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


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: A Striking Plaid Dress, A. Peck Studio, Newburgh, New York, Circa 1864-1866



Since there is no identification as to the subject anywhere on this carte de visite photograph, sadly, we are unlikely to be able to identify her.  The photograph was taken at the A. Peck studio at 117 Water Street, in Newburgh, NY between June of 1864 and August 1866.  The date can be narrowed down because a Tax revenue stamp of 2 cents, which was a tax enacted in June of 1862 by the US Federal Government to help with the cost of the Civil War, is affixed to the back of the photo.

Plaid dresses were popular during this time period, and this one is quite bold with its thick, white horizontal stripes.  This young woman's black scarf/tie is fixed with a brooch and it matches the belt on her dress.  I love the piping that runs along her dropped shoulder seam.  Her gloves and hat sit, waiting, on the arm of the chair.   How old do you think she is?


Monday, October 29, 2012

A Name Passed Down: Alcy J. Miner, Sylvania, Ohio, Early 1880s



For the longest time, I thought that  Miss Miner had signed her name "Aley Miner."  Eventually, through my research, I realized that her first name is actually "Alcy" and that Alcy was a given name that appears throughout her family tree, right up to contemporary times.  The transcriber of the 1870 census on both Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org, also thought that she was an Aley.  The later censuses, however, list her as Alcy. 

Alcy was born in Ohio around 1863, the daughter of Hiram and Mary Jane Miner1.  She had a sister named Irene, who was born 1866.  Her father, Hiram, was a Farmer, originally from New York and her mother, Mary McIntyre, was born in Michigan.

According to Gayleen Gindy's book, Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio: From Footpaths to Expressways and Beyond, Alcy's father Hiram was the son of Dr. Amos Miner (1788-1854) and Alcy Case Miner (?-1852). Amos Minor was one of the earliest doctors to practice medicine in Lucas County. Gindy writes, "Alcy J Miner had married Homer D. Hyde and they lived on this Corey Road property in Sylvania Township for many years.  They had a daughter and named her Alcy. O. Hyde."

I had a look at the Toledo City Directories and learned that the photographer of this image, E. H. Alley of Toledo, Ohio, operated his photographic studio at 324 Superior from roughly 1869 to 1887, but worked from other addresses both prior to, and after his time at 324 Superior. 

I believe this photograph can be dated to the early 1880s.  The knife-pleated cuffs, with the sleeves that are set high along the shoulder line, and her lovely lace scarf seem to me to be of that time period.  I wish I could see more of her skirt to get a better sense of her entire outfit.

Alcy J. Miner Hyde died in Lucas County, Ohio on the 21st of April 1923 at the age of 60 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo2




1 "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M6LM-P3C : accessed 27 Oct 2012), Aley J Miner in household of Hiram Miner, Ohio, United States; citing p. 29, family 249, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 552735.
2 "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8RY-VK3 : accessed 27 Oct 2012), Alcy J Hyde, 1923; citing reference fn 27833, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Estelle (Etty) Harrington, San Francisco, CA, ca 1870



This is one of three cartes de visite from my collection relating to members of the Harrington family of San Francisco.  This one is identified on the back as "Etty Harrington."  I also have a second portrait cdv of "Etty" taken a couple of years later, in which she is identified as "Estelle Harrington," and a cdv of "Webber Harrington, 2 years old, Aug 25, 1874."

This image was taken at the studio of Wilbur Bayley and Robert Winter.  Their business was located at 618, and 620 Washington Street in San Francisco, next to Maguire's Opera House.  According to Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, by Peter Palmquist and Thomas Kailborn, the partnership of Bayley and Winter lasted for only three years at this location, between 1869 and 1871.

Estelle, born about 1859 in California, was the daughter of Benjamin Webber Harrington and Sarah C.Harrington.  Estelle (or Etty) had two brothers, Frances B., born about 1842 in Massachusetts, and Frederick, born a year after Frances, also in Massachusetts.  Estelle's sister, Sarah M. was born in 18481.

Estelle's father worked as a stone cutter/mason.  In my hunt for information this family I happened upon the book Alcatraz Unchained by Jerry Lewis Champion, Jr. which is an in-depth history into Alcatraz Island.  According to Champion's research, Benjamin Webber Harrington moved his family from Massachusetts to the west coast during the time of the California Gold Rush, working as a stone mason at Fort Point and later, on the fortifications located on Alcatraz Island.  Later, his son Frederick worked as a lighthouse keeper  on the California coast, but mostly at the Trinidad Lighthouse, near the California/Oregon border.

In 1880, Estella seems to be going by the name Anita E. Harrington, and is working as an embroidress2.  Her father, Benjamin is described as "paralyzed," in the census records.  He was 61 years old.  I wonder if he was a victim of an industrial accident.  Estelle (Anita)  Harrington's maternal grandmother, Sophia Pratt, age 78,  born Canada, is also living with the family in 1880 and is listed as paralyzed. 

I don't know what became of Estelle/Anita after this.  She doesn't seem to appear in the censuses, which might mean she married and appears under a different surname.  I suspect there may be a lot of available material out there on this family, if one has the time to look for it.  If you know what happens to our subject after 1880, I'd love to hear from you. 



1 1860 U.S. census, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, population schedule, p. 410, dwelling 100, family 93, Estill Harrington, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 October 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication M653, microfilm 803067.
2 "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M6PX-R35 : accessed 7 Oct 2012), Anita E. Harrington in household of Benjamin W. Harrington, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States; citing sheet 342B, family 2, NARA microfilm publication T9-0079.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

From the Choate Studio, Carlisle, PA circa 1880-90s



It's a shame that this young boy's name isn't recorded anywhere on this photograph.  I thought I might be able to find another copy of this particular image on one of the sites specializing in images from "The United States Indian School" at Carlisle, PA, but unfortunately I couldn't locate one.

John Nicholas Choate was the official photographer for the school, which operated from 1879 to 1918 in Carlisle.  I don't know if this young boy was a student there or just happened to have his picture taken by Choate.  There's a good deal of information available on Choate and the school so I won't delve into its history, but I will encourage you to visit Visualizing a Mission: Artifacts and Imagery of the Carlisle Indian School, 1879-1918, a very informative, and compelling collection from Dickinson College.

If you know anything about this child's identity, please post your comments below.  


Monday, October 22, 2012

Have You Heard of Louis Kostello from St. Cloud, Minnesota, Circa 1897-1898?



This 1890s cabinet card photograph is labelled on the back, "Louis Kostello, St. Cloud, Minn."  This is a real puzzler.  I haven't been able to find anyone by that name in Minnesota, or in a general census search.  No Kostellos in that area.  There are a number of Costellos in Stearns County, Minnesota; no Louises, or Lewises, though.

The Directory of Minnesota Photographers website says Guy Alvord was in operation in St. Cloud from 1897 to 1898.

So who was Louis?  Did he change his name?  Leave the area?  Leave the US?  Meet an untimely death?
The fact that I can't find any trace of him, and no possible matches makes me think I'm missing something fundamental.  But what?


Friday, October 19, 2012

Bessie Tait, Oxford, Amherst, Nova Scotia, Circa 1891-1893



This is another photograph from the Mary Harrison Photo Album (see:  Harrison in the sidebar labels) that I've mentioned in previous posts.  This one was labelled, "Bessie Tait, Oxford."  Further into the album there is a strikingly similar image of a woman in the same dress.  It's labelled, "Mary Tait."  At first I thought they were the same person, but there are slight variations in features.  As well, Mary seems to be a few years older.  But they could almost pass as twins! 

Bessie Viola Tait was born on the 24th of January 1873 in Oxford, Cumberland Co., Nova Scotia, to Dixon Tait and Bertha Gilroy Tait1.  Bessie's sister, Mary, was three years older2.

On November 21st, 1894 Bessie married James S. Van Buskirk3.  James was a shoemaker and the family lived in Oxford until at least 19114.

I believe this image of Bessie was taken in the early 1890s, and probably before 1894.  The standing puff sleeves and high collar on her dress were popular at that time. Bessie passed away of heart problems at the age of 77 years in Oxford on the 19th of February 19505.



1 "Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F247-RFX : accessed 10 Oct 2012), Bessie Viola Tait, 24 Jan 1873; citing reference item 1 p 186, FHL microfilm 1298667.
2 "Canada Census, 1881," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MVXQ-FCF : accessed 10 Oct 2012), Bessie Tait in household of Dixon Tait, River Philip, Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3 "Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F2L3-CYV : accessed 10 Oct 2012), James S. Vanbuskirk and Bessie V. Tait, 21 Nov 1894; citing reference P128 CN181, FHL microfilm 1298866.
4 1911 census of Canada, Oxford, Cumberland, Nova Scotia, population schedule, district #42, enumeration district (ED) 17, subdistrict # 17, p.1 (penned), dwelling 1, family 1, J. Sydney Van Buskirk family, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed Oct 10, 2012), citing microfilm LAC microfilm T-20326 to T-20460.
5 Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics, digital image, (https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/ItemView.aspx?ImageFile=1950-1865&Event=death&ID=341870; accessed 10 Oct 2012), Deaths, Bessie Viola Van Buskirk, Year: 1950 - Book: 1950 - Page: 1865.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Searching for Women By Their Husband's Names: Mrs Dan McAuley and Mrs Fred Allen



I've encountered a spate of difficult photos of late.  Here's another for anyone who loves a challenge.  The reverse of this postcard photograph, found in a Nanaimo, BC antique shop, reads:


The challenge here is that the two married women are identified by their husband's names.  The youngest daughter Annie is, presumably, Annie Mcauley.  So I started my search looking for a Dan Mcauley who had a daughter, Annie.  I found one exact match after an Ancestry search, a Dan Mcauley in the 1891 Scotland Census living in Barrhead, Barrhead and Levern, Renfrewshire with a daughter Annie.   I found another possibility on Ancestry.com and a few others that might fit. 

My next thought was to try and find a Fred Allan who married a Mcauley.   I didn't find anything on Ancestry.  I headed over to Familysearch.org.  Nothing.

The house in the image looks like a first homestead of the type you would find on the prairies.  It was taken after 1907.  While the image was found in British Columbia, that doesn't necessarily mean it was taken in Canada.  It could very well have been, but my experience is that the photos I find are pretty well evenly split between Canadian and American images.

Another image to remain a mystery?

UPDATE November 21, 2012:  This once-a-mystery postcard is on its way to Alberta to be reunited with a descendant of Mrs. Dan McCauley, who has been identified in the comments section as Mary Norn McCauley.  The two other women are Mary McCauley Allen and Annie McCauley.   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thrashing on the Clucas Place, Circa 1907-1918




I found this image about 20 years ago at an antique store in Alberta.  It's a real picture postcard, and has the four triangle AZO stamp on a divided correspondence back, which indicates it dates anywhere from 1907-1918.  There's a notation on the reverse which I've been trying to use to identify this threshing crew and where photograph might have been taken, but frankly have come up empty.  It reads:

"Thrashing on the Clucas place some years ago.  Jo Buhn [or Budn or Burn] at the left at the seperator and Samuel Clucas 3rd."


There are a number of Samuel Clucases in the US censuses.   I couldn't find any in Canada.

Perhaps there are clues in the machinery or landscape.  Any ideas?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Funny Hat Friday: Lucie Bailey, and Her Family in Postcards, London, England,1912


Aunt Lucie Bailey


This real postcard photograph from 1912 was one of three related postcards I recently found at a local antique shop.  Don't you just love her hat?  Someone has identified this woman as "Aunt Lucie, Wm Bailey's sister."  Here is the correspondence side of the postcard:


As you can see, the postcard was mailed to Miss Rose Bailey of 57 Vicarage Road, Willesden, London NW in July 1912.  The other two postcards that were found with this one were sent by Rose Bailey.  On one of those postcards someone has identified the subjects of second postcard as "Wm & Rose Carol Krup Bailey, 1912."

Wm & Rose Bailey

The two other postcards were addressed to:

1)  Mr. H. Egerton
121 Erskine Hill
Hampstead Grd Suburb
Golders Green
London NW

2)  Mrs. Egerton
18 Cromwell Terrace
West Hill Park
Halifax, Yorkshire

Mrs. Egerton appears to be Rose's sister.  Here is the back of the postcard:


I tried to tie these Baileys all together but frankly, haven't found anything fruitful by running through searches on Ancestry or Familysearch with the various names and places.   I haven't much experience with British research in general, and I don't have a subscription to any of the UK genealogy sites.  Are there any seasoned UK researchers out there willing to give this a go?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rachel Mecklem Ridenour Etz, 1848-1875, Richland County, Ohio




This carte de visite of "Rachel Mecklem" was found in an Airdrie, Alberta antique mall along with other cdvs belonging to the same family.  While Rachel's photograph has been trimmed and the photographer's name cut off, I can still make out that the photo was taken in Mansfield, Ohio.   Other dating clues on the card itself indicate an 1860s time frame:  square corners on a white mount with a simple double lined border, thin card stock, and blank background. 

Rachel's full dress is immediately recognizable as from 1860s.  The dropped sleevelines hint at a 1865-1868 timeframe. Her hairstyle, parted in the center and pulled back tightly over her ears, may indicate the latter half of the decade.  I also noticed that Rachel is wearing a wedding band.  If we can discover when she married, we can perhaps narrow down the date of the photograph even further.

It's a help when you locate a grouping of family photos because the other photographs may help confirm family relationships and verify that you are on the right track.  This photograph was found with other cdvs of James Mecklem, Ollie Etz,  and Cloyd Mecklem.  Cloyd and Ollie's photographs were taken in Mansfield, Ohio, and appear to date later than Rachel's, probably to the mid to late 1870s.

I searched for Ollie Etz on Ancestry and immediately found in the Ohio Births & Christening Index, 1800-1962, Oria Olive Etz, born the 2nd of June 1874 in Washington, Richland County, Ohio.  Her parents were Christian Etz and Rachel Mecklem. 

On Familysearch.org I found that Rachel was married twice:  the first time to William C. Ridenour on the 18th of October 1866 in Richland County, Ohio, and the second, to Christian Etz on Februray 12, 1874 in Richland.  Her first husband, a civil war veteran with the 163rd Ohio Infantry, died in 1869 at the age of 26.




In the 1860 census, Rachel is living in North Sewickley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania with her parents Samuel and Mary Mecklem.  She is one of six children.  A word of caution here:  there is another Rachel Mecklem(m) living in Beaver Co., PA in 1860, born in 1845.  Her parents were Canadian-born and have Ohio connections as well.  The reason I settled on Rachel in North Sewickley is because the her birth date matches exactly with the other records connected with Christian Etz, Wm. Ridenour and Ollie Etz.  Secondly, I discovered that Cloyd (b. 1872) was the grandson of Samuel and Mary Mecklem and James Mecklem, featured in one of the other cdvs I purchased, is Rachel's brother.

Rachel and her first husband, had one child, William Mecklem Ridenour, born 31 May 1870 (source: Ohio Births & Christening Index, 1800-1962).  William would never have known his father since William, Sr. died before his birth.  In 1870, Rachel and son are living in Washington, Ohio.  I believe the census-taker made an error recording Rachel's birth date.  Rachel died on December 26th, 1875 in Jefferson, Ohio.

In 1880, William, Jr. is living with his grandfather, Asenath Ridenour, in Washington, Ohio.
William went on to become a doctor in Mansfield, and the Richland County Genweb site has posted a photograph of him.

The clues present in the photograph and the information found in the records, make me believe that this portrait was taken around 1866-1869, perhaps not long after Rachel's first marriage.

UPDATE Oct 11, 2012:  This photo, along with the images of Ollie Etz, James & Cloyd Mecklem, and Norman Wolfe have been reunited with a descendant in Ohio.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Max Heckman, Broadway, New York, NY, 1897



We know this portrait was photographed at the Dana Studio on the S.W. Corner of Broadway and 28th Street in the Big Apple because of the photographers stamp on the back of the image.  Dana apparently photographed many actors in his day and I wonder if this distinguished gentleman might be in some way linked to the theatre business.

There is an inscription on the back.  I believe it reads, "Max Heber Heckman," but I'm not totally convinced of that.  There are quite a number of Max Heckmans in New York.   But, with New York being New York, there is absolutely no certainty that Mr. Heckman was even from New York.  This image is dated 1897.

Here is the inscription.  Do you read it differently? 


Friday, October 5, 2012

Funeral Card Friday: Nelson Hilborn (1842-1922), Thedford, Ontario



DIED
In Thedford, on Thursday, Jan.
26th, 1922
NELSON HILBORN
Aged 79 years and
6 months

THE FUNERAL

The funeral services will be held in the
Methodist Church on Sunday, Jan.
29th, at 1:30 o'clock p.m.

Interment at Pinehill cemetery.

Friends and acquaintances will please accept 
this intimation


Nelson Hilborn was born on the28th of July 1842 in Preston, Ontario, son of John C. Hilborn, and Sarah Anglemere1.  I was lucky enough to find a biography of Nelson Hilborn in "A Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Lambton, Ontario" by J.H. Beers online, which tells about Nelson's arrival to the area and more about his family.  It confirms he was born the 28th of July 1842 in Waterloo County, Ontario and arrived to Bosanquet, Lambton County as a young boy with his parents.  He was one of nine children born to John and Sarah Hilborn.  He married Margaret L. Mitchell of New Brunswick on the 17th of September 1868.  They had three children:  Franklin, who died young; Sarah Esther and John Nelson2

The Beers book also provided a nice image of Mr. Nelson Hillborn:




1 "Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J6PH-F72 : accessed 21 Sept 2012), Nelson Hilborn, 1922.
2 Beers, J. H. Commemorative biographical record of the county of Lambton, Ontario: containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and many of the early settled families. 1906. Pages 632-634. (http://archive.org/details/recordlambton00beeruoft: accessed September 20, 2012)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Helen Marguerite Flash [Correction: FLATH] at Six Months, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1890s




This little darling is Miss Helen Marguerite Flash [Correction:  Flath].  She was found in the McLeod Family Album that I picked up at a Nanaimo antique shop.  This photo was one of two album images where the subject had been identified.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out anything about Helen.  I know the picture was taken at Dempsie Portraits on 316 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, probably around the late 1880s to the mid 1890s.   According to the Minnesota Historical Society's Directory of Minnesota Photographers, George M. Dempsie worked at this location from 1889 to 1910.

I thought I might be misreading the name:


But the surname still looks like Flash to me. [It has been determined that Helen's surname is FLATH]

What are your hunches?