Week 4 of 52 (2022) Ancestors – Curious

Week 4 (25-31 Jan) prompt is Curious

It was hard to narrow down a topic for ‘Curious’. I mean that’s why you get into genealogy isn’t it – you are ‘curious’!  I know it is certainly why I started. LOL

So as my last two weeks have been about photos I thought I may as well keep up that theme.  When I first started researching my family, we visited a cousin of my mother who had a box full of photos. She kindly let us borrow them so my mum could scan them for us. She couldn’t really remember where she had gotten them all and she has since passed so unable to ask again! Luckily most of the subjects of the photos are known but there are quite a few that are unknown.

The one I was most ‘curious’ about was a gorgeous photo of three ladies and two babies. By the gowns the infants are wearing, it was probably taken on the occasion of their christenings.  The only one known is my 3xgreat grandmother Mary Ann Shingles (sitting on right).  I have a photo of her in 1903 and 1913. This one looks like it could have been taken somewhere in the middle, maybe around 1908.

Neither of the other ladies look like her daughters (have photo of them in 1903) so have to assume they are a daughter-in-law and a grand-daughter and then the babies are great-grandchildren.  Even though the photo came from someone in my branch of the Shingles line, my 2xgreat grandfather only had sons. His first son, my great grandfather, didn’t marry until 1911 and the youngest lady is definitely not my great grandmother. 

So it seems to rule out it being from my direct line. As Mary Ann had 13 children, 8 of whom went on to have families it is a bit hard to narrow it down further and there are not many photos from around this time to compare it to!

Before I took up family research I was heavily into scrapbooking. So much so that I became a consultant in 2002.  I stumbled across a poem titled ‘Strangers in the Box’ which I used in my classes as a great reason to scrapbook.  In 2013, I organised my first family reunion and while looking at the photos I wanted to display to see if anyone recognised the subjects, I remembered the poem. I made up a poster and included a few of the photos. 

Unfortunately no-one was able to recognise anyone but Mary Ann. I am sure that absolutely every genealogist can relate to this poem and have a heap of photos of unknown relatives that they would love to identify. I am resigned to the fact that I am just going to have to remain ‘curious’ about this photo!.

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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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