County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Clare to the UK: Mystery Woman


I recently purchased this beautiful CDV (Carte de visite) from an auction site that came out of the UK. It was mailed from Kettering, Northamptonshire, England. The woman is not identified adding to the dozens of unlabeled photos we have in local collections at the library and historical society.

It’s not impossible to eventually identify old photos. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a duplicate online or in a family tree and be able to make a match.

This photo intrigues me because I’ve often wondered if photo albums in other countries our ancestors immigrated from are full of unidentified ancestors who sent photos back to their remaining relatives. I rarely local items for sale from other countries. How did a Clare photograph come to be found in England?

Another way I have often been able to narrow down a photograph from another place is by searching for people using both known locations. If matches pop up on ancestry sites, then I can look at family trees and see if family members match the places and dates and look for photos and information that might lead to identification.

It's tedious work but if it leads to success those moldering photos albums of unknown relations can be identified and shared.

We do know that the photographer E.H. DeVogt (Eugene Henry) was a photographer in Clare from 1884 to 1911. This style card was most likely in the 1880s or early 1890s.

My searches were unsuccessful to find a match for this mystery woman but perhaps someone will see a resemblance or owns the same photograph, and she can be identified. Either way, she’s right back home in Clare County.

Recognize this photo? Would you like help identifying any local family photos? Contact Angela Kellogg at or 989-539-7496.

Clare County Press, 22 August 1884

Mr. Devogt, of the firm of Nix and Devogt, photographers, left this week for Clare, Mich., where he will engage in the photograph business. Mr. D is an artist of no small repute, and we predict for him a successful business in his new home. The people of Clare will find in him a first class photographer, a straightforward, honest gentleman, and a good citizen. We are sorry to loose such citizens, but our loss is Clare’s gain. -Reed City Clarion.

 Clare County Press, 11 September 1885

E.H. DeVogt of Clare photographed the soldier boys at Reed City this week and took orders for about a thousand copies.

Clare Democrat, 7 October 1887

E.H. DeVogt, the Clare photographer, makes any style of cabinet photographs for $3 per dozen. Eight new designs to select from. No more tin-types made at my gallery, but instead, I made four first class photos for fifty cents.

Clare Democrat, 30 September 1887

E.H. DeVogt has put up a neatly painted sign on top of his gallery which bears the word “Photographs.” It is the work of Whitney, the painter.

Clare Sentinel, 24 November 1899

H. DeVogt, haying returned to Clare, has decided to again open up a photograph gallery, and has secured the rooms over John Jackson’s meat market which he is fibbing up and which will be ready for occupancy in a week or tea days. Mr. DeVogt needs no introduction to the people of Clare. Long experience in the business has made him a proficient artist in his line and he will be glad to have his old friends and others call on him.

© Clare County Cleaver


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