Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 The Unusual Hairdo (Identified)

I’ve been working on the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series for a little over a year and a half. In the beginning, they weren’t posted on a regular basis. Since October 2015, I’ve been doing them once a week on Thursdays.

unkyounggirlbuttonfrontLast week, as usual, I posted the link for the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 An Unusual Hairdo post to my Facebook page and shared on my timeline. Less than two hours later the unidentified young lady with the hairdo that has fascinated me since I first saw the photograph had a possible identification.

Julie, who has been a Facebook friend for only three months, wrote,

Cathy, this picture looks so familiar. She looks very much like the pictures I have seen of my Father’s Mother, Neele Owens Lillie. What do you think Scot (her son) and Jeanne (her sister)?

I wrote about Neele in April 2015 in a post on her husband, Neele, and their daughter Roberta. Up until Julie’s son Scot got in touch with me last August, all my research pointed to their having only two daughters. When Scot got in touch, I learned they also had a son, Robert Walton LILLIE. This son, Robert, was Julie and Jeanne’s father. (Scot is my 5th cousin and Julie and Jeanne are my 4th cousins once removed.)

Cathy: Julie, this is the only photo I have of Neele. Taken from the side, it is hard to tell. Would love input from others.

mrin38267-lillieneeleowens-rooney-collectionJeanne: I’m almost certain that is Nelle

Cathy: Jeanne, do you mean at the top with the strange hairdo or the one I posted as the only photo I have of Neele?

Jeanne: the top one. I have the other one but I have seen that one too. My Dad must of had it because that’s the only place I could have seen it. I’m pretty sure.

Julie’s daughter then posted this photo for comparison:

neele-owens-lillie-courtesy-of-familyNeele Audrey Owens LILLIE (1898-1942)
Robert Walton Lillie’s mother, grandmother of Julie (written on back)
Photo courtesy of the family

Jeanne: I went home to look at a picture of my grandmother and no wonder I recognized it. I have it in a frame!!!

Julie (posted the photo below to my timeline): Cathy, it is 100%. My sister found the picture in her dresser. This just gives me chills.

neele-owens-lillie-photo-in-frame-courtesy-of-family-18-nov-2016Neele Audrey Owens LILLIE (1898-1942)
Photo courtesy of the family

The lady with the unusual hairdo has been identified thanks to her granddaughters and great-granddaughter. This is what sharing genealogy is all about. Who says collateral lines are not important to our family history?

Happy Thanksgiving!


More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

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.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.















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.

14 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #79 The Unusual Hairdo (Identified)”

  1. Not related to this post, but if you want photos from this lineage on Fayette WV (Rainelle, WV / Simms Mountain), I have photos. 🙂 Robert Henry was my great grandfather and Charles Winfield Sims is my grandfather. Got some good, older ones. 🙂 I put the link to your roots web genealogy page as my “website”. Your records have been helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CJ, thank you so much for the offer. While doing the SIMS of Fayette County I included all persons with the SIMS/SIMMS name just in case there was a connection. Unfortunately, I have not been able to connect my James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia to your Joseph SIMS of Greenbrier County (formerly Chesterfield County). They may have a common ancestor but only time will tell. I may get back to you on the offer.


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