An example of the difficulty in dating photographs/postcards

From Jerripedia
Jump to: navigation, search


An example of the
difficulty in dating photographs

Were images used on postcards in 1915
actually taken many years earlier?

These images are the front and back of postcards sent by Marie Madeleine Carter, nee Brunot, known to her family as Mary, to her son Charles in 1915, when she was either 83 or 84. She has written 84 on the back of one photograph, but having been born at the end of 1831, and baptised on 8 January 1832, it is more likely that she was 83.

However, it is doubtful that the photographs were taken that late, because the studio portrait is very Victorian in style, both as regards Mrs Carter's dress and the studio props. They suggest that the photograph was taken well before the start of the 20th century. However, the custom of printing photographs on paper with a postcard back does not date back much before the 1890s, and probably not that early in Jersey, so one possibility is that one or both of these pictures was printed for Mrs Carter some time after it was taken. Indeed, postcards with divided backs, allowing both address and message to be written on the reverse of the picture, did not appear until around 1907.

As was quite common with the affluent members of Jersey society in the late 19th and early 20th century, those who could afford to have their portrait taken by a commercial photographer could also afford one of the early cameras produced for amateurs and the second photograph above probably has its origins as a family snapshot. Again, the date is uncertain, but it could be later than the studio image if Mrs Carter continued to wear unfashionable Victoria dress into the second decade of the 20th century.


The photographs were sent to us by Mrs Carter's 2x-great granddaughter, Diane Iveson, who lives in Australia. She told Jerripedia that they were sent in 1915 to her great-grandfather Charles and his wife Jessie Convin, in Sydney, and remain in the family.

Mrs Iveson has been using Jerripedia to research her family history and has discovered that Marie Madeleine Brunet was one of ten children of Jacques and Susanne Guyon. The inaccuracy of many baptism records is illustrated by Susanne being shown variously as Guyon, Guiyon, Guillon and Gurzon over ten family records, although Guyon is almost certainly the correct spelling.

There is no marriage record for the couple, which would throw further light on the spelling issue, but there is a birth record for Susanne Guyon, born in 1789. Further research has revealed that Jacques Guyon came to the Channel Islands from Saint Saturnin in France and married Susanne, who was born in Jersey, in Guernsey.

Their ten children, all baptised in Jersey, were Jacques (1821- ) born two years before the couple married, Susan (1821- ) Jane (1824-1902), John (1826- ), Philippe (1828- ), Nicolas (1830- ), Marie Magdelaine (1832-1919), George (1834- ), Charlotte Elizabeth (1835- ) and Marguerite Elizabeth (1837- ).


Mrs Iveson tells us that Charles and Jessie's second daughter, Mary Ellen Carter, is still alive and well living in Milson's Point in Sydney. She is 98.

"I visited her recently and she still remembers lots about her dad. She said he was a lovely man who came to Sydney with the Navy and ended up being a tug boat driver on the Sydney Harbour. I hope to visit one day to see where they all come from. I am still investigating John Job Carter and their family. One of his brothers, George, was listed as a publican in one of the censuses. He lived in George Street; would like to know which pub. Their dad was Benjamin Carter from England, who came to Jersey as a soldier and I'm wondering if his wife, who was born in Scotland, also came to Jersey with her family.
Personal tools
other Channel Islands
contact and contributions

Please support Jerripedia with a donation to our hosting costs