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Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday's Photo: A Family and Their Automobile

My not so distant cousin, Jane, sent me this photo a few weeks ago. Jane is a descendant of my grandfather's sister Dollie who married Thomas Wylie so it makes sense that this could be a photo of Bryan family members. My Bryan/Hammett cousin, Sharon, noted the ears of the young men - often prominent in the Bryan family. 

However, the people in this photo reminded me of a photo that I have of the Oscar Noah family - especially the young men. The Noah's were cousins to my grandmother's Hairston family. 

I know that these families have come together for funerals and possibly other family events. Some even kept in touch through letters. It would not an impossible notion that the Wylie family had this photo. 

So to my Bryan and Hairston cousins - tell me what you think. Does anyone else have this family with the automobile? Do you think that this family, with their automobile, could be the Noah family? 

Click here to see larger views of these photos or to download. 


© 2014

Photograph of the Oscar Edward Noah family from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Photograph of the unknown family used with permission. From the collection of Jane F. Aebersold.


  1. I found your blog via Pinterest. Very nice layout. I enjoyed your posts. I also blog about family on my site
    I'll be back again,

    1. Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I just added your Michigan Family Trails to my Feedly. I love your closet – you have room to spare. And, I really like your file rule of WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE!
      Thank you for reading my blog.

  2. Hi, Diana! I was intrigued by this photo -- you thought you recognized the people as possible relatives of Oscar Noah, yet I couldn't see it.

    I think I told you my dad, Carl, is in a nursing home with Parkinsons Disease and very severe dementia. He is the son of J.O. Noah and the grandson of Oscar Noah. In spite of his cognitive decline, there are a few things Dad just knows inherently -- us kids, bless God; airplanes and cars. Dad has loved cars since he was a child. He has worked on them for a living, raced them and even built a World Champion Henry J in about 1962. He has an uncanny ability to know the exact year something occurred, and it's based on who was present for the event and which car or cars were involved. Without fail, he knows the year, make and model of the car, for instance, if you're talking about a family reunion or a trip to someone's funeral. So I was anxious to show him this picture today when I visited him.

    His face lit up when he saw it. Like me, he couldn't recognize any of the faces. But he knew the car (and I will admit, even though he didn't hesitate, I had my doubts). Dad first said it was a 1927... but then corrected himself. It was a 1918 Buick. And Uncle Luther was the only one around who had one. They called it a Touring Car. Upon closer inspection, he was still sure -- he didn't know who the people were, but whoever they were, they were in Uncle Luther's car!

    Uncle Luther was the brother of Mamie Lou Allen Noah, who married Oscar Noah. If Dad is right, it's possible that Luther Allen is the man in the car. I can't really pin down which of the Noah boys might be with him, but Hoyt was the youngest; J.O. would have been grown, as would Neal and Ray have been. It could also be Emmit, just older than Hoyt. There is too much light on the face of the woman on the left, but I wonder if she is Grandma Mamie. If all that fits together well, the older woman may be Lucy Wells Allen, Mamie's mother. And if all that is right, you may have the only photo of my great-great-grandma Lucy I've ever seen. Of course, it's all speculation based on my dad's questionable recognition of the car.

    But, I recommend you immediately Google "1918 Buick Touring Car" and look at the images. I think you'll agree Dad knows his cars -- and we might be onto something!


    1. Hi Carla,

      Thanks for your great information! Your Dad was so right. Even before I Googled “1918 Buick Touring Car," I had guessed that it might be Phillip A. Hairston’s funeral in November 1917. However, if it is the Noah family it could be any one of many family events. Based on clothing, I would guess that it is somewhere between that time and 1925.

      If this is the Noah family, I would guess that it would be Mamie rather than her mother. I based my thoughts about possible Noah’s by some of the young men’s features – ears and mouths. However, my Hammett/Bryan cousin thought the boys could be Hammetts for the same reason.

      So we really don’t know any more about the identity of this family (if it is a family), but thanks to your father, we know what kind of car is in the picture!

      Carla, this photo had me thinking about one other that I have. It came from K. Noah and was labeled “the Bryan sisters and their cousin.” I have an identical photo from a Hammett/Bryan cousin. I am very sure that was for Phillip Hairston’s funeral and that both Bryan family members and Hairston descendants attended. I would love to see this album and think that a family near you has it. I am coming to Texas this spring or early summer and will message you for more information.

      Thanks again for the wonderful response!