Photographic Evidence: A Common Mistake

First published on October 25, 2015.

In one of the photo albums that I have, there are many pictures of this baby:


Her name was Adeline Alma Boudreau and she was born July 27, 1924. She was my first cousin twice removed, in other words, my grandfather’s cousin. Unfortunately, I believe that she died at an early age. There’s a picture of a grave dated 1926 that reads Adeline’s flowers and my grandfather doesn’t remember her. In the album I have, there are many pictures of Adeline, she was an adorable baby, Here is another picture of her with a woman:


Looking at this picture, a first assumption would be that this is Adeline’s mother (Adeline’s mother was also named Adeline, which is confusing). The woman kind of looks like Adeline and I found the picture in the album. However, this woman is not Adeline’s mother but rather a girl who lived nearby. Luckily there was writing on the back of the picture to explain the relationship. Pictures like this can lead to mistaken identities. Women who were photographed with children could be mothers but also sisters, aunts, teachers, neighbors, friends etc. This is an important thing to remember when looking at old pictures.

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