Who Were They? – Part Two


Could this tintype be another clue in my search for the biological parents of David Brazille Plunk?

After the death of David’s wife, Rosa Belle Kelley Plunk, my Mother found an old Lucky Strike Tobacco Tin (the roll your own kind) when she and one of her aunts were going through Belle’s belongings.   Mother said she didn’t open it at the time and really took it simply because it was an old can and “must have been important to Grandma for her to still have it”.   It wasn’t until several years later that she actually opened the tobacco tin and found this photo inside.  I didn’t even know of its existence until I was talking to my Mother about trying to find who the biological parents of David were and asked her who had Grandma’s (Belle) photos.

The matte surrounding the tintype is approximately the size of a business card and was apparently cut down to fit exactly within the tobacco tin.  The photo itself is not much bigger than the opening in the mat.  The only way to see any details in the picture is by the use of a magnifying glass.

Another mystery!

Grandma (Belle) told me at one time Grandpa (David) had tried to look for his biological parents but was unsuccessful.  She said that he left early one morning and returned late that night.  I have no idea when men started using wallets but it seems to me that it’s possible he is the one that put the tintype in the tobacco tin so that he could carry it in his pocket on his search.  There is faded handwriting on it that I haven’t been able to decipher yet.  Grandpa never learned to drive so I imagine the only way he could have embarked on his search was on horseback.

To find out who she is, I had to first try to determine who the picture actually belonged to and a possible date of the picture itself.  Grandpa didn’t smoke so where did the tobacco tin come from?  The only relative I recall using this type of tobacco was Grandpa’s son Ancel.  Is the lady related to Grandpa or somehow connected to Uncle Ancel?

There is a wonderful facebook page, RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) and I posted her picture to their site asking if anyone could help me date the photograph.  One of those people suggested the group on facebook called Gentleman’s Emporium.  At first, the people at that site said they couldn’t help me, but luckily someone was intrigued and did a little research.  That person’s suggestion was that the picture was from the 1860’s based upon the style of dress the woman is wearing, a type of overdress as worn by Mary Todd, the wife of President Lincoln.

Grandpa (David) was born 1879/80 AR.  If this tintype is from 1860, the woman would have a connection to either Grandma or Grandpa.  Who is she?


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