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 hope you enjoy your visit!
Saturday, March 31, 2012
I found this letter with a handwritten poem by Julia Hughson Simpson (1863-1928) of Seeley's Bay, Ontario. Julia was the daughter of Cornelius and Johanna Hughson of Storrington Township, Frontenac Co., Ontario. The poem was written to be read at Cornelius' funeral in September of 1900. I reunited this poem with a family member over 10 years ago. However, they did not claim this piece of correspondence.
The letter is addressed "my Dear Daughter Effie," and is signed, "Mother." It is dated August 2nd, 1917, Lake Opinicon. At first I thought Effie was Julia's daughter, but I have searched the censuses and various family trees online and could not find a daughter named Effie, or anything similar. I do believe that Effie is in some way related to Cornelius and his daughter, Julia, but I have yet to discover how.
One of Cornelius' daughters, Emily Jane Hughson, married John Linklater and resided in Lake Opinicon. They had a daughter Margaret Johanna Linklater, b. 1887, Lake Opinicon. Again, I haven't been able to make a connection with "Effie."
I turned to the letter for more clues. Effie is apparently living in the city because the mother writes, "I feared this awful heat might make you sick. I am sure it must been terrible in the city for it was terrible here." Effie's father is alive at the time this letter was written. There are names mentioned: "Maggie is still sticking to the berries & the hayfield. Dorothy brought the cow down two nights. John went to meet her one night and she wouldn't let him drive her. She would run in front of him and say, no I am going to take this cow to grandma. So I gave her a piece of cake and .5 cts and she started home as proud as a peacock. I hear Edna has the mumps...."
"K. Darling & the Royal Family were to the city again yesterday quite sporty as K. will soon have the big end of the boodle [?]. James Smith arrived home alright. Mr. Auston is here again staying at H. [hotel?] Dr. has been up here twice he is changed a lot looks sorrow stricken. He is still greaving for Myra. He had his one Mrs. Auston's Miras & Harolds pictures. Myras was so life like & Harold looks fine, is not married yet."
The mother goes on to talk about life on the farm, evenings at the lake and a skunk getting into the chicken coop. She signs off, "...write often, I would like to hear every day if I could. Good-bye Dear one, XXXXXXXXXXX from Mother."
So, what can we glean from this letter? We know the writer of this letter has a daughter named Effie. She was married, lived on a farm or acreage near or on Lake Opinicon in 1917. Lake Opinicon was a small town on the lake with the same name, and is now a ghost town. The letter writer also seems to have had a grand-daughter named Dorothy.
If you can provide more information about the identity of Effie's mother, I would love to hear from you.
Friday, March 30, 2012
This carte de visite was taken at the Apollony Studio, 5, Rue des Places, 5, Châlon-sur-Saône, France and it is dated "6 Octobre 1898." The infant, René Lamarche, is 7 months old in the photo, according to the information written on the back.
I was unable to find a match for Rene on Ancestry.com or Familysearch.org. Nor was I able to find out much about the Apollony Studio with a general internet search. I knew this would be a tough one when I found the photo at an antique store in Victoria, BC.
If you have experience with Genealogical Research in France, I'd enjoy hearing from you about this little bébé.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
When a photograph of siblings is labelled with both birth dates and ages it makes identification so much easier. These two young fellows are "Harley and Walter Dixon." The postcard photograph provides additional details, "Harley was three the eight of Jan. Walter was two the twenty-seventh of May."
These two young boys appear in the 1910 Census in Alma, Harlan County, Nebraska, along with their parents:
James M. Dixon, 32, b. Iowa 1878
Emma Dixon, 26,b. Nebraska 1884
Harley S. Dixon, 2, b. Nebraska 1908
Walter M.Dixon, 11/12, b. Nebraska 1909
The family had solid roots in Alma. In 1920, Harley and Walter have two sisters: Ruth, 7 and Alice, 1. By 1930, Walter is married to Dorthy A. Dixon and has a son named Robert. Harley is living at home with his parents.
The Social Security Death Index shows that Harley died 17 Jan 1990 in Alma. His birth date is shown as January 8, 1908, which helps confirm that we have the correct Harley Dixon. The SSDI tells us that Walter M. Dixon, born 27 May 1909, died two and a half years after Harley on the 10th of September 1992. He, too, appears to have lived his whole life in Alma, Nebraska.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I found this photograph at a local antique store, and even though it isn't identified, I decided to pick it up. The girls are just adorable. We don't have any names, which is why this ended up as a "What a Shame" post. The photographer is provided, "James A. Sims, Home Portraits, Shreveport, La."
James A. Sims appears in the 1930 US Census, and at the time, owned a photographic studio in Shreveport. Ten years earlier, in the 1920 US Census, he is employed as a machinist in a garage. I only found one other picture online, taken by James A. Sims out of his Shreveport studio, and that was photographed in 1927. This photograph was probably taken somewhere around that time as well.
If one had access to a set of Shreveport, Louisiana City Directories the dates could probably be narrowed down a little more.
Monday, March 26, 2012
I'd seen this pocket diary from 1898 at a local antique shop on several visits there. Each time I looked at it, I decided the information was just too sparse to figure out who owned it. The diarist never recorded their own name anywhere in the diary pages, nor did they state outright, where they lived. On my most recent visit to the shop, I had yet another browse through the book. Filled with information about shopping trips and afternoon teas, this book didn't appear to carry any significant genealogical information, but I thought I'd ask the shop owner what he wanted for the diary, since it would take me some time to read through it thoroughly.
The price was right. I took the American Diary home. As I initially thought, it was a day-to-day account of the social life of the writer. Teas, visits, and the day's weather dominated each page. I had just reached the end of the first week of November 1898 when I read a most interesting and surprising entry:
Sunday 6. Weather - Bright. Babys birthday, five oclock. Weight 9 lbs. Our little daughter. Sam, Dr. Cook & Mrs. Hanna were with me & every thing went all right. All fixed up and had some coffee at six oclock. Mrs. Jacobus brought Thelma for me, some lovely flowers from Sam.
Mon. 7. Oh so tired. slept most of the day. Dr. Cook called.
I had no idea the writer of this diary was expecting a baby until I read that entry. On the 30th of November, we learn that Fanny Elizabeth was christened. On the last page of the diary, the writer gives us a significant clue that will help us figure out who she is:
She writes, Fanny Elizabeth Hunter's picture taken January 28th, were sent:
I went to the 1900 US Census. I suspected I was looking for someone living in Chicago because of the various landmarks referred to in the diary. I knew I was looking for Sam Hunter, who had a daughter Fanny Elizabeth Hunter. I also suspected that the writer had Canadian connections because 1) she mentioned Dominion Day in an entry on July 1st. and 2) the diary was found on Vancouver Island, BC.
I found a match in Chicago, IL:
Samuel M. Hunter, b. September 1864, Canada, immigrated 1894, married 1896
Jessie Hunter, b. Nov 1869, Canada, married 1896
Fannie E. Hunter, b. Nov 1898, IL
In the 1910 US census, the family is still living in Chicago's Ward 7. Samuel is now 45, Jessie, 44, Fanny E., 11 and a younger daughter, Isabel K, age 8 appears.
In 1920 the family resides in Ward 6, Chicago. Jessie's age now appears to be two years older than Samuel. In the 1930 US Census, Chicago, Samuel M. and Jessie Hunter's children have moved out of the home.
In Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928, I found Samuel and Jessie's marriage record. Samuel Mancer Hunter, age 32, born Innisfil, Ontario, about 1865, son of David J. Hunter and Elizabeth Mancer Hunter, married Jessie Treleaven Borle, 35, born Toronto, Ontario to John Borle and Fanny Marwood, were married in York County on the 6th of September 1897.
It would have been wonderful to find the portrait of Fanny Elizabeth that Jessie mentions in the diary, but I did not see any infant portraits in that particular antique shop. I'm just happy that the information in the diary was enough to identify Jessie.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Today's assignment, should you accept it, is to discover the identity of this infant. The photo was taken at the Shaw studio at the northeast corner of Eighth and Race, in Cincinnati. We do have a name written on the back. Trouble is, I can't decipher it, or at least I can't find a match in the records with what I *think* the surname is. We also have a date of birth: November 7, 1883.
Maybe you will have better luck. I look forward to your comments!
Friday, March 23, 2012
This proof copy photograph was part of the Mary Harrison Photo Collection I found at a Vancouver Island antique shop. The woman is identified as "Matilda Lois Harrison, 1849-1878, wife of James Alexander Harrison" and the image was taken at the William Notman Studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sometime between 1876 and 1878. I know it was after 1876 because the photographer's imprint on the reverse of the card makes reference to a Gold Medal won in that year.
According to a family tree I found on Ancestry, Matilda married James Harrison in 1875. They had one daughter, Lena May Harrison, born 1876, who died at just over two years of age on Feb 5, 1879. I also have a carte de visite of Lena May Harrison, also taken at the Notman Studio, in the collection.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
This real postcard photograph was taken by Henderson & Co., Day & electric Light Studios in Rochdale, Great Manchester, England. It was a addressed to "Mrs. Robinson & family" in Channel Pool, Armathwaite. From my Internet research, Armathwaite appears to be a charming village, built upon the River Eden in Cumberland, England near Armathwaite Castle.
While we don't have a return address for this card, we know the two individuals above are "Mr. & Mrs. Munro" and the photograph was taken June 30, 1919. This postcard was not sent through the mail, so we do not have a postmark.
More could probably could be found about Mrs. Robinson's family, since the village is quite small and we have an accurate date on the photograph. Ultimately, I don't know if this will help us identify the couple, unless they are direct relatives of Mrs. Robinson. I really wish we had at least one given name to go on. There are a number of Robinsons living in or near Armathwaite around this time period. I'm afraid without more information, there's little hope of finding anything definitive. Does anyone know about the location "Channel Pool?" Perhaps this could narrow it down.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
"Papa Edwin T. Klehm" is written on the back of this cabinet card photo, taken at the Hartley Studio, 309 Madison, in Chicago, Illinois. There were a couple of Edwin Klehms living in the United States at the time this photograph was probably taken (the mid to late 1880s), but only one Edwin Klehm that seemed to match the age of the fellow in the photograph.
I'm fairly confident that "Papa Edwin T. Klehm" is the same Edwin T. Klehm that appears in the 1930 Census, living in Niles, Cook County, IL. Edwin appears to have lived the majority of his life in Niles, where he first appears in the US Federal Census in 1870, living with his parents George C. and Eliza Klehm.
In the 1930 census, his brother George H. is living with Edwin, 63 and his wife, Louise, 64; along with their daughter Pearl, 36; son-in-law Armin Mayer, 36; and grandson Armin Mayer, Jr., 7. At the time, George was the proprietor of a General Store.
I located Edwin & Louise's marriage information in the Cook County IL Marriages. They were wed on the 23rd of February, 1893. Louise's maiden name was Jarmuth. The couple had three children: Pearl, Ruby and Irene (source: 1910 US Federal Census, Niles, Cook, IL).
According to the Illinois Deaths Index, 1916-1947, Edwin T. Klehm was born the 23rd of February, 1867 to George C. Klehm and Eliza Harms. He died March 2nd, 1935 in Evanston, Cook, Illinois and is buried in Niles Center, Cook, Illinois.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This is such a wonderful picture, I hope we can figure out the who and where of it. The reverse gives us some clues:
[Postmarked] -ereford 7:15 pm 25 11 [rest missing]
124 High St.Margate
[to] Mrs. Harvey
Dear S. I hope A and John are better and all the rest well. With
best love to all
In the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941 I found a record forSarah Jane Harvey, wife of George James William Harvey, who died in 1919 and lived at 124 High Street. Could "S" be Sarah Jane. I think the possibility is good.
In the 1901 Census, Sarah and her husband, George, a green grocer, are living in Margate on St. John's Road. Sarah was born about 1877 in Bacton, Herefordshire. They have two children: Violet, b. 1899 and George, 1901.
While I could not find any more information in the records about this family, I did find an Ancestry tree that had Sarah and Geo. in it. According to the information provided there, the Harveys had four other children: Jessie Olive, b. 1902, Florence, b. 1905, Agnes Rose, b. 1907 and John, b. 1910.
All the information contained in the note from "Mother" would fit with what we know of the family. Perhaps John and Agnes had been ill at the time.
So who is featured in the photograph? I would guess "Mother" is probably Sarah's mother, since the letter seems to be mailed from Hereford, but who is the young girl? If a marriage record or some other document could be found that lists Sarah's maiden name, that might help us figure out who "Mother" was and where she was living in 1911.
It's a good start, though. Any thoughts?
Monday, March 19, 2012
The reverse of this postcard photograph is inscribed, "Gerald F. Carrington on his first birthday, March 14, 1913" The photo was taken by A. L. Ford at 528 1/2 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I found a Gerald Edmund Francis Carrington, born the 14th of March 1912 in Toronto York County, Ontario in Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913. His parents are listed as John Carrington and Annie Dolby, who were married in England on April 15, 1911.
Gerald and his parents can be found in the 1916 Canada Census at 612 Alexander Street in Winnipeg. Gerald now has three younger siblings: Mona, 3; John, 1; and George, a newborn. Gerald's father, John, is a "conductor" at St. Roy [?].
Gerald Edmund Carrington died in Delta, British Columbia on the 15th of August, 1984, at age 81.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
What's the mystery, you ask? You have names and ages: "Alice M. Rogers, Age 12 and Marion L. Rogers, Age 10." You have a photographer's imprint: W.H. Allen, Lawrence, Mass. You have provenance: Photo was found with photographs belonging to Mary. E. Harrison. And you have a date the photo was taken: 1887.
Well, the mystery is that I can't seem to find these girls in the census for Massachusetts. Were they just visiting Lawrence? How are they connected to Mary E. Harrison? I have one possible lead, and I am curious if you will end up there, too.
Don't you just love their dresses?
Friday, March 16, 2012
William C. Darrah states in his superb guide Cartes De Visite in Nineteenth Century Photography, "tinting the portrait was quite common in the United States in the early 1860s but more or less abandoned by 1865." This photograph of Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Brown Harrison, with its tinted tablecloth, was taken in Canada at the J. S. Rogers "People's Gallery" in Halifax, Nova Scotia but still probably dates to somewhere between 1863-1867. J.S. Rogers operated this studio between 1863 & 1874.
This photo was found along with a good number of other Harrison/Tait photographs and letters once belonging to Mary Harrison. (see previous post: Cabinet Card Portrait of Mary Harrison) M.B. Harrison was Mary's uncle. Mathew had a twin brother, John Tait Harrison. Their parents were William and Mary Tait Harrison of Maccan, NS.
I have yet to look at M.B. Harrison's military life, but the Cumberland County Genealogy Centre sent me this excerpt:
Chignecto Post newspaper, Sackville, NB on Sept. 17, 1885:
The Cumberland Contingent (93rd) which left for 12 days in camp at Aldershot, Alyesford on Tuesday morning, is composed of 210 men and officers as follows: Lt. Col. - M.B. Harrison of Maccan; Adjutant and Brevet-Major - J. Albert Black of Amherst; Paymaster - G.E. Church of Fort Lawrence; Quartermaster - Martin Black of Springhill; Surgeon - Dr. W.D. McKenzie of Parrsboro.
Captains - Dr. D. Allan, Amherst; R.L. Black, River Philip; Jeptha Harrison, Maccan; H.C. Mills, Mapleton and William Oxley of Oxford.
Lieutenants - Howard Black, Salem; Jacob Porter, Amherst; R.A. Christie, River Hebert; O.L. Harrison, Maccan; L.B. Donkin, River Philip; Richard Thompson, Oxford; Howard Mills and Stephen Bird of Mapleton.
According to the 1881 Census of Canada, Mathew Harrison was born in Nova Scotia around 1837. His wife, Cassie was born around 1844 in New Brunswick. At the time of the census, two children were living at home: Alexis, age seven, and Leora, six months.
Going back to 1871, M.B. Harrison is living in River Hébert District, with brothers Alexander, 34 and Issac, 30. Their mother Mary Harrison, aged 70, is also living in the household.
Mathew Brown Harrison died September 1, 1917 in Maccan (Nova Scotia Deaths, 1917, Book 39 p.101, n.396) at age 81. He and his wife, Cassie K. Parlee (d.1910) are buried in the Maccan United Baptist Cemetery.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I admit I bought this postcard photograph because of the image, and not so much because I thought I could reunite it, although that would be a bonus! I love the little girl's expression, and her frilly outfit. The doll is wonderful, too.
This postcard was sent through the mail from Friedersdorf, Kreis Lauban, Germany (now Poland) to someone with the surname Hunze or Kunze in Breslau in Lower Silesia, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). Unfortunately, I only have an elementary knowledge of German, and I am unable to decipher the handwriting on this card. Do we have any German-speakers who could take a crack at translating this postcard?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
This image of Louis de Saint-Ferjeux was taken at the E. Koch Studio in Vesoul, France on 10 July 1889. I found it an an antique store in Victoria, BC last week. I haven't been able to find out much about Louis. I did discover that a person with the same name wrote a book (en français) called "La Vie politique sous la Restauration (Politics Under the Restoration)" in 1904. But it was probably penned by another Louis de Saint-Ferjeux, considering the boy in the photograph would have only been about 18-19 years old.
I came up equally empty on the photographer, E. Koch. Any French research specialists out there?
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
This Real Photo Postcard was found in the same antique shop as the postcard photo of Carrie D'Orsey which I blogged about in yesterday's post, Carrie D'Orsey, Lecturer and Vocal Coach, 1842-1913, England.
On the Reverse:
"Atlin, BC, 10 Sept 27"
Accept my hearty congrats on yr Thoughtful Liner (Lines?)! All going well here but no particular news. I will probably stay here until end of next month. Salaam to all! Yrs, W.H."
The card is addressed to: C.E. Tildesley, Esq., 634 Michigan Street, Victoria BC." Someone has written "Uncle Bill Hathorn" across the top of the message.
Going back to the Carrie D'Orsey post, you will notice that Carrie was the sister of Rev. Lambert Murray D'Orsey. I looked into the life of the Reverend a little bit, and discovered that he married Annette Grace Hathorn in 1883. The couple had three children: Donald, b. 1892; Margaret, b. 1886; and Gertrude, b. 1884.
Ah, you've noticed the Hathorn surname, too. Well, after a little more digging in the UK censuses, I learned that Annette Hathorn's brother was William Crichton Stuart Hathorn, born 26 June 1849, St. Giles, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, England. Their parents were Admiral George Hathorn and Mary Isabella McDouall. William C. S. Hathorn was a Commander in the British Royal Navy.
I believe William Crichton Stuart Hathorn is the sender, "W.H" of this postcard. Atlin, BC, a small town in the northernmost part of the province, experienced a Gold Rush in 1898. Today it only has about 500 residents, but back at the height of the Gold Rush, the population surged to 10,000. And it seems that Commander Hathorn spent a good deal of time in Atlin around this time. I found him in the 1901 Canadian Census, age 52, his occupation is listed as "miner." He shares a place with his mining partners Cyrus B. Simmons and Charles E. Gilmore in Atlin. The census tells us that William C. S. Hathorn was born the 26th of June 1849 and that he immigrated in 1897. I also discovered that he had at least six claims in the Atlin area, and that he was active in the formation of a miner's association in the district. He served as Secretary for the group, as well as vice-president.
|Atlin Claim, Aug. 30, 1902|
William Hathorn also was a lay reader for St. Martin's Church of England in Atlin, and conducted funeral services. He presided over the funeral of E. Ridd in December of 1906, which, according to the obituary in the Atlin Claim newspaper, was "one of the largest funerals held in the district."
Hathorn also appears in the 1921 and 1922 Wrigley's BC Directory for the town of Atlin.
I would love to locate a copy of Atlin: the story of British Columbia's Last Gold Rush by Christine Frances Dickinson and Diane Solie Smith or Peter Steele's Atlin's Gold, to see if there are any references to Bill Hathorn. Unfortunately, my library system doesn't have copies of either.
The recipient of this postcard, C. E. Tildesley, is probably Cyrus Ellerton Tildesley who married Margaret Annette D'Orsey (b. 1886) in 1912. Margaret was the daughter of the Reverend and Mary Anne D'Orsey.
William C. S. Hathorn returned to England at some point prior to 1932. He died in Folkestone, Kent, on the 27th of April 1932.
UPDATE May 23, 2012: This postcard has been reunited with a Hathorn researcher in England. So glad it's going back to a family member,
Monday, March 12, 2012
Miss Carrie D'Orsey is addressing the meeting of clergy at Yarmouth, England in this postcard photograph from 1911. According to the inscription on the reverse of the card, "Aunt Carrie D'Orsey" was the sister of Reverend L. M. D'Orsey. With this information we can get a clearer picture of who Carrie D'Orsey was, and what her family connections were.
According to the 1851 Scotland Census, Caroline Margaret Ann Dorsey was born abt. 1842 in Govan Parish, Lanarkshire. At the time of the census she is living at Great Western Road No 2., Kew Terrace, Govan. Her mother, Mary Ann Dorsey, 40 was a clergyman's wife, and there were three other children in the house at the time: Henry Rowlatt, 12; Louisa Morier, 7, and Lambert Murray (the future Reverend), 5. Caroline's father is not in the household. Sometime between 1851 and 1861 the family moved to England.
In the 1861 England Census for Cambridge, Cambridgeshire the father does appear with his wife and family. Alex James D'Orsey (Dorsay in the census) was born 1812 in Newcastle, Warwickshire, England. Alexander D'Orsey was educated at Cambridge and his career information can be found in the Cambridge Alumni directory:
"Adm. sizar at CORPUS CHRISTI, Jan. 20, 1846; a ‘Ten-year man.’ Matric. Michs. 1859; B.D. (Stat. Eliz.) 1860. Chancellor's Medal, 1860. Ord. deacon (Glasgow) 1846; priest, 1847; Incumbent of St John's, Anderston, Glasgow, 1847. Chaplain in Madeira, 1856-9. Chaplain to the Bishop of Gibraltar, 1859. Chaplain and Lecturer at Corpus Christi, 1860-4. Lecturer at King's College, London, 1864-84. Professor of Public Reading and Speaking at King's College, London, 1884-90. ‘In the year 1860 the Rev. Mr D'Orsey obtained the Chancellor's medal for a poem on the Great Comet of 1858. This gentleman soon after became English lecturer at Corpus College, and commenced a course of instruction in clerical and public elocution, an undertaking in which the undergraduates of the day chose to discover something ludicrous’ (Sir G. O. Trevelyan, 176). Married Lucy Georgina, dau. of the Rev. T. Irving, sometime R. of Ormesby, Yorks. Died Mar. 20, 1894, aged 82, at Coutham, Redcar. (Scott, MSS.; The Guardian, Mar. 28, 1894; Crockford.)"
Carrie's mother, Mary Ann D'Orsey died in 1862, and her probate was completed in 1885:
|England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941|
In 1881, Caroline is living with her father and step-mother Lucy Irving D'Orsey at 13 Princes Square, Paddington, London.
Carrie is living at 40 Weymouth St W, St. Marylebone, London at the time of the 1911 census and her occupation is listed as "Lecturer in Voice Production and Elsuctior [elocution?]."
I love this photograph of Carrie because it shows her at work, which is something you commonly don't find in this time period. So how did this postcard photograph end up in Victoria, BC, in a shop on Antique Row?
I think I have the answer to that, but you'll have to wait for my post about a Hathorn postcard I found along with Carrie's postcard.
UPDATE May 23, 2012: This postcard has been reunited with a Hathorn/D'Orsey researcher in England. So glad it's going back to a family member,
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I was originally going to post this on My Pretty Postcards blog (see sidebar for link), but I didn't feel that it was a particularly pretty postcard. I admit, it's not an item of particular genealogical value either, but it does work as a Super Sleuth Saturday Mystery, for sure.
Here's the note that's written on the postcard:
I am surprised to hear the dog still has the pipe in his mouth for I should have thot the report from the rest of you would have so frightened him that he would have dropped in his teeth, too. Effie."
The postcard is addressed to "Mr. J. B. Entireapple, Norwalk, Cal." It was sent from Los Angeles by someone named "Effie."
The first thing that made my eyebrow raise was the surname, "Entireapple." Odd, yes, but anything's possible, I suppose. I checked Ancestry and Familysearch.org for any Entireapples. Zilch. Nothing on Find-A-Grave or a half dozen other sites. A Google search. Nada. I think I smell a rat. I did find a handful of Wholsapples. Is someone playing on a surname?
My other eyebrow was sent upwards when I read the message. Sounds a bit like spy-talk to me: "the dog still has the pipe in his mouth." Hmmmm...whatever could this mean?
That's your assignment for today. Let's hear your speculations and suppositions about the meaning and, if you dare, the identity of the recipient.
Friday, March 9, 2012
As you probably can tell, this cabinet card photograph of Alma C. Downing has been trimmed, which is regrettable, since the photographer's imprint has been excised from the photograph. The reverse of the card tells us that the photographer was a prominent one, having won numerous prize medals in the UK, Europe and even in the US. Here is the list of medals:
"Dublin 1884; Northampton 1884; London 1884 & 1885; Dundee 1886; Nottingham 1886 & 1887; Liverpool 1886; Edinburgh 1886; Oldham 1885 & 1886; Theale 1887; Derby 1887; Newcastle upon Tyne 1887; Cornwall 1887 & 1888; Crystal Palace 1888; Liverpool Photographic 1888; Glouchestershire International 1888; Universal Exposition Paris 1889; Newcastle 1890; Crystal Palace; Washington US 1890; Edinburgh 1890.
Photographer to T.R.H. The Prince and Princess of ....[cut off]
H.R.H. Prince Albert Victor, H.R.H. The Duke....[cut off]
H.S.H. Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar and The Lords Lieute....[cut off]
The Archbishops of Dublin"
I found a match for these awards on The National Archives (UK) website. The photographer's studio was Layfayette, of Dublin, Glasgow & Manchester. The Victoria and Albert Museum has hundreds of Lafayette's images on their website, but most of are Royalty, Stage Actors or other very prominent individuals.
As for Alma C. Downing, unfortunately, I don't know if Downing is Alma's maiden or married name. Nor do I have a location. I did find the following piece of art with the portrait of Alma:
On the reverse there is a brief notation: "Painting by Alma Downing, 1895."
I found an Alma C. Downing, a married woman, born 1861 in Blackheath, Kent in both the 1901 and 1911 England Census. Her husband was John George Downing. The family lived in India during the 1880s, where three of their children were born. In the 1911 census, the family is living in Great Bealings, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England. John's occupation is listed as "Indian Army Pensioner." This Alma C. Downing died on July 10, 1931 in Woodbridge.
I have no way of knowing at this point if this is the same Alma of the portrait and painting above, but I will update this post with any additional information as I find it.
UPDATE March 11, 2012: I received this wonderful note from a relative of Alma C. Downing who gives us insight into Alma's life and the painting above. Thank you so much, Jill!
Her husband was John George Downing, they married in India in 1880, her birth date was 6th October 1854.
On the back of the photo she has written A.C. Downing and her address, 27 Blessinton Rd, Lee, S.E. near London. Lee is one mile south of Blackheath. Her father William Kieser M.A. owned a prep school named Persival House in Blackheath. This is where she first met her future husband while he was a young pupil there. John George Downing was in the army in India for some 28 years and at one point they bought a house near Blackheath which they owned for 3 years and the address above could well be that house.
Alma Catherine Downing was a good artist on all the letters she sent to her daughters while she was in Phoona and they were living with their Downing grandparents in Monkstown she always drew a beautiful picture, and I have an invitation dated Nov. 1872 from the Keeper and Secretary of the National Gallery, London to admit her 'to study in the gallery from 10, till 5.0'Clock on Thursdays and Fridays at Trafallgar Square and on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays, at South Kensington'.
The picture found with the photo of Alma Catherine Downing is interesting, the settle and the man with the long coat [which is red] and the black 3 cornered hat has been copied from another artist, but the man is standing a little differently. The moment I saw the picture I knew who the original artist was - his name was Delapore Downing b.1852 d.1929 he was the 1st cousin of her husband's, father. Delapore's brother Charles Palmer Downing was also an artist.
The name of Delapore Downing's picture is 'Fortification' I found it on www.easyart.com/art-prints/Delapoer-Downing/ Fortification - ID:36269.
I'm guessing you found the photograph of Alma Catherine Downing in Canada. I can only think it belonged to her grandson John D. Hooper he was the only child of her youngest daughter Millicent Hooper b.1892 d.1957. John was born in Jan-Feb-March 1921 Ipswich, Suffolk and in 1944 Oct-Nov-Dec he married Marguerite M. Miles in Ipswich, Suffolk. They moved to Canada but I don't know when, or where to and I don't know what happened to them. My late mother and her sister were very fond of him, but lost contact with him.
I hope the above is of some help to you. I think you are doing a wonderful job with your site. Jill"
Thursday, March 8, 2012
This photograph is simply labelled, "Aunt Ethel" on the back, but the identification of the subject may not be as impossible as it might seem at first glance. I purchased this portrait with a grouping of photos once belonging to a child of Ora Ealey Kolcheck. I've posted about this collection in four previous posts (click on "Ealey" in the sidebar to see these) and so I have looked into this family's family history a bit already. Since the inscriber of the photograph is likely Ora's offspring, it would make sense that I would be looking for a sibling of her mother or father. Ora's parents were George and Melissa Ealey. George married a second time after Melissa died, to Phebe Loveall. I started with Ora's siblings and found that she did, in fact, have a half-sister named Ethel.
Ethel Ealey appears in the 1910 US Federal census for Jackson, Clay County, Indiana, daughter of George and Phebe Ealey. Her birth date is listed as abt. 1899. She also appears in the 1920 census, living on her own at age 21. You may notice that this photo was taken at a Street Fair in Brazil, Indiana in 1901. That would mean that this little girl would be two years old. Does she look that young to you? Maybe, but she seems slightly older to me.
I noticed that Ethel doesn't appear in the 1900 census with her parents. Why? Either she wasn't born yet, or she is there and we just don't recognize her. There is an Eve Ealey, daughter of George and Phebe Ealey, born 1898 in that census, who, coincidentally, doesn't appear in the later censuses. Could Eve be Ethel? If so, I think I would be more comfortable with the age of the child in the photograph as being three years old.
One of the documents I found with the photographs was Ora Ealey's marriage certificate. She married William Henry Kolcheck on October 6, 1909. One of the witnesses who signed the certificate was Ora's grandmother, Wealthy Ealey.
I searched for information about the family of William Henry Kolcheck in the US Censuses. His parents were George (b.1840) and Addie Kolcheck (b.1854) of Indianapolis. The family appears as Kolachek and Kolanchek in the 1880 census. George and Addie only appear to have had three daughters, Katie (b.1866), Rosa (b.1879), and Louisa (b.1863) and one son, William (b.1875). Addie had a child from a previous marriage named George Holb (b.1862). So no Ethels there.
Have we successfully identified this little girl? It's hard to say. I think it's a good guess and quite probable, but without other photographs to compare this one to, we can't say for sure.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
This portrait postcard features a somewhat self-conscious young woman named Guri. She has sent her picture to Ingrid Hansen in Lofoten, Valberg and writes in Norwegian, "Yes, you must think this a strange face, isn't it? Tell me what you think next time you write. Yours Guri."
The postcard is addressed to Miss Ingrid Hansen, Valberg, Lofoten.
According to the 1900 & 1910 Norway Censuses, Ingrid was born December 10, 1894, daughter of Albert Hansen and Lovise Pedersen and lived with her parents, three brothers and one sister, in Borge i Lofoten, Valberg.
Unfortunately, this postcard wasn't sent through the mail, does not have a postmark or return address on it, so we don't know where Guri hailed from. If you look at the address side of the postcard where the stamp would be affixed, you can see the postcard paper stock was made by Artura, a brand of the Kodak Company. This particular stamp box design was in production from 1911-1921. I would guess, based on Guri's age, dress and hairstyle, that this picture was taken sometime between 1914-1920.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This photograph is inscribed on the reverse: George H. Sibbalds, Greece City, Butler Co, Pennsylvania. Judging by the style of the carte de visite, I would date this sometime in the 1870-1880s. It has all the appearances of an earlier card: no imprint on reverse or photographer's imprint. It's very difficult to date without an imprint or other identifying info and men's fashions are hard to pinpoint.
The 1910 US Census provides us with one George H. Sibbalds, born PA in 1857. He is living in Columbus, Ohio with wife, Levis and sons Edwin B. Sibbalds, 26 and Edwin's wife, Ewa, 20.
I haven't been able to find George in earlier censuses, even though the 1910 census claims that he was born in PA. It's probably an issue with the surname, but so far the search variations I've used haven't proved fruitful. Suggestions, anyone?
Monday, March 5, 2012
This little guy is ready for the bone-chilling Alberta winter. His name is "Alexander Gordon Gunn" and the image was taken April 5, 1922, according to the inscription on this postcard photograph. There is also pencil notation added that reads, "Irma, Alberta." Irma is a small community in rural Alberta, southeast of Edmonton. There isn't a photographer's imprint on this postcard.
The Canada Census won't help us much on this one. The latest available Canadian census is 1916, a whole six years before this picture was taken. I decided to check the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead - Library and Archives Canada (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca) because Alexander would have been of the age to have served in WW2. I found an Alex Gordon Gunn, born 10 February 1920, who was a Private in the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, Army Division. His parents were William Gordon Gunn and Mary Elizabeth Gunn (nee Moore) of Edmonton, Alberta. Alex Gordon Gunn died overseas, in a London Hospital, on the 23rd of April 1943, at age 23.
This time period in Canada is very hard to research online, due to the lack of available census records. I went to the newspaper, "The Irma Times," and found the following news article from the February 27, 1920 edition about the birth of a child to Mr. & Mrs. W.G. Gunn in Red Deer, Alberta on February 10, 1920:
This matches the birth date of the Alex Gordon Gunn who died during World War Two. My next search was of the 1943 issues to see if I could find a mention of Alex's death. This article is from the March 19, 1943 issue of the paper:
While I wasn't able to locate a death announcement, I believe we have found the correct Alexander Gordon Gunn, from Irma, Alberta. It is extremely sad to think this boy had such a short life. He died so very far away from his home and loved ones, as so many other young people did during the Second World War.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Here's the Super Sleuth mystery for this week. The photograph was taken at the J. F. Mitchell Studio in Winnipeg. John Fletcher Mitchell (1862-1943) was one of the most well-known photographers in Winnipeg. He opened his studio on Rupert Avenue around 1884. He entered city politics as an alderman, and then became acting mayor in 1900. In 1906, Mr. Fletcher became an MLA representing Winnipeg North. He died in 1943 and is buried in St. James Anglican Cemetery.
Unfortunately, the subjects of this photo aren't as easy to trace. This photograph is inscribed on the reverse: "From Maggie Hanna, Hugh McLean, and Tom Hanna to Dottie. With best love."
Later, someone has written "Mrs. Ritchie" a bit lower on the reverse. There is also a negative number on the photo#13425.
Can you date and find additional information on this trio?
Friday, March 2, 2012
This postcard photograph is dated, March 1910 and was not posted through the mail. The inscription on the reverse reads, "Mary Salmon of Granum we used to know as a young girl. Now of Oregon, U.S.A." The postcard was addressed to "Etta."
Add to this, a second photo of "Mary Salmon, Granum, Alberta," taken Dec 1912, at the Leroy Studio in Portland, Oregon.
I've had a look for Mary Salmon in both the US Federal Censuses, and the Canada Censuses. I'm a bit bewildered that I haven't found a suitable match in either. There are a number of possibilities that require a good deal of guesswork. So instead, I went to the Granum local history book, Leavings By Trail, Granum By Rail where I found a few Salmon references. Only one specifically mentioned Mary Salmon. She appears in the Jumbo Valley Presbyterian Church's Communion list in 1911. I even had a look through some of the issues of the Claresholm Local Press, to see if I could find mention of Mary in the town social column for Granum. Unfortunately, this newspaper begins in 1914, perhaps a bit too late for our purposes.
I would guess by what I've found that Mary left for the US sometime around 1911-1912. I do not know if she went alone, or with her family. If you have any leads on Mary, please feel free to comment below.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Little Adria Moon seems to like having her picture taken. Isn't she adorable? I found this photo with a group of old family photographs once belonging to Julia C. Lotten. For more information on Julia Lotten, please see my post What A Shame Wednesday: Unknown Couple #1, Manitowoc, WI, 1920s where one of my wonderful readers comments with an in-depth biography on Julia.
Adria is the daughter of Julia Lotten's sister, Mina Berthine Lotten and husband, Reverend Rollin Otis Moon. In the 1905 Wisconsin State Census, Adria (3) is living in Cazenovia, Wisconsin with her parents and younger brother Floyd (1).
Adria married Raymond Lantz. She died in 2002 in Ogden, Iowa.
February 23, 2012 Update: I am happy to report that this photograph has been claimed by a descendant of Julia Lotten, along with 13 other photographs from the Lotten collection. If you have Adria in your tree, the recipient of these photos would love to hear from you. Please contact me to be put in touch.