In part 4 we had identified all the children and grandchildren present in the porch photo, but there was one girl who I couldn’t figure out, despite otherwise identifying all the known offspring and their dates of birth and ages.
I didn’t like the puzzle not being completed — it’s like you’re missing the last piece. I imagined maybe she was a friend or neighbor and simply wanted to be in the photo.
Digging deeper, I started looking at the 1920 and 1930 census records, flanking the suspected 1924 date of this photo to see if there was a listing for another girl that I didn’t know about.
The breakthrough came from Melvin’s census record:
Here you see a listing for “Maxine Seeley” — 4y in 2020 and 14y in 2030 — so ~ 8y in the 1924 photo — fits her image perfectly.
She’s listed as a “granddaughter”.
So digging deeper, I discovered that Grace Sweet had previously been married in 1895 to E. “Jettie” H Lance (1869-1899) and had a daughter Lena Idella Lance (1897-1995) in 1897, with Jettie dying 2 years later. Lena is pictured below.
While Grace would marry Melvin in 1906, her daughter Lena would marry Mark Leland Seeley (1895-1916) in 1915 just after turning 18 years old. Within the year, they would together have Judith “Maxine” Seeley, our mystery girl, in October 1915. Tragically, like losing her father at an early age, Lena would also lose her husband the following year in 1916 at the young age of 21. So, with Lena young and widowed, it would appear that Maxine was taken in by her grandparents Melvin and Grace to be raised. And the picture is now complete — all 29 people identified in the original porch photo that kicked off this scanning project!