Photo Provenance Project

Photo Provenance Project: James Young with Gold Medallions

Photo Provenance Project-01


Learn more about this project here.


Today’s photo is one I had not seen until recently.  It features James Young, my 2nd great-grandfather.  James was born in 1876 in Scotland to James Young & Ann Vickers.  He married Catherine Brown in 1898.  They had six children, five born in Scotland, one in Montana.  They immigrated to the US around 1910 and eventually settled in Spokane, Washington.

Here is the lovely, new-to-me, photo of James Young:


James Young b 1876 gold medallion
James Young


James Young b 1876 gold medallion, photo card back
back of photo holder


Gregg Young wrote this regarding the provenance of this family photo:

Subjects in photo:  James Young (b. 1876)

My relationship: My paternal grandfather.

Photo Information: My Grandmother, Catherine Young (nee Brown) had a number of photographs. These came into my father’s possession after her death.  After his passing, this photo came to me.   

This photo is a professional photo by “Stephens Home Portraits” as pressed into the photo paper and can be seen on his left arm.  While the photo is in gray tones the medallions that he is wearing have been colored gold. I cannot discern what the medallions say or show but must have importance in the photo.  The photo has been in the original brown protective folder provided by the studio. 

The photo is roughly 4 ½ by 7 inches.  The folder is 5 ½ by 8 ½ inches and is embossed as shown above.  I was hoping that the embossed folder would help in identifying where the photo was taken but it means nothing to me. 

I do not know the date of the photo but judging the age of James in the photo to be around 30 years would put the photoshoot about 1906.  This photo could have been taken in Scotland, Canada, or the United States as he was in all three countries around this time. 

Confirmation: I have never met my grandfather as he 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 subject.



Shared with me by Gregg Young in an email dated 19 August 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!