Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #14 Joanna PALMER (1833-ca. 1871)

This is a spin-off of my 52 Ancestors: #14 Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) ~ Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can blogpost in which I featured a few photos from a collection of old photographs my 4C1R Joe Rooney shared with me. I asked Joe about using the photos and he kindly wrote, Please use them at your will.  I feel it is keeping it in the family and don’t need credit.  If anything, I appreciate your evaluations, identifications and detective work.  I’m hopeful you and yours enjoy them.  On a blog, in a book, above a cloud.”

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

Links to previous posts in this series may be found in Old Photographs

#14  Joanna PALMER (1833-ca. 1871)

Grandmother Royalty ca. 1865-1870

To date this photograph I tried to describe the clothing worn by this lady and compared it with the fashions of the times.

  • a small bonnet placed on the back of the head with wide ribbon strings
  • hair parted in the center and pulled back, no crimps or waves
  • plain white collar with edges done in blanket stitch scallops
  • brooch
  • dropped shoulders with armholes at armpit height and wide sleeves
  • bishop sleeves as opposed to the bell sleeves seen until 1863
  • black lacy demi gloves
  • fitted bodice, no apparent buttons, and pleated skirt on dress
  • reticule or small bag hanging from the middle of her lower arm (right on photo)
  • dark colored taffeta dress

Would you agree this is a Civil War period photograph or post Civil War?

Joanna PALMER married Samuel L. ROYALTY on 5 April 1856 in Ohio County, Indiana. Between 1863-1866 she moved with her family to Pope County, Illinois. She was the mother of Florence ROYALTY, wife of Isaac Spencer LILLIE. No date of death has been found for her. A gravemarker photo on Find A Grave does not include the date of death. The Find A Grave Memorial #49752399 has 1871 as her year of death but a baby born 19 January 1874 and died 27 June 1874 is seen as her child. Did she die about the same time as this child? Her husband Samuel remarried on 10 November 1874.

Back of photograph: “Grandmother Royalty”

Joe Rooney kindly gave me permission to use these photographs on my blog.

Joe ROONEY wrote on 15 February 2015: This collection of photographs was scanned at 300 dpi color by me. The original photos were sent by Sandra Lillie about ten years ago after she found them cleaning out a relative’s garage in Southern Illinois, finding no other takers (suckers). She believes they were a collection by L Vance Lillie. Many of the pictures seemed to be removed from frames or were in albums evidenced by fading characteristics and may have been from other’s collections. I scanned the reverse if there was laboratory advertising or writing. Some of the authors’ identification may be figured out of the handwriting matches. I did not scan the reverse of photos where there was only a three digit number that I believe to be sequence numbers on a roll of film. I didn’t spot any obvious helpful commonalities.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey


Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

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