She’s somebody’s daughter, or mother or sister. And she sure is wearing a heavy-duty crucifix on a chain around her neck. I wonder who held on to her photo for over a hundred years.
The portrait was taken at Rockwood Photography, in Union Square. George Rockwood opened his studio in 1857 and competed with Civil War and portrait photographer Mathew Brady, who worked a few blocks away down Broadway.
There’s a nice site devoted to George Rockwood that features some of his portraits, plus a few great old photographs of Union Square.
As for this woman, she remains a mystery.