Not long after I posted the photo above, I received a reply from Bahamian genealogist Joy Lowe Jossi.
Joy confirmed what Jack Lowe told me, that these were in fact parishioners, and that they worshipped at Ebenezer Gospel Hall in Marsh Harbour. She knows this because her mother, Fanny Merton Lowe, was part of this group.
The fact that Fanny is not included in the photo leads Joy to surmise it was taken after January 1927, when Fanny moved to Nassau to marry Joy’s father, Clarie Lowe. Furthermore, the image had to have been taken prior to 1935, because that’s when #1 Mana died.
So now that we know roughly when the photo was taken, let’s look at who’s in it. We already know who #4 and #8 are. Here are the names that correspond with the remaining faces:
#1 – Mana is Joy’s maternal grandmother, Amana Delzie Russell Lowe.
#2 – Vernie is Mana’s younger sister, Ruby Mae VERNIE Russell Bethel.
#3 – Clarence is Clarence Bethel, husband of 2 Vernie Russell Bethel. (Clarence and Vernie are the parents of #5 Gladys and #7 Chester.)
#5 – Gladys Bethel
#6 – Neva is Neva Lowe, sister of Joy’s dad, Clarie Lowe. (Neva married #7 Chester L. Bethel.)
#7 is Chester Bethel, son of #2 Vernie and #3 Clarence (and husband of #6 Neva)
A million thanks to Joy. It’s so important to identify people in these old photos, so their descendants might have a chance to “know” them. Looking into someone’s face, seeing what they wore, noticing what they were doing and whether they looked serious or jovial — all give us clues as to who our ancestors were, and can help us feel closer to them.
In case some of your own ancestors are in this photo, here’s a clean copy for you.
P.S. If you have old family photos of your own, please make notes as to when they were taken and who’s in them. Your grandchildren (and their grandchildren!) will thank you.