Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Four-Generation Picture that Didn't Happen, "Corrected"

When Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin was born, the four-generation photo of the Richardson family (above) was taken.  Look above at my header with baby Alice and her father, grandfather and great grandfather.   Nary a woman in the photo beyond the baby girl.  Might they have included their wives?

Could they have taken a 4 generation photo of Alice with her women ancestors?

I did make a blog post of my maternal line a couple of years ago for women's history month.

Let's take a closer look now.

Alice's mother Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (1893-1971) was alive and well and even had a photo taken with her, possibly the same day as the 4 generation picture with the men above.
Alice Josephine Richardson with
her mother
Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson

Alice was named for her maternal grandparents: Alice Copeland Harvey (1860-1921) and Joseph Elliott Harvey (1853-1915).

Her grandfather had died, but her grandmother Alice Copeland Harvey was very much alive.  Alice's family was living with with her when Alice was born.

Alice with her maternal grandmother,
Alice Copeland Harvey

Alice's paternal grandparents lived a few blocks way in the same town when she was born.  Years later she would live next door to Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (1865-1939) and Harry Bogart Richardson (1863-1932).  She had fond memories of living next door to her Richardson grandparents.
Alice with her paternal grandmother
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson

So, yes for her mother and grandmothers who lived nearby, they could have been in the picture or taken one of their own.

What about her great grandmothers?

Baby Alice  had two maternal great grandmothers:
Mary Hubbard Nye (1812-1859) who had died decades before and Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett (1826-1919) who was still alive and well in Wisconsin.

Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland
In 1909, Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett traveled to Iowa for a visit and a four-generation photo after two of her grandchildren were born in 1907 and 1908 (John Harvey Rhodes and Katherine Ellen Rhodes).  Her daughter Alice Copeland Harvey came for a visit at the same time.
Now in 1917, she was getting more elderly, age 91, living with two other daughters and probably not up to the trip.  We'll give her a pass on getting there for a photo with baby Alice.
Four Generations:  Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland,  John Harvey Rhodes,
Katherine Mary Harvey Rhodes, Katherine Ellen Rhodes, Alice Copeland Harvey

Baby Alice had two paternal grandmothers:
Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington (1840 -1923) and Mary A C Bogart Richardson (1841-1910)

Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington lived next door to her daughter and son-in-law, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson.  Her husband, Robert Searing Worthington (1830-1903) had died so Alice never knew this grandfather.  She did know Great grandmother Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington and lived nearby and visited until she was 6 years old.
Alice with her paternal grandmother
Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington
Mary A C Bogart Richardson, died 7 years before Alice was born.  Her husband was the great grandfather in the above photo.
I don't have many pictures to share, but here is one of her as a younger woman:
Mary A C Bogart Richardson
So, There could have been another photo taken that day with Alice, 3 and possibly 4 generations of women.  All of the families, except for great grandmother Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland in Wisconsin, the folks all lived in Oak Park, Illinois.

So can we remedy this situation after all theses years?  Here is a try.

As a young woman, Alice went to Medical school starting in 1938, this picture was taken about that time so she is in her early 20s.
Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin

In this collage below we have Alice in her 20s, her mother (age 21) and one grandmother (age 19) are brides.  Her great grandmother in front is 16 in the picture and I'm not sure how old her great grandmother is, many decades past her 20s.
(Left to right) Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (mother),
Alice Copeland Harvey (maternal grandmother)
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (paternal grandmother)
Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin ("baby")
Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland (maternal great grandmother)
Thanks to the magic of Janine Smith, our collage is now a portrait of Alice with her women ancestors who were alive when she was born.  Not the picture that could or would have been taken then, but now available for our enjoyment.
Left to Right: Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin ("baby")
Alice Copeland Harvey (grandmother)
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (grandmother)
Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (mother)
Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland (great grandmother)
One can only imagine their conversations, if this were possible.  "YOU are in medical school!  Tell me all about it!"

Only two women in this group lived to see Alice at this age.  Her mother lived to see Alice graduate from Knox College and to go to medical school.  Her grandmother  Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson died the next year. She must have been so proud of her granddaughter, not only graduating from college but one of three women students in Northwestern University Medical School, class of 1942.  Nora was self educated, she graduated from high school, spent many years reading and learning and often gave engaging talks to local groups.  During the Depression she was hired as part of the team researching and writing the “Historical Survey of Oak Park Illinois” by the W.P.A. published in 1937(Work Projects Administration) a few years before Alice started medical school.  To have a granddaughter to to college and then medical school, must have been a great joy to the conclusion of her life.

I'm working on researching my family history.  The most recent book was on my great grandmothers and included Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson and Alice Copeland Harvey.  To read a summary, check out this blog post.  The year before, my book was on my grandmother's generation and included Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson, check out this post for more about her.  This year's book is on my great great grandmothers and will include Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland along with each of all of my great great grandmothers.

If you have a group of people you would like to put into a photo like mine, contact Janine Smith at Portrait DNA From Many to One.  Janine can sure work magic with restoring old pictures (such as Mary A C Bogart above) and creating new family portraits.  Her artistry made this blog post possible. Thank you Janine.

The link to this post is
©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2019


  1. I certainly appreciate you sharing these photos as Mother's Day approaches.

  2. I love the portrait of Alice with her women ancestors. Such a genius idea!