Tag Archives: photo identification

Who Do I Think They Are? – Is this the ANSCOMBE family?

8 May

I have been puzzling over this photo for many months, it belonged to my great-aunt and has no names or dates on the back.

One of the reasons I love this photo is because of the varied clothing in evidence, but also I love that the old man’s trousers are tied with string just below the knees! What is that all about? To me the man on the right at the back looks like a cowboy who has lost his horse and the man next to him might just be a mad scientist.

The setting of the photo doesn’t really provide any clues, it is a rural setting but that doesn’t really help narrow anything down at all. The only clue I have is that the young man second from the left on the back row looks like my great-aunt’s father (my great-grandmother’s partner) Trayton ANSCOMBE.

So I wonder whether the old man sitting in the front is his father, who was also named Trayton. The woman on his left is wearing a wedding ring and I wonder whether she is his wife Fanny? According to the census his wife was ten years younger than Trayton (and I suspect she may not have been his first wife), but even so there still seems quite a large age difference, either that or he had a very hard life.

The older Trayton ANSCOMBE died in 1914 aged 65 years, when his son Trayton would have been 18 years old. So the age of the young man in the photo looks about right if it was taken not long before the older Trayton’s death. My problem with this is that the old man looks a lot older than 65 to me.

I really need to get my photo-dating books out to see if I can learn anything from the clothing of the younger people in particular. I also need to do some more research on the ANSCOMBE family, to see if there were enough children for this to be the family. In the meantime, if you recognise any of this group please let me know.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

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It is amazing what you can find with Google Street View

27 Sep

I was lying in bed yesterday morning reading the latest edition of Picture Postcard Monthly pondering their Picture Postcard Puzzles section, which features postcards with views whose location is unknown. I was thinking that it must be a lot easier to identify postcards now with the advent of Google Street View.

It was then that I cast my mind back to one family postcard in particular (shown below) which has been a bit of a mystery. The postcard shows a woman standing outside a quite distinctive small building. The quality of the postcard is not good enough to see any facial features, but I felt that if I could identify the building that would be a good start.

The Lodge, Ord House, Ord, Northumberland

Although this came from the TROWER side of my family tree the location didn’t look like anywhere in Sussex, certainly not one of the two main TROWER homes of Henfield or Sayers Common.

It is not clear what the building is, it looks a bit like a chapel perhaps, or some sort of community building like a village hall. It seems to be a little small for a house, but it is not easy to see how far back the building goes. One important feature is the material that the building is made of, it is almost certainly stone, rather than the more traditional Sussex building materials of flint or brick.

As I lay in bed pondering the image it struck me that there was one branch that I hadn’t previously considered, not actually a TROWER family but the family of Fanny FAIRS the sister of my 2x great-grandmother Annie TROWER (née FAIRS). She married Thomas Arthur BARRY in Henfield, Sussex in November 1894, but they lived in Northumberland at The Lodge, Ord House, Ord (Thomas was a coachman, presumably for whoever was living at Ord House).

I didn’t actually leap out of bed, but when I fired up my computer later in the morning I headed to Google Maps and searched for Ord House. Once the little orange Street View man hit the street I was convinced that this was the right place, because there was a nice long stone wall and stone buildings all over the place.

It took a couple of minutes exploring to find the building, unfortunately the Google Street View car didn’t drive right past the building, but close enough for me positively identify it.

I had a quick check on old-maps.co.uk and this building was identified as “Lodge”, confirming that this was the house of Thomas and Fanny BARRY, and that the woman is probably my 3x great-aunt.

It is a great feeling when you can put a name to a photo or postcard (I can’t be definite about the person, but I can about the place) and a really great way to start a Sunday morning!

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