My Family Tree: What’s In A Picture?

Part 1 – 23rd March 2023 — The Family Tree Quest Begins…

A very old family photograph

Today I begin my quest to research the people in this photograph.

I have been staring at this picture for best part of my life. Hence the blog.

It is an old photograph that has my Dad’s Mum in it, my Nana Smith. Or Granny Smith as I liked to call her.

She is the kid stood up in between her Mum and Dad with her sister down on the right of the picture.

From what I know of the family mythology, my Nana Smith’s Mum and Dad met in Wilmslow and Handforth, Cheshire, England, respectively just before the turn of the 20th century.

Just before the last of the three sisters died Lucy (not born yet so not in this picture), I chatted with her to try and find out more about them. She eye-balled me suspiciously with her one good eye when I tried to steer the conversation towards her Mum and Dad.

‘He was gentle and noble man,’ was all she said.

She didn’t say a peep about her Mum.

This blog will get updated with my progress, section by section, in chronological order added to the bottom of the blog.

If you have any information about the people in this photograph, or extended family, please get in touch.

Part 2 – 20th May 2023 – Who Exactly Is In This Photo?

From left to right: Margaret Edith Ellis, Winifred Muriel Ellis, Augustus Emmanuelle Ellis, Kathleen Edith Ellis

This month I have been trying to track the provenance of this photo and the exact details of who is who.

Dad says he thinks there is handwriting on by his Aunty Kath saying the year the photograph was taken is 1906.

She is the long-haired girl on the bottom right of the picture. Her full name is Kathleen Edith Ellis.

Dad says pinning Aunty Kath’s age down was always ‘a bone of contention’. No one ever quite knew how old she was. By her design.

If, for now, we assume 1906 is a good guesstimate, then Kathleen, who looks about six, would have been born in 1900 right on the turn of the 20th century.

Next to the left is Kathleen’s Dad Augustus Emmanuelle Ellis. Then we have Winifred Muriel Ellis, who looks about 3 so probably born in 1903. And then Margaret Ellis, Mum of Winifred and Kathleen and wife of Augustus.

Part 3 – 8th July 2023 – The Back Of The Photo

The back of the photo revealing a possible year of 1908

Last month in a big sort out of my photos I found an electronic copy of the back of the photo.

The handwriting says the year is 1908.

And there is a message underneath:

To Mum, from Auntie Nell May 1952

Who is the Auntie? The name looks like Nell. There was someone called Auntie Nell that Dad used to mention. He says she might have been Augustus’s sister?

Then it looks like another hand wrote the ages of the people in the photo on the right-hand side.

Mum 32 Father 39 Kath 7 Win 3

Presumably this other handwriting is done by the younger sister Lucy Elfreda Ellis who is not yet born when the photo is taken?

Unfortunately I don’t have the actual photograph, my brother Mark does. It would be very interesting to carefully peel back the tape and see what lies underneath. I’ll ask him.

According to the hand who wrote on the back of the photo, this puts Kath the first born daughter on the right, in 1901. My Dad’s Mum Winifred standing up born in 1905. Their Mum Margaret born in 1876 and their Dad Augustus born in 1869.

Wow that’s a long time ago. Time to go check out the birth, marriage and death records.

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