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 at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Friday, September 25, 2020

Cabinet Card of Alice Collier Wayt, Dearborn County, Indiana --1890s

This image of Alice Collier was taken at the studio of Charles Keifer and Henry Kirsch in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Keifer & Kirsch were in the photograph business during the 1890s, and may have been in operation during the last years of the 1880s. Alice is wearing her hair in 1890s style: an up-do without bangs, adorned with a decorative hair barrette. Another noticeable fashion feature is the bar pin she is wearing at the collar. The collar itself is high, with a band of white peeking out. This is very much the style of the early 1890s. I can't get a really good look at her sleeves, but I think they are set fairly straight at the shoulder, and don't appear to have any puffiness to them. This would also point to a date earlier in the decade. The "brooch" Alice is wearing might actually be a watch on a chain.

Alice Collier was the eldest daughter of George Collier and Mary Louisa Walser of Manchester, Dearborn County, Indiana. Her birthdate is conveniently provided on the photograph: 6 Jun 1866. The Colliers were a farming family with at least nine children: Amaziah, Lane, Americus, Sarah, William, Maud, Charles, Emma and our subject, Alice.1,2,3

Alice married Thomas Wayt, a machinist, in Laurenceburg in 1896 and the family resided in Indianapolis.4 This was Thomas' second marriage. I believe he married Dora B. Davison in Indianapolis in 1888 and they had at least one child, Beulah6. Dora died in 1893.7 Alice and Thomas' daughter, Etta Marie, was born 16 Dec 1897. The Wayt family appears to have been of the Quaker faith. A record of John Thomas Wayt's death on 19 Jun 1905, at the age of 45 years, 6 months, is found in the Quaker Meeting Records.5 Alice and Etta Marie's names are dropped from the Quaker register in 1909.

So what happened to Alice after 1909? I've had a little time to try to locate her, but I haven't found her yet. She's proving to be elusive. I suspect she may have remarried. If you know Alice's story, I'd love to hear from you.

1 "United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXXC-SZT : 19 March 2020), Alice Collier in entry for George Collier, 1870.
2 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHML-PBB : 24 August 2017), Alice Collier in household of George Collier, Manchester, Dearborn, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district ED 50, sheet 235A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,272.
3 "Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXYF-1Q9 : 8 December 2017), Thomas Wayt and Alice Collier, 05 Mar 1896; citing Dearborn, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004476713.
4 "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9M3-43B : accessed 28 June 2020), Alice Wayt in household of Thomas Wayt, Center Township, Precinct 4 Indianapolis city Ward 1, Marion, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 22, sheet 12A, family 241, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,387.
5 U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line] citing Earlham College; Richmond, Indiana; Record Book of Indianapolis Monthly Meeting; Collection: Indiana Yearly Meeting Minutes, Removals, page 160, entries for John Thomas Wayt, Alice A. Wayt, and Etta Marie Wayt.
6 Ancestry.com. Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999 [database on-line]. The Indianapolis News; Publication Date: 19/ Jan/ 1888; Publication Place: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Page 3, “Married: Wayt-Davison.”
7 Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 24 September 2020), memorial page for Dora Wayt (unknown–1893), Find a Grave Memorial no. 46043025, citing Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by John C. Anderson (contributor 47208015) .

Friday, June 5, 2020

Pencil Scrawls on the Wedding Portrait of William and Anna Stott, 1899

I don't know if the appliqued design on the bride's dress is meant to represent clover or flowers, but it's an eye-catching feature nonetheless.

This photograph was found in a Calgary antique store years ago, and I've only recently had a chance to analyze the pencil scrawls on the back of the image. Here's what it looks like on the reverse:

Actually, what you are looking at is much clearer than the real photograph back. I've enhanced the print by increasing the contrast so the writing is darker and clearer. Believe me, it's faint. I spent too much time squinting on this one, when I could have just scanned it and sharpened the image.

The top portion, written horizontally across the back, shows instructions for a  photo enlargement, perhaps written much later than the date of the photograph. The name and numbers written vertically are more important for our purposes:

William H. Stott
671 - 11 am.

At least that's what I thought it read. However, later I re-interpreted the lower line to read:

671 - 11 Av.

E.K. Barker, the photographer, worked out of a studio at 468 11th Ave, Milwaukee. The studio was located a few short blocks from the address of William H. Stott. But I'm jumping ahead.

Originally, I thought the number on the back of photograph read 11 am, possibly indicating a time the photos would be picked up and the 671 a studio index number of some sort. I turned to the 1890s Milwaukee city directories. Earlier, I found E.K. Barker in a directory of Wisconsin photographers and learned he operated his Milwaukee studio from 1896 to 1906. That date range fit with the date I had in mind, based on the wedding dress and style of cabinet card. I felt the photo dated to the last half of the 1890s.

In the 1899 Milwaukee city directory, William H. Stott lived at 272 Austin. In the 1900 directory, his residence is 671-11 Av. It is important to remember there is a delay from the time the address information is recorded to its publication in the city directory. Stott remains at the 11th Avenue address until approximately 1910 when he moves to 566 Delaware.

William Stott, son of Thomas Stott and Martha Wade, was a street railway conductor and in 1933 is recorded as working for the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company. He may have worked for TMER&LCo his entire career, but more research would have to be done to confirm this. The 1933 directory is the first year his employer is mentioned.

William H. Stott (born Feb 1876) and Anna Klug (born Jan 1876), daughter of Carl Klug and Henrietta Stringraeber, were married on the 16th of August 1899 in Milwaukee.


1900 U.S. census, Milwaukee Ward 11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 0097, sheet 8 (penned),  dwelling 106, family 137, William Stott household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 15 May 2020); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623. 

“Milwaukee, Wisconsin Marriages, 1838-1911,” database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 9 May 2020), entry for  William Stott and Anna Klug, 16 Aug 1899, certificate # 2066 and licence #796, citing  Milwaukee Public Library. Milwaukee Vital Records. Call Number: 929.3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

"U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995", indexed database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2020), William H. Stott entries; citing "Milwaukee, Wisconsin City Directory, 1899-1933.    

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNHW-36B : 15 May 2020), William Stott in household of Thomas Stott, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States; citing enumeration district ED 139, sheet 352A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,438.

"Wisconsin Photographers Index, 1840-1976," Wisconsin Historical Society (http://www.wisconsinhistory.org)

Monday, May 18, 2020

Yours Truly, C. Branshaw, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 1860s

C. Branshaw

This carte de visite portrait was taken at the O. E. Wilkins studio in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in the 1860s. It is signed on the reverse, "Yours truly C. Branshaw." Mr. Branshaw is wearing a long overcoat and stands with feet crossed, leaning into the balustrade. You can see the iron base of the photographer's head clamp clearly in the photograph, just behind Mr. Branshaw's support leg. Head clamps were used in early photographs to ensure the subject did not change position or sway during the exposure time, which in some cases could take over a minute. Note that the photographer includes his name on the base of the railing to ensure there is no question who created the photograph.

Reverse of Cdv

O. E. (Orsell E.) Wilkins was a shinglemaker in the late 1850s. Around 1860, while in his early twenties, he started work as a Daguerreian artist.

I believe C. Branshaw might be Cornelius Branshaw, born in Quebec and baptized "Eugène Branchaud" in 1824, son of Albert Branchaud and Genevieve Loizel. The Branchaud family immigrated to the US when Eugene was only six months old, and settled in Vermont. I don't know at what point the surname switched to Branshaw. I have spent a little time trying to find Albert Branchaud in Vermont records, but didn't come up with anything more than his grave and death information. The surname appears in those (transcribed) records as "Bransho." Perhaps it was Eugene who anglicized his name to Cornelius Branshaw. Eugene apprenticed as a blacksmith in Troy, NY then headed west, setting up his blacksmith business in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin around 1855. He married Mary Desotell in 1844.

The couple had four children for sure and there may have been a fifth. The couple's first child, Albert, died as an infant and their second child was also named Albert. The 1860 federal census shows three minors living in the household of Cornelius Branshaw: Albert (b. abt 1847, NY), Ellen (b. abt 1849, NY), and Louisa (b. abt 1853). Another son, Edwin (b. abt 1852) shows up in the 1870 census, while Ellen does not. I find it strange that the History of Fond du Lac County doesn't mention Ellen in Cornelius' biography, especially considering the mention of his deceased son. I suspect there might have been a mix-up with the 1860 census and the recording of names and genders.

Cornelius Branshaw died in 1891 and is buried in Saint Charles Cemetery, Fond du Lac.


"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWMB-MYL : 18 March 2020), C Branshaw, 1860. 

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWMY-YP1 : 18 March 2020), Orsell Wilkins, 1860.

"United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN9D-5Y9 : 18 March 2020), C Bradshaw, 1870.

1900 U.S. census, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 0025, p. 3 (stamped),  dwelling 36, family 36, Mary Branshaw household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 10 May 2020); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 1854.

"U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995", indexed database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2020), page 46, C. Branshaw entry; citing "Hollands´ Fond Du Lac City Directory for 1872-73 (Boston, Ill.:n.p., 1968)."

Raether, Scott W. Wisconsin Family Albums & Photographers' Imprints and Biographies 1800s to early 1900s. Xlibris Corporation, 2013, p.432

Wisconsin Western Historical Co. The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. 1880. Page 785, Entry for Cornelius Branshaw.

 "Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XFNV-22H : 14 April 2020), Albert Bransho, 1847.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 May 2020), memorial page for Cornelius Bransahw (26 Feb 1824-20 Sep 1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67258171, citing Saint Charles Cemetery, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (Steve Seim).

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Bride Arrived in Time (And Was Exquisitely Dressed): Alice Annandale Mence, 1870-1951

Alice Mary Annandale, Circa 1890

Genealogists and family historians understand the value of labelling family photographs. How many of us have inherited photograph albums containing unidentified portraits? It's a shame when this happens because the identity of those unnamed individuals may never be learned. Fortunately, this photograph has been labelled on the reverse with both the maiden name and the married name of the woman in the photograph, along with the recipient's name. Unfortunately, the faint pencil inscription on the reverse was written quickly, without much care, and so it took some time to decipher, but after much squinting and some magnification I am confident it reads:

"Alice Mence, Nee Annandale.
Promised to Edith Town."

The image was captured at the Walter Davey Studio, 10 James Street, Harrogate,  Yorkshire, England.The studio started up around 1886 and continued on for many years, operated by Walter Davey's sons, Walter Jr. and Sydney, in the years following Walter Davey's retirement in 1909. At some point prior to 1893, the studio moved to 26 James Street, Harrogate. I suppose another possibility could be that the numbering system for addresses on that street changed.

Alice Mary Annandale, born 1870 in Lintzford, Tanfield, Durham, was the daughter of William and Jane Annandale. Her father was a paper manufacturer employing roughly 41 people.

According to a notice in the Yorkshire Gazette, Alice Mary Annandale married Capt. Oscar Tooley Mence, 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment on 27 Jan 1894 in York.
The account of the wedding from Berrow's Worcester Journal on the day of the wedding contains the most detailed description I've ever read of a wedding party's attire. Here's an excerpt describing just the bride's outfit:

The bride, who arrived in good time, was attired in a gown composed of ciel amazone cloth, smart basqued bodice with waistcoat of lovely blue and Selby brocade (Victorian design), revers and basque of clothfaced brocade and edged with Russian muquash, full round skirt, finished round foot with deep band of same fur; large picture hat of Lyons velvet with shaded ostrich feathers and carried a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Wait! No detailed description of the bride's flowers? Seems like a oversight. An equally sensuous and lengthy description of the bridesmaid dresses, trousseau and bride's travelling dress follows, as well as an account of the mother of the bride's outfit. There, we learn Alice's mother held a bouquet of "shaded Neapolitan and wood violets." The report concludes by noting "the presents were numerous and costly."

The couple and their daughter, Phyllis Rose Mence, lived in Forthampton, Gloucestershire in 1911. They employed a nanny, a butler, a housemaid, a kitchenmaid, and a cook. I am curious to know what the household looked like in the post-war period, less than a decade down the road. 


"British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPC2-KRXZ : 18 April 2019), Alice Mary Annandale in entry for Oscar Tooley Mence, Captain 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, York, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom; records extracted FamilySearch and images digitized by FindMyPast; citing York, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, 27 Jan 1894, The British Newspaper Archive, Ireland; FHL microfilm .

"England and Wales Census, 1871", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VB83-WLL : 30 September 2019), Alice M Annandale in entry for William M Annandale, 1871. 

1911 England Census [database on-line],  Ancestry.com. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Alice Mary Mence in household of Oscar Tolley Mence, Forthampton, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom; from "1911 England Census," Schedule 51, Piece 15588,  citing Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) Series RG14, 1911. 

Walter Davey & Sons  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28297/page/7599/data.pdf  

"Marriage of Mr. Oscar Mence," Berrow's Worcester Journal (Worcester, England),  27 Jan 1894, p. 4

UK, City and County Directories, 1600s-1900s; database with images, Ancestry.com. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Entry for Walter Davey, 26 James Street, Harrogate; citing 1893 Kelley's Directory, page 1000.