Tag Archives: Mystery Photos

A Gem-Sized Tintype from the Late 1860s

Unknown Lady, circa late 1860s

I am often drawn back to my Adams-Tarbox-Chadwick photo collection of unknown family and friends.

This particular tintype always catches my attention because it is absolutely tiny and is known as a gem-sized tintype. It measures under one inch by just about one inch in size, but the image is quite clear.

It is encased in paper and the front is heavily embossed with detailing around the oval opening. Someone did a bit of trimming off the right side of the casing, as the cut line isn’t quite straight.

She is stylishly dressed even to the extent of wearing dangling earrings.

Gem-sized tintypes date from 1866-1880, but the style of this lady’s hair, her dress with the tiny bit of white collar peeking out at the neckline and the heavy embossing suggests that it dates closer to the 1866 time frame.

Unfortunately, like my other tintypes, they are completely unmarked by both the photographer and any owners.

As for resembling anyone in the family, she doesn’t put me in the mind of any male or female ancestors for whom I have photos. It is certainly possible she was a family friend. I’d say she is at least 30 years old, so born no later than the mid 1830s.

How I wish I could step back in time to ask great grandaunt Pearl who all these people in her unmarked photos were!


Warren Campbell: Mystery Photo with an Interesting Story

Warren Campbell is/was somewhat of a mystery. A very nice portrait-style photograph of him is part of the family photo collection inherited from my husband’s Stufflebean grandparents, Earl & Pearl, who lived first in Noble and then Norman, Oklahoma.

Warren Campbell

As I began the hunt for Warren Campbell, and there aren’t many in the 1920-ish time period to which I think this photo belongs, there was only one man who had any connection to the Stufflebeans that I could determine.

Warren Aurelius Campbell was born 11 November 1897, in Kansas to Robert A. Warren and his wife, Edith (Morgan) Campbell and died on 22 April 1950 in Los Angeles, California.

Warren married Julia Pauline Parker on 19 March 1921 in Noble, Oklahoma, which is the sole connection found to Earl and Pearl Stufflebean. The Stufflebean family owned a general store in town and it is possible that Earl and/or Pearl met Warren or Julia that way.

Julia Pauline Parker was born 25 November 1905 in Arkansas and died 11 May 1956 in Los Angeles, California.

Neither of the Campbells apparently stayed long in Noble. Julia was at home with her family in Arkansas in 1920 and Warren’s whereabouts are unknown in 1920, but he wasn’t in Noble.

Warren and Julia were the parents of two children:

  1. Pauline Laverne, born 1921, Oklahoma; married (1) Raymond Mastello Carley, 28 September 1939, Orange County, California. Raymond was born in 1919 and died in 1970, Yuma, Arizona. (2) Warren (aka Wesley) Lyle Penn, 17 October 1954, Los Angeles, California. I’m not sure why Warren was going by the name of Warren – odd since her father was Warren – because his birth name was Lyle WESLEY Penn.
  2. Warren Aurelius, born 22 July 1925, Enid, Garfield, Oklahoma; died 20 July 1993, Los Angeles, California; married Grace Anna Johnson, 31 December 1945, Sanders County, Montana. She was born 20 June 1925, Chicago, Illinois and died 20 January 1988, Los Angeles, California. They apparently divorced and she married (2) Lawrence Eugene Mitchell, February 1975, Los Angeles, California.

Unfortunately, I’ve found no evidence that either Pauline or Warren had children, so there may be no descendants to whom I can return this photo.

It also seems that while Pauline Laverne had somewhat of a difficult life, Warren’s life choices were much worse.

The 1940 census shows Laverne Campbell living back at home with her parents, in spite of her 1939 marriage, enumerated as a Campbell, but also listed as married. She is also listed as a son, but clearly Pauline, a daughter, in 1930, so that seems to be the enumerator’s error.

While her marriage record to Lyle is available, she has not been found after that time and her death date is unknown. Perhaps when the 1950 census is released in a couple of years, more can be found.

Her brother, Warren Aurelius Campbell, Jr., had a much more checkered life. The first record I came across for him was:

Source: Ancestry

Note the charge was kidnapping and he was incarcerated in Alcatraz on 8 March 1953.

Even more worrisome was the next line: Transferred from: L, which indicates that he was first imprisoned elsewhere.

Next, I used my recent GeneaGem find, Record Group Explorer on NARA and looked for a file on Warren Campbell. Although it hasn’t yet been digitized, he is indexed with the scope of his record detailed:

More sad news, as the L is for LEAVENWORTH and he was transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois on 14 January 1963.

I sent an email to NARA asking about the cost for a copy of his file. That was before I noticed the last line that said his file is approximately 1400 PAGES! Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be paying for that.

The NARA entry gives his mother’s name and suggests she might have been a Penn. However, Julia died in 1956 and I suspect that since his sister was Pauline Laverne that this reference is to his closest relative and his sister was his only close family member still living after May 1956. She was the Penn and this proves that she was living at least until that time.

Kidnapping is a horrible offense, but I also have to wonder what he did to be transferred to three different prisons. Leavenworth doesn’t have the reputation as a party place, yet he went from there to Alcatraz! The transfer to Marion happened because Alcatraz closed for good on 21 March 1963.

Warren Aurelius Campbell was eventually released, as he died in Los Angeles, California, but I haven’t been able to learn anything else about him.

If Warren or Pauline Laverne did have children and you are descended from them, I would love to return this photo to you. Please leave a comment.



Stufflebean Mystery Photos, Early 20th Century

It’s been a couple of years, I think since I shared a few of my mystery Stufflebean children photos from the early 20th century. Little by little, distant cousins are finding my blog posts about the family lines and are contacting me. Yes – blogs are wonderful cousin bait!

Here are a few of the pictures of children that I have, but who are not identified.

The difficulties in even narrowing down the possibilities are twofold. First, John Henry Stufflebean (1863-1938) had two wives with children born between 1887 and 1919. Second, the older children by his first wife were married and having children by the time their younger half-siblings were born.

The baby in the first three photos looks to be the same child with the same older boy in Photos 2 & 3. I’d guess the pictures were taken in the 1920s, but that leaves many choices as to who these boys are. It’s possible that one of them is my father-in-law, Edward Stufflebean, born June 1917, but he had no brothers so the other boy would have to be a cousin of some sort.

I think these were Bakers, children of Iva Myrtle Stufflebean Baker (1888-1976), but I would love confirmation.

Next are two photos of groups of children. The first photo has two girls in it (left and right sides, standing with bows in hair) who I again believe are Baker children, but the others are Stufflebean cousins of some degree.

Here is another Stufflebean photo with five children, one girl and four boys. They make for a very cute photo, but I really, really want to know who they are. This is a copy of an original photo that my father-in-law had. I am sure he knew who they all were, but he didn’t write anything on the back!

Ed’s father, Earl Marcus Stufflebean, was born in 1894 and was more blond than his siblings, who had darker hair. The ages and sexes of the children, along with their clothing style, suggests that these could be Iva Myrtle, born 1888, James Herman, born 1890, Owen Wayne, born 1892 (died 1902), Earl, born 1894 and Henry Sylvan, born 1897.

Here is a photo of Earl as a young man:

Earl in his later years:

I tend to think the youngest child in the middle looks the most like Earl, but then who is the child in the front, right side?

Help, please! Readers, what do you think and Stufflebean cousins, please leave comments.