Please e-mail me if you have details about these photos.

“The unidentified photograph is the bane of the otherwise cheerful genealogy hobbyist. Who could it be? Who is there left to ask? Why didn’t the blooming dunderheads write down the identity, or identities, and the date, for God’s sake, on the back? How could they have been so stupid? But wait a blithering minute here. Would you like to check the pictures you yourself have taken of your own little family and friends, meticulously snapped ever since you’ve been old enough to learn to operate a camera? Are they all identified? Of course not, you say, that’s silly. I know who all the people are in my pictures. Uh, huh. You see how it happens?” 
Further Undertakings of a Dead Relative Collector by Laverne Galeener-Moore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md., 1989. Page 59-60.

Unidentified Photos 
Updated March 27, 2021

​IMPORTANT NOTICE. If a link doesn’t work, please email me and I will send you the image.

A visitor to this site shared a photo found in Mechanicsville, Va., labeled Raymond Vest. 


Unidentified couple and child. Could be Vance or Goodson family. (Submitted by Russell E. Bennett Jr.)

Vest Photo Collection. Shared by the family of Josh Vest. Some photos are unidentified. Please contact me if you have a clue.

Vest Family Photos
1. Leonard Haliburton Vest and friends. Does anyone know the names of the others in this photo. Please e-mail me. 

2. Is this Iva Richmond? Iva is the daughter of Wriston Richmond and wife Callie Vest Richmond of White Oak Mountain, W.Va. (Vest/Cochran - Page 3) Callie, daughter of Columbus and Malinda Vest, died 08 Dec 1935. The little girl in the picture may be Iva. The photo was taken in 1936.

3. Photos belonging to the family of Ethiel Vest and wife Sarah Justice. (Vest/Cochran - Page 3) Ethiel was a son of Columbus Washington Vest and wife Malinda Jane Cochran of White Oak Mountain, W.Va. The family believes that these were photos of White Oak Mountain people: 

Man standing outdoors   Group photo of eight men   Group photo of men on rocky hillside next to small waterfall  Large group of men wearing armbands  Seven young people, farm setting   Boy sitting on car   Man on horseback (Identified as Billy Meadows)  Man in suit  

4. Photos belonging to either Verna Vest Bennett (1908-80) or Golda Vest Smith (1911-91), daughters of Leonard Haliburton Vest and his wife Emma Stella Gadd. The Vest family lived on White Oak Mountain, Raleigh County, West Virginia. The sisters, both teachers, married two men from Abraham, Richmond District, Raleigh County. Verna was the wife of Fred Bennett and Golda the wife of Earl George Smith. (More about the Leonard Vest and Stella Gadd families: Vest/Cochran - Page 3Gadd - Page 2.) on I have no information on some photos. Others were labeled by Mrs. Smith but I'm not sure who the people are or how they fit into my family tree. 
  • Vest boys Postcard photo, labeled on back: For Ordie Vest, Order No 184, Knife No 118, John C Niblett agt. ____ together. Stamped: APR7 – 1927. In the Vest family tree there is Ordie Jennings Vest (See Mary Ellen Gadd Vest, Gadd Page 2) who has a son Ordie Robert Vest, born in 1925.  New Information: I've received one response -- that they could be Ordie Jennings Vest's oldest boys, Ordie Robert and Ellis
  • Grace Anderson. A picture given to Golda Vest. Grace could be a daughter of Hiram Angus Anderson and wife Carrie Redden of Shady Spring, W.Va. The age fits and Golda went to school at Shady Spring High School. Also the girl in this photo looks similar to Grace, daughter of Hiram and Carrie, in The History of Shady Spring District.
  • Three young men (photo closeup) -- Real photo postcard* of young men at a table with drinks. One has a gun. Somewhere I read that a tableau of the "seven deadly sins" was a popular pose. This photo was taken at a Columbus, Ohio, studio. But I believe it may be of West Virginians. New information: the young man on the left, holding a gun, is Omer O. Vest, son of Green Vest and wife Eliza Jane Moten (name also seen as Lisa Moten). (Thank you, Jan.) 
  • Album page -- Some of the people have been identified. If you need a close-up of any of these people, let me know.
  • Two WWI soldiers -- This a real photo postcard of two men in a car, in the background there is a studio backdrop.
  • Bride and groom. Both have flowers so I am guessing this is a newly married couple. Notice the face in the window.
  • Girl from Raleigh. Golda Vest Smith wrote, "An old friend when we lived in Raleigh." Meaning the community of Raleigh, Raleigh County, W.Va. The stampbox marking indicates the photo was taken 1904-18.

Walter Martin. This photo is labeled Walter Martin, so technically it is identified. But I don't know who Mr. Martin is or how he fits into my Martin family tree.  For more information about "my" Martins, go to Gadd/Martin Page 2.

West Virginia students. Shady Spring High School or Concord College, around 1926. Fifth from the left is Verna Veatrice Vest (1908-80), a graduate of Shady Spring and Concord. For more about Verna's family, go to Vest/Cochran Page 3.

Shady Spring High School, Class of 1926. Raleigh County, W.Va. The only person that I can identify is Verna Veatrice Vest. If you know any of the others, please e-mail me. Verna, wife of Fred Bennett, was a teacher for many years. For more about her family, go to Vest Page 3.

Morgantown, W.Va.
Picture of motherless children. Moved to Mystery Solved at bottom of page. 

Morgantown, W.Va., school/camp photo from the mid-1930sPhoto in collection of Dora Jean Barker (1922-88), wife of James Edward Carroll (1922-81), Ashland, Ky.

Unidentified studio portrait taken by Kruger, New Kensington, Pa. This picture was in the possession of Margie Johnson Barker, Morgantown, W.Va., daughter of Leslie Johnson (1872-) and wife Ethlyn Mary Hendershot (1874-1944), both Pennsylvania natives. Leslie's name also seen as Gillespie D. Johnson. He had a brother Chauncey Johnson (various spellings).

Raleigh County Family
Submitted by Russell E. Bennett Jr.: Does anyone know the people in this Raleigh County, W.Va., family group picture? The only one identified is Catherine Plumley, born 16 March 1848, a daughter of George Washington Plumley and Catherine Bennett Plumley. She died 28 Feb 1922. Catherine married Jackson Bennett, 06 July 1865; William Ballard Smith, 05 April 1906; and John Rufus Bennett, 04 March 1908, all in Raleigh County. If you want to communicate directly with the contributor, e-mail  me and I'll give you his contact information. UPDATE 01 Dec 2009 by Mr. Bennett:  I believe the photo is the post funeral picture of Jackson Bennett (husband of Catherine Plumley) who died about 1886 and subjects in the picture are every living child of Jackson and Catherine Plumley Bennett around1886. If I am correct the subjects would be as follows:

Back Row (L-R)
Sarah Elizabeth Bennett   June 20, 1869 - Sept 11, 1938 
Catherine Plumley Bennett    Mar 16, 1848 - Feb 28, 1922
William Marion Bennett    Jan 30, 1873 - Jul 19, 1950
Front Row  (L-R)
Joseph Campbell Bennett    Oct 17, 1880 - June 24, 1965
George Washington Bennett   Jun 15, 1866 - Dec 31, 1945
Lewis Marshall Bennett   Dec 25, 1867 - Sept 16, 1923
John Allen Bennett   April 14, 1871 - Jul 7, 1889

  • Sarah Elizabeth Bennett married John Harvey Vance on November 1, 1886. They had no children. It could be that this is the wedding photo but I am not inclined to believe so because John Harvey Vance is not pictured and there are no flowers or anything resembling a wedding assessory.  The hand on chest of the two young boys could be symbolic of a farewell or heavy heart gesture.
  • William Marion (Marion) Bennett married Mary Victoria Vance, the sister of John Harvey Vance. They had four children who grew into adulthood, William John (Johnny) Bennett, Cecil Marion (Cecil) Bennett, Irene Bennett, and Woodrow Wilson (Woodrow) Bennett. I have worked these descendents for information without any success. I note this subject has a "stick" ear. Photos of Marion in my possession shows that he had a "stick" ear.
  • Joseph Campbell (Joe) Bennett married Lucy Farley. They had no children. 
  • George Washington (Washie) Bennett married 1. Mary Ellen Bennett and 2. Cynthia Jane Smith. I have been in contact with the oldest surviving grandchild of Washie and Jane. Unfortunately the grandchild cannot or will not say with certainty that the subject is her grandfather. The grandchild was raised by Washie and Jane. Later day photos known to be that of Washie appear to match the subject believed by me to be that of Washie. 
  • Lewis Marshall (Marshall) Bennett married 1. Rachel Adkins and 2. Rebecca Adkins. Marshall died in Spencer State Hospital. I have been able to locate but two surviving grandchildren who were both born long after his death in 1923. No photo has been discovered to date.
  • John Allen Bennett drowned in the New River (1889). He was never married.   

Can anyone now confirm or dispute whom these subjects are?


Redden Family 
Submitted by Robert: Unidentified photographs from the album of Estaline Redden (1877-1948) of Raleigh County, W.Va., daughter of Michael Redden and Marion Plumley. She was the wife of Warner Redden (1873 in Raleigh Co./1952, Summers County), son of Harrison Redden and Mary Polly Kidwell.

Catherine Plumley? Estaline and brother? Couple  Couple-tintype.  Family-tintype.  Man and dog.  Unknown man.  Warner Redden?  Warner Redden and unknown man.  Young woman.  Young woman-tintype.


Found Photos
Nebraska photo found in Kentucky: Mother and child photo found in a Georgetown, Scott County, Ky., antique store. On the back: Ruth Cathrine Benner, age four months. M. Leschinsky, Loup City and Arcadia, Nebraska. The photo is scratched, especially the baby's face. But still a nice photo. 

Pennsylvania photo found in Kentucky: This snapshot was found in a Frankfort, Ky., antique store. On back it says: CRESSONA, PA. CIRCA 1910. MOTHE(R) ON RT.

Carroll Family
Kodak-Album -- Photos circa 1920s that were probably collected by Walter John "Stubby" Carroll or his wife Anna Dale Russell. But I don’t know who the other people are. Please e-mail me if you can ID anyone or have information about the locations. The Carroll family was from Carter and Boyd counties in Kentucky. Carroll Album 1 - link to pdf in Dropbox. For more Kentucky photos, go to Kentucky In-Laws.

  • James Kelly  James Kelly taken in 1943 at Cunard  Mr. Kelly is a son of Martha Vest and husband Edward Kelly. (See Vest/Cochran page) "James did live at Cunard in the 1940's with his third wife Polly Ramsey. He later moved to Gatewood and lived there until his death in the late 1960's. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Oak Hill, WV." (Thank you, Geraldine.) 

* Note about real photo postcards: “Real photo postcards are actual photographs that have been developed onto photographic paper.” Stampbox markings on the back help determine the time period. For more information, go to or