Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #82 A Young Florence ROYALTY?

I nearly missed this photograph, it is so tiny. It was first scanned by my cousin Joe along with an envelope in which I found it. Stamp size, it measures 1 1/8 by 1 3/8 inches.

unkportraityounggirlenvThe young girl looks to be in her early teens. Her hair is tied back at the nape of her neck with a large bow, likely out of the same material as her dress. Her eyes are very light colored, possibly blue. Her dress or blouse may be white or a light color and has a high collar. The extra fabric on the top part of the bodice appears to have vertical pleats sewn down and then left open in the bosom area. The sleeves are a bit puffy in the upper arms; the lower arms are not seen in the photo. Were they bishop sleeves or gigot sleeves?

Non-identified photograph of a young girl in her teens.

Could this photograph have been taken in the middle or late 1880s?

Ruth Joanna LILLIE ca. 1909.

The dress looks very much like the one Ruth Joanna LILLIE was wearing in this framed portrait. Was the original dress saved and made to fit Ruth or is she wearing a reproduction of the dress? Ruth was the oldest daughter of Florence ROYALTY and Isaac Spencer LILLIE.

Could the young woman be Florence ROYALTY (1868-1946)? We’ve seen photographs of Florence at different ages but none in her teens.

Florence at age 5 or 6 years with light colored hair.
Florence, with her husband Ike, is in her late thirties and her hair has become darker.

Another possibility would be Florence’s sister Mathilda J. “Tillie” ROYALTY (1859-1939) who also had light colored eyes. Their sister Olive ROYALTY had dark colored eyes which eliminate her. Tillie was 9 years older than Florence which means the photograph would have to have been taken earlier, perhaps in the late 1870s or early 1880s.






Larger images of these photographs may be viewed in the post on Tillie.

Am I correct in dating this photograph in the middle to the late 1880s? Does this young girl resemble Florence ROYALTY as a little girl and as a married woman? Or could she be Florence’s sister Tillie? Or will she remain unidentified?


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.

7 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #82 A Young Florence ROYALTY?”

  1. I am terrible at dating photographs. Was there a time period when those postage stamp size photos were popular? What do the dates 1909-1915 mean on the envelope? As for the resemblances. although I see a resemblance to Florence in that top photo, the mouth looks different to me—fuller lips and not as wide a mouth. The little girl Ruth certainly looks like her mother, but also looks like the mystery photo. Could they be sisters who were dressed alike for photos?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The envelope was used to mark some postcards which were in the collection and received by Florence during 1909-1915. I only included the scan as it shows how small the photo really is.
      It was the space between the eyes and the ears which lead me to consider the unidentified girl being Florence or her sister Tillie.
      Ruth had a sister Ruby b. 1909 but she wouldn’t have been in her teens until the 1920s which wouldn’t jive with the fashion in the photo.
      Thanks for looking at them and giving me your opinion, Amy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a lovely photograph. I’d say that is either Florence or a sister that looks much like her. The blouse appears pre-1900, possibly 1890s which would seem too late for Florence, but of course I am not a clothing expert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Florence’s younger sister had dark eyes. This girl resembles Florence so much that I wanted it to be her in her teens but that would be in the 1880s. Maybe I need an expert for the blouse. Thank you, Janice.


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