Improved Legacy Image Annotations Provide Needed Context.


As promised in my previous post, I have annotated the legacy image of the Colvin-Douglas family gathering ca. 1891 with more specific and better organized annotations which will help researchers identify the subjects. One thing this image makes clear: the photographer was maintaining the time-honored practice in group photography to keep family members together:  husbands with wives, children with parents, etc.  Very young children, often in 19th century images, were in the foreground, often with the family pet or some loved object.

Also, this very likely was the home of the Douglas family patriarch, John Robert Douglas,  (seated) (1814-1893) This took a bit of census legwork to reach this conclusion. Because J.R. Douglas died in 1893 (two years after this image was taken,) we cannot rely on later census to determine his whereabouts and the 1890 census is no longer extant. Thus we turn to the 1880 records where, John Robert was a resident with his son, John William Douglas,  in Cynthiana County (pictured in last row: 1861-1946). Oddville Pike, named on the original image,  runs through Cynthiana. B. F. Colvin, conversely, in 1900, (the year closest to the image date, ) was living some distance away, in Buena Vista, Harrison County,  with his wife and children. Sarah Alice Douglas (1847-1894, pictured next to B.F. Colvin) was the 2nd eldest daughter of John Robert Douglas and Sara Ann Lang. She married Benjamin Colvin November 7, 1867 in Harrison County, Kentucky. In the image, B.F. Colvin is with his wife and daughters, and seated are his in-laws.

The remaining subjects are an assortment of John Robert Douglas and B.F. Colvin’s heirs and their spouses; there is one unknown subject whose identity will not doubt be uncovered with additional research. For better viewing: right click and click the link “open image in new tab” then in the new tab, enlarge it with your browser. Enjoy!

Douglas and Colvin families 1891

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About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
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