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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Gazing into space and time: who were these people?

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week is a cabinet portrait or carte de visite, in which the gentleman is adopting a pose that was quite popular with photographers of the period. The card below shows a lady in a similar leaning pose. It comes courtesy of my distant half cousin Kim in New Zealand. This photo and the others I've included were taken in Christchurch New Zealand by photographers Grand and Dunlop, who operated there from about 1875 to 1887. There is some interesting information about Grand and Dunlop in a blog about early New Zealand photographers
together with a number of their photographs showing subjects in poses very much like the ones I have from Kim. The question of course is, who are they? The only one of the set that we believe we've identified so far is Margaret Nancarrow nee Paterson, who emigrated to NZ in 1861 with her parents and siblings. Two more daughters were born after the family arrived in New Zealand. It could be that the other four photographs are of Margaret's sister Mary Shaw and their three Scots born brothers John, James and Alexander.  If this is the case, the first rather weary looking lady could possibly be their mother Mary Anderson, who was my 2 x great grandmother and would have been in her mid fifties in 1876.  Mary was previously married to another Charles, Charles Forbes, with whom she had already produced five children, the youngest of whom was my great grandfather. I think having borne 12 children would be enough to make anyone look care worn!


Margaret Nancarrow nee Paterson

The problem with my theory as to the identity of the lady above is that I am reliably advised that the photograph below is definitely of Mary Paterson nee Anderson, previously Forbes. So I'm not convinced that this is the same person as in my first photograph above, but whoever that lady was, she matches the prompt. Other Sepians have likely also found matching photographs from a similar time period, as you may discover if you read their posts at Sepia Saturday #380.

My 2x great grandmother, Mary Paterson nee Anderson, born Deskford, Banff, Scotland 1821, died Amberley, Canterbury NZ 1899 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Down on the farm

I've posted about sheep and goats here and here  in earlier blogs, but I still have a few more farm animal photographs to use in response to the Sepia Saturday prompt for this week. This first photo is from my mother's second photo album that covers the 1940s and is captioned "The Bull and Uncle Bill". I think the bull is on the right of the picture. Uncle Bill was Daniel William Morrison (1877-1956), older brother of my mother Jean's father John Morrison. Bill married Violet and they had seven sons and three daughters. He and his family farmed in the Rai Valley, located in the Marlborough district in the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand. Bill and John's parents migrated from County Cork to new Zealand in 1875 and apparently Bill became known as Billy Ireland, although he was in fact born in New Zealand. I know Jean enjoyed going up from Christchurch to visit her country cousins and their families, but I imagine that as a city girl she would have been wary of getting too close to that bull. 

The next photograph is a little later, and is labelled Holiday at Locksley Downs, Christmas 1951.
My parents were visiting Dad's newly married younger sister Nella and her husband Bert,  who at the time was working as a shearer on this New Zealand sheep station. It shows my father Ian with a friendly lamb,  and a sheep dog beside him keeping a watchful eye on the flock in the distance. Apart from the fact that this is a lamb rather than a goat and that Dad is not in uniform, it is not a bad match for the prompt.  Dad is looking suitably rural and seems to be wearing a vest with an interesting pattern under his shirt. He passed away in 2000 but would have turned 93 this Saturday 5 August. RIP Dad, 1924-2000.

Fast forward to recent times and here are our daughter Laura and myself in 2015 with some calves that she and her husband were raising on their country property near the town of Bunyip in Gippsland Victoria, about an hour away from Melbourne where we live.

And thanks to Laura, here is a very recent photograph of our granddaughter Lucy feeding the next generation of calves, who were born on the property two or three months ago. Little Lucy loves being outside helping with farm tasks!

Click here for more blogs prompted by Sepia Saturday #379