..............AND WHEREVER ELSE THAT LEADS ME...............

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Victorian Mourning Hair Art

Victorian "Family Tree" Hair Art Book..........................

There are nine pages in this amazing  book.
These pages were at one time tied together,
but the "ties" or ribbons are gone.
The family represented in these pages was from the Nora Springs,
Iowa area, and the dates are from 1887-1897.

Lillian M. Seaman......18yrs.

Benjamin Seaman...born August 6,1823

Binnie F. Seaman....born Oct. 30,1843........54years old

Alma......19 years old. Born 29,1867....died Sept. 26,1887.
This also has her hair from when she was two years old.

Josie, 17 years old, born August 31,1870...died Sept. 26, 1887
(Josie died the same day that Alma did. Interesting.)

Callie, 25 years old...born May 3, 1872.
This also has Callies baby hair.

Great Grandma Williams....83 years old.
Grandma Williams.....53 years old
Grandpa Williams.....80 years old.

Benji F. .....18years old....born Sept.4,1878

Everett F., born Sept 3, 1877......died Oct10,1894
Age 18.
( at one time a curl of baby hair was on this page)

The cover of this album.

I thought this was a real interesting example of
mourning hair art....as well as an interesting way to record a family tree.
Some in this family died at an early age and some lived to what was quite an old age for this time.

I am intrigued by the fact that two of the girls seemed to have died on the same day,
(Josie and Alma)
I wonder what the circumstances were?

Also the fact that some of the family have hair from when they were
babies as well as when they were older is interesting to me.
Was this because it was customary to collect "first curls"?
And was the fact that so many children died in early childhood the reason that
this was customary?

I think this is a lovely way to  mourn, remember,
and celebrate family members.

I do however find it sad that this is no longer in the possession
of the family that took the time to make this

(This was offered in an online auction, I contacted the owner and 
she gave her permission to share it with you. )


  1. Wow. That is amazing. I love how they looped the hair into almost flower-like shapes. And that the hair of the older women was still so dark. Or did they cut the hair earlier in their lives and save it? Such a strange and interesting custom!

  2. Wowww, what an amazing book! Thanks for sharing this, Gayle! :)

  3. this is so interesting. I recently found in an envelope, a lock of my hair that my mother had saved. And I remember after my dog passed away I found a tuff of his hair in the backyard and I saved it. I can understand the sentiment for doing this. Thanks for a great post Gayle!

  4. I have found both of your blogs to be quite interesting.