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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

What a Shame Wednesday: The Eli Still Family, 1890?


I really like this photograph. I wish I could do better by it.

The cabinet card is devoid of any studio information, and since no thought to label it with a date, it’s difficult to say when or where it was taken. Cabinet cards were popular from about 1870 to the 1890s. There is a pencil notation on the back of this one, “Eli Still & family.” The capital letters were written with a bit too much flourish for my liking. I can almost read the surname as “Hill,” though I think Still is more likely. The name Eli might be short for Elias or Elijah. I think I’m sunk before I even begin.


So what information can we glean from the image itself? It’s difficult to nail down a time period by the clothing styles. The mother’s sleeves have a bit of a vertical puff to their tops, while the little girl standing in the middle seems to have a fuller sleeve that narrows at the elbow. This would seem to indicate an 1890s time frame, maybe around 1892 before the sleeve sizes got out of hand, or even perhaps after the leg o’ mutton sleeve craze died down later in the decade. I’m intrigued by the woman’s top and the flouncy lapels. I wish I could see her outfit more clearly.

I’m hoping some Dear Reader might be able to offer a new perspective on this informationally-challenged image. I’m looking forward to hearing your creative ideas!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Squash Did Well that Year: The Pritchards, Rathwell, MB ca. 1890s


When I found this photograph of a family posing with their pumpkins and squash, I was optimistic that I could learn more about them, even without a photographer’s imprint or stamp on it. There was a notation, written in pen on the back of the photo, “Uncle Saul & A. [Aunt?] Maggie Pritchard & family near Rathwell, Man.” The antique dealer had also written his best guess for a year on the back, and, of course, a price, and both numbers seemed a wee bit inflated. I had already formed my own ideas about the dating of the photograph, based on the dress styles. The older woman’s garb dates to the early to mid 1890s. The younger woman, standing third from the right, is wearing a slightly more modern style dress, from the mid-to late 1890s with balloon sleeves that drape over a tight sleeve below the elbow. Her hairstyle is also from the period, pulled back with short, curly bangs. The second girl from the left has pulled some of her hair into a top knot, a feature which was popular around 1894-1898. The men’s clothing and accessories are more difficult to date. Styles didn’t change as much for men, but there are a few details that point to the 1890s. A pocket watch & chain was a prized accessory in the 1890s. Vests and felt hats were commonly worn during this time, as well. There is a difference between work clothes and dress-up clothing and this group seems to be wearing their Sunday best. I managed to negotiate a better deal on the photograph and took it home to see what I could discover.

“Saul” Pritchard did appear not in the 1891 Canada Census in Manitoba, at least with that specific given name. I found a Solomon Pritchard, age 51, in the S. Norfolk, Marquette District of Manitoba. In 1891, he and his wife Margaret, age 45, had seven children under their roof. I started to feel justified in my earlier optimism. There were seven young people (and one dog, name unknown) in the photograph. Would the sexes and ages match up as well? From the census we know the children in the family included: Walter, 17; William, 15; George E., 13; Maggie, 11; John, 8; Annie, 6; and Betsy, 3. Since I have dated the image to 1895-1898, it is necessary to add four to seven years to those ages. When we do that, the family in the portrait fits the family in the census rather well.

Solomon applied for a land grant on SE-22-8-9-W1 in Manitoba in 1879 and received the grant in 1889. This land is located a few miles north-west of Rathwell and it was on this property the Pritchard’s built their first home in 1881, “a log shack …[that] had no windows if light was required, a door had to be opened, that or the light given off by the fire in the open fireplace.” Solomon would have been familiar with farm life and its challenges in Canada. His parents, William and Ann Pritchard, settled in Sullivan Township, Grey County, Ontario after emigrating from Wiltshire, England when Solomon was a young boy. In 1851, the Pritchard farm (1st Concession, Lot 22) had 14 acres of cropland--wheat, oats, barley, rye, and peas along with six acres of pasture and 30 acres still uncultivated and wild.

He married Margaret Barron in November of 1872 in Holland Township, Ontario. This was Solomon’s second marriage. His first wife, Jane Walker had died only one year into their marriage, after the death of the couple’s only child, Mary Ann, in 1865. Mother and child were likely buried in The Pritchard Cemetery in Sullivan Township. Solomon and Margaret moved from Owen Sound, Ontario to Manitoba around 1875 and then, to Rathwell in 1879. Their children were among the first pupils to attend Rathwell School when it opened in 1890; Maggie and John in grade one, and George in grade three.

So, is this photograph of that Solomon Pritchard family? I think it likely is, but further research would have to be done to know for sure. Ideally, if other photographs of any of the people exist, it would be wise to compare them to this one to see if there is a match.  If this is our family, the Pritchard’s home was still relatively new, and likely a huge improvement over the first one with its roof “made of wild hay and kept down with a layer of mud.” I believe the photograph dates from the mid-to-late 1890s, but whatever the year, it does look like it had been a good one for pumpkins and squash.



1851 census of Canada, Sullivan, Grey, Canada West, population schedule, Schedule: A; Roll: C_11723; Page: 17; Line: 8, William Pritchard household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 Apr 2020); citing Library and Archives Canada Census of 1851 (Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia).

1851 census of Canada, Sullivan, Grey, Canada West, agriculture schedule, Schedule: B; Roll: C_11723; Page: 23; Line: 38, William Pritchard; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 Apr 2020); citing Library and Archives Canada Census of 1851 (Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia).

Rathwell History Committee. Twixt Hill and Vale: A story of Rathwell and surrounding district, 1970, p. 28, 49, 62, 238, 239, digital images, University of Manitoba (https://digitalcollections.lib.umanitoba.ca): accessed 15 May 2020.

1891 Census of Canada, Norfolk South, Marquette, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 7, subdistrict A, p.6 (penned), family 36, Solomon household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 May 2020); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-6344.

1901 census of Canada, South Norfolk, MacDonald, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 8, subdistrict # 6, p.5 (penned), dwelling 22, family 45, Solomon Pritchard family; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 May 2020); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-6428 through T-6556.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, entry for Solomon Pritchard, citing Homestead Grant Registers. R190-75-1-E. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

"Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2CB-CQSZ : 17 May 2020), Soloman Pritchard and Jane Walker, 06 Sep 1864; citing Grey, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,030,056.

"Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928," online database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca:  accessed 1 May 2020), Solomon Pritchard and Margaret Barron, Holland Twp, Grey, Ontario, 21 Nov 1872, citing original data at Archives of Ontario; citing microfilm MS932, reel 6.

Sullivan Historical Society. A History of Sullivan Township: 1850 to 1975, 1975, v. 1 & 1993, v. 2. Sullivan Historical Society, Desboro, ON.

Pritchard Family Cemetery, Lot 2, Concession 1; digitized by Roberta Clark in 2009 for the Bruce & Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Leon A. Anguish was a Telegrapher, But was He also a Rolling Stone?


Leon A. Anguish, Telegrapher

When I found this photograph of “Mr. Leon Allan Anguish, Telegrapher” at a Victoria, BC antique store, I said to myself, “This one will be easy-peasy.” I thought I would have no problem locating this dapper fellow in the records because of his uncommon surname. Never mind that I did not have a location. The photographer’s imprint with studio name and location had been hacked off the bottom, probably to fit into a frame. I now know I was being somewhat overly optimistic with that off-handed easy comment.

There were a few Leon or L. Anguishes out there. Of course, having a photographer’s location could have narrowed things down. Lucky for me, the top part of photographer’s imprint survived the scissors and I could make out the embossed name, “C.E. Fleming.” The only C.E. Fleming, photographer, I could locate in any of my sources was Clarence Elmer Fleming who operated studios in Wisconsin in the early part of the 20th century. This was promising time-wise because I had already decided Leon Anguish’s clothing dated to the Edwardian era, primarily because of that stiff 2” high-rounded detachable collar. I perused my Eaton’s Catalogues from 1902 to 1920. These types of detachable collars were common throughout this period, but the tall ones, with the same rounded edges, seem to have been most popular from about 1905-1913 or so. The style of photographic card stock also indicated an early-1900s time frame.

C.E. Fleming operated at studio at Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Wisconsin from 1905-06 and at Mondovi in Buffalo County, Wisconsin from 1909-1914. After that C.E.’s son joined him and the company name changes to “C.E. Fleming & Son.” They also open a second studio in Gilmanton, Buffalo County in addition to the Mondovi location. The photographers seem to have closed shop around 1916.

Reverse of photograph

As for Leon Anguish, I could not find evidence he was ever in Wisconsin. I was given an occupational clue on the reverse of the photograph: Telegrapher. There may be a word preceding the occupational notation, but I’ve been unable to read it, even with magnification and an attempt at Photoshop wizardry.  I located an L. Anguish (a telegrapher) in Regina, SK in 1949. A 1957 obituary in the Winnipeg Tribune indicates that a Leon Allan Anguish, husband of Grace Stewart Anguish died in that city, aged 71. Unfortunately, no other family relationships are mentioned in the obit, nor does it provide any further biographical information. I can not tell if the Regina individual is the same individual who died in Winnipeg. Corroborating evidence is hard to come by for this research project.

So far we have several locales of interest: Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We can add Alberta to the mix, too. In 1911, Leon Allan Anguish, of Bassano, Alberta, filed an application for a homestead located at SW15-T26-R14-W4. The application indicates that Leon was born in Ontario.

Leon Allen Anguish was born 18 June 1885 in Rainham, Haldimand County, Ontario. The registration originally recorded his first name as “Levi,” but in 1940, his elder sister Margaret Vida Anguish Sanderson had the record corrected. Leon’s parents are David Anguish and Mary (Jack) Anguish. Leon had several siblings, including James M. (b. abt 1877), the aforementioned Margaret (b. abt 1880), Lance (b. abt 1882), Gordon (b. abt 1895), and L. Willliam (b. about 1898).

So now we also have connections to Ontario. Can we add more locations? Why, yes! There was a Leon Allen Anguish and Grace Amelia Thrasher united in marriage in Hennepin County, Minnesota on 2 Dec 1935. Two of Leon’s brothers born in Rainham emigrated to the US. I didn’t find either in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

What can we conclude from all of this? Well, the only thing I can say is that there is a chance that all of these Leons are the same person. However, it could also be they are distinct individuals, given the variations in name spellings, locations, and lack of repeating details, though I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t some overlap. I was unable to locate Leon in the 1911 or 1921 Canadian Census, the 1916 or 1926 Prairie Provinces Census, or the 1910 or 1920 US Census, which is odd. Perhaps there is an issue with the census transcriptions or recordings of his name. Another explanation might be that he is overseas.

If you have Leon in your tree, I would love to hear from you!








"Ontario Births, 1869-1912," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FMDN-W6J : 2 March 2021), Leon Allen Auguish, 20 May 1885; citing Birth, Rainham Township, Haldimand, Ontario, Canada, citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,845,873.

"Canada Census, 1901," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KH22-M2M : 23 February 2021), Leon Anguish in household of David Anguish, Elgin (west/ouest), Ontario, Canada; citing p. 11, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa.

"Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KFWG-T73 : 13 March 2018), David Anguish in entry for James M Anguish, 25 May 1950; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; FHL microfilm 1,972,936.

Minnesota Official Marriage System, marriage index for Leon Allen Anguish and Grace Amelia Thrasher, 12/02/1935, certificate # 03710065, Hennepin County. https://moms.mn.gov/

Wisconsin Photographers Index https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/pdfs/WHI-Wisconsin-Photographers-Index-1840-1976.pdf

Winnipeg City Directory 1956 http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/921.4.37/386.html

Winnipeg City Directory 1955 http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/921.4.36/328.html

Winnipeg City Directory 1958 http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/921.5.2/351.html; also 1919, 1920, 1938, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1960.

Winnipeg Evening Tribune, Leon Allan Anguish obituary, March 6, 1957, page 27.

Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930, online images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca), entry for Leon Allan Anguish, Application Date 13 Jun 1911, accessed 27 May 2021, citing Alberta Homestead Records. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980 [database on-line], Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca), entry for L. Anguish & Mrs. L. Anguish, 1949, electoral district of Regina, Saskatchewan, accessed 27 May 2021, citing Voters Lists, Federal Elections, 1935–1980. R1003-6-3-E (RG113-B). Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

An Update to the McCandlish Postcard Home -- Leon Conyers House, Victoria, BC, 1907

I've written twice about this postcard on the Family Photo Reunion Blog. I thought it likely this house had some connection to Emma McCandlish who used this postcard for correspondence. It turns out that Emma did not reside here and doesn't have any known connection to the place. Emma was a society lady in Victoria, B.C. and may have picked up the postcard at a local photographer's shop and simply mailed the picture of a lovely Victoria home to her friend, Mrs W. Harlock at 181 Fort Street. 

Jim Wolf, who is familiar with Victoria's old homes and has researched many of them, tells me the architect who designed this house was Samuel McClure. Jim writes,

 "I was intrigued by the posting of the photo under “Revisiting the McCandlish House” I couldn’t immediately place the house and then it clicked! This is the Leon U. Conyers house built in 1900 and still located today at 1419 Fort Street in Victoria (at the corner of Carberry). In the background is Craigdarroch Castle. To answer your question about why McCandlish had this postcard - I think the answer is that local photographers made use of their images by printing numbers of them on Postcard stock for sale in stationery stores. I have seen references to bundles of cards with local scenes being sold. This type of card is valued higher because it was not a mass printed card.” 

As Jim mentioned, the building is still there, now painted a gorgeous English red colour and looks to be in excellent shape. You can search 1419 Fort Street on Google maps to get a street view of the home today.

Many thanks to Jim for solving this mystery!