Today we here at Ellie's Ancestors headquarters wish to announce the launch of a new series, namely "Friday's Photo". In addition to scouring the internet, libraries, archives, et cetera for traces of my predecessors, I also look for any unusual or thought-provoking items; usually 19th century. In this new series I plan to share some of the more interesting photos I have come across. In addition, when circumstances allow, I will tell you a little about the individuals.
The photo above is of Maggie McGraw and was taken in Auburn, New York in 1888. I was hopeful the seller of the photo had misread or misspelled the name McGarr, I've seen it done. Then too, Auburn is the first place my McGarr family lived in the USA. Alas, the name written on the back was indeed McGraw.
The photo is dated however, which still makes it interesting since it is a great illustration of late 19th century fashion. It's not a fancy dress, it's one she might have worn to Mass or a casual social event, which makes it even better for my purposes. I can imagine, oh say... great-great-great-aunt Sarah Jane wearing such a dress.
Maggie lived about 17 miles from Auburn in Aurora, New York according to the 1880 census. She worked as a laundress at Wells College there. Yes, Maggie was an Irish washerwoman!