Sunday, December 27, 2015

Photo of the Week: Israel & Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart Family

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

Israel & Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart Family - Circa 1871
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: About 1871, Israel and Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart gathered their eight children for this wonderful tintype photograph. Pictured [Left-Right]: BACK ROW - Elizabeth M. (Stewart) Strosnider, Richard Stewart, Thomas Layton Stewart; MIDDLE ROW [STANDING] - James Stewart, Spencer McClelland Stewart, Jesse Houston Stewart; MIDDLE ROW [SEATED] - Israel Stewart [1830-1887], Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart [1827-1900]; FRONT ROW - Mary Jane (Stewart) Calvert, Abigail Frances (Stewart) Johnson.

As is often the case with tintypes, this original image bears no photographer stamp. Special to its history and provenance, however, is the fact that this photograph is included in an album that has been maintained in original order. The album's context tells a story of its own as we flip through the photos in the same way the family once did. Context clues build upon the handwritten inscriptions. For example in this case, the next photo in the album is of Israel and Rebecca's two youngest children George and Sarah Priscilla, who were not yet born when this family photo was taken. Even in albums that are completely unidentified, this original order may prove crucial to learning about the subjects depicted within. To view this album in order, from first page to last, click this link to Stewart Series - Album 1. Click on the first image, then scroll through in order. Be sure to read the full, detailed captions beneath the photos.

The Stewart Series is a part of the Carl Headlee Collection, a beautiful, family-owned set of photographs representing several Greene County, Pennsylvania, families, including quite a few identified images from the 1800s such as the one shown here.

The Stewart Series photographs were passed from Layton Stewart [1826-1902] and his wife, Louisa M. Granlee [1828-1916], to their son Norman James Stewart [1861-1939] and his wife, Martha Ellen Hixenbaugh [1875-1951], to their grandson Carl Headlee who owned and shared the photographs with the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project in 2009. Each generation added to the collection with photographs from their own family and in-laws.

Search and view these and other amazing local collections by visiting the Photo Archives and Documents sections of is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

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