St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Early Photo of Mrs. Nana Henry

Mrs. "Nana" Henry. Who was she and when was this taken?

This photo was sent to me by a descendant of Andrew FIFE (1790-1878) who married Sara HENRY d. 1817, daughter of John HENRY (1750-1838) and Margaret McMILLAN (1762-1849). My cousin who sent it thought it to be Margaret, but I don't think so.

The hands certainly don't look like hands of an 80 year old woman who survived in early Pittsburgh. While the outfit certainly suggests a really old Mrs. Henry, I have to learn more to decide who the suspects really are.

Would love any suggestions from those who know old photos!

Update: Found a William T Purviance b. 1831 who was a photographer in Pittsburgh in 1860. Don't know how long he was there---

Update 2: Wm Purviance is listed as an AMBROTYPIST in the late 1850s. By 1862, he is listed as a photographer in tax records in Pittsburgh. He has moved on to Philadelphia before 1870. The last legal mention him in Pittsburgh is in the 1865 Tax Records. So the time frame to identify Mrs. Nana Henry has been narrowed to between 1859-1865. Hmmm. I think there are only a couple of great genealogy candidates for this!


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Good analysis on a great old photo.

Keep those ancestor stories coming!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Jack Robinson said...


I too placed a young woman's photograph on to the January 6, 2010, wordless Wednesday.

The lady, who is much older than the one you posted, posed for her photograph in York, PA.

Visit my blog to see and compare the two images. It is very doubtfull that they are two of the same lady but, I would like to seek your comments.