Friday, November 6, 2015

52 Ancestors – Hidden Family Treasure – (week 45 – 2015)

I’m visiting family in my home state of Georgia this week and early in the week spent a day helping clear out my 89 year old Daddy’s house. He’s been living in an assisted living facility for the past two years, leaving his house sitting empty. After a recent heart-to-heart talk with my sister and his doctor, Daddy finally agreed that it was time to sell his house. I’m sure he doesn’t want to sell it but he agreed it’s time. Houses don’t like to sit empty.

Over the past 15 or so years, Daddy has been sharing family treasures with his five children so I didn’t expect to find anything special in the house. But, my sister and I came across a paper bag that had a few items of interest. Inside the bag, which was in a closet floor along with sewing items, were several letters that once belonged to his Uncle Prince Albert Burnette. One of the letters was actually written by Daddy to Uncle Prince in 1944 while he was in the Navy. While that was a treasure, the most exciting find was a tin-type photo of an elderly man and woman. Of course there was nothing on the photo to identify the couple. Why would I expect to be lucky enough to find that! But after I thought about it for a while, I remembered two pictures from a Jones family reunion that might hold a clue. In the middle of both photos sits Henry Jones and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones. Could the couple in the tin type be Henry and Sarah Jones—my second great-grandparents?

Tin-type photo -- could this be Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones and Henry Jones?

Take a close look and see what you think. Note the size of the couple. In all photos the woman is small, the man much taller. The man is wearing the same style suit with a V-neck and white shirt. The woman is wearing the same style dark blousy dress. While the woman in the tin type photo looks to have dark hair, it actually appears to be a tight fitting hat of some sort. You can see a flower on the side of her head. The man has the same white hair (although a little longer in one picture) and beard.

Uncle Prince was the son of Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Henry and Sarah Jones, so it makes sense that he would have a photo of them. Did we stumble on a hidden family treasure? Does anyone out there agree with me? I’d love to hear what others think.

Henry Jones (no. 1) and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones (no. 2)


  1. Oh, that tintype is a real treasure. And often hard to reproduce.

    I think you have nailed the couple's identity.

    And the men's "v-necks" are from vests, usually with watch pockets. If they had watches one could usually see the chain run up out of the pocket to attach to the vest exterior, a more or less subtle indication of prosperity, no matter how cheap the watch -- or whether it actually ran!

    In store inventories one often sees a listing for "vest patterns," which were precut pieces of cloth ("swans down" was a common fabric indicator) to be sewn to fit the future wearer, and buttons installed.

    Lucky is the genealogist who finds one's family listed in store accounts, together with what they purchased. I have one listing a flurry of sales of thread, ribbons and other fancy items bought by sundry persons -- possibly suggesting a major neighborhood event, perhaps a wedding.

    1. Geolover, I feel pretty good about their identity as well. Glad to see someone agrees with me! Thank you also for the info on the vest. That was very interesting. Appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge.