Sarah Jane Whitehead and Margaret Ann Boyle - 1860 Tintype photo

1860 photo of Sarah Jane Whitehead and Margaret Ann Boyle

This is the only known photo of Sarah Jane Whitehead (William Sr.'s 2nd wife), and it also includes her first daughter when she was less than a year old: Margaret Ann Boyle (later Margaret Ann Storey). The picture is a tin-type, which means that it is a negative image on a thin sheet of iron, with a lacquered finish on the back, to prevent rusting. At the very top of the photo (very hard to see here) is an engraved inscription showing the patent for the plate process, which is an 1856 patent for Neff, the patent holder (he bought the rights off of the actual inventor). This engraving only was used from 1856-1860, and the picture itself is from early 1860, and was taken in Huntley, ON. Sarah would have been in her early 20's in this picture, and Margaret would be under a year old. The way these plates were made, and the size of this particular photo, meant that at least 4 copies existed at one time, but only one is known to still be in existence today. This also happens to be the earliest existing photo of a Boyle family member that I know of as well.

For more information, and history, of the tin type photography process, please click here.