the cousin communication that has been flooding my way the last few weeks after my John Costello posts!! It is awesome. xoxo