My most recent antique shop find has been taking up a good portion of my free research time these days, which unfortunately, hasn't amounted to much lately as I work on my genealogical certificate courses and my own family history mysteries. My newest treasure is an album of carte de visite and cabinet card photographs dating from roughly 1860 to the 1920s that I found at an antique shop in Coombs, BC, Canada. Of the seventy photographs, less than a dozen are identified at all, and of that dozen only a handful have names, some with only given names. Yet, I am happy to report that a history of the family who owned this album is slowly emerging.
Many of the early photographs were taken in London or Blandford, England; Belfast and Carlisle, Ireland, with more recent images originating from San Francisco, California. Some of the surnames inscribed on the photos are Hardy, Spooner, Terrell, Humhal, Balean, and Baker.
My starting point for the search was a portrait of an infant with his unidentified grandmother. I began there because I thought it best to work backwards in time. The reverse reads, "Gerald Craig Hardy (3 1/2 months old) and his great grandmother (aged ninety years)." The pair had their portrait taken at the Stanford Studio, 731 Market Street, San Francisco. Judging by the style of photograph, I would estimate that it dates to about 1900.
A search on Ancestry for "Gerald Craig Hardy" produced only one hit, and while there were a number of matches for "Gerald Hardy" the first seems to be the most probable. The funeral home records for Gerald Craig Hardy, who was born 22 June 1900 in California to Lillian and Douglas Hardy1 provided a wealth of information, including his State of California Death Certificate. According to the certificate, Gerald died on the 30th August 1983 in San Francisco. His father, Douglas Hardy, was originally from England and his wife Lillian, was a California native. Gerald Craig Hardy was the owner and manager of "Hardy Theatres." One of his "Hardy Theatres" still stands in Fresno, and it appears he operated in San Mateo as well. Gerald grew up in San Rafael2, and as an adult lived in Carmel-By-the-Sea3, Fresno4, and at the time of his death, in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco. He and his wife, Vera Sellner, do not appear to have had any children.
The 1910 census shows that Gerald had one brother, Kenneth, born about 1903.
A little digging into Douglas Hardy's family reveals a connection to the Spooner family, which I will go into more fully in a future post. Stay tuned!
1 California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. Entry for Gerald Craig Hardy; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed Oct 9, 2013), citing San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. Microfilm publication, 1129 rolls. Researchity. San Francisco, California.↩
2 "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MVL6-QSR : accessed 13 Oct 2013), Gerald Hardy in household of Douglas Hardy, San Rafael, Marin, California, United States; citing sheet , family 266, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374101.↩
3 "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCDX-XR9 : accessed 13 Oct 2013), Gerald Hardy, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0021, sheet , family 152, NARA microfilm publication .↩
4 1940 U.S. census, Fresno County, California, Fresno, Enumeration District 10-34A, sheet 63-B (penned), dwelling 326, Gerald C Hardy household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Oct 2012), citing National Archives microfilm publication T627, roll 201 ↩