Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Who Is The Dapper Guy?

Rufus S Moody - Could this be my Dapper Fellow?
Trying to Identify the guy on Right
   To completely explain how I discovered just who this Dapper Guy on the right (of the left picture) was, might not be possible, but it is fun for me at least. Genealogy and Family History sometimes seem boring to some people, but if you think of it as a mystery, a detective story, it  becomes quite exciting, so I will now relate what I know so far.

1. I didn't know who he was at all. I didn't recognize him.

2. I am working on a box of pictures from Edna Moody Stephens and her Husband Jim Stephens.

3.  I know Edna Moody Stephens' family but not Jim's. I had heard that she was the only one who ever communicated with my great grand father, the father-in-law of my grand mother Moody, Rufus S Moody, so I was hoping that there may be a note, or a picture of this Great Grandpa Moody in this box.

4. There appeared to be nothing from the Moody side, not even the note that I heard that Edna had received from Great Grandpa Moody.  My mother said many years ago that Edna received a letter from Rufus stating that he "Played in the Salvation Army Band in San Francisco." The picture above and the younger one of him at the left, had come to the family through Edna, my mother had said. Edna once wrote to Rufus, and he sent her these pictures. I hoped that in this box there would be something more.  Well, we can see that there is no connection between Rufus Moody and the Dapper Guy, though they both look rather dapper. Rufus was born way too early, probably the 1880's, and my Dapper Guy was in the service, probably in World War II, so the only solution is that my Dapper Guy is from Jim Stephens' family..... not Edna's.

"Bill Hagan and I"
5. Now we already knew that, because we have a sample of his handwriting from the back of this picture on the right where he identifies himself as "me." Now I know that whenever I see that handwriting it is the Dapper Guy.

6. And we know the Dapper Guy's father, because in the same handwriting, he identifies "Dad" in three or four pictures.  I just kept looking through the pictures, over and over again and looking at the census records and began to see parts of the family, but still I had not yet put together the entire family.

"Phil, Dad, Marge and Doris"
7. I knew some part of the Dapper Guy's family. The 1901 Wales, England census says Roland Stephens is the father, Caroline, the mother, James L or A Stephens is the oldest brother,  Emma is a daughter, a year younger, Reginald, two years younger.... then Ronald (who the Dapper guy thought were twins), then Frank and and Doris who actually were twins. Then another picture had Phil and Marge with Doris and "Dad."  So I think I have the whole family, but still have to place the Dapper Guy into the family. Then, the Dapper Guy's father must be James A Stephens.

Edna & Jim Stephens
"Ben Hamsrik and myself"
8. So now I can ask the question, "Where does Edna and Jim Stephens fit into this family?" I began comparing pictures that are years apart of  Edna and Jim, and comparing the handwriting on them and other pictures. On the right is a picture of Jim and Edna the way I remember them, but no writing on the back. And no date, though I think it is in the 1970's at a family reunion.

"Edna & I at Little Susitna last Spring"
9. Another question that keeps coming back is about the mine. Who are the people at the mine.

   There are at least two different mines, and the pictures of the mines have the same handwriting........ I haven't told you about the mine yet?,,,,,,, but the  picture on the left is at the mine ........ The handwriting on the back is the same as the Dapper Guy.... This guy doesn't look dapper anymore. He's a mechanic, but the back says, "Ben Hamsrik and myself." I think "myself" is the one on the right because I used my magnifying glass and held it up close to my eye and could see the Dapper Guy's smile behind his hand. Since the handwriting is the same...., that's him!

   Finally I flipped over another picture and there it was. I had now memorized the Dapper Guy's handwriting so I knew it, and the back of the picture said, " Edna & I at Little Susitma last spring." The Dapper Guy is Jim Stephens himself!!! I had seen this picture before and had read the caption on the back, but didn't know the handwriting. I kept tossing it aside. So.......... when you are telling about your pictures, whether on line or in a scrapbook, or just a note on the back.... Don't say, "That's Me."


  1. That's a great point for people in the future to have a little clearer picture of who's who! I love this detective story!