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

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Mary Louise Buchner Herron, Courtland, Ontario 1849-1927

I've noticed lately an increase in the number of old family photos showing up in thrift shops. Mostly they are unidentified, but this image, found at a local second-hand shop, is clearly identified on the reverse:
"Grandmother Mary Louise Buchner Herron
Courtland, Ontario
Born - April 23, 1849
Died - Mar 26, 1927"

Not only did the previous owner of this photograph provide a full name, they also gave a birth and death date to help us locate the records that will reveal a little bit about Mary and her life. Unfortunately, one of the dates is off by 20 days, but I think we can still piece together a fairly reliable account of the very basics of Mary's life.

Mary Louisa Buchner was born on the 23rd of April 1849 to Edward Dell Buchner and Harriett Cohoe in Middleton, Canada West. Middleton, later known as Courtland, was largely settled in the 1840s by German immigrants. Edward was the postmaster in the Township of Middleton, and Harriet worked as a seamstress. Mary grew up with at least five siblings: Albert R., Nathan, Theresa, Rosetta, and Edward, but there could have been others. Mary seems to have lived her entire life in the Middleton/Courtland area.1,3

25-year-old Mary married William John Herron, 24, a merchant, in Simcoe, Ontario on 9 May 1875. William John was the son of J.C.H and Jane Herron.2 Mary and William lived in Middleton Township with their five children: Ernest, Effie, Jennie, John C., and Hattie.4

Mary died at the age of 76 of heart disease related to old age and is buried in the United Church Cemetery in Courtland, Norfolk County, Ontario. Her death record provides a different date of death than the one written on the photograph, but this type of mistake isn't uncommon when the date is recorded on an image years after the event.5

1 "Ontario Census, 1861," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQ7V-SH4 : 8 November 2017), Edward D Buchner, Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 22, line 1; Library and Archives Canada film number C-1052, Public Archives, Toronto; FHL microfilm 2,435,926.
2 "Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928, 1933-34" online database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca), Mary Louisa Buchner and William John Herron, Marriages 1875, Simcoe, Ontario, 9 May 1875; citing original data at Archives of Ontario; citing microfilm MS932, reel 18.
3 1851 census of Canada, Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, population schedule, Schedule: A; Roll: C_11741; Page: 11; Line: 47, Edward D. Buchner household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 Apr 2018); citing Library and Archives Canada Census of 1851 (Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia).
4 1891 Census of Canada, Middleton, Norfolk North, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 96, subdistrict A, p.9 (penned), family 41, William Herron household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 19 Mar 2018); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-6344.
5 "Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1946," online database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca), Mary Louisa Herron, Middleton, Ontario, 6 Mar 1927; citing original data at Archives of Ontario; citing microfilm Series: MS935; Reel: 350.


  1. I know. I feel that way whenever I pick up an old photo at a thrift shop or antique store, especially an identified one.