I love collecting information on our ancestors, but I also love to share that information. First of all, people get really excited when you tell them you have a photo of their great-grandmother, someone that they have some vague idea about. It makes them want to share back. This is what makes genealogy so fun for me. I give things to various newly-found relatives, and they give amazing gems to me.
Today, I called the Grey Roots Museum & Archive. This is the historical society for Grey’s County, Ontario, Canada. Many of my husband’s ancestors came from there. I have a wonderful group photo, circa 1894, that I found in one of my mother-in-law’s albums. This photo has about 75 people in it and she wrote on the reverse side of it:
In back row of those seated — Aunt Helen (Isaac), a man standing behind her has his right hand on her left shoulder (Richard Dixon). To her left, a man then three (all seated) ladies and then my mother (Sarah Jane Isaac), in a white dress and sailor hat.
Cousin James Snell is behind lady leaning over with an umbrella on her lap – black dress.
First row standing – Great Aunt Mary Henderson Geddes and husband William Geddes – near left side of picture. She is in black dress and bonnet.
1894? Dromore Ontario
I was interested in finding out if they could tell me anything more about the photo, but I also wanted to give them a digital copy of it. I want other folks who might have ancestors in this wonderful photo to have the opportunity of seeing it (and possessing it), too.
I don’t know the reason for all these people in the photo to come together. I wonder if it was a church event or a town event. Everyone is dressed to the nines; it’s impressive. This photo gave me a first look at HELEN ISAAC’s first husband, RICHARD DIXON. I got to see my husband’s grandmother, SARAH JANE ISAAC, as a very young woman. I had never even heard of JAMES SNELL before I saw this. And then there are Great Aunt MARY HENDERSON GEDDES and Great Uncle WILLIAM GEDDES…wow.
This photo will help me put together the story of these ancestors. I have some faces to put behind the words that I will write. And I hope someone out there will recognize some of the other faces here, and maybe tell me something about them.
So, here I go, sharing this photo with you. You’re welcome.
I am always interested in seeing traits repeated in families. In this case, I am referring to physical traits. I came across these pictures the other day and, BAM! It smacked me right in the face. My husband, JOHN CALHOUN, has the same eyes as his great-aunt, KATHLEEN CALHOUN. John was about 39 years old when this photo was taken, but I am not sure exactly how old Kathleen was. But those eyes…they are the same.
Family history is so interesting, and I will tell Kathleen’s story in this blog…wait, wait, I will get to it and it is worth the wait.
I am not sure I see those same eyes in any of my kids, but I will look for them in photos from now on. In the meantime, John was born in 1944 and Kathleen was born in 1886. Fifty-eight years may separate their births, but those genes are strong. I am not sure if they came down the Calhoun or Parke side, but again, I will keep looking at the old photos I have to see if I can trace them.
This is a fun new avenue of research for me to go down. Yippee!