Photo Provenance Project

Photo Provenance Project: Catherine Brown with Toddler

Photo Provenance Project-01


Learn more about this project here.


Today’s photo is another new-to-me treasure!  This photo features two people — Catherine Brown, my 2nd great-grandmother, and an unknown child.  Catherine married James Young, my 2nd great-grandfather, 15 July 1898 in Carluke, Lanark, Scotland.1  Catherine and James had six known children:

  • Catherine Boles Young, born 3 September 1899 in Maryhill2
  • James Young, born 1 January 1902 in Carluke3
  • Mary Brown Young, born 7 June 1903 in Carluke4
  • Alexander Brown Douglas Young, born 4 February 1905 in Maryhill5
  • George Vickers Young, born 11 August 1906 in Carnwath6
  • Andrew Brown Young, born 6 January 1912 in Butte, Montana7


Here is the lovely photo of Catherine with a young toddler:


Catherine Brown, b1874 with toddler
Catherine Brown with toddler


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

Subjects in photo:  Catherine Young nee Brown (b. 1874) and unidentified child

My relationship: My paternal grandmother.

Photo Information:  I copied this photo from another photo.  Unfortunately, I do not know who had the original nor how I made the copy.  My copy is roughly 4 ½ X 6 ½ inches. There is a portion of writing that appears on the bottom of the photo which probably states the last part of “Young”.    

I believe that the original photo is from her time in Scotland judging by her age and the structure of the house.  The stucco is similar to other photos taken in Scotland.

I am guessing the age of the child is about 3.  If Catherine is about 28 in this photo, the child could likely be Catherine Boles Young (b. 1899).  If Catherine is closer to 31, then this photo could be of James Young (b. 1902). A year later and it could be Mary Young (b. 1903).  My guess is that this would be James. I don’t think that this is Mary as the age difference between her and her brother would mean that Catherine would probably have two children in tow rather than one.  But these are only guesses.

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 subject. 


I would like to add some additional detail to Gregg’s discussion regarding who the child might be.  We have a photo of Catherine Boles Young taken at a similar age to the child in the above photo:

YOUNG, Catherine Boles
Catherine Boles Young


This photo was identified by Catherine’s younger sister Mary.  You can read more about that here.

When the photo of young Catherine and the toddler are seen side-by-side, it appears that the two children are of a similar age.  Catherine has a nice full head of hair.  The unknown toddler has significantly less hair.  This rules out Catherine as being the unknown toddler.

Child comparison



Shared with me by Gregg Young in an email dated 17 September 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!