Meet Frederica...Maybe

Meet Frederica...Maybe --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
A painting I inherited from my Dad.
I believe this is Frederica Augusta Inniss Murrell

Bit by bit. Piece by piece. I've been going through pictures, letters and other memorabilia I inherited from my father. I've also been doing some great work with my therapist regarding processing my feelings. My takeaway for the week has been that I can love and be mad at my dad at the same time. Mad feels like too strong of a word. I'm annoyed but my heart has already forgiven him. Yes, my dad knew how much I loved family history and yet all these treasures he kept to himself. The conversations we could have had about this stuff. Sigh. It wasn't meant to be. 

Grief is a process of unraveling. Layer by layer, I'm on a path of discovery. I've been reading some letters written by father when he was a young man. This was a much more optimistic time in his life. To see his words on paper expressing feelings of joy and youthful optimism has been a revelation. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Take a look at this. 

Meet Frederica...Maybe --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Kind of cool, right? This was folded up in the trunk of stuff from my father's parents house. It looks like a painting on canvas that apparently was cut down or cut out of a frame perhaps. It was folded up a long time ago because the creases are really set in there. I think this is a painting of my paternal great grandmother Frederica Augusta Inniss Murrell of Marley Vale, St Philip, Barbados. 

For years, my father had said that he had a picture of his father's mother somewhere packed up in the house and that he was going to dig it up one day to show me. I remember him saying that his father didn't look exactly like his mother but there was some family resemblance. You could tell they were kin.

Just to refresh people's memories, my father was Harold Eugene Murrell. His father was Harold Osmond Fitzherbert Murrell. To save time, I will refer to them as Harold Jr. and Sr here. This image is I believe of Harold Sr.'s mother. 

The problem is of course is that the picture isn't labeled. Damn. 

I still think this is her though. Here's why.

Frederica Augusta Inniss's baptismal record shows she was baptized on February 26, 1871.

I did some research on period clothing and hairstyles and found the following web links helpful:

The clothing to me seems to be from about 1890 from what I can make of it. Her hair isn't loose but turned up into a pompadour and adorned with a ribbon. I think this painting is perhaps a coming of age picture. If Frederica was born perhaps in late 1870 or early 1871, than this would all make perfect sense.

Then there was what my father told me. "You could tell they were kin."

Meet Frederica...Maybe --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

Young Harold Sr., Possibly Frederica, and Young Harold Jr.

I would love to hear what you out there think. Do you see a resemblance?


  1. Good assumption. ..You look like her too. I wonder if you can see any details about the necklace she is wearing?

    1. Thanks for asking about this. I zoomed in and to me it almost looks like a ring. I have to look into this some more.

    2. I'm still intrigued and recall this photo especially. Did your dad have any sisters? It would be helpful if you had the MTDNA of grandmom. Do you know her ethnicity? So beautiful. She could be 12 or 20 years old. . .hard to tell.

  2. I do see a resemblance. To me she looks like a young girl in the photograph, with the big bow and sort of chubby without much bust yet. A beautiful picture. Frustrating yes, but he meant to dig it out for you. I am looking through my grandmother's photographs and wishing I'd asked her who was who, as so many aren't labeled. Or asked my grandfather. Or that when I was looking through them, they had come over and told me who was who, but none of that happened and I'm left with beautiful faces with not many names.

  3. Andrea, I have a photo similar to this of my great grandmother with gold jewelry. My uncle said that his aunt, daughter of my great grandmother, had the gold jewelry painted on many years after her mother passed away. I was disappointed to hear this as I wanted to know where the jewelry was as my great aunt only had one son who had no known children. They were of a humble background so I was astonished to see all the gold jewelry in her portrait.


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