This wonderful cabinet card from the Welsh Album caught my attention immediately. It was taken in Longton, Staffordshire by photographer Fred Hulse.
The severity of the of the eldest child’s hair style makes me wonder if she had been ill (I have read that Victorian children sometimes had their hair cropped when they contracted a fever). However, a closer look reveals wavy hair down the back of the neck, so perhaps the hair was simply scraped back from the face:
The reverse of the card is blank, but there is a hand-written inscription above it in the album:
This probably deciphers as Chwaer Anty
Betsi Jane Scubor Ddu, with chwaer being Welsh for sister . According to friends on the Rootschat forum, it could mean that the woman is the sister-in-law of A(u)nty Jane. So who is Betsi? Where is Scubor Ddu? And was it Jane or her sister-in-law who lived there? This begs more research… and underlines the importance of labelling photographs clearly!