Here's a cabinet card from the family archives. It was taken at Paul Brown's photography studio at 617 Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware, in the late 19th century. It features a young girl sitting on a rug or bedspread that's been draped over a chair.
Who is she?
There are some notes in cursive on the back. First up are these three initials.
The initials are followed immediately by: "age 19½ months Sept. 1/84."
Written underneath that, at later times, were:
"Helen Gregg Simmons"
"cousin of Greta Chandler"
Greta is my great-grandmother, who was documented in posts about the Class of 1914 basketball team at West Chester Normal School and a train trip from Paoli to San Francisco in 1962.
Our family tree has a Helen Gregg Simmons Chandler. But she lived from 1857 to 1913 and thus couldn't be the young person in this photograph.
Mom shared these thoughts on the mini-mystery:
"My guess is that she is probably a niece of Grandma's mother ... daughter of one of Helen Gregg Simmons Chandler's brothers ... so a cousin of Grandma's. There are a LOT of Greggs and a LOT of Simmons, and Helen seems to be a often recurring, favorite name at the time. It's a guess, but probably a good one."
All of this is assuming that those initials at the top of the card are H.G.S., which I'm not 100% sure of. If we think those are different letters, then we're potentially back to square one. Isn't this fun?