I pulled out another mystery photo from my mother’s boxes. Across the bottom of the photo’s mat was written “Walter Baker”. Aha, I’d seen a Baker on my recent searches so I went in hot pursuit of this Walter Baker. I found him, born in 1924. I set to work trying to find out more about this 3rd cousin. Frustrated by his parents’ early divorce, the multiple marriages of his mother, and a lack of siblings, I took a closer look at the picture.
It looked like it was from an earlier era, which wouldn’t work for someone born in 1924. There was a photography studio name on the mat but it wasn’t any help to determine the location as the decorative border obscured part of it.
The name was penciled on the dark background, so I scanned the photo and brightened it up. To my surprise, I discovered more names on the mat and they seemed to align with the people above and below them. It wasn’t Walter Baker at all, but separate males named Walter and Baker. The back row showed a young boy named Carl and two women named Nellie and Rosie. My first conclusion was totally off-track.
Now the hunt was to find a family on my tree with siblings or cousins that included those five names. Keep in mind that there are over 9,000 people on my tree, so I was prepared for this to be a prolonged search. I started sorting through the 8 people who had Baker as a first, middle, or last name. Checking their dates, then their siblings, narrowed it down to a likely fellow. BINGO, his siblings matched the names on the photo.
The People in the Photo
- Albert Baker Babcock, born 12 Dec 1878 in Seneca, Newton, Missouri and died 18 Feb 1941.
- Walter Leroy Babcock, born 26 Nov 1882 in Seneca, Missouri and died 7 Jan 1943 in Fremont, Colorado.
- Carl Lowell Babcock, born 26 Jan 1897 in Stroud, Lincoln, Oklahoma and died 23 Sep 1963 in Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California
- Nellie May Babcock, born 12 Jan 1888 in Missouri and died 1963.
- Rosa Babcock, born about 1877 in Kansas and died 3 Sep 1960 in Watonga, Blaine County, Oklahoma.
I’d researched another photo a while ago that had Carl Babcock in it with his parents. At that time, I didn’t pay much attention to his siblings. Here’s the Babcock’s story.
I love the feeling of accomplishment from sleuthing out these names so I can put this photo online with the blog and with Ancestry for other relatives to find. It’s saved now from anyone just tossing it out because they don’t know who the people are and don’t care.
Somewhere, someday, a descendant of one of these Babcocks will search and find this photo. I can imagine their thrill to have their great-great-grandmother or grandfather’s picture.