Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Could Use Some Help

Yes, I've been working on Family Tree stuff again. I have a whole batch of photos that no one can identify...if they're old enough to know, they're gone. Except for one and he was the baby, so he probably doesn't have any more clues than I do.

With that said, I could use some help with identifying the type of outfit this gentleman is wearing. Appears to be 1800s: not a Civil War uniform from the looks of it. However, we've thrown around every idea from Train Conductor, Military or Cop to Mailman. (Can't imagine them dressing THAT fancy!) I've tried photo enhancement, a magnifying glass in the sunlight...still coming up empty. Although on the second pass, we agreed he has some sort of "stripe" on the lower left sleeve.

Haven't been able to make out his name either: written on the top in pencil, the only letter I'm sure of is the last one "H.". So I put myself in your capable hands and ask you to see if you can at least help me identify the clothing...which might lead me to the era and the WHO of it all. Thanks y'all!

And is it just me,
or does he look a little bit like actor Tom Berenger?


Anonymous said...

Wish I could help ya. He looks like the era to Sherlock Holmes to me. I'm clueless. But I do want to wish you a happy Mother's Day.

Susan at Stony River said...

Hope, if this were my photo, I'd call the local Civil War re-enactors. They'll know!

If you can't find them or if they're all away at Appomatox, the local library should be able to put you in touch with someone; on the other hand a larger city library will have plenty of resources including costuming encyclopedias and history books where perhaps you could match up the gear.

It doesn't look Civil War, you're right -- but perhaps Spanish American War instead, or the Pony Express? dunno.

Susan at Stony River said...

PS (wasn't finished oops)
Are you on the ancestry bulletin boards, like Rootsweb et al? I've noticed folks posting photos and letters etc there asking for help -- worth a shot?

Or post it in your local newspaper, with a call for help -- you may find a long-lost cousin with information, or find help from a local historian. Someone's got to know.

Good luck! I hope dinner goes well!

Susan at Stony River said...

Walked away and had an epiphany. (Back in my librarian days, this always happened as the customer walked out the door --)

My daughter's dream school, SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design), not too far from you, has a production design program which includes historical costuming - one of the professors there may be some help:

And there are lots of victoriana shops online, where if you went window-shopping, you might find something that matched (or simply send a direct query to the shopkeepers, who certainly would know about the era?) My favourite:

He doesn't look military, with that collar and cravat, but could he perhaps have been an army chaplain or medic in that case? The kepi and trouser stripe certainly look military, if the shirt doesn't.

Sorry about rambling on this way -- but I do love a mystery LOL

Peggy said...

I'm coming up empty to Hope;
I'm also working on my family tree.
Have seen coats like that on one of my pictures but my relative was just a banker.
Yhe hat does look like it comes from some sort of uniform.

Susan has some wonderful ideas!
All of them sound good to me.
Happy Mother's Day pal! :)

Jingle said...

Happy Mother's Day!
Best wishes!

shug said...

I think that handsome chap's a postie. Will send you my reasons....

hope said...

Thanks least you looked. :)

Susan, I made a whole list of your ideas so I wouldn't lose any! I did find an antique clothing place on line which identified the coat with cape as an "Inverness Coat". I'll let you know as the mystery progresses. Because you never know....while I was looking for that, I stumbled across someone else on the opposite side of that family tree. Turns out that guy, who answered quickly, was thrilled to find me. Seems he was hired by a cousin to do a family tree [he being a professional, unlike me] and didn't have much info about my great grandfather...but had some about HIS father, which I didn't have. Trading is fun.

Peggy, I'm just grateful that this group will take a moment to even take a look and offer suggestions. I'll let you know what I discover.

Thanks Jingle!

Shug, you are a smart man and may be sending me down the right track. Didn't the Inverness coat have its origins in Scotland?

Titus said...

I'll leave it to the experts, eh?

Anonymous said...

What I noticed--the stripe going down the pant leg and the hat. It looks like..I dont know. Can you email me a copy of the photo??