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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Who was Kate Keller, 1860-1882, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada?


A notation is scribbled on the back of this carte de visite image: "Kate Keller, Died 1882, Age 22." I purchased this photograph last week from an antique dealer here on Vancouver Island thinking that, along with this information and the photographer's imprint, I could learn a little bit about the life of this young woman. The photographer was W. McFadden, who worked out of studio in Uxbridge, Ontario.

I located a death certificate for Kate Emma Keller first.1 According the death certificate, Kate died on the 3rd of December 1882 in Uxbridge, Ontario of a "liver complaint" that lasted roughly twelve weeks.  She was born in 1860 in Whitby, Ontario County [now Durham Co.], Ontario. This information matches the data from the inscription on the reverse of the photograph. Kate Keller's parents were Francis and Mary Keller. I located this image of Francis Keller, along with a short biography of his life provided by the Whitby Public Library on the "Our Ontario" website. 2 Francis was a postmaster in Whitby for a couple of years, then moved to Uxbridge and became involved in the publishing business.

Kate appears to have had two siblings: Mary J. (born 1864) and William H. (born 1865). William was following in his father's footsteps as he was working as a printer at the time of the 1881 census3. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to learn much about Kate in the time I allotted to this search. Perhaps there are documents out there, such as an obituary, that might help round out her history beyond the basic dates and places.

1 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JDB1-VXS : accessed 17 February 2016), Kate Emma Keller, 03 Dec 1882; citing Uxbridge, Ontario, Ontario, yr 1882 cn 13117, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,853,237.
2 http://images.ourontario.ca/whitby/51073/data
3 “1881 Census of Canada,” digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed 3 Feb 2016), entry for household of Francis Keller, Uxbridge, Ontario North, Ontario, District 133, p. 63 (penned); citing LAC microfilm C-13245.


  1. 22 years is very little time to make a mark in the world. Birth, death, and maybe 2 census records - and that might be it.

  2. Yep, that's very possible. Sometimes you can get lucky with newspaper accounts, but 22 is very young.