Friday, February 1, 2008

Sophie Turns out to be Daphne!


This little pixie captured my attention because the picture had substantial clues (and darling little leather shoes), but not certain identity. The photo is part of an album belonging to the Warrenville Historical Society in Warrenville, Illinois. The album includes photos of Warren family descendants, including some of my direct-line ancestors. I had never seen the photo before (unlike some of the other photos, which were duplicates of photos that were part of my great-grandfather Frederick Joel Bird's collection).

What I knew: The photo was of a little girl named (I thought) Sophie who was three years old in 1896. That much was handwritten on the photo. On the back of the photo was the name and address of a photographer in St. Louis. What I didn't know was Sophie's last name and her relationship to the Warrens.

I tried searching HeritageQuest for little Sophie, but could not find anyone who matched the details I had from the photo. This week, though, all that changed. I had been doing some exploring on FamilySearch.org (FamilySearch Labs at the time I wrote this post) searching the new 1900 census index for others that I had been unable to locate through HeritageQuest or Ancestry. After a couple of attempts, I studied the photo more carefully to look for anything else that might help me identify her.

As I scrutinized the photo, I realized that I had misinterpreted the handwriting. The last two characters of the name weren't "ie" as in "Sophie." It clearly wasn't "Sophia" and I couldn't think of any other "Soph-" name. It was then that I realized the first letter was a D, and not an S. Viewing it as a "D-something" name with a "ph" in the middle lead me to "Daphne." Yes, it seemed to be Daphne, and not Sophie!

Well, still no Daphne appeared on the HeritageQuest 1900 census index. However, the FamilySearch.org 1900 census index gave me several possibilities. In the end, it was a dim recollection of a newspaper clipping I had seen in my g-grandfather's things that helped me identify Daphne. The census had one Daphne living in a household with both parents and grandparents. I would never have recognized any connection to her parents, but her grandmother's name struck me as familiar. Even though I can't find the particular wedding announcement I was remembering, it mentioned a marriage between a McKee and a Fisher. The albums that contained the photos had been donated by a McKee descendant. It made sense that the albums might contain photos of relatives other than Warrens.

The Daphne I found in the 1900 census was living with her parents Katherine F. and George M. Brown, and her grandparents, Daniel and Caroline Fisher. I searched the Illinois Statewide Marraige Index and found the marriage record (two, actually!) for Caroline (Carrie) McKee and Daniel Fisher. There are two listings, a year apart, in two separate counties!

Now that's a story for another day, if I can figure out why they are listed as having married twice!

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Tags : Warrenville Historical Society , Frederick Joel Bird , James McKee , Daphne Brown, Katherine Fisher Brown , George M. Brown , Daniel Fisher , Caroline McKee , Genealogy , Family History

2 comments:

Janine Cate said...

Post the picture please!

Heather O. said...

Hey Eirebrain, I thought you might be interested in this story at Blog Segullah about family history. You might be able to plug your site in the comments, too. Go here