I bought this portrait on eBay only because it was from Winooksi, Vermont, one of the towns in which my family lived during the 1800’s. It shows a young girl, perhaps 14 or 15 years old, in a stylish dress. Based on her apparent age, it may be a confirmation photo.
When it arrived, I was surprised to find very faint writing on the back. It says “[To] Minnie Cameron from your cousin, Emma Duell, Burlington, VT”. I’ve enhanced the photo here to make the writing easier to see.
With the clues provided, I was able to find out about Emma. It turns out she and Minnie were, indeed, first cousins, and also probably double-cousins!
Minne Cameron was born in 20 Apr 1883 in South Hero, Grand Isle, VT to John Prosper Cameron and his wife Mary N. Duell. She marrried Charles Fortune on 22 Aug 1900 in Burlington, VT, and a man named James Ritchie. She died 20 Dec 1958 in Colchester, VT.
Emma S. Duell was born 5 Mar 1881 in Madrid, New York, the daughter of Lucius E. Duell (b. Malone, NY) and Charlotte Cameron (b. North Hero, VT). She married John W. Stewart, an Irish immigrant, about 1905, and they had the following children: Rachel Charlotte Stewart (1904-1980), John Edward Stewart (1907-1962), and Robert D. Stewart (1909-1955). Emma died 23 Sept 1942 in South Burlington, VT.
I found this photo of Emma’s daughter Rachel on Ancestry.com and the resemblance between mother and daughter is striking:
Emma’s mother Charlotte Cameron was the sister of Minnie’s father John Cameron. It’s clear that Emma’s father Lucius Duell was also related to Minnie’s mother Mary Duell. I just haven’t quite worked that part out yet. Mary’s parents were Frank Duell and Marceline Gadbois. Lucius’s parents were John Duell and Rosalia Jarideau. Frank Duell was born in Grand Isle, VT and John Duell was born in Canada, so I don’t know if they are brothers or not.