I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Monday, March 21, 2016

How Are Your Detective Skills? Grandfather Deachman and Eliza Pappa Deachman, circa 1860s, Perth, Ontario

Grandmother and Grandfather Deachman, circa 1869, Perth, Ontario, Canada

I find albums difficult to pass by. The one that held this image, especially so. While it was filled with some post-1910 images vaguely identified, there were a number of photographs such as the one above, that were labelled with detailed and extremely helpful explanations.

On the back of this carte de visite photograph, someone had made the following notes:  "My Dad's parents. Grandfather and Grandmother Deachman whose maiden name was Eliza Pappa. She passed away & left a young family of 4 sons and 1 daughter. Grandfather married again to a widow Mary Ellis who had 2 daughters Maggie & Isabella at that time. Then was born Jim, Isaac & Lizzie who married Jack Kerr."

So how are the other images labelled?  Here is a break-down of the most helpful images:

1) A cdv, circa 1865 of a young woman in her 20s, no photographer's imprint. On the reverse it is written, "Grandma Woods, Grandfather Woods' second wife. Her maiden name was Katie Stewart. A wonderful person (Catherine Stewart)." (Isn't it a lovely touch that the writer thought to tell future generations that Katie was a wonderful individual?)

2) A tintype of "mother with white collar. Mrs. Bingley her cousin to her right."

3) A tintype "This might be my Dad's Brother Bill Deachman."

4) A small snapshot of a log cabin. "Isaac's cabin on the homestead." Photograph was developed at Jerrett's Photo Art-Studio in Melfort, Saskatchewan.

5) Small snapshot of "Dr. Wilson T[?] Deachman he has hair if it is white." Circa 1920s?

6) A small snapshot of "Grandpa & Grandma Harper & Aunt Elizabeth."

and the clincher:

7)  A small snapshot of  "Mother (Florence Deachman) probably around 1912."

So, with this information, are you able to sort out who might have owned this album and their relationships to the other people in the album? I wonder how such a family treasure ended up in a Victoria, BC antique shop.

This was a fun one to research--I hope you have a good time looking into the Deachman family.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Robert Pollock Whyte Family of Stratford, Ontario, 1900

The details on this image might be skimpy, but it's such a lovely family portrait I have to attempt to figure out who they are.  The portrait was taken at the W. I. Becker & Co. studio in Stratford, Ontario, which was in operation between 1888-1900, according to the book, "The Ontario Photographers List: 1851-1900, Vol. 1" by Glen C. Phillips. The "& Co." portion of the imprint was only used after 1895. However, because the scope of the book ends with the year 1900, I am unsure how long the studio existed past that time, as I don't have a copy of the second volume in this series. 

There is a faint pencil notation on the back of the portrait, "Mr[s?]. R. P. Whyte, C--- ---alt & Church, Stratford." I believe the missing part of the inscription is "Corner Galt & Church [St], Stratford." R.P. Whyte did have a house on Church Street in 1905-19061. In the same publication I was able to find W. I. Becker & Co., still in business at 11 Market Street.

In 1901, 33-year-old Robert P. Whyte was a butcher2. He and his wife, Annie had two children: a two-year-old daughter named Leila and a son, Fred, aged four. Also living with the family is a boarder named Charlott Smith, who was born in the same year as Robert and Annie, in 1867.  If the photograph is a portrait of this family, it's likely that it was taken around the same time as the census was recorded, or perhaps just a bit later, around 1902-03.

Robert's full name appears to be Robert Pollock Whyte3. The family has moved to Vancouver, BC by the time of son Frederick's WW1 enlistment in May of 1918 and they are residing at 2915 Ontario Street.
Robert Pollock Whyte died in 20 Feb 1956, in Vancouver4.

1 Vernon's City of Stratford Directory, 1905-1906 (Hamilton, Ont. : 1906), page 93, entry for "Whyte, R.P.," digital image, Toronto Public Library (http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-37131055373187D&R=DC-37131055373187D) : accessed 06 Mar 2016).
2 1901 census of Canada, Stratford, Perth, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 104, subdistrict # G6, p.8 (penned), dwelling 68, family 68, Robert P. Whyte family; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1Mar 2016); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-6428 through T-6556.
3 Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Mar 2016), British Columbia, Victoria, 2nd Depot Btln., Frederick Whyte entry, dated 6 May 1918; citing Record Group 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4930 - 35. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa..
4 "British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLR6-H4B : accessed 8 March 2016), Robert Pollock Whyte, 1956.