Category Archives: Dating Old Photos

Cato, Barry County, MO Students 1904

School Picture, Cato Missouri
Cato, Missouri Students, c1904

I have way more early 1900’s school photos in my family history photo collection than I realized. While looking for photos and documents about one of Isaac and Mary Bandy Sturgell’s children, Abijah Houston Sturgell, I came across this copy of an old school photo that was sent to me by my husband’s Aunt Freda, probably in the 1990’s. Someone in the Sturgell extended family owned the original and Freda obtained a copy.

This looks to be a one room schoolhouse type of school with the school building in the background and perhaps an outhouse or woodshed on the left side.

The school master was the gentleman in the middle of the back row wearing the vest and bow tie. There might also have been a school mistress in the third row, second from the right. Notice all the barefeet in the front row!

Only three children were identified in the photo. In the front row, 7th boy from the right is Herman “Bud” Sturgell, who was born in 1898. He looks to be about 5 or 6 years old, dating this photo to about 1904.

In the second row, also the 7th boy from the right is Oscar Eldon Sturgell, my husband’s grandfather.  Oscar was born in 1893 and would be 10-11 years old.

In the third row, third girl from the left is Amy Cora Sturgell, born in 1891 so would be 12-13 years old here.

Bud, Oscar and Amy were three of the ten children of Abijah (Byge) and Martha Susannah Alberty Sturgell who were born and raised in Barry County, Missouri. One other daughter, Glena Agnes, was of school age, but isn’t identified in this picture. Glena died in December 1907. It is possible that she is one of these students, but family members in the 1990’s had no home photos of her and didn’t recognize her. It’s also possible she was home sick the day this picture was taken.

If your ancestor was of school-age and lived in Cato, Barry County, Missouri, he/she may be in this photograph. I would love to hear from you.

Samuel Henry Perkins, Cedar Co., MO

Samuel Henry Perkins was my husband’s 3x great grandfather. He was the son of John Perkins and Rhoda Walters Woosley of Halifax County, Virginia. Family lore has it that he was born on the Woosley plantation on 18 December 1821. Samuel married Martha Hamby, daughter of Amos Hamby and Lavina Palmer, on 25 April 1841 in Polk County, Missouri. Martha was born 4 September 1826, in Christian County, Kentucky.

Samuel and Martha had nine children:

1. James Madison, born 10 May 1842, Polk Co., MO
2. Amos Hamby, born 12 January 1844, Dade Co., MO
3. Mary Woosley, born 3 October 1846, Cedar Co., MO
4. John Wilke, born 10 December 1848, Cedar Co., MO
5. Emily, born 19 May 1854, Cedar Co., MO
6. Gustavus A., born 19 December 1856, Cedar Co., MO
7. Wilson Wayne Wooldridge, a daughter, born 7 November 1859, Cedar Co., MO
8. Louisa, born 11 January 1861, Cedar Co., MO
9. Joanna (Josie Ann), born 25 October 1864, Cedar Co., MO

All of their children lived to adulthood, although Louisa died at age twenty on 11 October 1881, unmarried,  in Cedar County and Mary Woosley, who married Emsley Harrison Brasher (my husband’s ancestors) died on 4 March 1882 in Hopkins County, Texas.

Samuel died on 28 April 1905. Martha predeceased him, passing away on 16 Mary 1891. Both died in and are buried in Cedar County, Missouri.

This is a copy of a family photo of Samuel Henry and Martha Perkins with children and grandchildren, probably taken in the late 1870’s. Eugene Perkins, an avid Perkins researcher, who passed away in 2001 just short of his 94th birthday, shared this picture with me years ago, but he didn’t know who most of the people were except for Samuel and Martha in the center.

Sam & Martha Perkins
Family of Samuel Henry and Martha Hamby Perkins

I found a public member tree on line that has a copy of this same photo and below it, someone has identified all of the people. The photo is dated about 1878. They are:

Gustavus A.
Emily, Wilson Wayne, Louisa and Josie Ann
James Madison, ida, Samuel, Emlou, Martha, Marion, Amos
Norman, Horace

Gus, Emily, Wilson, Louisa, Josie, James M. and Amos are the children of Samuel and Martha. Ida, Norman and Horace are James’s children. Emlou and Marion are children of Amos.

The only family missing were daughter Mary, who was living in Hopkins County, Texas and son John W., who was living in Dade County, MO with his young family. As James’s and Amos’s wives are not in the picture, this was meant to capture the immediate direct descendants of Samuel and Martha living in Cedar County. Another mystery solved thanks to technology.




Benjamin Franklin Tarbox

Yesterday, I shared photos of the family of my 3x great grandfather, George Rogers Tarbox. George seems to have remained close to his brother, Benjamin Franklin Tarbox, as family photos take 130 or more years ago have come down through time to me.

George and Ben were the eighth and ninth of eleven children born to William and Judith Haskell Tarbox. They were born in and grew up in New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. George, born 14 December 1818 was older than Ben, born 29 May 1821, by a little more than two years.  There was definitely a family resemblance between the two men!

Benjamin Franklin and George Rogers Tarbox

Benjamin married Harriet D. Stetson Lowell, Massachusetts on 10 September 1847. Harriet was about 4 years older than her husband, born about 1817 in Maine.

This photo was taken in Lewiston and I think this may be Ben’s wife, Harriet D. Stetson:


Ben died on 6 June 1891 and is buried in Lewiston. Harriet predeceased him by quite a few years, dying on 23 Oct 1874. She is buried with him at Forestdale Cemetery in Lewiston.

They were the parents of seven children: Franklin A., George H., Hattie M., Ellen S.(Nellie), Olive R., Charles S. and Minnie J.  Frank, Hattie and Minnie all died unmarried with no children.

Here is a photo of Hattie M. Tarbox. She was a school teacher:

Hattie M. Tarbox

Nellie married Peter Scott in MA in 1877, but the only Peter Scott in Massachusetts in 1880 who is of the right age is a man listed as a convict in the state prison. Nellie reported in later censuses that she was divorced, so this Peter may well be her husband. It appears they had no children and Nellie never remarried. Olive married Charles B. Edwards and they had only one son, Earl F., born in 1888 and died in 1902 in Malden, MA so they have no descendants.

Benjamin and Harriet left three grandsons and three granddaughters who may have descendants today:

George married Elizabeth Edwards and they removed to Malden, Middlesex, MA. They had three children – Annie, Grace and George W. Tarbox. George Sr. was a widower in the 1900 census as Elizabeth had died only five weeks earlier, on 30 April 1900, also in Malden.

Charles S. Tarbox married Amelia Rachel Smith in 1882 in Boston and settled in Braintree, MA. They had sons Harry Sumner Tarbox and Charles Frederick Tarbox and daughter Adeline Rachel Tarbox.

If I could find them, I would like to give them the original photographs that I have of their ancestors.