About the photos

In response to a grandson’s request I began working with the family to prepare a small family history.  In doing this I reopened a box, actually a big box, of family photos and compounded the collection by contacting a brother-in-law who has a similar box.  I have fallen into this box so to speak, realizing that the family has preserved these photos for 130 years through a move from Ontario, homesteading in Saskatchewan, and several other moves.  It appears that Helen Thornton was the saver and I couldn’t help but try to understand what she was thinking.  Did she know someone would come looking?  Did she know at some point children would come to their senses?  By the time the photos reached her grand children there was only a small collective memory remaining.  It was obvious people made an effort to save these and it now seemed appropriate to share them as I can imagine there may be other people out there looking for these photos.

Have fun and let me know what you find in your attic.  If you would like to add your photos on this blog please let me know.

I have stumbled upon a website that is very helpful in identifying photos for genealogical purposes.  Check it out.  Our collection has many late 19th and early 20th century portraits but it also contains 3 “tintype” photos, 8 CdVs (carte de visite) and perhaps 3-4 cabinet cards (which are really postcards).  The history of these processes helps a little in dating the photos:  the “tintype” photos were popular in the 1870s (but around until 1900), the CdVs which were much cheaper were popular from 1870 until 1900.  Families had albums much as we did that these CdVs could be slipped into.    It would have been great if our box had contained a complete album, but no luck.

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