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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sarah Emily Atkinson Jowett Gower-Rees and Her Children, 1918

This lovely family portrait was taken by Walter Scott, Photographer, 26 - 30A, North Parade, Bradford, England and found here on Vancouver Island.  We are lucky that someone took the time to clearly identify the individuals in the portrait, making our search so much easier.  The writing on the reverse of the photograph reads:

"Wife of Albert Phillip Gower-Rees (father of the three)
Sarah Emily Gower - Rees, Nee Atkinson Jowett
with her three daughters
Joan on her right
Gwen at her left
Mary on her knee,
Circa 1918"

Albert P. Gower-Rees, an Anglican clergyman and his family, as described above, arrived in Montreal, Quebec in October of 1927 1.    Albert was heading to St. George's Rectory in Montreal, where he'd work for many years.  In the 1940's A.P. Gower-Rees was Archdeacon of the church.  The family resided at 1110 Windsor Street, Montreal2.  I found a newspaper article on page 8 in the Montreal Gazette, October 31, 1927 that provides a wealth of information on the clergyman and his wife, Sarah:

In 1952 A.P. Gower-Rees wrote a history called, Historical Sketch of St. George's Church, Montreal: And Its Constitution.  A.P. Gower-Rees also gave a number of speeches, including, "Has The British Empire Completed Its Task?" to the Empire Club of Canada, and the text of that 1947 speech can be found on their website.  Archdeacon Gower-Rees passed away in 1956, according to this report in a Newfoundland newspaper:

The Daily News, September 1956

According to the obituary I found in the Montreal Gazette in their January 2, 1981 edition, Gwen Gower-Rees passed away at her home in Montreal on December 29, 1980.  She was survived by her sister Joan, a resident of Sussex, England, and her other sister, Mary, who lived in Montreal.  Gwen's funeral was held at St. George's.

I also located an obituary for Mary Gower-Rees, who died in 2011 in Saanichton, BC.  It is possible that the image I found belonged to Mary, or perhaps one of her family members since it was discovered close-by at a Victoria, BC antique shop.  I haven't been able to track down an obituary for Sarah Emily Gower-Rees yet.

Update, August 29, 2012:  A distant step-relative of the Sarah Emily Atkinson Jowett provided a wonderful history of her family over on the Rootschat forum, in response to the post I placed there about this photo.  You can find it here

1 "Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed July 2, 2012), Sarah Gower-Rees entry, 29 Oct 1927, Ship: Montclare; citing LAC microfilm T-479 to T-520, T-4689 to T-4874, T-14700 to T-14939, C-4511 to C-4542.
2 "Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed July 2, 2012), Sarah Gower-Rees entry, 12 Sep 1931, Ship: Antonia; citing LAC microfilm T-479 to T-520, T-4689 to T-4874, T-14700 to T-14939, C-4511 to C-4542.


  1. Beautiful "halo" effect on the photo.. so precious.

  2. What a lovely photograph to introduce your story, made all the more interesting by the supportive press cuttings.

  3. Thanks, Susan & Iggy for commenting. I could have kept researching this family...there's so many directions one could go. I hope there is someone researching the Gower-Rees family, although I don't know how many descendants came from this line. It looks as if two of the sisters never married. I don't know about Joan, who lived in Sussex.

  4. Hello and thank you for the information on Sarah Emily Atkinson-Jowett. I was researching two photo albums that I found several years ago and your post was very helpful, in particular the link to the information provided by KennyJ.

    I've just published an article on her step-brother James Atkinson-Jowett:


    I plan to post two other articles on the Gower-Rees family within the next month.

    I'm also going to post a reply in the RootsChat forum. Thanks again!