Week 3 of 52 (2022) Ancestors – Favourite Photo

Week 3 (18-24 Jan) prompt is Favourite Photo

The picture I selected for this week is probably one of the oldest photographs I have ever held. It is a family portrait of the Shingles family taken to commemorate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of James and Mary Ann in Maffra, Victoria.  

I was lucky enough to have it in my possession for a while when I was given everything that had been displayed in a reunion that was held in 1999. I was organising a reunion to be held in 2013 to commemorate their 160th wedding anniversary, so I scanned all the information including this awesome portrait.  I am not sure who the original owner was but luckily they added the names of the children. It’s the only image that we know of for most of the children.  

It was most likely taken on Sunday 23rd of August 1903 before the party that was held at the Mechanics Hall. It was probably one of the last times the family was together because the youngest child moved to New Zealand a few years later.  He didn’t return for their 60th anniversary.

James Shingles and Mary Ann Price were married at St James Cathedral in Melbourne on 25 August 1853.  They had both arrived on the ship ‘Saxon’ in 1849.  Mary Ann who was listed as being aged 11 on the passenger list was magically 17 only four years later! Mind you their first child was born three weeks before the 9th month anniversary of their marriage!  

It was first thought that it was taken on the occasion of their 60th Wedding anniversary in 1913 but not all the children were present at that party according to the newspaper article. A photo was also found in the local paper showing an older James & Mary Ann.

James died a few weeks shy of their 61st Wedding anniversary on 1 Aug 1914. Mary Ann died on 15 Oct 1922 which was nearly 70 years after they married.

Together they had 13 children, 10 of whom survived infancy to go on to produce many generations of Shingles in the Gippsland region of Victoria.  

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I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

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