Ellen Brooks and the Skiles Family - possibly

Ellen Brooks and the Skiles Family - possibly

I suspect that the older woman is her mother who is holding the younger woman's baby. The older man is probably the older woman's second husband. I, also, believe that the younger woman is a sister of my paternal grandmother.

If this is the correct family the older woman's name is Mary Queer Brooks Skiles. Her husband's name would be Harmon Skiles. The younger woman's name would be Ellen Brooks (unmarried so far as I know). She was born in Maryland in 1869. Mary was born in Somerset County, PA in 1831. Harmon was born in about 1817. The photo looks like it was taken about 1890.

Harmon and Mary moved from Pittsburg PA about 1880 to Hamilton County NE. Then they moved from NE to Rice County, KS about 1885 where both a buried. In the 1880 census Ellen Brooks was 11 years old. Her father was Samuel Brooks b about 1804 and died in about 1869 probably in MD.

This photo was in a "Mother's Box" of cards and letters kept by my Grandmother Elizabeth Brooks Mendenhall Whetstone Mendenhall who died in 1940 in Central City, NE. The message "sure death for mice and rats" indicates familiarity as well as does absence of signiture and identification.

I would like to identify the persons in the photos. Elizabeth and Ellen had sibling brothers, Jacob, Edd, William and Charles who settled in OH, IL and PA.

The photo is on a postcard that was mailed at a post office in Archer. I can't make out what state, but it may be Merrick County, Nebraska in 1912.
View the back of the photograph

View photo of the younger woman by herself


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Ellen Brooks and the Skiles Family - unlikely

Dear Gerald,
I don't know any of these people, but, not to upset you, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree entirely. First off, those two women are clearly not the same person. Look at the eyes and the eyebrows. And the woman in the group photo looks to be of African or Caribbean descent--see how thick and coarse her hair is, and possibly artificially straightened. Besides which, the postcard having been mailed in 1912, it's likely the photo was taken at that time. You say Harmon & Mary were gone from Nebraska, where the postcard was sent from, by 1912. And by 1912 they'd be too old to be the people in the photo. If you scrutinize the women's clothing, especially the younger woman's, you'll see the style could well be in the blousy waist-and-skirt fashion then in vogue.

I also think both the older pair look to be about the same age, not 15 yrs apart. The woman *isn't so old she can't be the mother of that baby, and the young woman could perhaps be a well-regarded nurse or other family helper. Could "sure death to mice and rats" indicate that the baby is a boy? (I'd usually think it would refer to a cat, but there's no cat there.)

I'd be inclined to look for Nebraska friend or close relatives of Mrs. Mendenhall who had had a baby born in 1912....

Good luck,