The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#97) - Bernice Smith, Daughter of Elmer and Lizzie, Springfield, MO

Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.

This week’s photograph is of an adorable young girl dressed in what looks like a unique winter outfit. The photographer is “McMillan” located at 420 South Street in Springfield, Missouri.

Bernice Smith

The note on the back looks more modern than the image itself, written in bright blue ink. It reads:

“Bernice Smith, daughter of Elmer + Lizzie Smith Sprifield, MO. Sister of Thelma”


I just love the girl’s face. Her eyes are quite stunning too. I have not researched this person at all, but there are a lot of clues that would make it a fun mystery to research, if you are so inclined. Here are some questions for you to consider as you think about Bernice and her life.


  • Who is Bernice Smith and what is her story?

  • What sort of outfit is she wearing?

  • What are some of the genealogy challenges when researching people with very common last names (e.g., Smith)?

  • What do you think, feel, and wonder about as you look at Bernice’s photograph?

  • What year do you think this photo was taken?

  • What about Elmer, Lizzie, and Thelma - what are their stories?

  • Is there anyone alive today who might be able to tell us more about this photo or appreciate having this photo in their personal collection?

  • How did the photo end up in the bin that I found it in at a local antique store?

I would love to know what you discover! Please send me an email or post a comment below!