Below is a photograph (I apologize for the quality; it is not in my possession to re-scan) of a woman who I think could be my 3rd great grandmother Margaret Morgan who was:

  • christened on 28 Aug 1808 at St James, Bristol, Gloucester. Father William Morgan and Mother Jane
  • married Thomas Morgan on 20 Aug 1831 at St Bride's Minor, Glamorganshire, Wales
  • in 1841 Census, aged 30 living at place (farm?) called Foesyrefoil (sp?), Coychurch, Thomas Morgan 38 Margaret Morgan 30 Thomas Morgan 9 Margaret Morgan 7 William Morgan 4 Ann Morgan 2 At same address but diff census record is Ann Griffith aged 69 (poss her mother?)
  • in 1851 Census aged 43 living at Trebryn (sp?), Pencoed, with husband Thomas and six children. Birthplace given as City of Bristol. Thomas Morgan 42 Margaret Morgan 43 William Morgan 14 Catherine Morgan 8 Martha Morgan 6 John Morgan 4 Elizabeth Morgan 3 James Morgan 1
  • in 1861 Census aged 53 living at Trabrin Beach (sp?), Coychurch with husband Thomas and two children. Birthplace given as Bristol. Thomas Morgan 52 Margret Morgan 53 Elizabeth Morgan 13 Edwin Morgan 6
  • in 1871 Census aged 63, living at Tybryn, Coychurch, born in Bristol Thomas Morgan 62 Margaret Morgan 63 James Morgan 20
  • in 1881 Census aged 73, living at Trebryn, Pencoed, born in Bristol, living with husband Thomas aged 72

enter image description here

The word Morgan has been written on both sides of the photograph, I think by my great uncle Thomas Chedester Browning (born 1904; who was Margaret's great grandson) in Australia around the early 1970s.

enter image description here

To try and date the photograph I used http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/VicPhoto1.html but the GENUKI website is in the process of being upgraded to a content management system (11 Oct 2015) so the link was broken. However, I have located a replacement link with the same information at http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/Occupations/VicPhoto1#GLA.

The photographer is Edwin Lott and he labelled like this:

  • LOTT Edwin 8 Nolton St, Bridgend 1875, 1884
  • LOTT Edwin Nolton St, Bridgend 1880
  • LOTT Edwin Nolton Studio, Bridgend 1891, 1895, 1901
  • LOTT Edwin 9 Nolton Studio, Bridgend 1906, 1910, 1914, 1920

I suspect the photo was most likely taken 1891-1901 but taking account of the “gap years” above could have been 1885-1905

Let’s say she is 75 years old which means that I am looking for a Morgan lady born about 1820.

Almost all the records I have from Bridgend are Thomas and Margaret Morgan’s family so she and her daughters seem the best candidates.

  • Margaret was born 1808 – could lady in photo be 83-93 (or 77-94 using "gap years")? I have not yet seen her Death Certificate but I think she lived to 94 (died 1902) so I think the age may fit.
  • Daughters Catherine/Kate, Margaret and Elizabeth were born 1843-1848 so the oldest, Kate would only be 48-58 (or 42-62) i.e. all too young.

I think the photograph may be Margaret Morgan (1808-1902) but can anyone see anything in the photo and my logic above that would seem to support/refute that tentative identification?

  • 1
    When was Margaret widowed? Would any of the daughters still be using their maiden name by the presumed date of the photo?
    – bgwiehle
    Nov 7, 2014 at 13:21
  • 1
    I think this is Thomas' Death Certificate: NAME: Thomas Morgan ESTIMATED BIRTH YEAR: abt 1809 REGISTRATION YEAR: 1885 REGISTRATION QUARTER: Jan-Feb-Mar AGE AT DEATH: 76 REGISTRATION DISTRICT: Pontypridd INFERRED COUNTY: Glamorganshire VOLUME: 11a PAGE: 325 Certainly he was in the 1881 Census. I'll look more at marriages of Margaret's children - in case being an in-law is a possibility.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:51
  • Interesting, as I have a photo from the same studio of unidentified Morgan family members related to my husband's mother, Margaret Morgan, born 1937 in Mt Morgan, Queensland. I tried to add the images here, but couldn't. Margaret's father was Thomas Morgan (1899 - 1984) born in Queensland and his father was John Morgan (1826 - 1892) born in Llantrissant, Glamorgan, Wales. I realise Morgan is a common name. However, the fact that the photos are from the same studio at Bridgend suggests they may be related. I'll see if I can attach his Morgan photo in a new question.
    – TrishNic
    Oct 11, 2015 at 3:38
  • Welcome to G&FH SE! Yes, it will be best if you create a new question, with just one photo that you are trying to identify per question. I think that as a new user you should be able to insert one picture using the Picture button but possibly not more. I'll be interested to see if there is a relationship but I think there are just too many Morgans in Glamorgan to make that likely - but being photographed in the same studio around the same time might shorten the odds a bit. In the meantime I'll convert this answer into a comment.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 11, 2015 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


The tight hair and tight button-down clothing make me think pre-1890. There was a rage of puffy shoulders and sleeves that began around 1895 and became outlandish by 1905.

Subject appears to be between 65 and 80. Her crooked smile may indicate some worn or missing teeth. :)

Probably a widow, since she is aged and posing alone.

She may be holding the secret of her identity in her hand. She appears to have her finger inside it (???), which would make it too thin to be a bible.

First Communicants pose with a bible, graduates hold a scroll, engaged and widowed women hold a photo of their beloved. What life event is she posing for? Perhaps there were no photos of her husband, and she's holding something prepared for his funeral?

If her husband died in 1885, I could see this matching that date. But the best way to be sure is to find other Morgan relatives, and see if anyone has this same photo.

  • Many thanks! The photo is with descendants of Margaret's daughter Ann who emigrated to Australia in 1863 and we know that she continued to have regular contact with her family in Wales so your analysis makes me feel like my theory is getting stronger, because if Ann's father has just died, then letting her see how her mother was looking would seem to be an important thing to do. I do not currently know any Morgans from other branches but I have just used Member Connect at Ancestry to try and find some.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 9, 2014 at 5:54

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