Welcome!

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


Friday, September 28, 2012

Funeral Card Friday: Chester H. Williamson, Watford, Lambton Co., Ontario, 1910



"In Watford, on Monday, January 10th, 1910, 
CHESTER H.,
Eldest Son of
WILLIAM WILLIAMSON
in his twentieth year."

Funeral
The funeral will leave the family residence, 
Simcoe street, On Wednesday; January 12th, 
at 2 p.m./  Interment in the Watford
Cemetery.  Funeral Private."

Chester Harlan Williamson, son of William Williamson and Mary Elizabeth Patterson was born on the 9th of February, 1891 in Watford, Lambton County, Ontario and died there at age 20 of Bright's Disease1.  Chester had a younger brother, Wilbert Reginald Williamson, born Christmas Day 18932, and a sister Almeda Mae Williamson, born 24 February, 18993.

1899 was a sad year for the Williamson family.  First, on the third of April that year, Chester's mother passed away of pneumonia4.  Then, in September, six-month-old Almeda died of dysentry5.

I believe Chester's father remarried after his first wife died, as I also have funeral card for Elizabeth Ann Watterman, wife of William Williamson, who died in 1939 at the age of 70 in Watford. At the time of Elizabeth Ann's death, the family was still living on Simcoe Street.  If the name Watterman sounds familiar to you, I did post Showler Waterman's funeral card previously on this blog.  I believe Showler was Elizabeth Ann's father.



1 "Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JDFZ-TP1 : accessed 20 Sep 2012), Chester Hanlan Williamson, 1910.
2 "Ontario Births, 1869-1912," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FMW8-LV5 : accessed 20 Sep 2012), Wilbert Reginald Williamson, 1893.
3 Almeda Mae Williamson, Birth (24 Feb., 1899); “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Sept., 2012), citing microfilm MS929, reel 146, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
4 Mary Elizabeth Williamson, Death Registration 013970 (3 Apr 1899); “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Sep 2012), citing microfilm MS935, reel 92, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
5 Almeda Mae Williamson, Death Registration 013987 (13 Sep 1899); “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Sep 2012), citing microfilm MS935, reel 92, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: A Portrait by J. H. Langhans, Little Valley, New York, Circa 1890s




I'm guessing this is a sibling portrait from the 1890s.  With no identifying information on the photograph, other than the photographer's imprint on the front, there is slim hope of discovering who they are.  I found next to nothing about this photographer online, which might indicate that J. H. Langhans wasn't in the photography business very long.  I was able to locate two Julius Langhans, in the 1892 NY State census, living in Cattaraugus County, but both were listed as farmers.  This doesn't mean either man wasn't a photographer prior to this point, but it just doesn't help us identify one over the other as being the subject of our search.  Another Julius Langhans appears in the federal censuses after 1900 in Little Valley, but he was born too late to be a match.

Do you have information about J. H. Langhans from Little Valley?  If so, please add your comments below.  And if, by some miracle, you know who these mystery siblings are, we'd love to hear your story.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clementina Spilker Schlens, Baltimore, Maryland, 1862



I have a soft spot for civil-war era fashions, so when I saw this carte de visite photograph, dated 1862 on an online auction, I had to purchase it.  The fact that the woman in the photograph was identified with both her married and maiden name made the item all the more irresistible.

I set out to learn more about “Grandma Schlens,” formerly known as “Clementina Spilker.”  Unfortunately, the photo lacked a photographer’s imprint that might point me in the right geographic direction. 

Nevertheless, I began with search of the 1850 US Federal Census for “Clementina Spilker” and limited that search to a female born between the years 1832 to 1850.  I chose this range because I knew the photograph was taken in 1862 and the woman appeared to be in her late teens or early 20’s.  There was only one hit:  three-year-old Clementine Spilker, born about 1847, living in Baltimore, Maryland with her parents Charles and Veronica Spilker and 2 siblings, Charles, 8 and Mary, 6. Also part of the family was Mary Enck, aged 761.  Charles and Veronica Spilker had been married for 14 years2.

Clementina was still part of the Charles Spilker family in 1860.  Her brother, William H., born about 1852, makes his first appearance in the census records that year.  Additionally, Charles’ wife is now listed with the given named “Jane.”3    By 1870, Clementina Spilker is no longer living in the Charles Spilker household4.

In 1834, at age 24, Clementina’s father, Charles Spilker, came to Baltimore from Bremen, Germany.  He accompanied his future wife, Veronica Enck, age 24, and Veronica’s mother, Anna Maria Enck, 54, as well as the family of  Drin.[?] Schultze5.  Charles formed Charles Spilker & Co: Importers of French & English Fancy Goods which operated at 10 Hanover Street until his death in 18686.  Clementina and her family likely enjoyed a comfortable life.  Charles employed two or three household servants during the years he raised a family and made trips back to Germany7.  In 1866, Charles’ income was listed as $11,223.  He also owned a pianoforte, gold watch, a carriage and plate of silver, all subject to tax8

But was this child of Charles Spilker named Clementina, the woman of my photograph?  I have not found a marriage record for Clementina and someone with the surname Schlens, but I did find a 25-year-old Clementina Schlens in the 1870 US Census in Baltimore.  Her husband is Frederick Schlens, age 29, born in Prussia. At this point, they have one child, Caroline Schlens, five months old9.

In the 1880 Census, Fred and Clementina have added two more children to their family:  Fred, age 7, and Ella, 10 months10.    In 1910, Clementina is widowed and living with her daughter Carrie and  husband, Charles Buick’s family in Baltimore11.   

I haven’t been able to find out when Clementina’s husband died, or locate an obituary for him.  Nor have I found any record of Clementina’s death.  If you can provide additional information about Clementina Spilker Schlens, I would love to hear from you.  Clementina's family, and that of her husband seem to have been quite prominent ones in Baltimore and I expect there is quite a lot of local information out there about them.



1 1850 U.S. census, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, p. 83 (stamped), dwelling 987, family 1257, Charles Spilker, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 286.
2 Maryland, Marriages, 1666-1970, index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F4JY-FL7 : accessed 25 May 2012), Veronica Enck, 1836.
3 1860 U.S. census, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, p. 196, dwelling 1074, family 1245, Charles Spilker, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 464.
4 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, p. 268 (penned), dwelling 1572, family 2007, Charles Spilker, digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 578.
5 Manifest,S.S. Johannes, 17 March 1834, stamped p. 1, line 11, Charles Spilker, age 24; “Passenger Record,” digital images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com :accessed 30 May 2012).
6 E. M. Cross, compiler, Baltimore City Business Directory, (Baltimore: E.M. Cross & Co., 1863-64) , 375; Woods’ Baltimore City Directory (Baltimore: John W. Woods, 1865), 397; also subsequent years by the same title: (1868), 496; (1870), 561, subscription database, , accessed 30 May 2012; Scharfe, John Thomas, “History of Baltimore City and County, from the Earliest Period to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of their Representative Men,” Archive.org (Online: Internet Archive) [Original published Scharfe, John Thomas, History of Baltimore City and County, from the Earliest Period to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of their Representative Men, Philadelphia: L.H. Everts, 1881], page 807, accessed 23 May 2012.
7 1850 U.S Census, Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland, pop. sch., p. 83 (stamped) dwell. 987, fam. 1257, . Charles Spilker; 1860 U.S. Census, Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland. pop. sch., p. 196, dwell. 1074, fam. 1245, Charles Spilker; 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore, Baltimore Co., Maryland, pop. sch., p. 268 (penned), dwell. 1572, fam. 2007; Baltimore, Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1872, (Online: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Manifest, Ship Copernicus, 22 July 1842, for Charles Spilker (age 33), subscription database, , accessed May 2012; Manifest,Ship George Washington, 7 September 1848, line 22, p. 2, for Charles Spilker (age 38), [digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC] , subscription database, , accessed May 2012.
8 Charles Spilker entry, U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918, District 3, Annual Lists, 1866, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, [digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC], subscription database, , accessed May 2012.
9 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, p. 228 (penned), Dwelling 1496, Family 1722, Frederick Schlens, digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com :accessed 30 May 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 579.
10 "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MNQD-ZVQ : accessed 23 Sep 2012), Clementine Schlens in household of Fred Schlens, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; citing sheet 650D, family 1, NARA microfilm publication T9-0504.
11 "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2X2-QL2 : accessed 23 Sep 2012), Clementine Schlens in household of Charles Buick, Election District 1, Baltimore, Maryland; citing sheet 3A, family 41, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374563.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two-Year-Old Archibald D. McAllister, 1912-[1991?], Victoria, BC



I stopped short of making this one a "What-A-Shame Wednesday" post.  It has a few things about it that make me sigh deeply, such as smudges, stains, scuffs and oxidization of the lower portion of the image.  It is also one of two portraits in my collection that I've been keeping in the garage due to their nasty smell, which likely won't help slow its deterioration, although I've done my best to keep it dry and safe.  But as I pointed out with Mr. Kerr's photograph, by scanning it, we've preserved the image for future generations, sans the stink.  So while it's not been kept in an optimal condition, I am hopeful that a descendant will be able to add it to their family tree information.

This cute little guy is identified on the back as "Archibald D. McAllister, October 8[?], 1914, Age 2 years, 6 days."   The photo was taken by Gibson in Victoria, British Columbia.

I tried to locate information on Archibald in various databases but didn't have much luck.  I did locate a death index entry on the British Columbia Vital Event Registration Records website for Archibald Donald McAllister, born in 1912, who died at 79 years of age in Victoria on the 5th of December, 1991. 

I couldn't find an online obituary, but on my next visit to the Victoria Public Library I will see if I can locate one in the local paper.  In the meantime, if you can help shed some light on the life of Mr. McAllister, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: From the Sallows Studio, Goderich, Ontario, Circa 1880s



What you see is what you get.  There aren't any markings whatsoever on the back of this cabinet card.  I had high hopes for this one, because it was created by Reuben R. Sallows, a well-known Ontario photographer.

The Huron County Library has created a wonderfully informative site, dedicated to Mr. Sallows, his life and his work that is certainly worth checking out.  The Reuben R. Sallows Digital Library is one of the best online image galleries created for an individual photographer that I've seen.  Unfortunately, I did not find our mystery man in their collection. 

If you have any leads for us, please leave a comment. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Wonderful Name to Trace: Demerious Margaret Smeltzer, Creston, Iowa, 1912



The reverse of this AZO postcard photograph reads, "Demerious Margaret Smeltzer taken at 4 years old."  It was purchased in a lot of old images from Creston, Iowa.  I was overjoyed to see Miss Smeltzer's unusual first name.  Usually this means an easier search, and yes, this time it was, athough it did appear in various permutations:  Demarious, Demarous, Demerous, and even, Peneriom.

Demerious Margaret Smeltzer was born on the 30th of June 19081 to Edwin and Susie Smeltzer of Creston, Iowa2.  Five years later, Demerious' brother, Eldon was born3.  Demerious worked as a typist at a law office for many years4.  Both siblings lived with mother Susie until at least 1940, neither having married by that time.

Demerious lived a long life and died at the age of 95 on August 21, 2003 in Union Co., Iowa5.  I haven't been able to locate an obituary for her online, but it doesn't look as if she married.   She is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Creston: Demarious M Smeltzer (1908 - 2003) - Find A Grave Memorial.




1 "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JLLW-SX9 : accessed 11 Sep 2012), Demarious M Smeltzer, 21 August 2003; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
2 "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MG9N-117 : accessed 11 Sep 2012), Demarius M Smeltzer in household of Edward Smeltzer, Creston Ward 5, Union, Iowa; citing sheet 3B, family 72, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374438.
3 "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MDM2-PGT : accessed 11 Sep 2012), Eldon L Smeltzer in household of Edwid G Smeltzer, , Union, Iowa; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 12A, family 316, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820515.
4 "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KM19-M1K : accessed 11 Sep 2012), Demarius Smeltzer in household of Susie Smeltzer, Ward 5, Creston, Creston Township, Union, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 88-5, sheet 22B, family 521, NARA digital publication T627, roll 1208.
5 "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JLLW-SX9 : accessed 11 Sep 2012), Demarious M Smeltzer, 21 August 2003

Friday, September 14, 2012

From the White Collection: Henrietta Levina Hill White (1841-?) Mont Clair, NJ>Brookline & Cambridge, MA


Henrietta Levina Hill White, cdv, ca. late 1860s.  Photographer:  Whipple, Boston.


This image comes from a collection of approximately 30 tintypes, cartes de visite, and cabinet card photographs I acquired relating to the Henry and Henrietta Levina (Hill) White family of Mont Clair, Essex County, New Jersey, and later, of Cambridge, and then Brookline, Mass.

The couple had two children:  Norman H. White, born 1871 and Herbert H. White, born 1869.  Not all the images are identified, but there are details enough to piece together a bit of a history of the family.

There are at least four CDVs of Henrietta, all taken in the 1860s.  She may also appear in group portrait of three women, probably sisters, which may have been photographed a few years earlier than the other four.  The other photos are of Norman and Herbert Hill White, the White boys with children from the Young family, Frances Sturtevant, and an infant named Eddie and his young mother who appear in several images. I believe the young mother to be one of Henrietta's sisters.  There are a number of older gentleman, from various locations.  Most of the photos were taken in Massachusetts, but there are a number from Massillon, Ohio as well.

Henrietta Levina applied for a U.S. passport on June 17, 1889 for herself and her son Norman H. White (born 25 Dec 1871, Mont Clair, New Jersey) for a year-long trip abroad1.  According to that application, Henrietta was born at Boston on the 20th of October 1841.

In 1880, the Henry White family lived in Mont Clair, New Jersey.  Henry's 62 year old mother, Lucy J., and his 24-year-old sister Kate lived with them2.  Henry's occupation is listed as "clerk" and the family employed one servant.  By the 1900 census, Henry's occupation is "capitalist" and the family has added a few more servants to the household3.  In 1910, Henry and Henrietta's children have left the nest and they have a staff of four servants4

I haven't been able to track Henry and Henrietta after 1910, but perhaps someone with access to newspapers or obituaries from Brookline might be able to help with that.  I will be looking at some of the other images in this collection as time goes by.
 



1 “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Aug 2012); Herrietta H. White [Henrietta H. White], no. 6111, issued 17 June 1889; citing Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 566612 / MLR Number A1 508; NARA Series: M1372; Roll #: 333.); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
2 "United States Census, 1880," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MN8Q-Z28 : accessed 30 Aug 2012), Henrietta H. White in household of Henry White, Mont Clair, Essex, New Jersey; citing sheet 39D, family 1, NARA microfilm publication T9-0780.
3 "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9RY-CDC : accessed 03 Sep 2012), Henriettia H White in household of Henry White, ED 677 Cambridge city Ward 1, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 9B, family 207, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240656.
4 "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M2KS-QY5 : accessed 03 Sep 2012), Henrietta H White in household of Henry White, Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts; citing sheet 7B, family 139, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374621.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What A Shame Wednesday: It's OK, Momma. Getting Your Picture Taken is FUN! Circa



Can't you just hear the little girl saying that to her momma (or possibly grandma)?  This unidentified pair appear an AZO postcard without a message of any kind.  There are a few clues here, though, that might help us out with an approximate date and place.

Let's have a look at the reverse of the postcard first:


Notice the studio stamp in the top left corner?  It reads, "Electric Studio, 424 E. 5th Street."  Did you know that there are many "Electric Studios" across North America in the early 20th century?  Yes, indeed.  I might have caught a break. though.  I found a postcard photo on Ancestry that shows an Electric Studio at 424 E. 5th Street in Dayton, Ohio.  That was the only match I could find.  A search of the Dayton City Directories between 1910-1920 might help out here, but unfortunately those dates aren't available online.

So, what else does the postcard back tell us?  We know that this postcard dates to after 1907 because of the divided back, which allowed a side for the address and one for the correspondence.  But there is a way we can narrow that down even further.  This postcard was made using Kodak AZO paper, and you will notice four triangles at each corner of the stamp box.  That, in combination with the style of font used in  "Post Card" and the exact wording of "Correspondence Here," rather than just "Correspondence," narrows down the time frame to March 1910 to 1918.

Can we do better?  We can look at the fashions in the image itself.  I'm by no means a fashion expert, but if I had to guess, based on the woman's dress and hat, I'd date this around 1912-1915.  Her skirt still seems to be ample, not hobbled, and yet not as wide as the princess lines of later years in the decade. 

While we don't know who the pair are,  we can probably say that the image was taken in Dayton, Ohio sometime around 1910 to 1918. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Your Affectionate Nephew, Henry Haly Hutton, May 1886, Clifton, England





Mr. Henry Haly Hutton has thoughtfully signed and dated this cabinet card, giving us the opportunity to learn more about him.  The photograph was taken at the James Fisher studio at 59, White Ladies Road, Clifton [Bristol], England.  Surprisingly, I had relatively few hits with his name on Ancestry or Familysearch.  I was able to find the Probate entry for a Henry O'Grady Haly Hutton of Haywards Heath, Sussex, who died on the 3rd of June 19111.

I moved onto a Google search and thanks to Newfoundland's Grand Banks Genealogy Site was able to find a transcription of the will of the above Henry O'Grady Haly Hutton. It would appear Mr. Haly Hutton had property in St. John's, Newfoundland.  He probably obtained that property through his inheritance from his aunt, Jane Lucy Haly, who was born in Newfoundland in 18112 and died on the 20th March 1895 in Brighton, Sussex, England3Her will, also on the Grand Banks site, shows a few of her family relationships, including the fact that she left Henry the St. John's property and six hundred pounds.

If this is the correct Henry Haly Hutton, then there is a wealth of information to be found on his siblings and his ancestors. 



1 England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, Probate entry for Henry O'Grady Haly Hutton, probate date: 21 Aug 1911, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 August 2012); citing original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England
2 "England and Wales Census, 1891," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/48GZ-Q6Z : accessed 02 Sep 2012), Jane L Haly, England; citing (http://Findmypast.co.uk : 2010); PRO RG 12, Sussex county, Brighton registration district, Kemp Town subdistrict, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.
3 England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, Probate entry for Jane Lucy Haley, probate date: 23 April 1895, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 August 2012); citing original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England

Friday, September 7, 2012

Another Boy Lost: Two-Year-Old Hugh James McKerracher, Circa 1920-1925, Ontario or Manitoba



I haven't posted a postcard portrait here on FPR for a while.   I've been avoiding this one because, in my premilinary research, I had issues with the surname.  On the reverse is the following note, written by May "MacHerracher."  At least that's how I read her handwriting.  When an author writes their own surname, I'm inclined to go with their spelling as they, of all people, would know the correct one.



So this one befuddled me, because May appears to spell her last name with MAC.  But I even had an issue with the K.  It looked to me like she was spelling MacHerracher, which is a fairly uncommon variant of McKerracher.  I searched for any MacHerrachers in Ancestry.ca and came up with a sum total of two hits.  I tried McHerracher.  Four hits.  Anywhere.  The Library and Archives Canada Genealogy site came up with zero for both MacHerracher and McHerracher.

So I went with my instinct.  In my paper notes I had been "misspelling" the name I saw on the postcard consistently as McKerracher.   I conceded that perhaps I was reading May's 'K' as an 'H' erroneously.  Her handwriting is quite swirly.   I clearly see "Mac," though.  I tried the search as MacKerracher (again, nothing great showed up).  However, when I tried McKerracher, I found one possibility.

My first hit was on the www.canadaatwar.ca website.   Hugh James McKerracher, a sergeant with Royal Winnipeg Rifles died July 5, 1944 and is buried at Beny-sur-mer Canadian War Cemetery in Normandy.  He probably died at the Battle for Caen. 

My next stop was Library and Archives Canada Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead record for Hugh James McKerracher.  His mother is listed in the index as E. Mae McKerracher of Arnprior, Ontario.

According to  the Manitoba Marriage Index (Reg# 1919, 033167) Elisabeth May Kennedy married Lester Hugh James McKerracher in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 18th of June 1919.  As we are just out of reach of available birth records because of the 100-year-old rule, I couldn't find Hugh James McKerracher's birth online at the Manitoba Vital Records site.  Nor are there any censuses available that cover this time period in Canada.

So is this the correct Hugh James McKerracher?  Did this young boy die as a young man on the battlefield in France in 1944?  It is a possibility, but with all of this name confusion we can't be sure.   I also don't know what May's connection might have been with Vancouver.  It sounds as if she may have lived there at one time.   We're open to theories, folks.  Let me know if you have a lead, clue or hunch that we might follow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Preserving a Daguerreotype/Ambrotype On a Cabinet Card, Circa 1860s



It's great that someone decided to copy this daguerrotype (or ambrotype) image to preserve it in cabinet card format.  It's hard to say which of the two formats this was originally.  If we had the original photograph we could quickly discern if was a daguerrotype by moving it around a bit to see if there was a mirror effect when doing so.  Dags and ambros were generally one-offs, so by copying the original, the image could now be shared with other family members and friends.  It's too bad someone didn't think to name the pair for posterity while they were at it.

Unfortunately, there are no hints to the identity the subjects of the photo, or the photographer who copied it. We can date the original photo, or at least the case that it was kept in, to the early 1860s.  The cased photograph has a  rather ornate metal mat, with a preserver holding the parts together.  Preservers weren't used before 1847, and since it's also quite detailed, it probably dates to after 1859 when ornate preservers came into use.  I found the same metal mat with its flowers and swirly leaves on several civil war-era ambrotypes (1862).    I think this dating fits with the clothing style of our subjects. 

I find the portrait to be quite charming.  I wonder if the fellow might have been off to war shortly after this image was taken.  There seems to be a connection between the melancholy girl and the boy with the reserved smile.  Brother & sister?

Monday, September 3, 2012

To Great Grandmother Avery, from Elizabeth Rountree, Jasper County, Missouri, 1911




"With Love from
Elizabeth Rountree
Dec 12 - 1911 -- age 7 1/2 mo.
To her Great Grandmother Avery."

Little Elizabeth Rountree's parents were James C. Rountree (b. 1880, Missouri) and Vera Marr (b. 1885, Missouri)1.  The family lived in Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri and Elizabeth's siblings were James (b. 1908), Malcolm (b. 1918), John (b. 1921), and Howard (b. 1924)2.

Her parents James C. Rountree and Vera S. Marr were married in Joplin, Missouri on the 11th of April 19063.  I found several trees on Ancestry that shows Lillian Mae Avery, who married Nicholas Marr, as being Vera Marr Rountree's mother.  While I haven't confirmed this by finding a birth record, indications are good that the we have the correct Elizabeth Rountree and have discovered who "Great Grandmother Avery" is.

According to the October 1st, 2008 issue of The Joplin Globe, "Elizabeth 'Betty' Rountree Smith, a homemaker, passed away Sunday, September 21, 2008."  She was the widow of Edgar Smith, and mother to the late Susan Ditty Von Till.



1 "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8HW-PYQ : accessed 29 Aug 2012), Elizabeth Rountree in household of James C Rountree, , Jasper, Missouri; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 5B, family 126, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820922.
2 "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XHFV-RY7 : accessed 29 Aug 2012), Betty Rountree in household of James C Rountree, Webb City, Jasper, Missouri; citing enumeration district (ED) 0028, sheet 9A, family 242, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1205.
3 Missouri. Jasper County. Missouri Marriage Records, 1906. digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search/:accessed 29 August 2012), entry for James C. Rountree and Vera S. Mann, 11 April 1906; citing Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.