Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: A Mystery Aunt

Well, well, well. A mystery has unfolded.

I was roaming through Ancestry's shaky green leaves a few weeks ago and found a copy of this photograph on someone's tree. A photograph of my 2nd great-aunt Barbary Sawyer Proffit  I posted on the blog back in 2010. I assumed it had been taken from the blog, but when I checked, the woman who posted it had labeled it as being Liney Huffman Howlett Evans, Barbary's older half-sister. She had gotten the photo from a cousin. When I asked her about the identity she was unsure, having based the identification on her cousin's information.

As am I.

My photo is labeled on the back in my aunt's handwriting. She never knew either woman, but labeled the photograph based on interviews with her aunts. The problem is her aunts never knew Liney and only barely knew Barbary. I never have been able to figure out who the F.L. Evans is sitting next to Barbary. BUT, if the picture is Liney, then it is probably her husband James A. Evans. It would be lovely if the photograph included a studio name or location. Barbary lived in Cocke and Greene counties in Tennessee. Liney moved to Arkansas and then to Oklahoma. No studio. That the women might look enough alike to be mistaken for one another makes sense. They are sisters.

Last week I found the photo on another Ancestry tree belonging to one of Liney's descendants. This time I know the owner of the tree. He is a thorough and generous researcher who has shared his work with me about Liney and her life after leaving Tennessee. I am inclined to trust his information, even if the source of the photograph is not given. Unfortunately the email address I have for him is no longer valid and he has not responded to messages through Ancestry.

So, who is this? Another one of my Sawyer mysteries. A photograph of one of my great-grandfather Gee Sawyer's older sisters. With a man named Evans. My bet is Liney, but then again, my aunts were no slouches when it came to research either.

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's blogger challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.