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!
~The Archivist

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Woman Remembering, Quincy, IL circa 1884

The subject of this cabinet card, taken at Waide's Bradshaw Art Co. in Quincy, Illinois, is not known.  I wasn't able to ascertain much about the photographer, but by finding a few images by the same studio online, I learned they were in business during the mid-1880s.

We can try to date the photo by looking at the woman's outfit.  Her dress has a closely fitted bodice and her waist is quite tightly squeezed to accentuate its small size.  The fabric of her skirt is draped and pulled back and up to connect with the bustle.  The bustle itself is quite large and sits hip-height, indicating that it is from the second bustle period, 1882-1889.

The woman's hairstyle is typical of the early-to-mid 1880s:  short, curly bands, hair pulled back and braided into a tidy bun to rest at the nape of her neck.

I wonder who the man in the photograph is.  Her departed husband?  It's a shame, that, in all likelihood, we will never know.

Monday, May 28, 2012

L.P. Jensen & Family, Albert Lea, Minnesota, Ca. 1900

I definitely have a soft spot for items with a Denmark connection because of my own Danish roots.  I have many Jensens in my family tree, but I don't believe that this photograph, marked "L.P. Jensen, RR3, Albert Lea, Minn." is tied to my family.  Jensen in Denmark is like the Smith surname here in North America.

To narrow down the date of the photo, I researched "Jensen Bros." in Albert Lea.  According to the Minnesota Historical Society's Directory of Minnesota Photographers website, they were in business in Albert Lea roughly from 1896 to 1912.  However, their Alden, Minn. studio operated for a only a few short years between 1898 and 1900 so we can conclude that the photograph was taken during those years.

From my Danish research experience, I suspect that L.P. stands for "Lars Peder (Peter)."  It could, of course, be any combination of names.  A quick Ancestry.com 1900 census search, with Albert Lea, Freeborn, MN as the location,  produced only two L.P. Jensens, one L.P and the other Lars Peter.  I discovered in subsequent censuses that L.P. is also a Lars Peter Jensen.

Family #1:  1900 Federal Census, Albert Lea, Freeborn, Minnesota, ED #44:
L.P. Jensen, b. Oct 1849, Denmark,  immig. 1882, married 1878, farmer, owns farm.
Christine P.  Jensen, b. March 1849, Denmark,  Mother of 7 children, 2 living.
Holger, b. Oct 1887, born Minnesota, at school

Family #2:  1900 Federal Census, Albert Lea, Freeborn, Minnesota, ED #41, West Clark Street:
Lars P. Jensen, b. Dec 1852, Denmark, immig. 1875, married 1890, butcher, rents house.
Emma Jensen, b. Apr 1866, Ohio, Mother of 2 children, 2 living.
Arthur Jensen, son, b. Aug 1885, Minn., deliveryman
Wallace Jensen, son, b. Apr 1891, Minn., at school
Stacia Jensen, dau, b. Sep 1896, Minn.

In the 1920 US Census, the Lars P. Jensen of family #1 is now a widower, and son Christian M. Jensen (mistakenly identified as "wife") is living with his father.  Christian M. Jensen appears as Lars P. and Christine's son in the 1895 Minnesota State Census, and the 1910 US Federal Census, in Albert Lea.

It's difficult to say for certain if either family is a match, but I'm leaning towards Family #1 as a better possibility. The young man in the picture could be Holger.  L.P. owns a farm, and the inscription on the back of the photograph indicated a rural route.  However, the woman in the photograph doesn't seem old enough to be Christine, age 51. 

What are your thoughts?

Update, June 4, 2012: This photograph is on its way to Denmark to be reunited with family. It was confirmed that it is a portrait of Lars Peter and Christine Petrea Jensen and with a son, probably Holger (See Family #1 above).  The family sent me a photo, taken quite a few years earlier, from the very same studio. It's them all right!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Isabel, Joe & Evelyn Rogers, Raleigh Co., West Virginia, 1923

I was browsing a local antique shop when I discovered this portrait of three siblings.   "J. T. Rogers, 59 -3rd Ave. 1923.  Isabel, Evelyn & Joe" is written in pencil on the back of the photograph.  When I brought it to the till, the shop owner began to share a little history about the eldest child in the photograph.  Isabel Rogers Lewis had passed away just three years earlier in Parksville, BC.  The shop owner had known Isabel personally which helped tremendously in piecing together the history of the three children, but especially the life of Isabel.  The store had acquired quite a few pieces from the estate of Isabel Rogers that are currently for sale there.

Isabel (b. August 7, 1914), Evelyn (b. 1918) & Joe (b. 1921) were the children of Joseph Trivilla Rogers (b. 29 Apr. 1890) and Rachel Reed Rogers (b. abt. 1890).  In the 1920 & 1930 US Federal censuses the family is living in Pemberton, Raleigh County, West Virginia.  Mr. Rogers owned Rogers & Co. Mercantile.  Joseph and Rachel were married in 1913.  At the time of the WW2 draft, Joseph Trivilla Rogers lived at 102 Virginia Street in Beckley, WV. 

Joseph Trivilla Rogers, Jr. became a cardiologist and moved to Arizona.  Evelyn married Joseph William Broderick in 1944, raised a family and passed away in Clearwater, Florida in 1984.   In 1930, Isabel graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia.  According to the antique dealer, Isabel met her husband, John Lewis (b. 1905 Nantymoel, Wales), at University in Texas, they married  and the couple went on to Berkley, California. John was just a small boy when his family came to Vancouver Island around 1911 but John left to pursue his education in the US and did not return to the Island until 1970. At the University of California at Berkeley Isabel earned her PHD in Psychology. 

Isabel and John Lewis came to Vancouver Island to vacation for the next few years before eventually making the San Pariel area of Parksville their home.  The antique dealer told me that John had something to do with the early years of the Nanaimo Concert Band.  I found an interesting interview with John Lewis on the Nanaimo Community Archives website about early days in Nanaimo.  Isabel shared John's love of music and was also active in Nanaimo Concert bands and choir after moving back to the island in the 1970s.

I also found an obituary in the November 10, 1980 evening edition of the St. Petersburg Independent, Clearwater, Florida for Isabel's father, who died in Nanaimo, BC in 1980:

Evening Independent, Nov. 10, 1980, page 15

It would appear that Joseph T. Rogers died while visiting his daughter.

John Lewis died on December 6, 1993 in Parksville.  His obituary appeared in several local papers, including the Arrowsmith Star on the 10th of Dec., 1993.  It tells us that his father was John Lewis, Sr. 

Isabel Rogers Lewis passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 4th, 2009.  Her full obituary appears in the Parksville-Qualicum News in the Monday, May 4th 2009 edition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Three Men, Brandon, Manitoba, circa 1880s

When I purchased this cabinet card photo at an Airdrie, Alberta antique shop, I was very hopeful about the chances of a successful identification.  Unfortunately,  it hasn't turned out that way.  Perhaps by posting it here, someone will be able to shed light on the identity of the photograph's subjects.  It's a tough one to date, but I'd guess somewhere around 1890.

The image was taken at the J. A. Brock & Co. Studio in Brandon, Manitoba.  The words "W. Mc Gee, Arcola" are scribbled on the back of the card.

First, the photographer:  after a little research, I've come to learn that John A. Brock formed a business partnership with Harry Torkington Devine around 1884.  The studio was located on Rosser Avenue in Brandon.  The pair moved J.A. Brock & Company to Vancouver in 1886, but later that same year, Brock moved back to Brandon to continue the operation there, and Devine remained in Vancouver.  The partnership came to an end in 1887.  In 1893, J.A. Brock & Co. has a studio on Spring Street in Los Angeles, California as well as in Brandon. 

In addition to being recognized as Brandon's first photographer, J. A. Brock is credited with lining Brandon, Manitoba's early streets with maple trees.  He would hire local boys to collect maple seeds from along the river for $1.50 a day.  Many of the trees are still standing today.

I came up empty on the three men in the photograph.    I looked at the Canada censuses, and while there are quite a few McGees in Saskatchewan, I don't see any that look like a match.  The local history book for Arcola, Saskatchewan might have information about W. McGee, but unfortunately,I haven't been able to track down a copy of Arcola-Kisbey Golden Heritage Mountain Hills to Prairie Flats on loan.

What makes this really a shame, is the fact that I don't know if W. McGee is one of the individuals in the photograph, or the recipient of the photograph.  Sometimes I just proceed with the search, even though there isn't much to go on.  Sometimes I get lucky.  In this case, the search didn't yield good results.

If you know anything about the people in this picture, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Mills Family Home in Cromwell, Iowa, 1910

I just had to share this image, even though I've already looked into this particular Mills family in my May 16th Wedding Wednesday post: Allen B. Mills & Mary M. Wiedman, Creston, IA, 1903 .  It's always interesting when you are able to place the people you research in context with their day-to-day surroundings.  Isn't this a lovely home?  The following notes are written on the back of the photograph:

[In pencil] Mr & Mrs Allen Mills with daughter Lola, 1910.  Cromwell, Ia.  Mills Farm House.

[In ballpoint pen] Our home on Burns place - 1910.  Allie, Marie & Lola on the front porch with the dog, Bounce [or Brince].

I wonder if the house is still standing. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

So Young: Harry J. Kinports, Hollidaysburg, PA, Circa January 1866

This carte de visite has all the earmarks of a mid-to-late1860s photograph: thin, white card stock, a simple, text-only photographers imprint on the reverse, and square corners.  The child's dress dates to that period as well.  If we didn't already know that this is a male child, we could guess it was by the fact that an attempt was made to part his curly locks on the side, rather than in the middle.

The reverse of the card tells us that the image was "photographed by Frank Proctor, Hollidaysburg, PA" and the young boy's name is "Harry Kinports, Aged 1 year & 6 months."

Harry was the son of James and Catharine Kinports, who lived in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania at the time of the 1870 US Federal Census.  Six-year-old Harry has two older siblings:  Laura, 13 and Mary, 11.

Harry doesn't appear in the 1880 census with his family, or in any of the later censuses.  I discovered the likely reason with a Find-A-Grave search.  Harry J. Kinports appears to have died just a few months after the 1870 census was taken.  Someone has kindly added a death notice from The Register, Hollidaysburg's local newspaper, from the October 26, 1870 edition, "Of diphtheria, on Sunday afternoon October 16, 1870, son of James M. & Kate J. Kinsport, aged 6 years, 3 months and 2 days."

I believe Harry might be the boy featured in last week's post, The Young Man from Hollidaysburg.  Both images were found together, and there is some resemblance between the two boys.

If the birth information on the gravestone is correct, then today's feature photograph would have been taken in January or February of 1866.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Allen B. Mills & Mary M. Wiedman, Creston, IA, 1903

This wedding portrait, had it not already been dated, displays many clues that tell us it was taken in the early 1900s.  The bride's dress is an early Edwardian example, with its lace and ruffles, close-fitting neckline, high collar, and loosely draped bodice.  The new Mrs. Mills wears a bow in her hair that has been pulled up high, but not too loosely.  

The image was taken by Caleb D. Agnew (1871-1953) in Creston, Iowa.  If you are interested in learning more about this photographer, there is a website devoted to his work, and to the history of Creston.

The reverse of the photograph reads, "Allen B. Mills & Mary M. Wiedman's Wedding Picture, 1903"

While I did not find a marriage record for the couple, I did find them in the US Federal Census for 1910, 1920 & 1930.  The couple lived near Douglas, Union County, Iowa, where the family farmed.  While the census says Douglas, Iowa, I believe the family lived closer to Cromwell, Iowa.  I have a few postcards sent by Mary Mills that have a return address of Cromwell, IA.

Allen B. Mills (b. 1871) appears to be the son of Albert and Margaret Mills.  In 1880, Allen's family lived in Houston, Smith County, Kansas, but by the 1885 Iowa Census, they have settled in Spaulding, Union County, Iowa.  I've found information in various online family trees that indicate Mary Wiedman (b. 1879) may be Mary Magdalene Wiedmann, daughter of Jacob Wiedmann and Mary Magdalena Rose, but I haven't verified this information.  A marriage record often provides parentage of the bride and groom and one could probably be found through the county, or on microfilm via the LDS library.

The couple had a daughter, Lola, born 1908.   I have a number of photos of Lola as a young girl, found with the wedding portrait.  Several of these were taken at the Agnew Studio.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Her Grandmother's Namesake: Mary E. Glessner of Hollidaysburg, PA, at Age Five, 1890

Even though we don't know the artist behind this lovely portrait of five-year-old Mary Glessner, we can appreciate his skill as a photographer.  The cabinet card is labelled, "Mary Glessner, Nov. 11, 1890.  5 years."

It is one of a collection of photographs from Hollidaysburg, PA that I recently acquired.  Previously, I posted a mystery photograph taken by R. A. Bonine in Hollidaysburg.  Mary probably has some connection to the boy in that earlier photograph.

Cobbling together the information found in the first four US Federal Censuses of the 20th century, we learn that Mary was born April 1886 in Pennsylvania to (William) Frank Glessner and Alice Buoy Glessner.  If Mary married, she did so after 1930.  At the time of the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses Mary lived with her parents in Hollidaysburg and appeared to be without an occupation.  In the 1930 census, I found a Mary Glessner of the correct age, living in Atlantic City, New Jersey, working at a hotel on Pacific Avenue as a stenographer.

According to Twentieth Century History of Altoona and Blair County, Pennsylvania, and Representative Citizens (Jesse C. Sell, Chicago, IL: Richmond-Arnold, 1911) Mary's father opened a department store at the corner of Allegheny and Montgomery in Hollidaysburg in 1882.  In 1898, he moved the business to the Opera House Block in the same town.  At the time the biography was written, Frank Glessner employed four clerks at this store.

The biography also delves briefly into his personal life, and tells us that,  "on January 1, 1873, Mr. Glessner was married to Miss Alice C. Buoy, and they have one daughter, Mary, named for Mrs. Glessner's mother. The family residence is at No. 907 Allegheny Street. Mr. and Mrs. Glessner are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a Republican in politics. For a number of years he has been a Free Mason and belongs to Blue Lodge and Chapter at Hollidaysburg, and also to the Heptasophs." Frank Glessner was born in 1848 in Somerset County, PA, to Josiah and Judith Landis Glessner.

Mary's parents both died in the mid-1920's:  Alice on July 12, 1925, and Frank in February, 1926.  Both were in their 70's.  Their deaths are mentioned in the Altoona Mirror newspaper.

It would interesting to know what became of  Mary Glessner after 1930.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spanish-American War Veteran Lawrence Kienzle, Greensburg PA, 1890s

This image was signed on the back, "With compliments, L. J. Kienzle."  Kienzle, being a not-so-common name, was an advantage in the search for information on our subject.

At the time of the 1920 US Federal Census for Greensburg, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, German-born Lawrence J. Kienzle was 54 years old, employed as a Steamfitter at a plumbing shop.  Also living in the household was Bertha, his wife and four of their children:  Mary, Jack, Margaret and Richard.

In the 1910 and 1930 Censuses, Lawrence's family name is entered as "Kinsley."  His immigration year is 1876.  In 1930, he and Bertha have seven children with the addition of William, Texena, and Clyde.

I found Bertha Russell and Lawrence Kienzle's marriage in the Pennsylvania County Marriage, 1885-1950.  They wed on the 30th of July 1908 in Greensburg.

A decade earlier, Lawrence served with the US Army in the Spanish-American and the Philippine-American war (Company I, 10th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers.)  The obituary which appeared in The Pittsburg Press on November 25, 1935 provides a little more background:

Lawrence Kienzle is buried at the Union Cemetery in Greensburg, PA:  Lawrence J. Kienzle (1867 - 1935) - Find A Grave Memorial

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Young Man from Hollidaysburg, PA, circa 1868-1875

The subject of this carte de visite is not identified, which is truly a shame.  The young man appears a bit unsure of the camera, but is, nonetheless, quite charming in his Scottish plaid skirt and jacket. The image is not dated, but based upon the style of his outfit  and the type of cardstock the photo is mounted on, I'd date this to somewhere around  1868-1875. 

Robert Atkinson Bonine, of the Pennsylvania-based Bonine family  of photographers, created this image. His family included brother, Elias A.  Bonine, was a well-known stereoscope photographer and Robert's son, Robert Kates Bonine, 1862-1923, an early Victorian travel film-maker.  Bonine was working in Hollidaysburg as early as 1864, where I found him listed as a photographer in the IRS Tax List for that year.

Morning Tribune (Altoona, PA) Thursday, February 14, 1878  
A New Building on Fourteenth Street. Mr. Robert A. Bonine, a photographer of Hollidaysburg, has concluded to remove to the city, and has made arrangements for the erection of a new gallery on Fourteenth street, above Eleventh avenue. The building will be of wood, 25 feet front by 45 feet deep, and will be 22 feet high. The work is being done by Messrs. Thomas Davis and R. C. Smith, and it is to be completed, if possible, by the 1st of April. 

The photograph of the young boy would have been taken prior to 1878, which is helpful to confirm that we are on the right track with the earlier guess of 1868-1875.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Holding Up Baby: Tirzah Grace Neville, East Palestine, Ohio, 1894

I do believe someone's holding up dear little baby beneath that drop cloth.  The inscription on the back of the cabinet card tells us that the child is Tirzah Grace Neville, who was four months and twelve days old when the photograph was taken on Feb 28, 1894.

Tirzah was born October 16, 1893 in Pittsburgh, PA, according to Pennsylvania, Births and Christenings, 1709-1950  on Familysearch.org.  Her parents were Stanton H. Neville and Elivira Shull.  Stanton was the son of Levi and Julia Neville of Unity, Columbiana County, Ohio.  In the 1900 US Census (Unity Twp, Columbiana County, Ohio) Tirzah is living with her grandparents and uncle.  Unity is very close to East Palestine where this image was photographed at the Mell Cress studio. The 1880 Census shows the Levi Neville family (with son, Stanton, age 10) living in East Palestine.

I wondered why Tirzah was living with her grandparents in 1900.  In Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997, I discovered that "Stanton Nevel," a druggist, died on the 18th of February 1894 in East Palestine.  It's sad to think this photograph was taken only 10 days after Tirzah's father died.

But what happened to her mother, Elvira Shull Neville?  I wasn't able to locate her in the death indexes online, but found her resting place in Glenview Cemetery, East Palestine, OH on Find A Grave:  Elvira Neville (1869 - 1898) - Find A Grave Memorial.  It appears she died when Tirzah was only four to five years old.  Stanton and his parents are also buried in Glenview.

I located the 1910 census record for Grace Neville, born ca. 1894, living in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1910.  She is living with her aunt and uncle, William & Ella Armstrong.  Ella would have to be a sister to her mother or father.  I never found an Ella on either side of the family, but Tirzah's father had a sister, Emma Lucretia Neville, who married George E. Kellock/Kallock in 1899.

Tirzah Grace Neville (Mrs. George E. Kallock) appears in the Indiana State Teachers' College (Indiana, PA) Alumni Directory for 1940 as a graduate from 1912:

According to the 1930 census (Castle Shannon, Allegheny, Pennsylvania) Tirzah Grace was married for the first time when she was 23, around 1917.  George E. Kallock born circa 1885 married for the first time at age 21, around 1906.  Not an exact match, and as you know, census records are seldom exact on everything. When I found George Eaton Kallock's gravestone on Find A Grave: George Eaton Kallock (1877 - 1958) - Find A Grave Memorial, his birthdate is given as 17 May 1877.  If he was 21 at the time of his first marriage that marriage would have occurred circa 1898.  Much closer to the date Emma Neville married her George Eaton Kallock.

T. Grace Neville Kallock died in 1944, according to the gravestone she shares with her husband.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Two Obituaries, Two Funerals: Guy Warwick Rutter, Toronto, Ontario, 1893-1952

I knew this was one I had to pick up when I saw it at a Vancouver antique store.  The image was wonderful.  The carte de visite was clearly labelled with a full name on the back, photographer and location (Herbert E. Simpson, 143 College Street, Toronto) on the front.  And that bonnet!  So cute.

The young fellow's name is Guy Warwick Rutter and because of that unique name, he was fairly easy to trace.  According to the Ontario Births Index on Ancestry, Guy Warwick Rutter came into the world on the 1st of February 1893 in York County, son of Arthur F. Rutter and Isabell J. Bell.

The Rutter family lived in Toronto in 1901.  Guy had two older siblings:  Fred, born on Boxing Day, 1880 and Alice, born 21 July 1882.  In 1911, the Canada Census reports that eighteen-year-old Guy is already employed as a clerk at a city bank.  In just four short years, the young man would be enlisting to fight overseas in The Great War. Guy joined the Canadian Army on July 14, 1915 at Valcartier, Quebec at 22 years of age.  He reached the rank of Lieutenant in the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

In the June 8th, 1916 issue of the Globe & Mail newspaper, the following photo and story appeared: 

The problem with Globe and Mail report, was that it was wrong on one little detail.  Guy was not dead.  Wounded, yes.  His right arm and leg were severely damaged in the Battle of Mount Sorrel (east of Ypres, Belgium) in June of 1916. He spent just over a year in treatment.  While Guy was in an overseas hospital mending his limbs, family and friends attended his funeral at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Toronto.  I wonder how the family learned that Guy was still alive.  It must have been quite the shock.

On September 17, 1918, Guy married 22 year-old Mary Marguerite Scott in Toronto [Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928].

In "On Active Service:  Ideals of Canada's Fighting Men," edited by Hon. Captain Alex Ketterson and published by McClelland & Stewart in 1918, Guy used the following poem excerpt for his selection in the book:

Better to fall in some great glorious storm 
With one grand crash of strength and mind, and will 
Than let time slowly bend the aged form 
And write the last word with a worn out quill. 

According to an obituary in the Globe & Mail on January 21, 1952, Guy Warwick Rutter passed away on  Sunday, January 20th, 1952 in Toronto at age 59. Left to mourn were his wife, Mary, two children, and his sister, Alice.  He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. But the Guy Warwick Rutter tale doesn't end there. In 2006, CBC News ran a story about a collection of his war letters and cartoons selling to an antique dealer for $5500.  I don't know if the items purchased by the dealer have sold yet, but I did find the listing for the collection online.  The dealer's marked up asking price? $15,000.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What a Shame Wednesday: Mother and Child, Copenhagen, Denmark, Circa 1910s

The only thing I'm sure about with this photo is 1) It was taken at the Wilh. Kihlstrøm Studio, Østerbrogade 27, in Copenhagen.  2) It's a lovely Mother & Child photograph.  Beyond that, I can't say much.  The child is adorable and the mother has a kind face.

The name "Kjæld" is written in pen on the back of the photo.  And, a little lower on the card, upside down, is written the name "Hartman" in pencil.  I do not know if Kjæld is the name of the little one, or the recipient of the photo.  While faint, I believe the photographer's index number printed on the back reads, "11585."  This would come in handy if there were a master list of Kihlstrøm's photographs somewhere.

According to Bjørn Ochser, in "Fotografer i og fra Danmark til og med år 1920," Kihlstrøm was in business at this address from about 1902-1920.  I stayed in an apartment in Østerbro, Copenhagen a couple of years ago, just a few short blocks from 27 Østerbrogade.  It's a lovely part of the city.

I would date this photo around 1910-1914, but that is just a guess based on the woman's hair, and style of dress.