When was this group photograph taken?
QWould it be possible to date this photograph? It was given to me by a distant relative and shows my great grandmother’s family.
Due to their ages I think it could have been taken during the early 1900s, but I’m not too sure. Emma Hornby
AThis is a formal outdoor photograph by a professional photographer – a representative from a local studio visiting a family at home. From the late-1800s this became increasingly common, particularly with large groups including infants or the infirm who may not have wanted to travel to a studio.
Like other extended group scenes from the end of the Victorian period, it portrays two or perhaps three generations of the same family. As the visual composition follows age, height and gender, precise relationships between the sitters are slightly unclear.
However, our ancestors dressed according to age, and this can be enlightening. For instance, the centre-left lady wearing a sober black gown with matronly bonnet is the oldest group member – so perhaps a grandmother figure or an aunt.
The ornately dressed lady in the centre is the mother of the baby and most or all of the other children. The young woman next to her could be her daughter, sister or niece.
Large family group photographs often commemorated a milestone wedding anniversary, so perhaps the parents – centre and back row centre-right – were marking their Silver (25th) Anniversary. This may help identify a date. Jayne Shrimpton