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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


Thursday, February 2, 2012

From Your Loving Wife, Nora Allen & Baby, c. 1899, Calgary, NWT




When I found this cabinet card photograph of Nora Allen and her baby in an antique store I knew the image must have been recorded prior to 1905. The photographer's imprint on the front indicates that it was taken in Calgary, Northwest Territories.  After Alberta became a province in 1905 the imprint would read "Calgary, Alberta."  The photograph was seems to have been displayed on a wall.  There is a large pinhole in the middle upper edge. 


  As you look this photo over
  as its stories bright unfold
  May your loving eyes discover
  Our love for you will neer grow cold.
  From Mother and Baby to Dear Father
  [--dunna forget?]

The photograph was taken by the C.W. Binkley Studio, likely in the late1890s, judging by the mutton sleeves on Nora's dress.  Sadly, the little baby has faded quite a bit.  I'm glad that the photo has been scanned, and that we'll at least have this version before the picture fades any further.

I found an Allen family in the 1901 Census of Canada, The Territories, Banff District:


George A. Allen, 30, born Feb 1871, England
Nora Allen, 26, born March 1875, Ireland
Trisa Allen, 3, born Sept 1898, Alberta
Lillian G. Allen, 1, born Nov 1900, Yukon

According to Canada Marriages, 1661-1949 on Familysearch.org, George Arthur Allen, son of William and Mary Ann Allen,  married Nora Theresa Stack, daughter of Thomas & Mary Stack, on 22nd October 1896 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Calgary.

I stumbled upon a wonderful picture of Nora Allen's husband, George Arthur Allen, taken at Banff in 1892 on the RCMP Graves blog, which honours members of the North West Mounted Police and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  I went through George Arthur's NWMP Personnel Records at  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca and learned that he served from March 17, 1892 through to January 31, 1900.  Two of those years were spent in the Yukon.  In 1940, he signed up as a RCMP Special Constable in Victoria, BC for a term of six years.

In the NWMP engagement papers for 1898 that I found online, George lists his nearest kin as being "Nora Allen, c/o Mr & Mrs. Wm. Allen, 2 Onslow Street, Leicester, England."  It would appear that Nora is living in England with her in-laws at that time.  She is not living with them by the time the 1901 England Census rolls around.

Nora died in 1960 in Victoria, BC, and George Arthur, in 1962 in Vancouver.  While I am not absolutely positive this is the same Nora Allen featured in the photograph, I feel it is entirely plausible.  These photographs were found on Vancouver Island, just north of Victoria and all of the information seems to fit, but it sure would be nice to locate another photograph of her to be certain.

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