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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sepia Saturday 191: Three of a Kind

Three brothers, three sisters, three generations, parent with children, child with her aunts ...
I found a few of these groupings of three in my collection, but there are several unidentified photographs in an old family album of cartes de visite inherited from my aunt that I can't immediately fit into the family tree of the album owners, so the identity of their subjects is a matter for speculation.

Photographer Charles Lawrence, Christchurch
Photographer E Dossetter, Christchurch

Photographer Grand and Dunlop, Christchurch

It seems likely that these smartly dressed young men were brothers, or perhaps they could have been cousins, but are they the same three in each photograph, with the last photograph  having been taken some years after the other two? The first photograph looks to have been taken at a beach, despite the formality of their outfits, while the second and third are clearly posing in a studio. They were all taken by different professional photographers who were in business in Christchurch New Zealand from around 1870 onwards, but if only I knew more!

Photograph by W H Neal, Cambridge NZ
Photographer unknown

Here are another couple of threesomes from the same album. One is of a solemn group that surely comprises two sisters and a brother, who look like they would rather be off making mischief, and the other happier photograph is of a fond father and his two young children. Such  a shame that although these families went to the trouble having these formal photographs taken, the album compiler did not feel it necessary to record any details in the index as to 'who was who' which would have enabled them to be identified by future generations. The album itself was received by a 3x great uncle of mine, Frederick William Young, as a school prize in 1881, when he would have been aged 16. He was one of ten children born to his parents Charles Young and Jane Paterson, who had emigrated to New Zealand  from Glenmuick Aberdeenshire in 1851 and had settled in Kaiapoi. In later life Frederick became well-known as a Canon of the Anglican Church and lived to the venerable age of ninety-seven. 

Mona and her sisters in their floral outfits

Jean with her aunties

Bess and Flo in more florals, with their great niece, 1953
Above are three more recent family groups of three. The first is of my grandmother Mona Mary Morrison with her sisters Bessie Irene and Flora Euphemia Forbes, two of whom feature as much younger women in my first post, Boating on the Avon. The sisters were about 10 years older than my grandmother, and were dressmakers by profession, so no doubt they made all their own clothes. I wonder what shades these floral dresses would have been 'in real life'? They certainly look to have been made to very much the same design, and the expression 'peas in a pod' comes to mind!  The second snap is of my mother Jean with her doting maiden aunties, always known as Bess 'n Flo, who lived together all their lives. This picture would have been taken around 1935. Some fifteen years later they lovingly and painstakingly created my mother's wedding gown, incorporating a length of beautiful Swiss lace sent from Geneva by my aunt as a wedding gift to her sister, and they also made her baby's christening gown..

Finally, just a few three generation family photographs, of the same family but from different times:

 Grandfather Charles Cruickshank, father Oliver 
and baby son Ian, circa 1924

                                              By 1953, Charles is no longer around, but Ian is now a new father and Oliver a grandfather

Granddad Oliver showing son and grandson  that he can still chop wood? 1982