Remember when I blogged about some pictures of my Baker ancestors not too long ago? There was the below picture which I definitely thought was my 2nd great grandfather John Henry Baker and his second wife Katie Byrel Stevens not long before he died. Now after the Baker family reunion which I attended a week ago, I am left unsure of almost everything I thought I knew, including the identity of the man in the picture below.
One of my commenters agreed with me that the picture of the man labeled below as John Henry Baker was not the same as the one above because of the ears. I theorized that the man below was actually the first husband of Katie and not my ancestor. However, when I showed the picture at the family reunion, all the grandchildren of John Henry Baker said that it was him and pointed me to the picture at the top of this post as proof. My first thought on seeing the picture at the head of this post was that he certainly passed on his ears to all his male children including my great grandfather Charles Baker who was seated to John Henry Baker's left. In case people are confused, John Henry is the older fellow with protruding ears seated in the middle left of the picture. So now the picture below which I said was most likely not my 2nd great grandfather John is almost certainly him and the picture of the guy above who I thought was him is most certainly not him.
Which brings me to this next picture. When John Henry Baker would marry his second wife, he was 45 and she was 35 years of age. These oval pictures are obviously wedding pictures and they don't look old enough to me. But two of Katie's granddaughter's swore that the below picture was Katie and the above picture was John. Almost in the same breath, they would flip through the album on the table to older pictures of Katie which I have posted on here and say that was how they remembered her before she died when they were eight and six years of age. They also swear that the picture below this one of the woman holding the child is also definitely Katie too. In my previous post, a couple people agreed with my assessment that these two aren't the same women. Perhaps it is just this one is not a very good photo/lighting conditions. I'm up in the air on it still.
You will have to take my word for it since I don't have any of the other pictures of Katie scanned into my computer but this picture below is most certainly she. The other pictures I have document her throughout her life and are unmistakably the same person as this lady holding the baby. I all the pictures, she has either a healthy tan or darker skin tone, not seen in the picture above.
Back to the picture up at the top of this post. My grandma easily identified her father out of the picture sitting to John Henry Baker's left and quickly rattled off the names of the others. The older children in the picture are all from his first wife Blanch McKee but I have forgotten the names already. (I have been promised that I will get a written transcription of who is who soon.) The younger children in the picture are the children he had with his second wife. All told, he had eleven children with two wives and the second wife brought four children from her first marriage into the union so their were 15 children all told. It made for a lively reunion though for a genealogist such as myself, it was just as confusing as this family has been for me to research.
A few days after I had written this post but before I had published it, I received another photograph of my 2nd great grandfather John Henry Baker with his first wife and my 2nd great grandmother Blanche Jessie McKee, the first picture I have ever seen of her. Any suspicions that the oval picture of the lady above being her are now completely gone as the one of her in the picture below looks unmistakably different. This time, my great grandfather Charles Joseph Baker is seated in John Henry's lap and the other two are his older sisters Frances Ellen and Margarite Blanche.